Bayley's Dramatic Turn Elevates Her to New Heights, More WWE SmackDown Fallout

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistOctober 12, 2019

Bayley's Dramatic Turn Elevates Her to New Heights, More WWE SmackDown Fallout

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    Bayley embraced her inner evil Friday night on SmackDown, erasing all elements of the fun-loving, hug-giving young woman that captured the hearts of fans in NXT. More focused and dangerous than ever, she defeated Charlotte Flair to regain the SmackDown Women's Championship in the main event of a show that also housed night one of the 2019 WWE Draft.

    It was less the draft picks, more the creative decisions that went into the show that stood out as the biggest takeaways from this week's broadcast.

    Dive deeper into Bayley's makeover, Kofi Kingston's attitude post-WWE title loss and creative decisions regarding The Fiend and Seth Rollins in the fallout from the October 11 broadcast.

Bayley's Heel Turn Elevates Character to New Heights

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    For Bayley to succeed with her new persona, she needed to undergo a drastic makeover.

    The ponytail needed to go, as did the blow-up characters and the happy-go-lucky entrance music. All three did Friday as the heel buried the last vestiges of the identity that fueled her success in NXT and went all Anakin Skywalker, embracing her dark side ahead of Friday's main event, SmackDown Women's Championship rematch with Charlotte Flair.

    It worked.

    The Darth Vader of SmackDown's women's division defeated The Queen and regained the title she never should have lost. From there, she referred to the fans who once supported her as "bitches" and told them all to go to hell.

    It was a drastic change for Bayley and one that will benefit her exponentially going forward.

    Despite a heel turn a month ago that saw her bash Becky Lynch with a steel chair, Bayley remained more or less the same character she had always been. Now reborn, she has the opportunity to rewrite the narrative of her main roster run while simultaneously expressing her frustration with fans.

    The character, born in a sliver of reality, will earn her the best reactions and result in the best work of her career.

Kofi Kingston's Overabundant Positivity Hurts Effect of Title Loss

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    A week ago, Kofi Kingston lost the WWE Championship in seven seconds to Brock Lesnar.

    Seven seconds.

    His lifelong dream came crashing down in historically humiliating fashion yet Friday night, Kingston joined Xavier Woods and Big E in a Six-Man Tag Team victory over The O.C. and appeared unfazed by his defeat. He smiled, threw pancakes into the crowd and seemingly embraced his return to mediocrity.

    It was an incredibly disappointing followup to the events of a week ago, especially considering the overwhelming support he experienced from Superstars both on the WWE roster and in other promotions.

    Much like the outcome of last week's show, and its execution, Kingston deserved better. Instead, the manner in which he was booked Friday suggests his run as a genuine main event performer may officially be over, ending not with a bang but a whimper.

    The lack of frustration, disappointment or determination to get his title back suggesting he is ok with the public display of ineptitude that unfolded on last week's network television debut.

The Fiend Chases Feud Destined to Go Unfinished After Drafting to SmackDown

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    This week's show kicked off with Seth Rollins battling Roman Reigns in singles competition, the winner's respective brand to receive the first overall pick in the draft. The Architect would win that pick for Raw, which the red brand would turn into women's champion Becky Lynch, when The Fiend attacked him and caused a disqualification.

    Bray Wyatt's emergence from under the ring, and subsequent mandible claw to the universal champion would seemingly suggest the rivalry between the two will continue into another month.

    Except, it will not.

    Moments later, Wyatt was drafted to SmackDown, where he will take up permanent residence beginning next week. That means WWE Creative literally booked the latest chapter in his rivalry with Rollins knowing full well there would be no real opportunity to pay that rivalry off in any grand fashion unless the plan is to wrap it up on Raw with some major blowoff match.

    Considering how masterfully the writing team managed to screw up the conclusion of Hell in a Cell, one has to question whether it is even smart to let WWE Creative get its grubby paws on those two Superstars again or whether letting them go their separate ways is the more preferred outcome.

    Either way, it was a curious bit of booking from management knowing what they knew about the draft picks, how they would play out and the fact that The Fiend and Rollins would ultimately find themselves on opposing brands by night's end.