Greatest Matches of All Time - Sasha Banks vs Bayley

This match was the peak of the Four Horsewomen's time in NXT. The first of two matches between the two and the best rated of the two. This was part one of the end of Sasha Banks in NXT and the beginning of Bayley's run on top as the long member of the Four Horsewomen to stay in NXT.


This match was for the NXT Women's championship with Bayley challenging Sasha Banks after earning her spot with victories over Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair. The dynamic say a sneering Sasha Banks patronise and diminish Bayley in the lead up to the match and the match itself. The crowd was firmly behind Bayley as this marked the conclusion of her underdog character's story-arch.


This match, beloved by NXT loyalists, with a 4.75 rating after 216 votes is the 10th highest rated match in WWE history, the 5th highest rated match in NXT history and the top rated women's match in WWE history via Grappl App ratings. It is ranked as a 4.5 star match by Dave Meltzer.


Watch it on the WWE Network here.

(requires WWE Network subscription)


Match Stats

This match saw Bayley finally capture the NXT Women's championship and marked the apex of her underdog journey. It saw her enter the contest riding a tidal wave of fan support opposing the cool, glitzy and main-roster called up champion.


This match saw Sasha as the dominant champion with Bayley fighting from underneath for large stretches. The emotion of this clash saw both competitors throwing strikes thick and fast. Ultimately it would take Bayley two finishers to earn this monumental win.


Offence was evenly balanced between the two competitors, with Sasha Banks owning most of it and shading it by 6%. This came, exclusively, due to her superior use of submission, seeing her quadruple her opponent's output.


These two ferocious competitors battled it out for just over 18 minutes with the duration coming in at 18:16. This was an action-packed match with each woman taking full advantage of opportunities within this match often pummelling their foe with numerous offensive sequences.


The 18 minute contest saw a grand total of 146 offensive moves. This averages out at a pace of 8 manoeuvres per minute which is a rapid rate of offence for any wrestling match.

hence highlighting the ferocity of the two wrestlers intentions.


This match's tide turned exactly 50 times. The back and forth between the two competitors clocked in at an average of 2.7 occurrences per minute.


Flow of Offence and Tide Changes

This match's offence was characterised by flurries of notable offence from competitors where they dealt their opponent a substantial amount of damage and periods of quick back and forth as they also exchanged strikes rapidly as they jostled for control.


Notable periods of sustained damage tended to be characterised by a series of strikes leading to a dive or strikedown.


As the match progressed the periods of back and forth jostling fell away to more sustained offence and periods of even longer offence as the wrestlers built towards possible finishing sequences.


Flow of Offence - Periodised

Momentum on this match was hard won as the two wrestlers were difficult to separate. Banks was consistent until she fell away at the end of the match whereas Bayley was more consistent except for a difficult second five.


The first five of this match was catagorised by exchanges of small series' of strikes usually for or five a piece. Bayley also hit dives whereas Banks landed more strikes as they cancelled each other out early on.


The second five saw Banks take control as she destroyed Bayley's injured wrist by bending the rules via steel steps usage.


The third five saw Bayley battle back into the match by winning a ferocious strike battle. This was short lived as Banks trapped her in the Bank Statement for a tortuous 33 seconds.


The final 3 minutes plus of the contest saw Bayley overwhelm Banks with strikes before hitting the Bayley-to-Belly to defeat Sasha Banks at long last.


Time in Control of Contest

Sasha Banks controlled huge periods of this contest in the aftermath of brutalising Bayley's previously injured wrist on the steel steps. This was also boosted by trapping Bayley in the Bank Statement for over half a minute.


Bayley managed to almost match Banks' offensive output by raining down strikes on her opponent with furious speed.


The back and forth nature of this match is represented by the majority of it being a back and forth affair. short or below average flurries of offence meant wrestlers momentum was hard earned.


Highlights

This match was a momentous achievement for NXT's promotion of their women's division. It was well-worth the acclaim the two wrestlers received in it's aftermath.


Entrances showed the crowds attachment or investment in the character's face or heel performances. Bayley and Sasha had one of the most pure face/heel contrasts in their entrances and interactions with the fans you can see anywhere.


The speed of offence, particularly, striking was hugely engaging. You could see the characters hatred for each offer in the eagerness to deliver blows to the opponent.


Conclusion

As we reach 5 years since this match took place, this is still the top rated women's match in WWE history by measurement of Grappl ratings.


This match is a must watch for any WWE women's wrestling fan that has not yet witnessed it. So much of the current women's wrestling in WWE can be traced back to this time in NXT and this crop of NXT wrestlers.


4.5/5

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