Editorial Columns

Why Shayna Baszler Deserves Better

Shalene Hixon tells us why Shayna Baszler deserved better than what happened at WrestleMania 36.

Anyone who has read some of my articles on TWM knows I’m a huge fan of Shayna Baszler.

I first saw her during the inaugural Mae Young Classic and have loved her ever since.

After losing the NXT Women’s Championship to Rhea Ripley in December, her moving to RAW or SmackDown was almost a guarantee. I was pretty hesitant, especially with the… questionable track record of how creative has handled top NXT stars once they moved up.

Regardless, it was exciting seeing her appear on RAW and take a bite out of Becky Lynch. It was time; after running through the entire RAW women’s division, The Man was finally going to meet her match.

Why wouldn’t it be Baszler? She quickly established herself as one of the most dominant women in WWE history, and was also the first and only two-time NXT Women’s Champion. Her competition weren’t pushovers either, as she beat the likes of Kairi Sane, Io Shirai, Bianca Belair, and Ember Moon.

The women’s Elimination Chamber last month further reinforced that sentiment. She not only won the match, but was the first competitor in its history to eliminate the entire field.

The WrestleMania 36 match-up was set: Lynch vs. Baszler for the RAW Women’s Championship. I couldn’t wait to see these two clash on “The Grandest Stage of Them All”, especially to see Baszler prove why she is a force to be reckoned with.

Last Saturday finally arrived and I fully expected the match to go on later in the night. It surprisingly ended up being the fourth match out of nine, but I didn’t think much of it.

The two started going at it and the brutality started to unfold. After several attempts, Baszler finally locked Lynch in the Kirifuda Clutch and it started to look like we would have a new champion.

It really was the beginning of the end, but not in the way most people envisioned. One roll-up later, and Lynch retained the title while I sat there in complete shock.

“Wait a minute… that’s it? THAT’S IT?!”

First off, the match itself was pretty good, albeit a little too short. It could have easily gone on another 10 minutes or so, as both women showed just how physical they can get. But that ending was just horrible, plain and simple.

Creative once again baffled fans, and not in a good way. They had just spent the last two months building up Baszler as this unstoppable force, while Lynch’s popularity with the WWE Universe had begun to decline.

It was the perfect moment to finally establish a new top star and they did … that. Disappointing is quite the understatement.

Rumor has it that the finish was done to protect Baszler. I can see what they were trying to do, but they forgot about one tiny detail: she lost the NXT Women’s Championship the EXACT same way to Kairi Sane at TakeOver: Brooklyn 4. Of all endings to choose from, I don’t understand why they went with that one.

Do they know what the word “continuity” means? Because it sure seems like they don’t. After the loss in Brooklyn, Baszler learned from that mistake the next time she faced Sane and won the title back. Having her lose like that again just makes her look foolish, and it’s a damn shame.

Certainly, her and Lynch will come back to this feud, but no one seems to know if it’s going to happen right away. Nia Jax and Ronda Rousey are the two names being thrown around as the champ’s next possible opponent. There is plenty of history between Lynch and both women, so they really don’t need a title to fight over.

If that is the plan, where does that leave Baszler? She deserves better than being shoved into some throw-away feud until they decide it’s time to come back to her and Lynch.

Unfortunately, there really aren’t many options at this point. Sending her back to NXT is highly unlikely, especially since she accomplished just about everything on the black-and-yellow brand. That is unless she goes back to challenge the new NXT Women’s Champion, Charlotte Flair.

But for now, it’s all speculation until we see how the next few weeks or even months play out. So sadly, The Queen of Spades is currently just another victim of WWE’s head-scratching and questionable booking decisions.

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You can find the author of this article on Twitter @Shalenehixon21. Thanks for reading!

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