In 2015, the NXT women’s division was arguably the best. While Sasha held the NXT Women’s Championship, Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, and Banks debuted on WWE’s main roster. Sasha had to manage NXT’s women’s division while on the main roster, causing a feud between Banks and Bayley. Sasha and Bayley had a long-standing feud. During their feud, Banks won significant matches and the NXT Women’s Championship, while Bayley lost and was betrayed by her friends.
On August 22, 2015, Bayley challenged Sasha for the NXT Women’s Championship at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn. She and Sasha gave their all in one of the greatest women’s wrestling matches of all time, and the fervent crowd made it easy to become invested. With a Bayley-to-Belly Suplex, Bayley defeated Sasha to win her first NXT Women’s Championship. Bayley, Sasha, Charlotte Flair, and Becky Lynch celebrated with hugs and poses in the ring.
The Boss refused to give up her position. She desired a rematch on October 7, 2015, at NXT Takeover: Respect. Then, General Manager William Regal announced that the match would be the main event and a 30-minute Iron Man match, marking the first time that women had headlined a pay-per-view.
Sasha entered the ring first, in true Boss fashion. Sasha demonstrated that despite her expensive cars, clothes, and attitude, it was her wrestling ability that made her great. Bayley entered her best. Ringside were the Bayley Buddies, Izzy, Lita, Charlotte Flair, and Becky Lynch. The crowd chanted “main event” at the two women, establishing the tone for the match. Sasha was jeered and applauded. The crowd at Full Sail Arena chanted Bayley’s name. Before the match began, both women were greeted with chants of “This is Awesome,” “You Deserve It,” and “NXT.” After the match began, the crowd split between Sasha and Bayley supporters.
At approximately 21 minutes, Sasha Banks scored the first pinfall when she blocked the referee and hit Bayley in the eye with her thumb. Banks stunned Bayley with a roll-up pinfall to advance the Boss. Sasha initially dominated the match, forcing Bayley to fight back and avoid pinfall attempts. 19 minutes into the match, Bayley scored her first pinfall with a Bayley to Belly suplex on Sasha, tying the match.
Izzy, a Bayley superfan, was another target of Sasha’s. She teased Izzy and stole her headband, heightening the drama of the match. Sasha won her second decision after Bayley was disqualified for throwing herself into an LED screen. Sasha ridiculed Bayley upon her return to the ring. At the 12:50 mark, Bayley pinned Sasha after a submission attempt. Sasha was shocked and then returned to Bayley’s assault. With the score tied and less than 10 minutes remaining, both women gave their all and minimized the upcoming decision.
In the last three minutes, both women were nearing submission. Sasha had Bayley in the Banks Statement and it appeared that she would tap to regain the NXT Women’s Championship. Bayley defeated Sasha by submission. Bayley retained the NXT Women’s Championship following Sasha’s submission with three seconds remaining. I suggest rewatching the game. The final minutes were the most exciting of any previous women’s wrestling match. After the match, the entire NXT roster presented Sasha and Bayley with flowers and respect. As she left NXT for the main roster, Sasha cried. Triple H presented Bayley with flowers and congratulated her and Sasha on their performance.