An AEW star has praised Bayley and her importance to the evolution of WWE NXT.
Bayley has become one of WWE’s top stars, winning championship gold in NXT, Raw and SmackDown. “The Role Model” also holds the record for the longest reign as SmackDown Women’s Champion.
Before her days on the main roster, the Damage CTRL leader made a name for herself on the NXT brand with classic battles against Charlotte Flair, Asuka and Sasha Banks.
Speaking on his FTR podcast, Dax Harwood looked back on NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II where Bayley faced Asuka and praised the multi-time champion. Dax said:
“I think that she and Mercedes were the two to change the perception of NXT. Not just the women. I think when that put that match on [at NXT TakeOver Brooklyn], and the people saw that, they were like, ‘Okay, that’s what I wanna see out of my NXT, those kind of matches.”
“That drama, that emotion, that athleticism. That’s what I wanna see.’ So they completely changed the whole mindset of what NXT should and could be. She has the unfortunate task of trying to one-up her match from last year, and they did an incredible job.”
“They knocked it out of the park. I think this was a rematch for Dallas because I think Bayley dropped the belt to Asuka earlier that year, so this was their rematch.”
“It was a farewell to Bayley, but I watched the match back today, and it was so good.”
Explaining what the bout with Asuka showed him in the WWE Raw star, Harwood said:
“It showed me, she’ll probably never get the recognition she deserves for how good she is and how instrumental she is in women’s wrestling because other girls will get the shine and will get the accolades because of the moves that they perform. Guys too, not just girls.”
“I’m just speaking specifically about the women’s roster, and the girls she was associated with because they sometimes put the move above the story. I watched this match today, and it reminded me that [Bayley] always put the story first.”
“She always put the psychology first. It was such a great-paced match. Even at a point in the match where things might have got a little rocky, she was able to bring it back, which is not easy to do whenever you’re working with someone where English is not their first language.”
“But she brought it back, and she’s such a great captain. She’s such a great base for professional wrestling, and she’s such a great ring general. That match reminded me how good she really is.”
Transcription via Fightful
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