10 Best Matches Of The WWE Women's Revolution

Must-see matches from the golden age of women's wrestling...

When Ronda Rousey strode out at the end of the women's Royal Rumble - pointin' and smilin' - it seemed like the beginning of a new chapter. The 'Women's Revolution', as it has been enthusiastically branded by WWE, is certainly at a crucial stage here - especially since we're on the verge of the first all women's pay-per-view, WWE Evolution.

At the time, the introduction of Rousey generated widespread fear that she would be pushed as an unstoppable force, making the rest of the roster look weak and ineffective by comparison. Alexa Bliss has proven that to be false already.

We see WWE give monster pushes all the time (just look at fellow former UFC Champion Brock Lesnar) but there's a particular reason this one for Rousey was met with such opposition - before it had even happened!

The feelings of many were that should Rousey dominate all those who stand before her, her rise could be seen as discrediting all the women who made her arrival possible. There would be no revolution for Rousey to crash were it not for the work of the Four Horsewomen, Asuka, Natalya, and other fantastic talents in recent years - some of whom will unquestionably be remembered as some of the greatest women's wrestlers of all time.

Eight months later, the way WWE have dealt with Rousey - plus her stellar performances in ring and improving ones with mic in hand - have put most fears fans had to bed.

While personally I don't think Rousey's introduction was too clear a harbinger of doom (at least she wasn't in the Rumble itself, right?), I did understand people's fears. WWE love a mainstream star, and Ronda certainly is that.

With that said, it's important to remember how we reached this point in the first place. Let's take a look back at the 10 best matches of the Women's Revolution - from landscape-shifting NXT showdowns to main roster milestones.

10. Women's Royal Rumble - Royal Rumble 2018


Where better to begin than with January's biggest talking point? The inaugural women's Royal Rumble caused a stir even before the first entrant when, midway through the PPV, it became apparent that the bout was going to headline the show.

Thankfully, the match more than surpassed expectations. It had everything that makes a good Rumble, from interlocking storylines to surprise entrances, all topped off by a popular winner in Asuka.

It was very cool to see old feuds reignited - especially Trish vs. Mickie and Nikki vs. Brie - but even more exciting to see new torch-bearers interact with the women who opened the door for them.

Ultimately, the ending of the match was a very satisfying one, as Asuka dropkicked Nikki's feet out from under her and sent her tumbling from the apron. Yes, Ronda Rousey's immediate debut may have taken the spotlight somewhat, but it's Asuka's name that will remain in the history books.

9. Charlotte Vs. Bayley Vs. Becky Lynch Vs. Sasha Banks - NXT TakeOver: Rival


When talking about the key wrestlers at the helm of the Women's Revolution, it's hard to look past the titanic figures of Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, Bayley, and Becky Lynch - the Four Horsewomen. Although we have yet to see such an exciting fatal four-way on the main roster, NXT provided us with this dream match before we even knew it was one.

The best four-ways are those where everyone seems like a potential winner, and that's exactly what happened here. Charlotte was the dominant champion, Bayley the brave underdog, and Becky and Sasha the uneasily-aligned heels.

Once that alliance broke down, this match really shifted into a higher gear - with Becky heaving her opponents left, right, and centre, and Bayley coming close with an agonising series of near falls.

Ultimately, however, this was Sasha's moment. The site of perhaps the match's least-likely winner clutching the NXT Women's Championship, repeating "I told all of you; I told all of you" should be considered a crucial moment in not only her career, but the entire Women's Revolution.

8. Charlotte Vs. Natalya - NXT TakeOver


When Paige was called up to the main roster, there was a vacuum left at the top of the NXT women's division. A tournament for the now-vacant Women's Championship was arranged, and the final became one of the most important matches of the revolution.

First, the competitors - the experienced vet Natalya and a slightly green (but clearly talented) Charlotte - both related to wrestling legends. The fact that Ric Flair and Bret Hart were ringside didn't overshadow the match, but certainly made it feel bigger.

Natalya is a figure that often gets overshadowed by her more heavily-pushed peers, but her importance to women's wrestling should not be overlooked. She was brilliant in this match, marshalling the action and making the newer Charlotte look like the pioneering force she would eventually become.

7. Charlotte Vs. Sasha Banks Vs. Becky Lynch - WrestleMania 32


WrestleMania has been the site of some of the most cherished moments in the history of the business - but in terms of women's wrestling, it's hard not to be critical. Female Superstars have usually been overlooked on the grandest stage of all, and with the possible exception of Trish Stratus vs. Mickie James at 'Mania 22, there hasn't really been a standout women's match.

At least, not until WrestleMania 32. The triple threat between Charlotte, Becky, and Sasha was marketed as just as big a deal as any other bout on the card - and that was before the new WWE Women's Championship was unveiled during the show itself.

The action was intelligent and often brilliant, with all three rising to the occasion. The result was a surprising one; all the build-up and hype seemed to indicate that Sasha Banks was a sure winner, only for Charlotte to triumph with the help of her devious father.

Thankfully, the finish didn't too heavily overshadow the work of all three women. Yes, Ric prevented Sasha from breaking up Charlotte's submission hold on Becky - but it came across as a legitimate heel tactic, rather than a man having too heavy an influence in the result of a landmark women's bout.

(Also, Charlotte's towering Moonsault to the outside was one of the spots of the night.)

