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DR Ackermann

Mayu Iwatani vs Sasha Banks

Mayu Iwatani vs Sasha Banks  

11 members have voted

  1. 1. Who is better?

    • Mayu Iwatani
      7
    • Sasha Banks
      4


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I've seen more Sasha than Mayu matches and I MIGHT have Sasha's best match above Mayu's, but I think Mayu is better on almost every other night. Especially in terms of offense it's a no contest.

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49 minutes ago, DR Ackermann said:

Arguably the current best female wrestlers in their respective countries. Who will you rank higher?

I LOVE BOTH SO MUCH! Meiko is better than Mayu though.

Sasha on big nights, Mayu day to day.

Sasha as a heel, Mayu as a babyface.

Don't make me choose. 

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Sasha's level of 'career achievement' pushes her over any recent Joshi candidates apart from Kana/Asuka. Mayu's had a lot of great matches working as a main eventer in a promotion that exists to put on great women's matches and a fanbase who come to see that, Sasha did it in a company which didn't take women's wrestling seriously at all and a fanbase who'd been trained to treat women's matches as bathroom breaks. People should read some of the threads on here from 2015-ish asking if stuff like if Sasha could event main event a WWE PPV and the notion being generally dismissed as silly (and not without good reason).

And there's strictly 'wrestling ability' reasons why I think Sasha was able to achieve what she has. She's extremely versatile, a lot more than Mayu's ever shown. Her first big feud in NXT was with Charlotte, where she played a chickenshit pain adverse small heel bumping for the juggernaut monster babyface. She then feuded with Becky Lynch and had a technical classic based around armwork. Her most famous matches with Bayley are different again being worked in the more 'cinematic' character driven WWE style.

She then turns babyface on the main roster and is probably the most over babyface in the company working as a Luchadora style underdog against Charlotte. After then you have matches with Alexa Bliss where she works in a lot of gymnastic style moves (Alexa is a gymnast) to have the best matches of Alexa's career. But then when she wrestles Alicia Fox it's all brawling on the floor and big punches because Alicia has an unhinged gimmick. Then Asuka moves up to the main roster and Sasha works a stiff style closer to how Asuka worked in Japan than anything else we've seen on her on the main roster.

Sasha has so many people's best matches in WWE because she can change the way she wrestles just like that to best fit the abilities of her opponents. There's barely anyone else in wrestling right now who can do this so well, I don't see Mayu being able to pull that off if she were in that more challenging environment because she's never really worked much differently to how she does in any match except she works in more comedic stuff in her more regular matches than when she's in a big title match. Like when is the last time Mayu had a hate-filled brawl like Sasha had with Charlotte?

Another thing I'd point to is Sasha is pretty remarkable at thinking on the fly when something seems to go wrong. She just turns it into part of the match. I remember Matt D making a similar point when we were watching the Bianca match at Wrestlemania this year. It's a nifty skill to have when you're almost always wrestling people who are below your level.

This is a point I made in the Sasha thread:

On 4/26/2021 at 1:21 AM, Kadaveri said:

I've only half-developed this thought, but I rewatched the Sasha vs. Bianca match today and noticed even more how it revolved around Sasha fighting dirty by using Bianca's hair against her, all building to that moment where Bianca whips her with the braid. Everyone who's seen the match remembers that spot don't they? This is an era where wrestling is so homogenised with supposedly dozens of 4+ Star matches every year which nobody remembers anything about by the year's end (e.g. every G1 Climax). Sasha doesn't do that. One of her special touches is so many of her big matches have these very memorable moments that belong to that match only. Bianca's braid, stomping Bayley's hand, stealing a girl's hairband, killing Charlotte with the kendo stick, that insane dive into Asuka's kick spot. She crafts singular matches which leave a lasting impression.

It doesn't always quite work. An example I'd give is her winning the tag belts in the first women's Elimination Chamber match by applying the crossface with her foot as her arm was injured. That was a bit hokey. But I see the intention and value it and think it adds something to her candidacy.

Mayu has a lot of 4 Star matches but they don't stand out as much as Sasha's do.

