Asuka defeated Bayley by disqualification at WWE Clash of Champions on Sunday, resulting in the titleholder retaining the SmackDown Women's Championship. But the appearance of The Empress of Tomorrow in place of Nikki Cross wasn't the only surprise for The Role Model, who was then beaten down by Sasha Banks.
Cross was not medically cleared for the contest, which cleared the way for Raw women's champion Asuka to compete in an impromptu match.
However, Bayley was disqualified for hitting her challenger with a steel chair, which ensured The Role Model's lengthy title reign continued.
A bigger surprise was to come, though, as Banks attacked her former friend with a steel chair to set up a feud and a possible match at Hell in the Cell on October 25.
As for the originally scheduled fight, both Bayley and Cross are involved in more compelling separate storylines.
On the September 4 episode of SmackDown, Bayley betrayed her former best friend, Banks, when she attacked her after losing the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship match against Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax.
After Jax pinned both Bayley and Banks, The Role Model feigned concern for her teammate, but rather than help The Boss, she further damaged her knee and then stomped on a steel chair while her head was inside of it.
Meanwhile, Cross has been involved in a strange situation with former friend and tag team partner Alexa Bliss, who has been enthralled by "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt ever since he attacked her in order to get the attention of Braun Strowman.
The Goddess has been a different person ever since that moment, and she has worried Cross because of her mood swings and the fact that she started adding dreadlocks to her hair as an apparent homage to The Fiend.
In a Fatal 4-Way match between Cross, Bliss, Lacey Evans and Tamina to determine Bayley's opponent at Clash of Champions, The Goddess hit the Scot with Sister Abigail before exiting the match. Cross bounced back to win, but her mind was clearly still on her best friend.
Sunday's match would have marked Cross' third shot at the SmackDown Women's Championship since July, as Bayley beat her at Extreme Rules and then again on the ensuing episode of SmackDown to retain.
While the Scot fell short in those matches, she pushed Bayley to the limit and it was clear she was a worthy opponent with a potential championship win in her future.
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