2020 was a unique year for wrestling promotions. Here is why Bayley is WWE’s 2020 MVP.
2020 started off like any other year and then quickly changed into something completely different. One of the constants was pro wrestling, even if it looked different for a while. Many promotions wrestled in front of no fans. This meant that Superstars had to step up in a completely different way. They had to deliver WWE quality matches to near-total silence.
WWE garnered a lot of ill will when they laid off and furloughed many employees to keep shareholders happy in April. They handled the #SpeakingOut movement horribly and still put many of the accused men on television. While these were huge missteps and left a lot of fans angry, there were some bright spots within WWE. One Superstar went above and beyond:
Your role model, Bayley.
In October 2019, Bayley became SmackDown Women’s Champion. She would go on to hold the title for a record 379 days. During her historic reign, the “Role Model” even defended her title in Saudi Arabia against Naomi before travel shut down completely.
Bayley completely embraced her heel turn and it has paid off. She frequently used underhanded techniques to retain her title. That usually involved her former best friend and tag team partner, Sasha Banks. She often urged Banks to win matches by the same means. Bayley was the one pulling the puppet strings.
The summer truly belonged to “The Two-Woman Power Trip”. After winning the tag team titles in June, they dubbed themselves the “Golden Role Models”. Even when they weren’t winning by nefarious means, they were enjoying the adoration that placed on themselves. The duo constantly told everyone how great they are. They fulfilled their original desire to defend the tag team titles across all three brands.
Even without fans in the arena, they sure did have a blast. In a year of abysmal storylines, especially in the women’s divisions, they made it fun. Everything they did was must-watch, especially what came next.
All good things must come to an end eventually. The beginning of the end came at Payback where they lost the tag team titles to Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler. This was a team that had just formed and somehow they were able to beat two of the best women on the roster. The “Golden Role Models” were granted a rematch on the following episode of SmackDown. When they didn’t regain their titles, an incensed Bayley turned on her best friend.
Bayley and Sasha exchanged attacks on one another for several weeks before culminating in their big match at SummerSlam. I argued that this match deserved to main event Hell in a Cell. Although it didn’t, it quickly became a Match of the Year contender.
Bayley lost her title to the “Legit Boss”. They had an excellent rematch on SmackDown that lasted over 18 minutes.
Even in losing the SmackDown Women’s Title, she went on to become the captain of the SmackDown Women’s Team at Survivor Series. Although her team lost, it has set up a feud with “The EST of WWE” Bianca Belair and she’s still a huge presence on the blue brand even without her title.
“The Captain” is setting herself up for another great year in 2020. Who knows? Maybe she’ll win the Women’s Royal Rumble and face her former best friend at WrestleMania to finally have the match they (and we) deserve.
Ding dong! Hello! Bayley is WWE’s Most Valuable Performer of 2020.