What I witnessed this past Sunday at Fastlane may have blown my mind. We all know that WWE can sometimes be very, very, very, very, very, very idiotic when it comes to their wrestlers, storylines, booking decisions and about anything else that they do. However, what happened at Fastlane will go down in my book as one of the most idiotic decisions WWE has ever made: They had Bayley win the WWE Women’s Championship match.
You may be thinking, “But Ryan, just because you can’t stand Bayley doesn’t mean her winning the match is a terrible decision.” Contrary to what you may believe, I agree. I admit that I have a strong dislike for Bayley (and also Sasha Banks, but that’s another conversation), but that’s just it, my feelings towards Bayley are irrelevant for this conversation. This is a much bigger problem than just how I feel about Bayley, it’s about how WWE has completely destroyed a babyface within a matter of weeks.
Before I go into why the Women’s Championship match at Fastlane was so destructive in the character of Bayley, let’s go back to February 20. It was one week after Bayley (with the help of Sasha Banks) won the Women’s Championship. Stephanie McMahon addressed her “tainted victory” and created a scenario where Bayley could shoot up to the next level of babyface-ness (if that’s a word), Bayley was given the chance to become a true and pure babyface in WWE. Bayley could’ve either kept the title and acknowledge that she didn’t win it on her own and she’s perfectly fine with that, or she could relinquish the title, giving it up, surrendering because she feels so bad about how she didn’t win the title with respect and dignity.
Before Bayley gave an answer, Sasha Banks (who need I remind you, is also a babyface) came out and said that what Stephanie was saying was “garbage.” Then she proceeded attempting to make the way Bayley won the title look like it was an honorable victory. You may be questioning why and how a babyface could make getting help from an interference look like a respected win. To answer that, Sasha Banks is a special kind of babyface that allows her to say things like that and make such ridiculous claims, it’s called being a terrible babyface. This “empowering” speech was given by the same woman who just months ago came out to the ring and did a whole promo teasing a retirement, obviously faking it. A babyface faking a retirement just to say at the end of it that she’s getting another championship match, a terrible babyface indeed.
So Bayley is faced with this choice of giving up the WWE Women’s Championship, becoming a pure babyface that people can get behind, or keeping it and acknowledging that she didn’t win it on her own. Bayley then went on a little speech about how the Women’s title should be about competition and not controversy, implying that the right thing to do, for a babyface at least, would be giving up the championship. Bayley followed that up with, in a very annoying and cringe-worthy yelling tone, “Hell no I’m not giving up this Raw Women’s Championship!”
That was absolutely the wrong decision.
But wait, there’s more! Not only did she make the opposite decision that a character like her should make, she then said “I pinned Charlotte in the middle of this ring, for the third time may I add, and became YOUR new Raw Women’s Champion.” No Bayley, you are not my Raw Women’s Champion. Can we get #NotMyWomensChamp trending? Anyways, not only did she make the decision a heel would make, she then revealed that she is either delusional and doesn’t realize that she didn’t win on her own, or she knows that she had help, is perfectly fine with it, and is actually proud of that fact.
This is not a babyface.
Now we get to Fastlane. During the match, Sasha Banks, a babyface, is the first one to interfere in the match. With the help of Sasha, Bayley won the match, getting another tainted victory in only her second defense of the title.
Am I supposed to support her throughout this? Are any of us expected to get behind this woman who’s repeatedly winning matches with help? How is Charlotte Flair the heel in this situation after being cheated out of the Women’s Championship multiple times?
Bayley is presented as the good, wholesome girl that does the right thing and believes in herself. That sounds like an inspiring character, doesn’t it? However, she gets help to win the Women’s title, showing that she needed help to win. What story does that say? What lesson is a kid watching Bayley supposed to take from this? “Hey little Jimmy, just remember, try your best and fight your hardest and if that’s not enough, have your friend come in and help you.”
This is not a babyface.
A babyface isn’t proud to have gotten help to win a match and a babyface sure as hell doesn’t brag about how they “won it on their own” when they clearly didn’t.
This is what heels do.
This Charlotte Flair/Bayley saga is the Bayley heel turn none of us realized was happening. However, that statement isn’t true, because she’s not a heel, she’s still a babyface.
Bayley is a terrible babyface.