How Bayley’s Career Changed Overnight at Money in the Bank

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How Bayley’s Career Changed Overnight at Money in the Bank

Bayley at the top of the ladder after becoming Ms. Money in the Bank

Bayley at the top of the ladder after becoming Ms. Money in the Bank

Bayley at the top of the ladder after becoming Ms. Money in the Bank

Bayley at the top of the ladder after becoming Ms. Money in the Bank

Jacob Chaimovitch

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I said that Bayley didn’t need the briefcase. I was very wrong.

Maybe it was a better experience because I was there live, but Bayley winning the Money in the Bank briefcase to kick off the main card and winning the Smackdown Women’s Championship a little over an hour later was genius booking. The Hartford crowd loved it and everyone was treated with the first of two swerves in the night. Here’s how it went down.

It started with the Women’s Money in the Bank ladder match. All eight participants seemed ready and able and, at one point, all eight women had a legitimate opportunity to unhook the briefcase. Some of the wild spots (or parts of the match) included Bayley being the filling of a ladder sandwich at the hands of Natalya and Mandy Rose and Naomi dodging a ladder compression and kicking said ladders into Nikki Cross and Rose. The highlight spot of the night, however, was Ember Moon’s towering Eclipse from the top of a ladder outside the ring on Natalya, who was inside the ring. The match started to come to a close when Sonya Deville interjected herself into the match on behalf of Mandy Rose. She carried Rose on her shoulders and climbed up the ladder to the briefcase. Mandy Rose suddenly realized where she was and started to ascend the ladder. Mandy Rose was to become Ms. Money in the Bank…if Bayley hadn’t intervened. She stormed up the ladder and stared the pair down before shoving the two off the ladder and unclipping the briefcase. It was beautiful. The crowd was behind it fully and patiently waited for the day that Bayley would become Smackdown Women’s Champion. Little did they know, that day would come in mere hours.

After several other matches had occurred, it was time for Becky Lynch vs Lacey Evans for the Raw Women’s Championship. The storyline had been built well and the match itself was a good one considering the two superstars in the ring. Evans looked really good in her first singles match on a PPV. With a few good moves from both competitors, it was odd that the match ended on a roll-up countered into a Dis-Arm-Her especially when the roll-up wasn’t even counted by the referee and Lacey Evans tapped right away. As Becky Lynch celebrated, Charlotte Flair’s music hit and she demanded her match with Lynch for the Smackdown Women’s Championship start right now. That match was also a good one, considering Lynch had just wrestled an eight-minute match. But of course, the finish was screwy and had plenty of controversy surrounding it. With the ref turned to Flair to count her out outside the ring, Lacey Evans reemerged and delivered a Women’s Right knockout punch to Becky Lynch. Flair capitalized and became the Smackdown Women’s Champion. After the match, an enraged Lynch attacked Evans on the outside of the ring. Soon enough, however, Charlotte Flair got involved and it became a 2-on-1 assault on The Man. The crowd started booing the pair that was attacking Lynch and started chanting ‘We Want Bayley’. Well, people of WWE, ask and you shall receive.

The view from my seat as Bayley was crowned the new Smackdown Women’s Champion

Bayley’s music hit and the crowd went ballistic. Bayley raced down to the ring, briefcase in hand, to assist Lynch and even the odds. She slid her briefcase into the ring and immediately focused on the Smackdown Women’s Champion, who was practically on top of Becky Lynch at this point. She threw her off of Lynch to let Lynch attack an off-guard Lacey Evans while Bayley dismantled Charlotte Flair with a Bayley-to-Belly and a series of punches. With Flair down and barely moving in the ring and Evans neutralized, Bayley looked back at her Money in the Bank briefcase, unsure if she should cash in. With everyone in the crowd behind her, chanting ‘cash it in’ and the iconic ‘Yes!’, Bayley grabbed the briefcase and motioned to referee Mike Chioda that she wished to cash in for the Smackdown Women’s Championship. The bell rang and Bayley raced to the top rope to deliver an elbow drop similar to her hero’s finisher, Macho Man Randy Savage. She scrambled on top of Flair and hooked the outside leg. One. Two. Three. Bayley had climbed the ladder an hour prior and she had climbed the mountain just then. She became only the third woman to win the Raw and Smackdown Women’s Championships (Alexa Bliss and Charlotte Flair) and only the fourth wrestler in WWE history to cash in her briefcase on the same night as winning it (Kane 2010, Dean Ambrose 2016, Alexa Bliss 2018). The XL Center went nuts and Bayley’s celebration occurred in the ring and even bled out into the eccentric Hartford crowd.

Throughout her career, Bayley had been overlooked as a women’s superstar. Considered the afterthought of the Four Horsewomen consisting of herself, Lynch, Flair, and Sasha Banks, Bayley wasn’t even considered a Horsewoman to start off. She was considered too PG and too nice for the WWE and fans didn’t like that. Now, she has a new attitude and a new shiny belt. Enjoy the era of Bayley, WWE fans. She’s earned it for a long time and she may hold the title for a while as well.