WWE: It is time to bring an end to Damage CTRL

Jul 30, 2022; Nashville, Tennessee, US; Bayley (white attire) and Bianca Belair face off during SummerSlam at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 30, 2022; Nashville, Tennessee, US; Bayley (white attire) and Bianca Belair face off during SummerSlam at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

Fans were excited about Damage CTRL when they first walked through the curtain, but that time has passed and it is time to break up the faction.

WrestleMania didn’t go well for Bayley, Iyo Sky, and Dakota Kai after taking a big loss. What is worse for the trio, though, it is time to end Damage CTRL. It is a move that will leave the future of all three performers in serious doubt, but it may happen whether they want it to or not. To explain why it is definitely time to end Damage CTRL, you have to look at its exciting beginnings. What started as a hot angle in a new era of television slowly declined every week on WWE programming.

A Trio of Hot Debuts

WWE was running a massive SummerSlam PPV, Triple H had just taken over as head of creative, and a lot of surprises were predicted for that show. After a great match between Becky Lynch and Bianca Belair for the Raw Women’s Championship, Damange CTRL was born. A returning Bayley came out to a big reaction, and she brought a debuting Iyo Sky from NXT and recently released Dakota Kai with her to create a faction looking to take over the women’s division on Raw. The three competitors were instantly sent to the top of the card and feuded with stars like Becky and Bianca for the entirety of 2022 and 2023.

Damage CTRL won the tag team titles quickly in their run as a team. They competed in the first-ever main roster War Games match and even had a marquee WrestleMania match against Hall of Famers Lita and Trish Stratus. For stars like Bayley, it was a hot angle to send her back to the main event; for talents like Kai and Sky, it was a genuine shot on the main roster in a prominent storyline. The return of Kai, in particular, was seen as the earliest sign that the new Triple H era was set to be different. Unfortunately, despite a strong start, the trio was in a bad situation that only got worse on the road to WrestleMania 39.

The Beginning of the End For Damage CTRL

The heels never managed to capture the world title from Bianca, which ultimately hurt Bayley and company in the long run. However, the real issues came after Survivor Series. Before War Games, Sky and Kai were still tag team champions, and Bayley was consistently winning in matches against top stars aside from the Raw Women’s champion.

After losing at Survivor Series, though, their fortunes shifted. They entered a feud with Becky Lynch, which started with a Bayley win but ended with Becky besting the team every week after. Finally, Becky eliminated most of the team in the Royal Rumble, beat Bayley on Raw in a cage match, and took the titles off the champions before beating all three at WrestleMania.

The team had already taken some hits, losing to Bianca, Asuka, and Alexa several times in title matches. That would have been okay if the next feud had been unique or ended in a victory for the heels. Instead, Becky returned to start this most recent story back in December. Bayley was always involved in the Bianca feud, Becky defended her initially, and she returned to join team Belair for War Games. Moving directly into Becky made the rivalries feel like one long story between Bayley, Becky, and Bianca. Unfortunately, longer doesn’t always mean better. Having no separation between these feuds and constant losing diminished Bayley as a threat to many fans and relegated her stablemates more to the role of goons.

When to End Damage CTRL

To end Damage CTRL now makes a ton of sense from a momentum standpoint. While all of the women’s division suffered from a lack of build to WrestleMania, Damage CTRL is ice-cold after poor booking. The tag team division is set regarding contenders, and Becky and Lita appear to have a story brewing with Trish Stratus that likely takes priority over Bayley and her crew. They have no reason to exist without credibility to challenge for a title and no obvious storyline. The faction did its job in returning three talented women to TV, but since it has not accomplished anything else, it is time to say goodbye. Likewise, the performers themselves appear to be done with the story.

Bayley indicated on social media after WrestleMania that she may be taking time away, although nothing has been official about what that plan entails. Also, the rumored return of Vince McMahon to a creative role in the company could spell disaster for Iyo Sky, who never got called up despite four years of stellar performances in NXT.

Worse still is the future of Dakota Kai, who has already been let go by WWE under the Vince McMahon regime. Nothing is guaranteed, though, and perhaps their early work may mean that new creative has a better direction for the two. However, even if the creative team had or has a plan coming out of WrestleMania, changes in people’s positions within the company will put those plans into doubt. The reality that all three women may be out of the company within a year is even more of a reason why the trio should disband and may be unceremoniously split sooner rather than later.

The Aftermath of Ending Damage CRTL

What happens to Bayley, Iyo, and Dakota will depend on what facilitates the group disbanding. While the group should disband and WrestleMania confirmed it, the best-case scenario would include a story that gives all three a chance to get the fans’ attention and rise from this particularly cold period for them. If all three women are around, they can hopefully spark some interest by feuding together as they end Damage CTRL. Maybe Bayley blames her young pupils for failing to meet her expectations, or Sky or Kai go on a little run and lead to a jealous angle between the three. However, if any or all of the faction leaves WWE quietly without any fanfare, splitting the trio up backstage might be necessary. That eventuality would be a shame for everyone involved.

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