Move over, Alexa Bliss. Former SmackDown Women’s Champion, Bayley, has become increasingly unhinged in recent weeks. The “Role Model” has embraced her inner Joker and has become something more closely resembling a cackling mad woman than a former SmackDown Women’s Champion. Indeed, constant failures to recapture her title – as well as a failure to even get a match at WrestleMania 37 (an injustice) – have led to Bayley losing her mind.
— WWE on FOX (@WWEonFOX) June 5, 2021
This Week’s SmackDown Witnessed the Birth of Joker Bayley
On this week’s episode of SmackDown, she not only challenged Bianca Belair to a match at Hell in a Cell, she then proceeded to laugh maniacally – which then led to her face taking over all 1,000 screens in the ThunderDome, with each screen occupied by a cackling Bayley. Not only was this terrifying, but it was hilarious. Bayley’s commitment to this character – as well as any other character she has played – is second to none. She initially got her hair cut short for the first time in her life, something she revealed on Steve Austin‘s Broken Skull Sessions on the WWE Network. Now that her character is visibly descending into insanity, she has also adopted a far more untamed look – her hair now a visible example of someone who just does not give a damn. A heel in the mold of Edge, who would similarly become more and more unhinged with each passing week without the World Heavyweight Championship, Bayley only cares about the SmackDown Women’s Championship she held for a record period of time.
Is Unhinged Bayley Too Similar To Alexa Bliss?
No. Absolutely not. Bayley’s character is a natural descent into insanity being played out on screen for the world to see. Alexa Bliss was, quite rapidly, made crazy by the magic of “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt. Alexa Bliss is Harley Quinn, with The Fiend being the Jared Leto version of Joker. Bayley is more so the Joaquin Phoenix version of Joker and quite possibly on the path to becoming the Heath Ledger version. There is room for both Bayley and Alexa to be crazy – especially since they are on different brands. Any declaration of similarities between the two would fail to recognize the distinction between natural and magical insanity. Therefore, Bayley’s character on the main roster is currently unique.
Where Is The New Character Direction Going?
It is difficult to discern whether Bayley will become the SmackDown Women’s Champion once more at Hell in a Cell. Whereas the quality of her work demands it, it is hard to envision a scenario where Belair loses so soon. Bayley, in addition to being a phenomenally gifted wrestler, is a phenomenal character performer. As the “Hugger”, she was the ultimate, perennial babyface – a role many will argue is the most difficult to play in pro wrestling. It is always easier to get fans to hate you than to like you. Since turning heel in 2019, she has gone from step to step to establish herself as one of the best heels in the business – certainly among female competitors, where All Elite Wrestling‘s Britt Baker might be deemed a rival for the top spot. It would be entertaining for this incarnation of Bayley to be SmackDown Women’s Champion once more. Her character would perform outlandish, despicable actions – again, just like Edge – to retain the championship. However, she is likely to fail in her quest to recapture the gold – the natural character development for a character of this ilk. The only issue is, who does Bayley feud with when knocked out of contention? Questionable management over the division has left it short on numbers, therefore, a defeat might be a waste of Bayley and her tweaked crazy character.
Bayley Is An Argument Against SmackDown Booking Just Three Women
As mentioned above, the SmackDown women’s division, though immensely talented and perhaps less of a mess than the Raw women’s division, needs to book more women. Right now, only Bianca Belair, Bayley and Sasha Banks (who has been off TV for almost two months) are booked in prominent roles on SmackDown. This is an unjust misuse of not only the SmackDown women not booked regularly, but also the three aforementioned women. In being forced to rotate feuds between the three of them, they are being prevented from evolving in feuds with other women. Additionally, once one of them drops out of a feud, they are left directionless and instantly devalued, as nobody else on the roster has been booked to their level. This is perhaps an argument against the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships, which have perhaps de-staffed an already lacking (in numbers only) division which requires more women booked prominently. With Ruby Riott, one of the best active female competitors in the world today, being booked so poorly and then let go this week, this division is even more desperate. There is room for more than just one or two women’s matches per week and this division is crying out for some of its talent to be booked better. For as long as they are not, outstanding talents like Bayley are always going to be prevented from reaching their full potential, as the same two or three feuds every year grows harder to make interesting. Liv Morgan, Carmella and more can be built up to interesting and fun feuds with Bayley and going forward, they should be.
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