TAELER: Sasha Banks And Bayley Have Been Great On Screen Antagonists For Bianca Belair

This past episode of WWE's Friday Night Smackdown came and went with a resounding sense of foreboding. However, one definite key segment was WWE once again highlighting the Smackdown Women's Champion Bianca Belair. With the current list of WWE talent releases looming over the roster and subsequently the WWE Universe, many weren't sure what to expect going forward in the main roster divisions and most especially when tuning in to Smackdown prior to AEW dynamite. And, as it relates to the topic of this article, the landscape of the WWE Smackdown Women's Division was not without their own concerning questions. Such questions that are completely indicative of the 'what's next,' 'how,' and 'whom' paradigms pertaining to championship opportunities, storylines, raises, roster spots, WWE stock options, the job itself, and of course the next upcoming WWE PPV, Hell in a Cell…

As WWE heads closer and closer to it's next 2021 PPV, Hell in a Cell, questions over who would challenge for the Smackdown Women's Championship and/or if it would be defended at all were simultaneously answered. As it would happen the very answers sought came in the form of fellow WWE Smackdown Superstar, member of the Four Horse Women, and self-proclaimed Role Model, Bayley. WWE Smackdown made good use of The Thunder Dome as Bayley via satellite made her presence known. In a somewhat maniacal and villainous way, Bayley in an antagonizing manner answered the Smackdown Women's Champion and accepted her challenge. A challenge for the Smackdown Women's Title, the pinnacle seat of the Smackdown Women's Division.

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It would seem as though all of Bayley's moving pieces as part of her ultimate master plan have been slowly coming together since her initial troubles with Bianca Belair. Troubles that date back to 2020 prior to the WWE Women's Battle Royal. As the old idiom goes, 'the squeaky wheel gets the oil…' Continuing down that same road, in this last episode of Smackdown, one has to wonder if Bayley has slowly prodded Bianca Belair into the exact emotionally vulnerable position Bayley wants her in. Essentially using Belair's own tenacity and courage to never back down from a challenge against her. As any fan of the EST of WWE knows, Belair never backs down in the face of adversity and never minces her words when it comes to bullies of any shape or size. An admirable innate level of gumption possessed by the new reigning and defending Smackdown Women's Champion. But, in the end, could that very trait be the vice that Bayley uses leading the EST of WWE to her own downfall at Hell in a Cell?

In this Smackdown scenario, Bayley being the squeaky wheel, plus her own admissions, she's loud and adamant that her loss to the Smackdown Women's Champion at Wrestlemania Backlash was no loss at all, but instead a DQ in her favor. Thus claiming that Bianca Belair should be more aptly named - Bianca BeLIAR. According to the role model, BeLIAR used an illegal foreign object in their Wrestlemania Backlash PPV Title match. I.E Bianca Belair's braided hair. This rivalry between the two especially since Wrestlemania 37 has been nothing short of entertaining. And a great utilization of both competitors in this long-term storyline.

I have to say that in my opinion as a woman in wrestling, Sasha Banks and Bayley have been the best antagonists on screen for Bianca Belair. Bianca Belair has made good use of learning from WWE Superstars with more experience and as such has risen to new heights and challenged herself to become better to do better and achieve better which is great to see coming from the Smackdown Women's Champion. All so that she can represent better and achieve her ultimate goal in cementing her WWE career's legacy as The EST of WWE. It's also my opinion that Bayley has really evolved since the pandemic. She's elevated herself and adds an extra almost tangible element to the segments she's involved in without taking away from others. That's a skill seldom mastered these days even fewer can call themselves proficient in it. In essence a hard-earned and even harder learned skill of a true professional. Kudos where due!

As their storyline continues to unfold as evidenced by this past episode of Smackdown the pieces are indeed slowly coming together for Bianca Belair versus Bayley for the Smackdown Women's Championship Title. I'm not always a fan of the same PPV match on back to back PPV's but this one seems to fit. Especially with the way the characters have had interactions on Smackdown that are reminiscent of old school storytelling with a modern twist. (I.E interactions without giving away the highlighted PPV match for free on TV prior to the PPV.) I'm all about that old school psychology and build-ups with a modern twist! Not to mention the fact that this could present the perfect opportunity for WWE to reintroduce Sasha Banks back to TV since her absence. Sasha Banks being the former on screen BFF and former Tag Team Champions with Bayley, also another member of the Four Horse Women, and the woman who lost her Smackdown Women's Championship Title to Bianca Belair in the historic main event of night one of Wrestlemania 37...

All in all, with barely two weeks until WWE airs its signature PPV, Hell in a Cell PPV adds its latest match to the card - the Smackdown Women's Championship. The challenger Bayley versus the champion Bianca Belair. One the bane of the others existence. One standing up to her bully and the other aiming to put an asterisks next to the champions name striking her from her win/loss record. If you are as curious as I am to see how WWE plays off of Bianca and Bayley's Wrestlemania Backlash match and subsequnt rivalry, tune in to Hell in a Cell on June 20, 2021 for Bianca Belair putting her coveted Smackdown Women's Championship Title on the line against the inaugural WWE Women's Triple Crown Champion, Bayley.

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