We’re all told there’s always another chance, and that’s right. The difficult thing is timing the chance to make it truly special.
Such was the Case with Natalya at SummerSlam.
Natalya faced Becky Lynch for the Raw Women’s Championship in her home country of Canada. As if that wasn’t special enough, it was also two days prior to the one year anniversary of her father, WWE Legend and Hall of Famer, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart’s, passing (August 13).
Since Natalya is on Raw, it’s doubtful they’ll have her go on Smackdown on Tuesday to face Bayley as it’d interrupt her feud with Becky Lynch, SummerSlam was the perfect opportunity for the WWE to give her the title and honor Jim Neidhart’s memory. Add to having Bret Hart appear on camera backstage wishing Seth Rollins luck (trying to put him over, again) following her match would’ve made it the perfect moment.
Would it have been too predictable? Yep. But so it WWE programming in general.
Would it hurt Becky Lynch’s rising star? Nope, not if they handled it correctly.
It would’ve been easy to do
The WWE recycles storylines faster than the best daytime soap operas, so they could’ve recycled another involving a tough S.O.B. from the Attitude Era.
In what’s widely considering the greatest, or one of the greatest, matches in WWE history happened at WrestleMania 13. It involved a bloody “Stone Cold” Steve Austin passing out from blood loss and pain after Bret Hart locked him in the sharpshooter.
It was the catalyst for Austin’s sudden rise and it could’ve been duplicated.
While there was no reason for Lynch to be bleeding like Austin, Jerry “The King” Lawler said during the kickoff show that the sharpshooter was the most painful submission hold he’d ever experienced. That would’ve been the perfect setup for Lynch to cement herself as this generation’s toughest superstar in the business.
Think of it. Toward the end of their awesome match, Natalya slaps the sharpshooter on an already injured Becky Lynch and after a valiant struggle, Lynch passes out. Natalya wins the championship while Lynch’s reputation explodes and takes on a life of its own. She could then win the championship in a couple of weeks or at the next pay-per-view.
Everyone would have their moment and both would come out of it looking awesome.
Instead, the WWE squandered Natalya’s opportunity. Even if she wins it tonight on Raw, it’s nothing like it would’ve been if it’d been at SummerSlam.
It was so badly mismanaged that it there’s still animosity toward the Hart family for the aftermath of the Montreal Screwjob and Owen Hart’s death. Vince McMahon has been trying to mend the fence for years, and this could’ve been another step in doing that.