With WWE putting “The Man” Becky Lynch on the cover of this year’s WWE 2K game, it only made sense that this year’s Showcase Mode would also feature Becky in some way. (Sorry, Roman Reigns. You’re cool too.)
And does it ever, as WWE 2K20’s Showcase Mode focuses on the Women’s Evolution by way of WWE’s “Four Horsewomen.”
Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks, Charlotte Flair, and of course, Bayley. While these four women aren’t the only ones responsible for the Women’s Evolution—the Women’s Evolution certainly wasn’t built in a day, after all—it’s impossible to deny their contributions. Especially all laid out like it is in WWE 2K20, with 15 curated matches. (Honestly, I could suggest even more. But those would also include tangents about Summer Rae and Emma’s importance to the Women’s Evolution…)
In honor of WWE 2K20’s release and this monumental Showcase Mode, let’s take a look back through the RondaRousey.com archives—which have actually covered most of these matches and will surely cover the rest in the future—to add a little more context to just how important these matches and eras were. And how important they continue to be to WWE, the Women’s Evolution, women’s wrestling, and sports entertainment as a whole.
Charlotte Flair (with Ric Flair) vs. Natalya (with Bret Hart), for the NXT Women’s Championship — NXT TakeOver (May 29, 2014)
“But Natalya also had a hand in the early rumblings of the Divas Revolution in NXT, as she faced off against Charlotte Flair at the very first NXT TakeOver for the vacant NXT Women’s Championship in 2014. Even with Ric Flair in Charlotte’s corner and Bret Hart (Natalya’s uncle) in Natalya’s corner, all eyes were surprisingly on the female competitors in the ring. While the main roster WWE audience had always had an idea of how talented Natalya was, this match and her time in NXT as a veteran made clear that the women in this company weren’t unable to compete at a high level. They just needed a chance.”Road to the Women’s Evolution: To Ruthless Aggression, Divas, & Beyond
“But while that alliance was ultimately short-lived, this era saw Charlotte take on Natalya in the finals of the tournament to determine the fate of the NXT Women’s Championship, which had gone vacant following Paige’s debut on RAW. The excellent, nearly 20-minute match took place on May 29, 2014 at the very first NXT TakeOver event, and the athleticism and fighting spirit shown by both women—Natalya with her uncle Bret Hart in her corner, Charlotte with her dad in hers—helped further the cause of the blossoming “Divas Revolution,” in a time when women performers in WWE (especially on the main roster) were still struggling for time and recognition. Charlotte won the match with her signature somersault cutter, the Natural Selection.”Wrestler of the Week: Charlotte Flair
Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Bayley vs. Becky Lynch, in a Fatal 4-Way for the NXT Women’s Championship — NXT TakeOver: Rival (February 11, 2015)
Bayley vs. Sasha Banks (c), for the NXT Women’s Championship — NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn (August 22, 2015)
“When the bell rang, a match began that would have been awesome even without its unique historical context. Sasha makes fun of Bayley’s ring gear, including the cast on her right hand (decorated with black and yellow polka dots, a tribute to the recently deceased Dusty Rhodes). Bayley shows the fire sparked at the contract signing and just goes after Banks with strikes. Each woman gives back everything she receives, and each shows how driven she is to be the champion by going for pins early in the match.
The fight’s turning point is when Banks, after throwing Bayley out of the ring, rips the brace off her hand. The Boss continues ruthlessly, crushing her opponent’s injured limb in the steps and making the commentary team think she’s probably broken Bayley’s hand. But Bayley doesn’t give up. She starts using a double axehandle to make up for the weakened hand. She reverses the Banks Statement even after Sasha stomps on her hand to ensure she submits. Sasha tries to beat her down on the turnbuckle, but, with the perfect mix of strength, spirit, and skill, Bayley hits a hurricanrana from the top rope and follows it with her signature Bayley-To-Belly suplex for the win.”Classic Match: Bayley vs. Sasha Banks, NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn
Charlotte Flair (with Paige & Becky Lynch) vs. Nikki Bella (c) (with Brie Bella & Alicia Fox), for the WWE Divas Championship — WWE Night of Champions (September 20, 2015)
“Team Bella—comprised of Divas Champion Nikki Bella, Brie Bella, and Alicia Fox, all longtime WWE employees—represented the status quo.
[…] Team PCB (also known briefly as the Submission Sorority) saw Paige—the first NXT Women’s Champion, who had been fighting for a change in regime on the main roster for a while—team up with half of the NXT Four Horsewomen, Charlotte Flair andClassic Match: Team PCB vs. Team Bella vs. Team B.A.D., SummerSlam 2015
Becky Lynch. Their differences would result in this team being short-lived, but for now, they were united with their drive for a WWE women’s wrestling revolution.”
