The huggable star that we all know and love, Bayley, has officially turned to the dark side. She aligned herself with Sasha Banks on Monday Night RAW once again, striking a steel chair across the back of Becky Lynch and ensuring that, moving forward, she will be known as a heel instead of a cookie-cutter babyface.
There are some pros and some cons to this latest piece of storyline development for the former NXT star, and we're going to run through the best and the worst of what is, in many ways, an incredibly brave move from the WWE.
10 GREAT - Sasha Partnership
At the end of the day, Sasha Banks and Bayley just work well together in any and all scenarios. Their chemistry is natural and that’s quite clear to see, probably because of their friendship off-screen as well as all of the great moments they’ve shared on it.
Having these two together isn’t only great, but it also makes a lot of sense. There was never any reason for them to break up in the first place, and Bayley’s trajectory has certainly been moving towards something like this in the eyes of many fans.
9 NOT GREAT - The Character Doesn’t Fit
The shoe just doesn’t quite fit here and the reason is simple: she is the most natural babyface we’ve seen in the WWE for years now.
You could make the argument that the same thing was true for Sami Zayn, but it feels like he was already able to prove (back in the day) that he could do some great stuff as a heel.
That unproven quality in Bayley is something that worries us just a little bit because we don’t necessarily trust WWE to change all too many aspects of her character. The irony of that might work well for some, but now us.
8 GREAT - It’s Something Fresh
It’s just different and if nothing else, that’s a good thing for Bayley. There’s certainly an argument to be made that she was beginning to get a little bit stale, and you won’t find too many fans who will outright disagree with that sentiment.
Mixing things up in this business is always a risk and we aren’t going to pretend like it isn’t, but at the same time, you never know how it’s going to work out until you’ve taken that leap of faith.
WWE has put their neck out on the line, and good for them for doing so.
7 NOT GREAT - Charlotte Feud Confusion
Quite literally seven days ago, we were talking about Charlotte Flair as the heel in her rivalry with Bayley over the SmackDown Women’s Championship. Now, it appears as if we’re going to have to retune our brains to consider some other possibilities.
The timing of this works well for the Sasha/Becky feud, but we’re not so sure it was a smart thing to do in relation to what Bayley herself is actually doing right now.
They might be able to pull it off, but it’s still questionable in our mind.
6 GREAT - Four Horsewomen Possibilities
Bayley, Sasha Banks, Charlotte Flair, and Becky Lynch are all involved in the same kind of storyline right now, and that can only be a good thing for the future of the Four Horsewomen.
We all know that they’ll eventually team up, probably to take on their Four Horsewomen MMA adversaries, but right now none of that matters. These are four of the best female stars to come out of WWE in years, and they’re getting the chance to prove what they can do all over again: but this time, with each other.
5 NOT GREAT - Golden Opportunity Gone
In our own mind, the way to turn either Bayley or Sasha Banks heel would’ve been for one of them to attack the other. While we got that during their recent ‘extended’ feud before they went after the Women’s Tag Team Titles, there wasn’t really a conclusion to it and both women just kind of made up and remained as babyfaces/tweeners.
While it wouldn’t have been quite so shocking, WWE has now taken away that storytelling element in favor of having them team up again instead. We like that it’s a little bit more unpredictable and not as ‘paint by numbers’, but sometimes, a storyline aspect is so obvious because that’s the right way to go about it.
4 GREAT - Possible New Move Set
As much as we love her finisher and her general move set, it has gotten a little bit stale – as is the case with most babyfaces in WWE, and you could argue pro wrestling as a whole.
Bayley is getting better and better in the ring with each and every week, but we still don’t feel like the fans are getting the chance to see that in the right kind of light.
If she can start to mix it up a bit and introduce a brand new style into her game, it could give her new life as an in-ring performer.
3 NOT GREAT - Promo Uncertainty
Bayley’s babyface promos have always been a little bit unsteady and unconvincing, and because of that, we really do worry about what kind of quality we’re going to get from her heel work.
There’s no way of knowing one way or another whether or not she is going to find her rhythm on the microphone more than she ever has done before, but we still aren’t that confident.
If anything she should say as little as possible because heel Sasha Banks is the one that everyone wants to hear from.
2 GREAT - Potential New Look
Her look makes Bayley seem like the biggest babyface since 2010 John Cena and all of his colorful shirts, and that’s a shoot.
She doesn’t need to change who she is when performing, but a slight alteration in the way that she’s presenting herself could do her the world of good.
We trust in WWE’s ability to pull something interesting out of the bag, and we actually think this is an area of their character-building game that most other promotions should be jealous of.
The potential is there, but now we need to execute.
1 NOT GREAT - Merchandise Issues
Heels do not make as much money from merchandising as babyfaces do and that’s the bottom line (unless you’ve got a truly awesome shirt).
We just can’t picture a scenario in which Bayley’s merch is as popular during her heel run as it has been during her spell as a babyface. If they make some new stuff and add some alternative colors in there then we could start to have some fun, but it all depends on what kind of direction WWE plans on taking this thing in moving forward.