clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

WWE's Bayley mindset is exactly as it should be

Last night, it finally happened. She lived her dream, and in effect we all did, as Bayley danced to the ring to tag up with Sasha Banks. She's headed back to NXT, and this time, Vince has it right.

It was glorious, because we've all waited to see it for such a long time. The potential money in Bayley is immense, and she's a performer many of us will go out of our way to see, even on a show that might not have much else to entice the audience. Watching the reaction not just from the woman herself, but on the face and in the eyes of Sasha Banks, who couldn't hold back a beaming smile, was an indelible highlight of professional wrestling in 2016. Halfway through the match, JBL made a statement that led many to explode on Twitter, but those people have nothing to worry about.

We've navigated through this storm, and we've done it using wacky waving inflatable arm-flailing tube-men as sails.

Layfield said that sources told him it was a one-night-only thing for Bayley on the main roster. We'll forget that he basically admitted he knew who the mystery partner was with this comment, because it's usually best not to think all that hard sometimes. I'm going to let it slide.

But, as for the one-off, it's one of WWE's smartest decisions in quite some time. What we got at Battleground was an actual surprise that paid off, and an acknowledgement from the company that she has arrived. It was something to tide the fans over, almost a promise of what's to come. There's no place for her quite yet, at least one that's acceptable, and because of it, the best possible thing for her was to slide in for a night like a big-time star, then jump back out of the screen for the next four weeks, and then in September at some point, probably after Charlotte gets her rematch, the Hugger returns.

Bayley can't be brought in to simply stand outside the ring to counteract Dana Brooke and be a tagalong for the Boss. Well, she can, but it's a bad idea. The character deserves better than that, and her initial weeks should be preserved and protected. While it would be fun to watch her perform on RAW (or SmackDown) over the next month, heading back to NXT to have what should be a memorable sendoff match at TakeOver Brooklyn will be an excellent consolation prize. She'll get a standing ovation after a likely loss to Asuka, and while it's improbable the Horsewomen would show up like they did last year, it's possible something could happen with the current NXT roster, or definitely with the Champion. She will be put on a pedestal. It will be a clip we'll see for years in video pieces chronicling her career.

The WWE Women's Championship feud has barely even started, and Sasha Banks hasn't had her time in the spotlight. Charlotte and Sasha are going to do tremendous business at SummerSlam, and the TV to set it up should be entertaining. The PPV will be the coronation, Charlotte's rematch will fail, and she'll move on to whatever's next for her. These are stories that have been planned out, and both women deserve to play out this portion of the larger narrative together, without distraction. They've worked hard and they've earned it.

Any involvement from Bayley would take away from the Sasha/Charlotte match, because so many fans adore her, me included. There's plenty of time, and her permanent moment is so close, but rushing it isn't the answer. WWE made sure she mattered by not feeling the need to draft her in the middle or later rounds, and instead letting her be one of the stories of the night at Battleground. If she was part of the draft, the audience would want to see her immediately, and they'd want those appearances to be big-time.

Splitting the roster means a feud on SmackDown without a title or a questionable secondary program on RAW. Her first important angle can't be with Nia Jax, who shouldn't be losing very often. The other possible opponents just aren't particularly appetizing with a lack of stakes. Plus, the championship focus means the other women's feud should come from the other brand. So, Bayley just wouldn't fit properly, and might unintentionally steal some thunder from the title bout. She doesn't want to do that, and she understands the long game.

What WWE showed us at Battleground was a commitment to Bayley. Vince gave the fans exactly what they wanted, almost like it was just a taste of what's to come in the future. It made that debut special, because it won't be followed up by something lackluster or forced. This time, Vince knows the value in a performer, and is going to be careful with that person, even though he's fully aware of how helpful she's going to be for him over the next decade. He could use her today, and she'd pay dividends.

But, patience could be a far greater asset in ensuring her star leaves our atmosphere, as it should if anyone with a pencil inside WWE has half a brain. This is nearly as can't miss as it gets. If you took John Cena, but gave him qualities that would please even the most jaded hardcore fan, and then gave him an innocence and a determination that makes him a perfect role model for the kids, you'd ALMOST have Bayley. That's how special she is.

We know today something we didn't know for certain until last night, despite all the reports yesterday that pointed to her joining Banks as the mystery partner. We know she's coming. We know it's not far away. And, if you listened to that pop, or maybe lost your voice cheering know something else.

You know it's going to be awesome.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats