3. Vs. Charlotte, Sasha Banks, Bayley (NXT TakeOver: Rival)
By this point in time, we’d been long clued in that women’s wrestling in NXT was much, much different from what we saw on Monday nights, but this Fatal 4-Way may have been the point where the contrast truly hit us. You know a match has designs on stealing the show when the apron LED board is taken out during a scrum.
The four women packed so much action and intensity in just 12-and-a-half minutes, establishing each member of the quartet as a worthy champion of the present and future alike. Sasha managed to earn the win with a rather subtly-executed finish, but all four would get bumped up in the eyes of many, as their NXT exploits were by now must-see.
2. Vs. Sasha Banks (NXT TakeOver Unstoppable)
“Steampunk” Becky cemented itself at this time, which was certainly a far cry from the one-note Riverdancing that she was doing once upon a time. It was the right time to introduce a new look for herself, seeing as she was about to take part in her first excellent one-on-one match under the WWE header, so she’d be making herself stand out in two ways.
From muscling up out of a Short-Arm Scissors, to matching Banks in submission gamesmanship, the two put together a highly-physical, thoroughly-competitive battle for an honour that each coveted, with Becky falling just short after coming within a hair of victory. A tearful Lynch received a deserved standing ovation after the match, indicative of even better days ahead.
1. Vs. Charlotte (Evolution)
You were expecting something else? It was the best match on an all-women’s pay-per-view, and it would’ve stolen the show on many male-dominated cards of this era. Had it somehow made it onto Crown Jewel, it’d have been the Bret/Austin to, well, everything else at WrestleMania 13. Calling this the best women’s match in WWE history wouldn’t be a stretch at all.
Long Island hailed Lynch as a genuine star, while booing Charlotte as though she’d aided her father in breaking Dusty’s leg. The last woman standing bout was as brutal as it was beautifully-executed, showing that they can be put in a match similar to any two male main eventers and do it just as well, if not outright better. It was athletic, violent, competitive, and filled with palpable fury, and could’ve closed out any pay-per-view in any era. For each woman, this is their most frame-worthy work. It remains to be seen if Becky can top it against Ronda, and we’d all love to see them try.