WWE Money in the Bank 2020 continued Bayley’s lengthy reign as SmackDown Women’s Champion when she defeated Tamina via an assist from Sasha Banks and took one more step toward a highly anticipated dream match in the process.
Since winning the title at last year’s Money in the Bank pay-per-view, Bayley has held the belt for all but five days, but her reign is itself hasn’t been particularly memorable or impressive. There have been no unforgettable feuds or marquee matches, and the only real excitement that her reign has created is the expectation that it will ultimately lead to a match with her longtime friend Banks, with the stage long being set for “The Boss” and Bayley to go their separate ways.
The Bayley/Tamina rivalry, after all, is clearly nothing more than a placeholder feud. Tamina has been used almost exclusively as a lower card worker for most of her career, and a heel/heel feud (is Tamina actually a babyface?) with Bayley hasn’t been very intriguing, which is one of a multitude of reasons why SmackDown viewership has plummeted so much in recent weeks. The light at the end of the tunnel, however, is Bayley vs. Banks, a rivalry that is years in the making but one that WWE has yet to go all in on.
WWE had originally planned on doing Bayley vs. Banks at WrestleMania 36, but those plans changed when WWE thought it was “too soon” to do the match without the proper build it would get because of all the changes brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic. In hindsight, that was a wise creative move because Banks vs. Bayley is the type of personal rivalry that would generate the best reaction and most interest with fans in attendance. Overall interest in WWE has dropped considerably since WrestleMania 36, but with SummerSlam yet to be officially cancelled, changed or postponed, it looks like WWE is still building toward that show with the expectation that it will be a memorable pay-per-view with a WrestleMania-caliber card.
Even though that show likely won’t take place in Banks’ hometown of Boston in front of a packed house of fans as the best case scenario suggests it should be, Banks vs. Bayley is the type of match that would make the card for that event—wherever it takes places—as big as it should be. If you look at the current state of SmackDown’s women’s division, some of its biggest stars—like Alexa Bliss—are more worried about the tag team titles while Naomi isn’t being prioritized and Lacey Evans isn’t in a position in which she’s over enough to warrant a sizable leap up the card.
There have been some wide-ranging fan complaints about the way WWE focuses so heavily on the Four Horsewomen quarter of Banks, Bayley, Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch, but given the way SmackDown’s women’s division has been constructed, there is a reason why Bayley vs. Banks appears to be the obvious direction: It’s the biggest and most anticipated feud on the entire brand at the moment.
While Bayley’s successful title defense over Tamina will continue what has been a long but lackluster title reign, that also means we’re one step closer to a Bayley vs. Banks feud that could be quite the treat for fans at a time when there isn’t much to get excited about.
Source: Forbes Business