Bayley Beats Lacey Evans, Retains SmackDown Women's Title at WWE Royal Rumble

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 27, 2020

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Bayley defeated Lacey Evans at the WWE Royal Rumble pay-per-view on Sunday to retain the SmackDown Women's Championship.

Bayley got her knees up to counter an attempted moonsault by Evans and moved quickly to capitalize. She pinned the challenger and grabbed the tights for good measure to seal the win.

The Sassy Southern Belle has been at odds with both Bayley and Sasha Banks for the past several weeks, as she called them out for not being true leaders of the SmackDown women's division and insisted she was the right person for the job instead.

That developed into a heated rivalry that saw Banks taunt Evans' daughter, which incensed the former Marine and gave her even more incentive to take down both The Boss and Bayley.

In the weeks leading up to the Royal Rumble, Evans vs. Banks was scheduled for SmackDown on multiple occasions, but the match kept getting put on hold for varying reasons.

First, Banks no-showed their match in order to record an album with her cousin, Snoop Dogg. In place of the match, Lacey and Bayley engaged in a promo battle. During the exchange, the challenger went backstage to find her rival, but she was jumped. The Sassy Southern Belle managed to fight back and run the titleholder off, though.

Evans vs. Banks was rescheduled, but the former attacked both Banks and Bayley backstage, and when The Boss was ruled unable to compete, a non-title match between Evans and Bayley was booked instead.

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Evans went on to beat Bayley with her Woman's Right finisher, which led to her being granted a title match at the Royal Rumble.

Evans feuded with Becky Lynch over the Raw Women's Championship after WrestleMania 35 last year and clashed with The Man in some pretty big spots, but the consensus at the time was that she wasn't ready for the big time.

The Lady has come a long way since then, though, and she has done a quality job adopting her babyface persona. Because of that, she didn't appear out of place against Bayley on Sunday.

Evans again fell short of winning the title, but it seems it's only a matter of time before she captures it, even if she has to wait in line a little longer behind whoever faces Bayley at WrestleMania 36 on April 5.


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