"The worst pain in the world goes beyond the physical. Even the further beyond any other emotional pain one can feel. It is the betrayal of a friend." - Heather Brewer, "Ninth Grade Slays"
On Thursday, December 11, the NXT Women's Championship will be placed up for grabs as Charlotte defends against No. 1 Contender Sasha Banks at WWE NXT Takeover R Evolution. Under normal circumstances, such a marquee matchup would spark the interest of any NXT fan looking to enjoy a highly competitive match between two of NXT's premier Divas. But as time has shown, the stakes are pricer than pure championship ambition. Not only will Sasha and Charlotte compete for the NXT Women's division's richest prize, but both must also compete with the emotional scars of a friendship gone terribly wrong.
"When Sasha and I were teaming up together as the BFFs [Beautiful Fierce Female], all we wanted was one thing: the NXT Women's Title," Charlotte told WWE.com. "The moment I won that title is when the dynamics began to change. In my opinion, Sasha's jealousy is the only answer to why we broke up."
While Charlotte's assessment of her former BFF partner may be a popular opinion throughout the NXT Universe, The Boss had another theory on the split.
"I will tell you exactly when things began to change,” Sasha said. “Charlotte had taken a little vacation from NXT and as soon as she returned, she assumed her last name gave her the right to control me, and nobody controls Sasha Banks."
Though there may be some validity to both sides, it's the compelling past of both athletes that may provide the most important details around the emotion of their upcoming matchup. After achieving minimal success on NXT during fall 2013, Charlotte and Sasha aligned themselves with Summer Rae to form a new power stable known as the Beautiful Fierce Females. Almost immediately, all three ladies ran roughshod over the NXT Women's division. When Summer Rae departed to film scenes for the "Marine 4," Banks and Charlotte built a stronger bond in her absence.
"At the time, all we had was each other" Sasha revealed. "We trained together, and we traveled together. Being a part of the BFFs forced the world to notice me. But more than that, it taught me that in life, to get what you want, you need to take what you want."
Sasha's fond memories of the partnership were supplemented by Charlotte's recollection.
"Sasha and I worked as a unit,” the Women’s Champion said. “Even though Summer had more exposure from being on WWE television, Sasha and I were the talent of the group and had great chemistry."
One year later, not only has their former chemistry gone up in smoke, but both must now forget the friendship that was and focus on attaining victory at NXT TakeOver: R Evolution. While Charlotte will have her hands full defending the NXT Women's Championship against Sasha, one still must wonder what toll the emotional residue of their past will have on the match. Nevertheless, neither the champion nor challenger seems distracted.
"There’s never been a Diva like me before in NXT," Banks stated emphatically. “I’ve got red carpet looks and the ring skills to back it up. Charlotte can't hold a candle to me. I'm leaving [NXT Takeover] as the new Women's Champion."
As for the current champion, Charlotte promises to back up her name when it matters most.
"Personally, I think Sasha will be a future WWE Hall of Famer, but she will never be better me than me,” Charlotte said. “Whether my name was Smith or Flair, I am the most genetically superior athlete of the past, present or future that WWE has ever seen."