Bayley and Sasha Banks are the first winners of the WWE women's tag team titles.
As it should be—right?
Call it predictable or something else, but WWE didn't have any other options at Elimination Chamber in a heavyweight showdown between six tag teams.
Both Bayley and Banks are too important in the short and long term, and they can at least temporarily bring prestige to the titles heading into WrestleMania 35.
Stephanie McMahon @StephMcMahon
Congratulations @itsBayleyWWE & @SashaBanksWWE, the 1st ever @WWE #WomensTagTeamChampions! And to every woman who competed in that match - your heart & souls are still out there! You all made this movement & moment happen! #WomensEvolution #YouDeserveIt! #BossNHugConnection https://t.co/FwHjC3u3yg
WWE owed the two a bit of an apology, too.
Both Bayley and Banks had a miserable 2018, getting stuck in silly feuds and starting and stopping their own to some extent. Even worse, the spotlight had been ripped off them thanks to the apparent unstoppable force of nature that is Becky Lynch, who looks to be on the fast track to main-eventing WrestleMania with Ronda Rousey and possibly Charlotte Flair.
In other words, the two needed something. And to paint in broader strokes, the final two of the four horsewomen joined the group in making history. Bayley and Banks are the first women's tag winners, while Flair was the first Raw women's champ and Lynch was the first women's champion on SmackDown.
When WWE talks about the women's revolution far, far from now, it can't do so without Bayley and Banks. Now the idea becomes even more absolute with the duo winning the tag titles.
Maybe best of all? This doesn't hurt anyone on the roster. One could have made the argument the hilarious duo of The IIconics should have won it. Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan are on the rise. Naomi and Carmella each have plenty of prestige of their own. And Nia Jax draws heat like few others.
Look at how the match played out, though. The cocky Kay and Royce got overpowered. Morgan got protected by taking a Samoan Drop from the second rope to take her out. Sonya Deville didn't go out until Banks hit her with a monster Bank Statement.
Keep in mind the match itself showed just how deserving Banks and Bayley were. They were clearly the veterans of the affair, pulling off the most fluid tag moves, looking effective with their offenses and, when necessary, selling in typically superb form (especially for the ragdolling Banks, as always). It was a big-match case study of a performance that should elevate the entire division.
The other undercurrent here? It's hard to claim any match was better all night. And it wasn't a bad card overall: Finn Balor got a big title win, Rousey, Lynch and Flair had a massive promo, and the men's main event featured Kofi Kingston getting oh-so-close.
However, as they have done for months, the women stole the show, which is a good sign for the entire tag division and not just the winners.
While there is something special about claiming the inaugural belts, eventually winning by taking down the first-ever winners will put a big stamp of approval on the second titleholders, too. Granted, WWE has to use the opportunity properly and without a botch, but the door is open for a serious elevation for, say, a team like The IIconics—and maybe even at WrestleMania.
Granted, this assumes WWE won't throw the two into a match against part-time stars or so-called legends on April 7. As much as there is some precedent for a match against the likes of the Bellas, the better use of the stage for the new belts would be putting over the division as a whole.
Tag titles have been stale for a long time in WWE, though. It's not a knock on any one particular team, but a lack of depth for a while hurt things before misuse of called-up talent sent the outlook back in the other direction.
On the women's side of things, though, the depth is superb, and the division is now clearly off on the right foot. Bayley and Banks winning not only sets a prestigious start for the titles and a major historical milestone for their group of four, it creates a scenario in which the rest of the division can be uplifted at the same time if the eventual transition is handled properly.