WrestleMania 36: The Four Horsewomen stand atop WWE’s women’s division
WrestleMania 36 is in the books, and three separate matches saw all four members of the WWE Four Horsewomen standing at the top of the WWE women’s divisions.
WrestleMania 36 was surely the least conventional iteration of the event we’ll ever see, but in many ways, it was truly poetic justice. The environment, despite all of the terrible circumstances that brought it to fruition, was absolutely perfect for The Four Horsewomen of WWE.
It’s been almost five years since we saw Bayley, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, and Charlotte Flair stand in the ring at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn and throw up the “4” after Banks and Bayley had stolen the show. While the foundation had been laid long before, it marked a turning point in the evolution of WWE’s women’s division.
While they weren’t the main event that night, the match from the inaugural NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn no one has been able to stop talking about for five years running was Sasha Banks vs. Bayley for the NXT Women’s Championship. After a long hard road with several failed attempts, Bayley finally defeated “The Boss” to capture the title.
After the match, the walls came down and we saw four women who were actively changing women’s wrestling stand together. Once known as The Four Horsewomen of NXT, the “of NXT” has disappeared since each of them became mainstays of Raw and SmackDown. They all carved their own paths, usually intertwining along the way but ultimately making their own individual impacts.
WrestleMania 36 saw all four of them at the top of their game. Charlotte Flair, after winning the 2020 Women’s Royal Rumble, challenged Rhea Ripley for the NXT Women’s Championship. Raw Women’s Champion, Becky Lynch toe-to-toe went the dangerous challenger, Shayna Baszler. SmackDown Women’s Champion, Bayley defended her title against four of the top challengers on SmackDown, including Sasha Banks.
The first of those matches saw Becky Lynch scratch and claw against “The Queen of Spades,” Shayna Baszler. It didn’t matter how much ferocity and MMA skill that Baszler brought to the dance, because ultimately a timely wrestling counter saw “The Man” end Baszler’s hopes of a WrestleMania moment and walk out as the Raw Women’s Champion for the second year in a row.
To open the second night of WrestleMania, Charlotte Flair used her victory at the Royal Rumble to step back into her past and challenge NXT Women’s Champion, Rhea Ripley. What followed was easily the best wrestling match of the weekend. Despite the best efforts and resilience of “The Nightmare,” “The Queen” Charlotte Flair stood tall with the NXT Women’s Championship raised in the air.
Near the end of night two, we saw the third match featuring The Four Horsewomen, and certainly the most intriguing. The on-and-off rivalry turned friendship turned rivalry turned friendship between Sasha Banks and Bayley dominated the story of the match. For the majority of the match, Banks and Bayley worked together to slowly eliminate their competition.
Unfortunately, things eventually went sideways after a miscommunication caused Bayley to strike Banks. The argument shortly afterward directly led to Banks eating a Women’s Right from Lacey Evans and getting eliminated. Bayley seemed to be on her own for the final stretch, but Sasha Banks suddenly slid back in from ringside and hit Evans with the Backstabber to allow Bayley to put the exclamation point on things and retain the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
While the immediate future of WWE programming remains uncertain, the impact and legacy of The Four Horsewomen does not. WrestleMania 36 will be remembered for many reasons, and one of them is the absolute dominance of Bayley, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, and Charlotte Flair. No matter where their careers take them from here, there’s no erasing the impact of The Four Horsewomen of WWE.