Bayley Feared She Was Slipping Through WWE's Fingers During First SmackDown Women's Title Reign

Bayley remembers a period of time where she feared being forgotten.

Appearing on the newest episode of Stone Cold Steve Austin's The Broken Skull Sessions, Bayley revealed that she experienced a blow to her confidence during her first SmackDown Championship reign.

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"Yeah, yeah there was a time where I was frustrated so much. At SummerSlam I wrestled Ember Moon, I think, and the way it was presented to me wasn't the way that it played out. Then, our match didn't even match what it could have been, so I felt like, I was not feeling good. I felt like I wasn't bringing anything to the table and I wasn't doing anything for the division or the company, and it was, I don't know, it was really, really bothering me [laughs]."

Bayley, the first ever Women's Grand Slam Champion, captured SmackDown's top prize initially at the 2019 Money in the Bank PPV event. She would hold the title for 140 days before losing it to Charlotte Flair at Hell in a Cell. According to her, though, she didn't feel like the champion and as a result it wasn't connecting with anybody, not even herself.

The Texas Rattlesnake even remembered Bayley telling him in 2017 that she wanted to make some changes. Here is what she said:

"I was feeling it since then. So when I won the title was in 2019, but yeah, I think I just wasn't feeling it for a long time. It was kind of a relationship where you're like, man, this don't feel like it used to and something's missing, and that was kind of what it felt like."

Bayley concluded by saying that she was losing confidence and feared slipping through the company's fingers.

"I think it didn't feel right and I was losing confidence because I felt that I was slipping right through the company's fingers, where I thought I had so much to offer, so much to give. I can do great things, but I felt like I just wasn't being seen in that light. So I was just going to get left behind. I was just going to be forgotten about. So I was getting really nervous about that."

Bayley recaptured the title from Flair a mere five days later on October 11, 2019, debuting a new haircut and look that same night. This change in attitude kicked off arguably the best creative run of her career. She wound up holding the SmackDown Women's Championship for 380 days, helping carry WWE TV during the COVID era. In October, 2020, she topped Pro Wrestling Illustrated annual Women's 100 list, beating out the likes of Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch.

Recently, Bayley has been involved in a feud with Bianca Belair, with both women declaring themselves participants in the 2021 Women's Royal Rumble match.

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