Nothing in WWE can ignite a Superstar quite like a Royal Rumble victory. The quest to outlast 30 competitors en route to earning a WWE Championship match at WrestleMania is responsible for some of the most memorable images in WWE history. And no one is more deserving of this ultimate catalyst than Sasha Banks.
Despite being a 4-time RAW Women's Champion, Banks has endured a forgettable 2017. While still maintaining a fruitful relationship with WWE's fanbase, The Boss has been relegated to some head scratching roles, but none more peculiar than her brief stint as Rich Swann's dancing partner.
Since, Banks, like the rest of the RAW Women's division, was frozen in place as WWE cleared the runway for the arrival for Asuka. This stagnation, along with the addition of Paige's Absolution, and the specter of Ronda Rousey let women like Sasha Banks decline to an unflattering room temperature.
As Randy Orton proved last year, nothing can bring a cooling WWE Superstar to a boil faster than winning the Royal Rumble. And even though Las Vegas labeled Banks as a mathematical echo (14:1) she may be the perfect sleeper.
While everyone is preoccupied with Asuka and Ronda Rousey, neither one of them are proven in WWE. While Banks still has room to grow, she's shown on multiple occasions that not only can she deliver big moments, but that she can connect with the WWE audience. In short, WWE is behind Banks, despite appearing to be distracted with newer toys.
WWE is a company that awards years of exceptional performance (look no further than Kane's Universal Championship opportunity). And even though Banks is only 25(!), she's a proven WWE veteran at this point. That may not mean much to Asuka fans, but decades of evidence underline WWE's preference for homegrown talent. This makes the idea of handing Rousey or Asuka arguably the biggest moment in the history of women's wrestling quite the stretch.
Now that WWE has employed the magical powers of the Rumble that means that the women's division will receive its first long-term narrative in quite some time. The ride from January to April will saddle the Rumble winner with an unprecedented load of dueling promos and backstage segments.
Are you sure you want to see Asuka and Rousey in that role this early? Such a demanding part in WWE's story could expose either of them by March.
Even more, Alexa Bliss is RAW Women's Champion. Not only does she have a history with Banks, but they actually may hate one another. This is great! The two had a ho-hum feud this past summer but I'm willing to bet the sequel, especially under the cosmic lights of WrestleMania, will be exponentially better.
So on January 28th, look for Banks to enter early and fight like hell to stay alive. Then with her make-up running, her hair disheveled, and her teeth bared, The Boss will make history. She'll cry, so will we most likely, and WWE can confidently move forward with one of the purest rivalries we've seen in several years.