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NXT TakeOver Brooklyn: Let’s talk about Bayley

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Coming all the way from Disney World to Brooklyn, Bayley has more to prove than anyone else this Saturday night inside of the Barclays Center. Can her “I’m a Hugger” gimmick accompanied by her “Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Men” successfully transfer over to the WWE Universe without her getting either boo’ed out of the arena or even relegated to WWE comedy hell in the not so distant future.

We’ve seen everyone put in the position Bayley’s about to be put in at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn rise to the occasion. Going all the way back to the first TakeOver event when Paige and Emma wrestled to become the first ever NXT Women’s champion  – every single time that title has been on the line the girls have delivered. Sure, Bayley’s been here before – it’s just never been this big of a deal.

The WWE fanbase is as cruel as they are flexible. They’ll turn on you like a dime, sell your t-shirt and find someone else to root for without batting an eye. The product is short attention span theater and we currently find ourselves in the “PG” era, the same era that made Daniel Bryan a megastar because of one word chanted over and over again (and his ability to wrestle his tail off.) Like Bryan, Bayley can wrestle for days. She understands the business and she’s tough as nails and just because her character is “fun” doesn’t mean she still can’t be “cool” – in a nerdy sort of way.

Bayley has built such a unique character that it could either hurt her (like the Adam Rose’s of the world) or it could catapult her into superstardom (like Bryan) if the crowd decides to get behind her and join her in a long journey to a WWE title shot.

The kids love Bayley, so much so that it’s not really too far fetched to imagine walking into Toys “R” Us to be greeted by shelves full of Bayley dolls waiting to be hugged. She’ll have to take a ton of bumps and bruises along the way; that’ll be the easy part. The tough part will be to maintain the interest of the Universe and to steal their hearts. The same way she’s stolen everyone’s heart down at Full Sail since 2012.

When Banks, Charlotte and Becky Lynch began their WWE Diva’s division takeover last month in Atlanta, Bayley was supposed to be there. She’d been sidelined due to a broken hand, forcing her to miss out on something she helped build over the past couple of years down in Florida. Was it a blessing in disguise? I mean, now that everyone else has been called up, wouldn’t it make sense for Banks to drop her title to Bayley in Brooklyn and let her have some time at the top before her eventual and inevitable call up? Coming up to the WWE as a former champion can only help her in the long run, right? Or does she need to continue to play the innocent one with the puppy dog eyes who just can’t get that big win?

All in all, when it comes to her match against Sasha Banks at ‘NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn’, Bayley doesn’t need a win to prove her worth as a future WWE superstar. She just needs to show up and keep doing what she’s been doing – telling great stories in the ring and wrestling like there’s no tomorrow. It’s the reason why she’s in the position that she’s currently in and it’s why she’s been a hit with the fans thus far.

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