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Grimmas

Bayley

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NotJayTrabb said:

"I think Grimmas's strong advocacy of Sasha Banks is going to see a lot of people do a deep dive on her, and it's very hard to do that without watching a bunch of very good-great Bayley matches. The thing is, I very much believe Bayley is the best wrestler of the Horsewomen, and I think if any of them are going to make my list, it'll be her. For years, the big thing with Bayley was that she was the arguably the best babyface in wrestling. She was so likable that the idea of her turning heel was preposterous, like trying to turn Rey Mysterio heel. Then she DID turn heel...and she was bloody great at it to the point now where I look at her and wonder how she was ever such a great face. I think that versatility gives her the edge over most of her peers, she's proven to excel in any role. "

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What I thought a few years ago would hurt ranking Bayley is that she is one of the better babyfaces of her generation, but is she versatile? YES! She had a legit great heel run, so check marks for her!

What really helps with Bayley is how much she makes you care about her matches. She made you want to root for her in matches, not just watch matches for them being good. That's a special characteristic.

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I admittedly have not watched a lot of WWE in the past year or so, so I haven't really watched Bayley's heel run.  What are the good matches she's been in since turning?

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1 minute ago, Alex said:

I admittedly have not watched a lot of WWE in the past year or so, so I haven't really watched Bayley's heel run.  What are the good matches she's been in since turning?

The BEST is the Hell in the Cell with Sasha, which was my MOTY.

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It's not her best match of the run, but the most impressive one to me was the match she got out of Tamina at Money in the Bank. There's also the Asuka match from SummerSlam, and another one from Raw a few weeks earlier. 

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I think the best match of all those is actually the Bayley vs. Asuka match on Raw 07/06/20. It's most memorable because there was a bit of a miscue on Asuka's spinning backfist so she wallops Bayley hard in the face, but Bayley just keeps plowing on. I went 4 Stars on that one.

The Bayley vs. Kairi match on Raw 07/20/20 is also really good and the only time Kairi ever really worked like her heroic Stardom character on the WWE main roster.

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I think the Nia match from Takeover London is a definite plus in Bayley's favour. I'm higher on Nia than most here, but I don't think many other women could have that match with her, a really great underdog babyface performance with a really good ending.

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I was by no means down on Nia at the time but that did feel like an absolute miracle match. I'm looking forward to going through Bayley's heel run when I get up to her as I've seen virtually none of it. Really appreciate those above recommendations.

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On 4/11/2021 at 7:46 PM, NotJayTabb said:

I think the Nia match from Takeover London is a definite plus in Bayley's favour. I'm higher on Nia than most here, but I don't think many other women could have that match with her, a really great underdog babyface performance with a really good ending.

This is a great shout - given how green Nia was at the time, particularly in high profile matches, Bayley puts in a tremendous performance in this match, making Nia seem like a killer, while at the same time not diminishing herself - i.e. yes, she's the smaller opponent, but her skill and ability is keeping in her in the fight - she is not presented as fluking out a victory when she wins. It's a fine balance, and Bayley walks it perfectly in this match - it gave me definite Sting/Vader vibes.

This is a perfect example of, for me, one of Bayley's best runs, between beating Sasha in Brooklyn to losing the NXT Women's Title to Asuka - where she is the ace of the NXT women's division. She is still the great babyface, but she has evolved from the 'super fan' / childlike Bayley, to being a great, fight all comers champion, one consistent with her naturally evolving character.

If you want a great example of Bayley's ability, watch the title match she has on NXT TV against Eva Marie (I'll try to find the date). This is not a '5* classic' but is just fantastic pro-wrestling television, where to their credit WWE create the conditions for success by making you think that a screwjob is on the cards (with having main roster ref Charles Robinson specifically appointed) and preying on your assumptions for what *you think* WWE would traditionally want in a champion - i.e. someone that looks like Eva Marie. Bayley is so, so good in this match. To her credit, so is Eva Marie, who keeps up and plays her role to perfection, but you get clear evidence of Bayley's ability to lead a match and be the glue that holds it together. Yes, the Sasha matches are tremendous in NXT - proper classics, but matches like the one's discussed by others like against Nia, and this one against people fairly limited like Eva Marie are what makes her a real candidate for consideration in my eyes.     

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Another match from this run people should watch is the 02/10/16 title defense against Carmella. Again it's just 'good', but I struggle to think of a single above-average singles match Carmella had had in her whole career at that point and for a good few years afterwards as well. Asuka and Charlotte in 2018 couldn't get anything decent out of her. That whole 2015-16 title run was Bayley facing limited/green workers and getting career matches out of them.

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I agree with praise for her NXT title reign; she's excellent in it and it's my favourite title run of any woman in WWE.  I just don't think there's enough meat on the bone her for her whole career with the main roster work top make the top 100.  She exceeded my expectations in her character work as a heel, but her year long run with the title didn't exactly result in a a host of good title matches.  I largely found the 2020 matches with Asuka and Kairi to be a disappointment, and it's only when she drops the title to Sasha that she has a match that is great.  From memory she's great in the chamber match to crown the first tag champs, but other than that I'm really blanking on good Bayley matches where I feel like she is fulfilling the potential she showed in NXT.

I worry she's made Vince laugh with this DING DONG HELLO thing and she's gonna get Pidgeon holed as a comedy character going forward.. 

I would have her as the 2nd best HW behind Sasha, so it's not a lost cause by any stretch.

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