Why Bayley Needs To Turn Heel
The unthinkable might now be a necessity.
That’s right, you read the title correctly, everyone’s favourite, lovable, hugging superstar needs to turn from the female version of John Cena into somebody that the WWE Universe will despise. It doesn’t need to happen at No Mercy, not even the Monday Night Raw afterwards, but the build to the turn should begin this weekend and it would create a refreshingly new and surprising chapter in one of the greatest women’s feuds of this decade; potentially in history.
The rivalry between Sasha Banks and Bayley dates back to their time in NXT and was one of the key components in the rise of women’s wrestling in WWE, with the ladies putting on two classic matches during their time with the development brand. Since then, both have been WWE Women’s Champions and have had brilliant moments, from Banks’ Hell in a Cell to Bayley retaining at WrestleMania 33, but it’s fair to say something has been missing; the spark is no longer present.
That last comment is especially relevant to Bayley, who was once the most popular female star in the entire company and rightfully so. She has a fantastic look, charisma and her in-ring ability is also great, while she may not be at the wrestling level of Charlotte or Asuka, she is certainly one of the better hands in the company. So, how did she go from tremendous popularity to receiving boos before her recent injury?
Her reception from fans was certainly starting to turn ugly before her shoulder injury prior to SummerSlam, and that might have ended up being in her favour as the WWE Universe were quickly starting to sour, even her best pal Izzy was snapped cosplaying as Alexa Bliss. This, by and large, has not been Bayley’s fault as she has simply been booked so poorly that she has struggled to recover. The tipping point seemed to take place during her feud with Alexa Bliss when she questioned whether she should even be the champion, because nothing say’s top star like a superstar who doubts their own ability to be the top star. But it was their match at Extreme Rules that really seemed to be the ice-breaking moment, with Bliss telling Bayley she couldn’t be extreme, and Bayley proving it, by receiving a beating at the hands of the current champion.
The fact that the WWE Universe didn’t want to see Bayley vs Bliss at SummerSlam and wanted the match we eventually gained due to Bayley’s injury is not a good sign. But all hope is not lost for the Hugster, as Bayley is simply too good to be wasted and with fans still eagerly and patiently waiting for an eventual feud with Sasha Banks, it is within that where she can be rescued, with a major shift in character.
The speculation and rumours around a potential Banks and Bayley feud have been happening from the moment Bayley finally debuted on the main roster and so far, WWE is yet to pull the trigger on what would be a money feud. Most people expect that when it does happen it will be Banks that makes the turn, going against her best friend, but what if the roles were reversed from the NXT story and this time it was Bayley that stabbed her friend in the back?
Imagine, the lovable Bayley no longer being the crowd’s best friend, there would be no more hugs for the audience and instead, she developed a mean streak; it is an intriguing prospect. Of course, it would be a complete 180 from what we know and (the majority of people) love, but sometimes that change is needed and this is one of those times. The build should be a slow one and can easily be stretched until the Royal Rumble with a series of matches in-between, allowing the tension to be built properly.
No Mercy should see neither athlete capture the championship, and instead, they would both cost each other the title by focusing on one another as they see each other as the biggest threat. With the fans starting to turn on Bayley in recent months, there is an obvious story to be told as to why she has turned, and Banks could be the foil, with Bayley blaming her for taking her fans away and a story of jealousy as to the opportunities Banks received whilst she was held down in NXT.
Bayley can point to the fact that when they are in the ring, she has always come out on top, and the story should allow Bayley to believe that she is the one in the right, while everyone else is well aware she isn’t. Not only would this refresh Bayley’s character, adding another edge to what she can do and allow her to embrace the boos, it would provide a much-needed storyline for the women that doesn’t involve the Women’s Championship. With Asuka soon to debut on Raw, Bliss has a perfect opponent to work a series of matches with and a Banks and Bayley feud on the side would be a welcome addition to the three-hour show, giving the women more time to showcase their abilities.
John Cena never embraced the boos from the audience in the way they should have and if WWE does the same with Bayley it could be a grave mistake, as her character simply doesn’t work when the audience isn’t fully behind her in the way it once was at Full Sail. The time is right to turn Bayley heel, and Banks is the ideal opponent; now we just need WWE to book the angle.