WWE SmackDown Superstar Bayley has suffered an injury in training that will see her sidelined for an estimated nine months.
WWE announced that Bayley suffered an injury while training for her “I Quit” match against SmackDown Women’s Champion Bianca Belair at Money In the Bank, and that she’s expected to be on the shelf for around 9 months. Carmella was announced as her replacement for the match at Money In the Bank during last night’s SmackDown.
It’s now reported by multiple sources, PWInsider and Fightful Select, that Bayley suffered a torn ACL. The injury reportedly occurred at the WWE Performance Center earlier this week as she was training with another wrestler.
It was noted that Bayley’s “knee popped” while training in the ring. The injury was described as a freak accident that happened while chain wrestling with another WWE star. Bayley and the other wrestler were reportedly participating in the mandatory training sessions that were set up so that wrestlers can prepare for the return to touring next week.
There’s also talk that Bayley’s injury may have caused plans to change for a new incoming talent, but there’s no word yet on who that might be.
Two wrestlers on the SmackDown roster were said to be openly frustrated with WWE’s lack of depth, and how that left them scrambling to find an appropriate replacement for the match against Belair at Money In the Bank. One wrestler remarked how company officials “did it to themselves,” adding that Bayley helped carry the company during some of their most difficult times as of late, and was known to be easy to deal with, no matter how much more they asked of her.
Bayley’s WWE tenure has been incredibly successful, and she has managed to build a Hall Of Fame career in her five years on the company’s main roster. She signed for WWE in 2012 after a four-year stint on the independent circuit and reported for duty at WWE’s developmental territory NXT.
Bayley became one of NXT’s most popular wrestlers during her four years in WWE’s developmental system. Bayley’s crowning moment occurred on August 22 at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn, when she defeated her real-life best friend and on-screen rival Sasha Banks to win the NXT Women’s Championship for the first time.
After being called up to the main roster in 2016, Bayley replicated her NXT success and defeated Charlotte Flair for the Raw Women’s Championship in 2017 to capture her first main roster title.
When Bayley’s affable, bubbly character started to get a little stale, she switched things up and turned heel. At first, people didn’t really know what to make of the new Bayley, but as the weeks rolled on she proved that she was just as good at portraying an entertaining villain as she was at playing the happy-go-lucky good guy.
The 32-year-old currently holds the record for the longest-reigning SmackDown Women’s Champion and has been one of the MVPs of the pandemic era.
Sources: Wrestling Inc. and The Sportster