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Nikki Bella Rips WWE Booking Becky Lynch to Squash Bianca Belair at SummerSlam

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 23, 2021

Bryan Steffy/Getty Images for WWE SummerSlam After Party

WWE Hall of Famer Nikki Bella said Bianca Belair losing the SmackDown Women's Championship to a returning Becky Lynch in a squash match Saturday soured her view of the entire SummerSlam card.

Lynch returned to replace expected challenger Sasha Banks, who's away from WWE for an undisclosed reason, and defeated Belair in under a minute to become the new champion.

Bella explained at the SummerSlam afterparty (via Subhojeet Mukherjee of Ringside News) the booking decision didn't sit well with her:

"I could tell you what wasn't my favorite moment, and it was when she [Belair] lost. It definitely was not my favorite moment, and I don't know if I actually had a favorite moment. Because I always back the women, and I'm always for the women, and you have someone like Bianca who is such an incredible talent, and you can't help but get frustrated when you see moments like that for a championship that meant so much and was lost within seconds. So I have to admit for this SummerSlam, there truly wasn't anything that was my favorite."

Belair won the women's Royal Rumble in January to receive a championship shot at WrestleMania 37 in April, and she earned her proverbial WrestleMania moment with a victory over Banks in the main event of the first night of WWE's biggest event of the year to become the SmackDown women's champion.

Having her lose the belt in such quick, nondescript fashion didn't generate positive reviews from the WWE Universe, but it could be setting the stage for something bigger.

Belair is now in perfect position to generate even more support from the fans, and PWInsider reported (Sai Mohan of Wrestling Inc.) the plan calls for Lynch to serve as SmackDown's "top heel" moving forward. So, at least from a creative standpoint, the squash result makes some sense within that future context.

Meanwhile, Bella's situation is a bit uncertain because she'd teased a SummerSlam appearance in recent weeks but didn't appear during the show.

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Nikki & Brie @BellaTwins

Hhmmm looking through my closet and deciding what to wear to SummerSlam next week??? Thoughts? N

The two-time Divas champion suggested there may be more to the story in a Saturday post on Instagram.

"When you're not allowed to go to SummerSlam in Vegas...lol," she wrote alongside pictures at the Park MGM hotel in Las Vegas.

Bella didn't disclose why she wasn't allowed to attend the show in that post or a subsequent one Sunday as she headed home.

"It's been a fun few days with the WWE and WWE Universe in Las Vegas!" she wrote on Instagram.

Bella retired from in-ring competition in July 2019, but she hinted toward a potential return in March.

Where she'd fit within crowded women's divisions on both Raw and SmackDown is a tough question to answer, though.

Listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot wrestling topics. Catch the latest episode in the player below (warning: some language NSFW).

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