Last night (July 8), after Bayley once again failed to convince Nikki Cross that Alexa Bliss probably doesn’t have her best interests at heart, Cross won a Beat The Clock challenge against the SmackDown Women’s champ. That was supposed to earn Bliss the right to pick the stipulation for her rematch with Bayley this Sunday at Extreme Rules, but Nikki (and WWE) went ahead and announced the stip on Raw.
It’s not surprising it will now be a 2-on-1 Handicap match at the pay-per-view (PPV) in Philadelphia, but it is a little surprising they didn’t follow through on allowing the Goddess to make the pick. It’s also not terribly surprising WWE still hasn’t answered whether or not Cross can win the blue brand’s Women’s title if she pins or submits Bayley - we’re still trying to figure out how elimination or Extreme Rules mixed tag matches work when intergender wrestling isn’t allowed. But I digress...
One seed planted by Cross last night that WWE hasn’t already dug up has to do with the challenge to Bayley to “find a friend” who will have her back. A lot of speculation has understandably focused on Sasha Banks, but The Boss isn’t the Hugster’s only friend. In fact, there’s a member of the women’s roster Bayley’s friends with who has a recent history with both Cross & Bliss.
And now we learn that Nikki will face Carmella, who she beat a couple weeks back on the same show where Carmella beat Alexa, on SmackDown tonight.
Mella can be used to drive a wedge between Cross and Bliss (if Nikki can beat her again after Alexa failed to), and can be teased or just established as Bayley’s back-up.
Which is good! Still not clear on how either of Sunday’s Women’s title matches work, though.