The New Age of Bayley

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Bayley
Photo: WWE

On Sunday night, the Four Horsewomen – at least three of them – joined The Shield as having a moment where three members all held a World championship on the same night. Back at WWE‘s 2016 edition of Money In The Bank, Seth Rollins defeated Roman Reigns for the WWE Championship, only to have the 2016 MITB winner from earlier that night, Dean Ambrose, cash in and defeat Rollins for the belt. It was a familiar sight this past Sunday, three years later, when Charlotte Flair pinned Becky Lynch for the SmackDown Women’s Championship, only to have the 2019 MITB winner Bayley quickly cash in for her own title win.

With Becky Lynch now firmly entrenched as a Raw Superstar with her Raw Women’s Championship, it frees up an entirely wide open landscape on SmackDown that has been dominated for much of the past year by “The Man” Becky Lynch in her quest for redemption. And for much of that same year, Bayley found herself long gone from the main event status she had accumulated during her NXT days and was lost in the shuffle behind (at various times) Ronda Rousey, Sasha Banks, Charlotte Flair, Alexa Bliss and others. She eventually helped become the launching face of the Women’s Tag Team Division, but once her and Sasha lost those titles at WrestleMania 35, Bayley’s future seemed doomed. She would once again fall back in line and into a line she was arguably 5th or 6th in pecking order. But all that changed when she jumped to SmackDown Live in the Superstar Shake-Up.

We got a tease of future potential match-ups early, as Bayley challenged fellow Horsewoman Charlotte to a match for a title shot at Becky’s then-Smackdown title. Charlotte ultimately won the match, getting her return match at this past Sunday’s Money In The Bank, but ultimately it was foreshadowing what will probably be Bayley’s first feud as Smackdown’s Women’s Champion.

Over the past few years, Charlotte Flair has had epic feuds with both Becky Lynch on SmackDown Live and Sasha Banks on Raw, but she hasn’t had a proper feud with Bayley since their time in NXT together. They’ve had a few one off encounters on the main roster brands, including a brief crossing of paths in early 2017 when Bayley beat Charlotte for the Raw Women’s title, but they haven’t had a proper feud since their war over the NXT Women’s title that run through parts of 2014 and 2015. A proper feud with Bayley would do as much wonders for Charlotte Flair at this stage as it would in rejuvenating Bayley.

Now that Bayley has moved away from the top heavy Raw division, that features Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks, Alexa Bliss, Natalya, Naomi, Lacey Evans, Nia Jax, Nikki Cross and more, Bayley has entered a new Women’s division that she can lay claim to being its top face. With “The Man” gone to Raw, outside Charlotte Flair, Bayley finds herself with new opponents to face, like Ember Moon, Sonya Deville, Mandy Rose and Mickie James. Another potential opponent (and former rival) Asuka is tied up in pursuit against the Women’s Tag Team Champions The IIconics alongside Kairi Sane.

With a fresh new landscape and a division made for her to conquer, the Hugger Section may finally get to see the Bayley that became one of NXT’s biggest icons rather than the afterthought her past few years have seemingly been while on the Red Brand.

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