Bianca Belair and former SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley have been spoiling for a fight for months. Since the RAW and NXT veteran’s draft to SmackDown, the self-proclaimed Role Model has seemed noticeably shook by the buzz around the impressively athletic and poised Belair. After throwing shade and trading barbs around the Thunderdome, and on social media, the two women faced off in the ring on December 19th’s episode of SmackDown.
Early on in the match, Bayley caught Belair’s arms in a lock and attempted to detain her with the ropes. Belair escaped Bayley’s grasp and further evaded her with some insouciant gymnastics. She flipped, and jumped, as Bayley tried to grasp hold of her. The chase ended with Bayley on the other side of the ropes, hanging off the apron. Belair pursued, which gave Bayley the chance to use the ropes against her, sending Bianca face-first into the ropes. Bayley made it to her feet but was reduced to the apron again as Bianca swept her footing out from under her with a quick-thinking kick.
— WWE (@WWE) December 19, 2020
Belair dragged Bayley back into the ring for a cover, but the former Women’s Champion kicked out at 2 seconds. Belair, who dominated in her NXT days, is clearly trying to blaze a trail on SmackDown as well with her signature playful and effortless athleticism. She worked her style in the ring as the match wore on, taunting and evading Bayley with cheeky flips and jumps. After a series of flips and a dropkick to Bayley, the match seemed like Bianca’s to lose, until the ever-resourceful Bayley slid out of the ring and out of Belair’s hands. Once outside the ring, Bayley grabbed Belair’s arm and pulled to damage it, forced Bianca outside, and drove her into the barricade.
Bianca Belair abandoned her playful demeanor and, in a burst of strategic aggression, drove Bayley hip first into the steel steps. Bayley returned to the ring weakened by Bianca’s counterattack. The two women collided in the ring and hit the floor. Back on their feet, Bianca came out swinging, literally, delivering a series of blows to Bayley, forcing her into the corner. After a series of hard tugs on Bayley’s arm to pay her back for Bayley’s assault on Belair’s arm, Bianca springboarded into a cover on Bayley, who kicked out. Bianca delivered a backbreaker and got another cover, but again, the former champion escaped her grasp.
— WWE (@WWE) December 19, 2020
Belair climbed to turnbuckle, attempting an aerial finish, but it wasn’t to be. Bayley intercepted, but Belair was able to turn Bayley’s grip on her into a vertical suplex, showing off her undeniable strength. The two athletes took turns driving each other face-first into the turnbuckle, and the encounter seemed decided in Bianca Belair’s favor when she delivered a spinebuster to Bayley and got another cover on her. Bayley turned the tables on Belair and covered her, using the ropes for leverage-the referee interceded, however, on this questionable maneuver.
Weary, worn, and winded, Bayley turned to desperate measures to end the match on her terms, attacking Belair’s eyes. Bayley was able to roseplant a blinded Belair, and victory was just barely hers.
— WWE Network (@WWENetwork) December 19, 2020
Bianca Belair has questioned the propriety of Bayley’s Role Model status. After the underhanded maneuver she used to defeat her, its certain Belair will have more to say about her morals, or lack thereof. As for Bayley, such a desperate ploy tends to suggest she is, indeed, threatened by the emergence of Belair. When the two women meet again, Belair is sure to pay Bayley back for her underhanded grab for victory.
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