I touched on this a bit earlier but there's also the fact that Sasha is generally wrestling significantly lower level of opponents than Mayu is. Like, what is Mayu's closest equivalent to having a really great match with a Bianca Belair? Someone else could answer that but I'm stumped on that one. The biggest chance she's had to wrestle big match with someone who isn't a great wrestler themselves is probably that MSG match with Kelly Klein, and that was not good at all. Has Mayu ever had a title match (or at least not just wrestling rookies or something when no one expects it to be good anyway) with a wrestler on the level of Carmella (TLC 2019) or Alexa Bliss (GBOF 2017)? I mean literally ever, nevermind had strong matches with them? I'm looking through her list of title matches/other stuff I have rated highly and there's nothing like that at all. Mayu wrestles some of the best female wrestlers in the world in big matches and rarely goes below that level.

I think if you put their opponents into equivalent tiers, Sasha is generally having better and more memorable matches than Mayu has wrestling someone on the same level.

Both are probably making my list but I think Sasha's gonna break the Top 50, Mayu slightly above 100 but both can go higher seeing how they're both adding to their cases and I don't totally rule out Mayu overtaking Sasha if she has some kind of change, but as things are no.

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Man, this is a tough one.  

3 hours ago, Boss Rock said:

 I MIGHT have Sasha's best match above Mayu's, but I think Mayu is better on almost every other night. Especially in terms of offense it's a no contest.

I think I agree with the above, especially the bolded part.  Feels like a coin flip today.  So how about we split the difference and acknowledge that Io Shirai is leaps and bounds ahead of both at this point?

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Sasha's really turned a corner since her return, blue hair and all. I used to think she was one of the most overrated wrestlers I've seen in my life. The vast majority of her main roster run was actively bad IMO. Even her matches that were praised heavily like those vs. Charlotte were bordering on unprofessionally sloppy. She came across as someone who was a big fan of Japanese wrestling without the capabilities to actually perform them properly. It all culminated in that 8 woman Raw tag where her & Peyton Royce put on one of the worst displays of wrestling ever to make it onto television after which she quickly dipped and it seems like she had probably not been putting in her greatest effort due to being unsatisfied with WWE's booking, which is fair. However she let it show more to the extent it has to be mentioned.

 

Now in fairness, Paige, Charlotte, Alexa, & Royce aren't exactly the best ring generals to judge anyone against. But her elevation after her return was tangible and I've turned around completely. You can't convince me the matches against Bayley in HIAC, Bianca at WM, vs. Asuka and so on are on the same level as those Charlotte & Alexa matches earlier on in her main run that people tried to defend. She's achieved her spot and honestly greatness through hard work which is admirable but to judge her career as a whole, there's certainly warts, which are much much greater than Mayu's, who has been consistently great for 6 years now in both singles and tag settings.

 

While true again her level of competition is significantly better than Sasha's on the whole, it's hard for me to say Sasha has had the better in-ring career when through 2016-the first half of 2019 Mayu probably had 20 matches per year throughout that time that were better than Sasha's best and Sasha's 20 worst performances were probably worse than Mayu's worst. From late 2019-I totally think they're right there and as has been mentioned, Sasha has a couple of legendary matches that you could say if you want to go to an extreme peak in NXT but overall? Mayu to me has to take this cake. Look at her body of work, and not to mention, she deserves credit for being the Ace of one of the most turbulent companies in any country over the last 6 years, with all kinds of roster turnover and company changes for all sorts of reasons. Regardless of a swirling environment and surrounding cast of characters she has been the person in the company to get the most out of virtually all of them. I think that is a place where she signs, like an NBA Point Guard who makes everyone around them better, to counter Kadaveri's point above, I would point to her High Speed Title match from Thunder Rosa from 2016 (good now, but she was very green here), her return from injury vs. Rachael Ellering, one of the most loathed foreigners to work Stardom tours, in 2018, & her empty arena lumberjack match vs. Saki Kashima in 2020. Now, no lie, all of those are better than Carmella or Charlotte and Alexa, but that doesn't mean Mayu didn't get the most out of them, not just by bumping hard and being reckless, but specifically against Kashima used a high wrestling IQ to overcome the obstacles of the pandemic being right at the start and it being a show with a series of Stardom first and making it work better than some people can make pandemic wrestling even over a year later.

 

I like and respect Sasha as a wrestler a lot and love how far she's come a lot, but from matches to tools, I can't go against Mayu, who also to me would be one of the better modern candidates in general in wrestling. 

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