This quote from Alexa Bliss about her Stomping Grounds opponent Bayley from an interview with Scott Fishman of TV Insider is, in a vacuum, pretty innocuous. The observation the #1 contender for the SmackDown Women’s title makes is something a lot of fans and critics have commented on, and it fits in to the character development we’ve seen from the Hugster the past couple months.
But seeing as Bliss and Sasha Banks’ dislike of one another is the stuff of “work or shoot” legend, and Banks’ current hiatus from WWE is one of the most over-analyzed and speculated upon stories in the business these days, and the angle Alexa & Bayley are presently working has played on that with elements like the champ liking tweets that are critical of her co-workers & by making it seem like either or both are being duplicitous, and…
There’s a lot of different contexts in which to view these remarks from the Goddess about working with Bayley:
“I’m happy to see the different kind of Bayley. I feel like for a while we lost Bayley a little bit in the Boss ‘n’ Hug Connection just because Sasha’s personality is so big. I feel like sometimes you need to hear from Bayley a little bit more.
The fact that she is able to show this more aggressive side just helps the character so much more and the people as well. It’s just a lot of fun to be a character and see it change over time. The fact she is reinventing herself is awesome.”
This could be a way to further the Hugger’s evolution into a more ruthless, possibly heel character. But every other part of the interview (check it out in its entirety here, and you should because it cover a lot of interesting ground like Alexa’s trip to Saudi Arabia, her concussion issues and storyline with Nikki Cross) comes across as non-kayfabe. So this is probably an out-of-character comment, too. If that’s the case, however, Bliss likely knows the quote might be interpreted by Sasha or Bayley fans as shady or a back-handed compliment.
It’s complicated, as it always is when it come to Banks and Bliss.
Is this a shot at Sasha? More mind games with Bayley? Legit? Storyline? All of the above?
Weigh in below.