This week’s above average episode of Monday Night Raw ended on a shocker: Bayley, about the closest thing to a girl-scout, Clark Kent type character WWE has had this side of John Cena, unloaded a barrage of chair shots across the back of a vulnerable Becky Lynch as her best friend (and newly-turned villain herself) Sasha Banks looked on with calm satisfaction. Sasha and Bayley are back together again, but this time, they may be unstoppable.
It was a truly surprising way to close out the show, and a very Attitude Era way at that: a shocking turn, commentary losing their minds as the show fades to black with barely enough time to process what the hell just happened. Much like Sasha’s turn a couple weeks back, fans absolutely erupted, and a sense of "FINALLY!" could be felt emanating from the arena.
The turn itself was executed pretty close to perfectly: earlier on in the night, Bayley was asked if she had talked to Sasha since her villainous change of heart. Bayley seemed like she didn’t want to talk about it, but emphasized that The Boss was still her best friend. Sasha crashed the party during the night’s main event, a "Champions Showcase" pitting Bayley, as SmackDown Women’s Champion, and Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch against Women’s Tag Team Champions Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross. Banks predictably unloaded on Becky Lynch for the second week in a row, and Bayley predictably tried to stop her. But then, in a moment of reflection, a devious smirk came across the (former?) Hugger’s face, as she decided to join in on the fun.
This was a much-needed move, as Bayley’s character had pretty much become the textbook definition of stale. She was John Cena without the superhuman ability or mainstream appeal; a do-gooder who just wanted everybody to have a good time. And now, with one steel chair laid across one back, the SmackDown women’s division is completely reinvigorated.
That raises one of the biggest questions, though. Sasha is a Raw Superstar, going for the Raw Women’s Championship at Clash of Champions. But Bayley is still over on the blue brand, representing it as their champion. And she has a match lined up at Clash herself, against Charlotte Flair, who finds herself in the rare position of being the forgotten Horsewoman of the moment. It will be interesting to see how Charlotte reacts to Bayley’s new demeanor, as she’s a pretty reckless heel herself.
Another question: Who will rise up and become the women’s division’s top babyfaces? With Sasha and Bayley both breaking bad, who’s left to challenge them should they both walk away from Clash of Champions with the gold? Ember Moon had her chance against Bayley and lost. Asuka and Kairi Sane are withering away in the tag team division. Maybe it’s time for Liv Morgan to re-debut? Is Nia Jax almost back from injury?
Those are questions for another day, though. For now, let’s just enjoy one of the most truly shocking heel turns WWE could have produced, executed nearly perfectly.
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