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Bayley wins, but her victory must disappear

RAW ended with a beautiful piece of storytelling in the main event. It’s a feel good moment that needs to be erased.

Bayley is the new WWE Women’s Champion for the RAW brand. It was a true feel-good moment, enhanced by the presence of extremes on both sides. There was a defined villain and an easily recognizable hero. The upstart started strong, but when she was knocked down, the assault was methodical and vicious. Somehow, she overcame it all and put the multiple-time Champion in dire position on several occasions. And, after thwarting a cowardly attack from a third party, then taking advantage of her friend’s involvement, she achieved her dream.

Anyone with a brain and an attentive eye could see this story in all its glory. It was a great match where the fans found themselves completely invested in the outcome. And good triumphed over evil. It was nearly magical. It was the wrestling equivalent of a smiley-face emoji. Oh, how wonderful it was!

Next week, when RAW emanates from Los Angeles, Bayley will re-enter her home state with the gold. She’ll get a gigantic reaction as she makes her way to the ring, dancing through tube men and drenched in colors. She’ll address the audience, and within minutes, WWE needs to snuff that moment from the history books with a callback to the final Monday television installment of 2016.

Back on December 26, Bayley learned that Charlotte’s high-powered attorneys had found a way to overturn the referee’s decision in a match between the two one week prior. You see, the official missed Charlotte’s shoulder rising from the canvas before he struck the mat for the three count. Not only was the win expunged, but Bayley’s number one contender status was also revoked. She would earn it back, but not without much hardship.

On February 20, WWE needs to do it all over again. While it’s true Dana Brooke interfered first, Sasha Banks struck Charlotte in the chest with a crutch, saving Bayley from sure defeat in Flair’s signature submission. If attorneys can be used once, they can be used again. This time, the entire world saw Bayley win the match, many celebrated after the victory, and the immediate result on social media was, “I can’t wait to see Charlotte win it right back at FastLane.” It shouldn’t even be an issue. This is the easiest nuclear heat to place on an already strong heel that we’ve seen in quite some time.

Bayley is so infinitely likable and plays the underdog so effectively. How it felt to see her come back from an amazingly dominant heat sequence - where she sold like a superstar - to win the match with help from her friend, could only be matched with the vitriol that would accompany legal finagling next week from the petty, embarrassed Champion. Not to mention, Bayley didn’t plan anything with Sasha, and had no idea it even happened. She did nothing underhanded at all, which would make the delayed screwjob all the more rich and effective.

Imagine Charlotte for WEEKS after Bayley is forced to relinquish the title to her next week acting like last night’s match never even happened? That great wrestling match didn’t have a finish. Bayley never celebrated in the crowd, never raised the gold, it all never happened. No one will read about it. We didn’t see what we thought we saw. In the name of justice, it must be erased.

Kids would be angry, moms and dads would be angry, hardcore fans would be angry. It’s such an easy story to tell, and it puts Bayley right where she needs to be, namely as the chaser and not the chasee, but with the added boost of that victory and that moment being snatched away from her by selfish, powerful assholes.

RAW is run by a megalomaniac of a character; one who fancies herself the only true star. That said, she’s already stuck it to Bayley before, and if, as Dave Meltzer has reported in the past, the plan is to recreate Daniel Bryan with Bayley...there’s no reason for the sympathetic babyface to be the Champion today. Sure, she could lose it in a few weeks, or she could carry it into Wrestlemania, but if you strip her of the gold next week, then put her through the wringer, only to have her triumph in Orlando in front of that level of crowd?

That’s money in the bank, folks. She would be far more over if we see the unthinkable happen next week than she would be if she leaves Staples Center wearing the Women’s Championship. I believe in the slow burn, but I also believe in heels making babyfaces. There’s so much more to this narrative, so much more plot available to touch upon between these two, and this is a story we haven’t seen play out on television in quite a while.

Remember back to April of 2000 when Chris Jericho pinned Triple H to win the WWE Championship on RAW, only for the referee to be threatened and shamed into overruling himself and admitting a false-mistake 20 minutes later. That was golden television, on every level, and it elevated Jericho. Just as in that case, Bayley won the match. We all saw it. Striking it from the “record books” will only put more heat on those responsible for it, will make Charlotte the new dirtiest player in the game, and will allow Bayley to scream from the rooftops that nice guys do finish last...

...right up until she tells the REAL moral of the story down the road, when the time, and most importantly the setting, is perfect.

Last night was awesome stuff. But the follow-up could be pure genius.

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