Bayley experienced her first loss as a member of the main roster Monday. The former NXT Champion defeated by Sasha Banks in a triple-threat match, which also featured Dana Brooke.
Banks secured a shot at Charlotte’s Raw Women’s Championship at Clash of Champions. Bayley, on the other hand, benefited in no way from the outcome.
Or did she?
I’m sure fans will choose to view this outcome in numerous ways. Why didn’t Dana take the pinfall instead of Raw’s newest female star? Why did Bayley lose clean so early in her main event run?
But, in actuality, the loss helps the Hugger’s character long-term. Perhaps WWE is taking a page out of NXT’s book in how to handle Bayley.
While her run as the face of the brand is fresh on everyone’s minds, what made Bayley so endearing was her long journey to the top. For months, she was the girl who was “just happy to be there.”
That’s what she is again on the main roster, just ask Charlotte who’s said it numerous times. Yes, we know that Bayley defeated her, Banks, Becky Lynch and every other NXT callup from the past year at some point. But before that she was the underdog fangirl who always came close but just fell short.
At the same time, she wasn’t booked like an inept loser. Bayley always managed to look like a credible threat, which made you cheer for her more. Yes, she was the underdog, but there was realistic hope that she’d eventually prevail.
That’s why her Women’s Championship win over Banks at TakeOver: Brooklyn was so sentimental. It was finally the payoff after a long climb up the NXT ranks.
This is why Bayley needs to be handled a certain way. Yes, she deserves to be in the Women’s Championship picture because she’s one of the best and most over female competitors in the company. But her character works better with the proper build up and arch to lead to a feel-good victory.
So far, WWE has handled Bayley’s booking perfectly. While the company is acknowledging her NXT success, its not forcing her as an unbeatable demi-god.
That’s how you get the fickle IWC fans to turn on their favorites. Having her near Charlotte-Banks without actually being a part of it is the best way to push without forcing it.
Plus, it’s not like taking the pinfall made her look weak. For a few seconds, I assumed WWE was taking another “both of their shoulders are down” approach to booking a triple-threat Horsewoman match.
Having her take a roll-up is much more protective than booking her to tap via the Banks Statement. Trust me, I’m as pro-Bayley as any of the smarks are. I want to see her push take place, but it needs to happen organically like it did in NXT.
We all know that she’ll eventually take her spot competing with Banks or Charlotte for the Raw Women’s title. But that doesn’t mean it has to happen tomorrow.
WWE rehashed Bayley’s NXT title chase with Lynch’s SmackDown Women’s Championship win at Backlash. The Lass Kicker’s title win Sunday meant more after fans saw her long climb on the main roster.
That’s the best way to handle Bayley on Raw. We’ve already seen that angle work with her character in NXT, so why fix what isn’t broken.
Bayley worked best in NXT as a credible underdog and that will be the best way to use her on the main roster.