This week, unlikely partnerships reigned supreme on RAW and SmackDown. This deviation from the mold and blurring of the line between face and heel is usually unwise as it makes for messy characterization, but in recent weeks the WWE has hit its stride in shaking things up while still remaining true to the characters they have created.
Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch’s partnership in the face of adversity is doing wonders for them both. It highlights Banks’ competitive, spotlight-stealing attitude. It also further cements Becky Lynch as an unselfish babyface who also helps endear Banks to the crowd. Add that with the history between the two back at NXT and a future title program for them both, and you have a women’s wrestling story with more depth than the Divas Division has seen in years.
We know Banks and Lynch’s alliance is temporary. We know it’s shaky and could implode at any moment. That’s what makes it so entertaining to watch. Their story has so many layers. Think back to last year’s Wrestlemania team of AJ Lee and Paige, former enemies turned frenemies. While not as deep as Lynch and Banks’ current story, it held our attention and provided a refreshing change of pace.
Additionally, anyone watching this week’s SmackDown will testify that the show was built on the wildly entertaining rivalry between AJ Styles and Chris Jericho. The first match of the night saw the two forced to team up against the Social Outcasts in a fun tag match.
The growing animosity between the two fueled by intense competitiveness and desire for respect made for an entertaining back and forth throughout the match as Styles and Jericho attempted to show up the other at every turn. Both men upped their games, and the audience was treated to a match entertaining both storytelling-wise and wrestling-wise.
But maybe what makes this style of storytelling so refreshing is that it’s a rare break from the mold the stagnant bookers of the WWE have fallen into. New dynamics, new ways of furthering stories, that’s how the WWE should look to build the new crop of Superstars in its roster. Nostalgia just won’t cut it anymore.
Now, I’m not saying every storyline has to follow this formula. Then it won’t be fun anymore. But it’s definitely something i wouldn’t mind seeing the WWE utilize more often.