Bayley Beats Alexa Bliss, Nikki Cross; Retains Women's Title at Extreme Rules

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 15, 2019

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Bayley beat Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross in a handicap match to retain the SmackDown Women's Championship at Extreme Rules on Sunday.

Bayley got her knees up to counter Twisted Bliss as Bliss came off the top rope. Cross quickly tagged in and tried her own top-rope attack on the champion, but Bayley caught Cross flush with her knee. She then moved Cross into position for a flying elbow drop.

After Bayley defeated Bliss at Stomping Grounds, The Goddess was given an opportunity to earn another title shot in the form of Nikki Cross facing Bayley in a non-title match on SmackDown Live.

Bliss would get a rematch if Cross could beat Bayley, and she did precisely that by catching The Hugger with a pinning combination to win in surprising fashion.

Over the past several weeks, Bliss and Cross have formed an unlikely bond. While most have seen through Alexa's actions to realize she is using the Scot for her own personal gain, Nikki was simply happy to have a friend.

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Bliss succeeded in getting Cross to believe Bayley was a fraud leading up to Stomping Grounds, but when the Scottish Superstar attempted to help Alexa, it backfired and allowed the champion to score the victory.

Alexa was unhappy with her sidekick, but her feelings changed when Cross beat Bayley. That win created more issues for Bliss than she probably anticipated, though.

Multiple Superstars questioned why Bliss was getting a title shot when Cross was the one who beat Bayley. Even The Hugger suggested she should be facing the Scot instead of The Goddess.

That worked against Bayley, though, since Cross bested her in a Beat the Clock Challenge, which allowed Cross to pick the stipulation for the Extreme Rules match.

Cross decided to make it a handicap match with both her and Alexa facing Bayley for the SmackDown Women's Championship.

Based on her strong track record against Bayley and the presence of Cross, Bliss had the makings of a true threat to end The Hugger's title reign just a couple of months after it began at Money in the Bank.

Bayley was once again successful in retaining her title, though, and the result suggests she will enter into a feud with a new opponent heading toward SummerSlam.


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