Last Friday, Bayley became the SmackDown Women’s Champion again and turned heel for the first time in her WWE career.
Prior to that, she attacked Becky Lynch with Sasha Banks, and justified her actions by saying she’s only doing it because of her friendship with Banks. She then debuted a new look by cutting off her ponytail and destroying the inflatable ‘Bayley buddies) that have been part of her entrances for years.
Since then, she lost the title to Charlotte Flair at Hell in a Cell, but regained it four days later on SmackDown.
Now that the WWE Draft has moved Becky to Raw, things have changed up a little. The following women are on the blue brand with Bayley: Alexa Bliss, Carmella, Dana Brooke, Ember Moon, Lacey Evans, Lana, Mandy Rose, Nikki Cross, Sasha Banks, and Tamina.
With a six pack challenge announced for this weeks Friday Night SmackDown, the battle has already begun for Bayley’s crown.
Let’s take a look at the active competitors who would be great opponents for Bayley, who are most likely to challenge her for her women’s title.
5. Alexa Bliss
Bayley and Alexa Bliss go way back to the NXT days. After getting drafted to the SmackDown brand as part of the Superstar Shake-up, Bayley was involved in a feud with Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross. Bayley was able to successfully defend her title against Bliss at Stomping Grounds and Extreme Rules.
Now that Bliss and Cross have been traded back to SmackDown after initially being drafted separately to Raw, Bliss can go back to challenge Bayley for the title along with a little help from Cross. Alexa was unsuccessful twice in getting the championship from Bayley, and she’s not someone who will give up so easily. Plus, Bliss is great on the microphone, and there’s a reason she’s given so many opportunities by WWE. She can be the face of the women’s division, and makes everything work.
4. Nikki Cross
Alexa Bliss’ “best friend” has helped Bliss multiple times against Bayley to try and win the SmackDown Women’s Championship. She even won a non-title match against Bayley to earn Bliss a title match at Extreme Rules. Cross made it a Handicap match but they were still unsuccessful against Bayley.
Cross has a lot of potential and there is a story to play off of here. Cross could either betray Bliss and go for the title herself, or help Alexa win is (which is more likely and realistic) and go for the title when it’s in her best friend’s hands. Either way, Cross should be given an opportunity, she has already captured a main roster title (the Women’s Tag Team Championship) and it’s not too long before she’s ready for the Women’s Championship.
3. Lacey Evans
After chasing Becky Lynch for the Raw Women’s Championship multiple times, Lacey Evans was unsuccessful in capturing the gold. She did help Charlotte Flair win the SmackDown Women’s Championship from Lynch though, but she should look out for herself now on the blue brand.
Lacey would work really well with Bayley, as the WWE could do so much with The Lady vs. now-heel crybaby Bayley on SmackDown. Lacey has firmly established her character after she made her main roster debut in January. There can be an interesting dynamic between the two, and could give Lacey a chance to improve her character more, and dethrone the champion, now that she has experience from fighting Lynch.
2. Sasha Banks
Sasha Banks and Bayley have had one of the best feuds of their career in NXT and they could do so again on the main roster. Both are loved by the WWE Universe in their own ways, and they both deserve their own feud.
The heel turn of Banks was great and even though she was unsuccessful in taking the Raw Women’s Championship from Becky, she could try her hands on Bayley who she recently reunited with. They could do magic in the ring and on the mic if the feud is executed properly.
1. Ember Moon
Ember Moon and Bayley are good performers in the ring and can put up a highly entertaining match together. Bayley herself has said that she thinks Ember is good and they have had a little Mixed Match Challenge action in the past too.
Bayley herself picked Moon as her challenger for the title at SummerSlam. Although their match wasn’t very well received as both were babyfaces and the timing wasn’t right, it could now work since Bayley has turned heel. It seems very unlikely for now for the obvious fact that she is currently injured, but hopefully WWE gives the breakout star another chance upon her return.
You can find me on Twitter @Rayan_Sayyed. Thanks for reading.