The WWE Draft included six NXT picks and none of them were former NXT Women’s Champion Bayley. Why? Fans still don’t know.
Bayley’s theme song features the lyrics, “there ain’t no stopping us now,” but apparently, that doesn’t refer to her main roster call-up. Despite Raw and SmackDown Live having six NXT picks to choose from, neither selected the developmental brand’s resident hugger.
Raw did select Nia Jax, which received the same “Bayley! No wait, not Bayley…BOOOO!!!” reaction that every other segment that seemed like her potential call-up but wasn’t had.
SmackDown Live selected Alexa Bliss and Carmella in the later rounds of the draft televised on WWE Network. Once again, Bayley is still in NXT while another crop of females gets called up to the main roster.
When Becky Lynch, Charlotte and Sasha Banks made their main roster debuts a little more than a year ago, it seemed like Bayley’s call-up was inevitable, but delayed so she could carry NXT’s women’s division in their absence. While she did successfully, 10 other female NXT superstars — including Billie Kay’s squash match appearance — will have competed in a main roster match before Bayley since 2015.
When WWE aired its Breaking Ground series documenting the lives of the NXT superstars, it focused on how Bayley was the “measuring stick” and was on the cusp of being promoted to the main roster. It also focused on her and Carmella’s close friendship and how the latter would miss the former when Bayley’s call-up did take place. Who would’ve thought Carmella would be on the main roster first, especially on a different show than Enzo and Cass?
But let’s also not discredit Carmella, Jax or Bliss being drafted Tuesday. All three have made tremendous improvements since their NXT television debuts and are ready for the main roster. But still, none are as ready as Bayley was a year ago.
Regardless of whether her mic skills are on par with Banks, Lynch or the top stars on the main roster, her in-ring ability, character detail and potential star power is.
Yet, WWE has allowed 10 other female competitors to be featured on Raw and SmackDown while Bayley’s once ‘inevitable’ debut is becoming less realistic. That is, unless WWE wants to give it its proper due, which has been the silver lining for most fans through this whole process.
Battleground will feature a tag team match in which Charlotte and Dana Brooke will face Banks and her mystery partner. We know it won’t be Lynch or Natalya, who already have a match scheduled against one another.
While there are several other candidates who are already on the main roster, the only choice is Bayley. She and Banks shared one of the best rivalries, not just in women’s wrestling, but the entire wrestling industry in 2015. Both competitors bring out the best in each other, so they’d be a natural fit as tag team partners, or whatever kayfabe reason WWE decides on.
Bayley would be given instant credibility and insert herself in the discussion for the WWE Women’s Championship, as opposed to being a lackey like Dana Brooke.
However, if WWE decides to once again prolong Bayley’s debut for someone else, the results will backfire. Banks is the babyface in Sunday’s match, which means her teammate is someone the crowd is supposed to get behind.
If fans are expecting Bayley and instead get someone like Naomi, she will be booed out of the building the second the phrase “A-may-ay-ay-ay-zin'” rings through the PA system. Yet that’s probably more likely to occur even though fans were counting down the days leading up to a Team B.A.D. breakup in the first place.
WWE either has a perfect debut set up for Bayley or just has no idea what to do with her. At this point, it’s ridiculous that so many other female competitors have gotten a chance at the main roster before her. Perhaps she will be Banks’ partner on Sunday, but if not, expect fans to show their displeasure.