Charlotte Flair (with Ric Flair) vs. Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks, in a Triple Threat match for the WWE Women’s Championship — WWE WrestleMania 32 (April 3, 2016)
“[This match] moved WWE’s female performers out from under the “Divas” label when Charlotte, Becky Lynch, and Sasha Banks—who had all been called up from NXT to the main roster within the past year—battled for the reactivated WWE Women’s Championship. Their triple threat was full of exciting spots and character moments from wrestlers the audience was invested in and showed what this new generation of female performers was capable of.”Road to the Main Event: The History of Women’s Wrestling at WrestleMania
Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte (c) (with Dana Brooke), for the WWE Women’s Championship — WWE Monday Night RAW (July 25, 2016)
This is one of those matches we haven’t covered on RondaRousey.com—yet—but I’ve just got to note: Sasha Banks didn’t just beat Charlotte Flair for the title in this match. She literally snatched her bald.
Becky Lynch vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Carmella vs. Naomi vs. Natalya vs. Nikki Bella, in a Six-Pack Elimination match for the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship — WWE Backlash (September 11, 2016)
Charlotte Flair vs. Sasha Banks (c), in a Hell in a Cell match for the WWE RAW Women’s Championship — WWE Hell in a Cell (October 30, 2016)
“This was the first time women had ever main evented a WWE PPV and the first time women had ever stepped foot inside the Hell in a Cell structure. One aspect of the Women’s Revolution, spearheaded by WWE’s Four Horsewomen, was making sure the women got significant time on the card—no more sub-two minute matches. But another aspect was breaking down barriers in terms of competing in matches with various stipulations. Banks and Flair showed that Hell in a Cell wasn’t just for the men. Their match is a chaotic, hard-hitting affair that ranks up there with some of the best Hell in a Cell matches of all time.”The Five Defining Moments (So Far) of WWE’s “Four Horsewomen”
Becky Lynch vs. Mickie James — Elimination Chamber 2017 (February 12, 2017)
Bayley vs. Charlotte Flair (c), for the WWE RAW Women’s Championship (February 13, 2017)
Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax — WWE Fastlane (March 5, 2017)
Bayley (c) vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Nia Jax vs. Sasha Banks, in a Fatal 4-Way Elimination match for the WWE RAW Women’s Championship — WWE WrestleMania 33 (April 2, 2017)
Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Asuka, for the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship — WWE WrestleMania 34 (April 8, 2018)
“After a little over a month of mystery, it was revealed that “The Empress of Tomorrow” chose “The Queen,” SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair as her WrestleMania opponent. The theme of their brief feud was “iron sharpens iron,” a conflict of two athletes and self-proclaimed royalty with mutual respect for each other. At WrestleMania 34, Flair defeated Asuka, submitting her with the Figure Eight to retain her title and end the 914-winning streak. It was arguably the greatest women’s match on the “Grandest Stage Of Them All” yet.”Wrestler of the Week: Asuka
Becky Lynch (c) vs. Charlotte Flair, in a Last Woman Standing match for the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship — WWE Evolution (October 28, 2018)
“Like so much about this pay-per-view, this match is what professional wrestling/sports entertainment/whatever you want to call it is all about. Do whatever you can to go out of your way to watch this match. Do the same for this entire card. Because this is what it’s all about.”Evolution Results and Recap: You Deserve It
“The first-ever all-women pay-per-view in WWE history also saw Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair battle it out in the first-ever Last Woman Standing Match (on WWE’s main roster). This was a huge moment and a culmination of years of hard work to get women’s wrestling to the place of being equal to the men’s matches. No longer Divas and no longer relegated to short and underseen pre-show matches, Becky and Charlotte were here, at the height of their powers, to deliver a hard-fought match that easily came in as one of the best of 2018.
In the end, Becky successfully defended her SmackDown Women’s Championship and paved the way for an even bigger moment in the spring of 2019.”The Five Defining Moments (So Far) of WWE’s “Four Horsewomen”
Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Ronda Rousey (c), in a Winner Take All Triple Threat match for the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship & the WWE RAW Women’s Championship — WWE WrestleMania 35 (April 7, 2019)
“No match on the card of WrestleMania 35 had the intrigue and passion of the main event. The combustible personalities of RAW Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey, SmackDown LIVE Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair, and fan favorite Becky Lynch all but forced their way into the main event of WrestleMania. Three of WWE’s hottest Superstars going to war over two championships in a Winner Take All match.”Becky Lynch Pins (???) Ronda Rousey to Make History at WrestleMania 35