6. Bayley Vs. Asuka - NXT TakeOver: Dallas


Bayley's title reign in NXT often felt like a victory lap, following on from some of the best women's matches ever seen (which we'll talk about shortly). Little did we know that the intensity was about to ramp up further, thanks to the rise of WWE's most dominant Superstar in a generation: Asuka.

This match at TakeOver: Dallas wasn't so much a passing of the torch as an outright mugging. Asuka wrenched it from Bayley's hands and beat her over the head with it - although I wouldn't go as far as to suggest this was a squash.

The champ was certainly the underdog here but wrestled with wonderful resilience and fire - managing to win the crowd over, even if they may have been hungry for a title change before the opening bell.

Needless to say, the winner was indeed Asuka - whose choking out of Bayley was a fittingly brutal and shocking climax.

5. Kairi Sane Vs. Toni Storm - Mae Young Classic Semi-Final


The Mae Young Classic provided many great matches, a few particular favourites being Toni Storm vs. Piper Niven, Kairi Sane vs. Tessa Blanchard, and of course the final between Sane and Shayna Baszler.

However, for this list, I've chosen the wonderful semi-final between Sane and Storm - unquestionably two of the best women's wrestlers in the world today.

Despite meeting one another with zero storyline, the pair did all of their talking in the ring - working a fantastically-paced match in almost a New Japan style.

As the impact of the moves and desperation of reversals increased, so to did the intensity of the bout, until finally, both women were going all out to progress to the final. In the end, it was Sane who triumphed - hardly the most surprising victory on this list, but certainly one of the most hard-earned.

4. Asuka Vs. Nikki Cross - NXT, June 2017


Thanks to the introduction of the first-ever women's Hell in a Cell and Money in the Bank ladder matches, the days of Bra & Panties and Playboy Pillow Fights seem long gone. However, I've opted for a slightly more low-key stipulation bout - the brutal Last Woman Standing match between Asuka and Nikki Cross on an otherwise innocuous episode of NXT.

Like any good extreme match, the high spots were well-paced and played into a larger story - rather than simple brutality for brutality's sake. Everything came to a head when both women battled up a ladder near the announce table, before both crashing off as Asuka delivered a terrifying Superplex.

Although only the champ made it to her feet before the count of 10, both women were made to look strong here. Nikki's dedication to her crazed persona was even maintained in defeat, as she wore a disturbing grin while lying amongst the wreckage of the announce table. A wonderful and chaotic scrap.

3. Asuka Vs. Ember Moon - NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III


Few women have had the sheer chemistry of Asuka and Ember Moon. Their NXT Women's Championship match at TakeOver: Orlando divided opinion, but the rematch in Brooklyn was nothing short of spectacular.

(For what it's worth, I also enjoyed their Orlando match - but maybe it suffered from following the epic three-team elimination bout between DIY, The Revival, and the Authors of Pain).

It may be a commentary cliche to say that two wrestlers have 'done their homework on each other', but that's genuinely the feel of this bout - or at least the opening stages. Both women had counters for one another but also weren't afraid to lay in a heavy strike, keeping the match somewhere between a technical showdown and hateful brawl.

Although Asuka ultimately came out on top, Ember Moon came across as a more than credible competitor (despite eating her second loss to the champ in a row). The moment where Asuka kicked out of The Eclipse at two may be one of the greatest near falls in NXT history.

2. Sasha Banks Vs. Bayley - NXT TakeOver: Respect


Here we go - Sasha Banks vs. Bayley, the feud that kickstarted the Women's Revolution in earnest.

This bout was their rematch, fought under a landmark 30-minute Ironman stipulation - and was also granted main event status at the appropriately named NXT TakeOver: Respect.

Here, Bayley solidified her status as NXT Women's Champion - but Sasha was on another level as heel, at one stage even causing Izzy (a Bayley superfan) to burst into tears.

The structure of the match was excellent, as Sasha immobilised Bayley on the outside to take a 2-1 lead. This left the crowd favourite 15 minutes to claw back the deficit, which she did with seconds to spare - memorably stomping on Banks' head while trapping her in a modified armbar.

It was a brilliant bout, one of the best women's wrestling matches of all time, and a shoo-in for number one on this list - were it not for the match that preceded it...

1. Bayley Vs. Sasha Banks - NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn


It's not too much of a stretch to compare Banks vs. Bayley at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn to Okada vs. Omega at Wrestle Kingdom 11. Both were incredibly well-received matches which drew instant critical acclaim. Both were followed-up by a longer rematch some months later. But most importantly of all, both changed the game.

There was a sense while watching Okada vs. Omega that the wrestling landscape had shifted. The bar had been raised, and New Japan had taken a gigantic step towards wooing a far larger Western audience. Banks vs. Bayley shared a lot of those qualities. You could tell, while watching the match, that women's wrestling would never be the same again.

The ferocity of both competitors here meant that the bout often had an unhinged and dangerous feel - particularly thanks to spots such as Banks stomping on Bayley's fingers while clamping on the Banks Statement, or the reversed Frankensteiner that sent the challenger into a terrifying headfirst plummet towards the canvas.

The ending sequence was of an elite level, with Banks kicking out of Bayley's finisher, only for the challenger to regain momentum with a terrifying reverse-rana from the top rope. One final Bayley-to-Belly later, and the NXT Women's Championship had changed hands - but even more importantly, women's wrestling was forever transformed.

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Jack King

Written by Jack King

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