WWE superstar Bayley has suffered an injury and will be out for around nine months.
The former SmackDown Women’s Champion was poised to face Bianca Belair in an I Quit Match at Money In The Bank on July 18, but the company has confirmed a replacement will be named tonight on the blue brand’s weekly show.
In a statement on WWE.com, they said: ‘WWE Digital has learned that Bayley sustained an injury while training for her WWE Money in the Bank match against Bianca Belair and will be out approximately nine months.
‘A suitable replacement for the SmackDown Women’s Title Match will be announced tonight on FOX.’
Plenty of her fellow stars have sent messages of support on social media.
Sonya Deville tweeted: ‘I’m not alone is saying this news makes my heart hurt, but that being said 9 months from now we can expect one badass return.
‘We will be waiting.’
Mia Yim added: ‘[Bayley] is one of the toughest I know. Speedy recovery and sending all the love to you. Thank you for always being you.‘
And NXT Women’s Champion Raquel Gonzalez said: ‘Wishing a speedy recovery! I can’t wait to see your chingona comeback chiquita.’
The injury comes as a tough time for Bayley with WWE set to welcome fans back on SmackDown next week ahead of a UK tour in September.
After shifting to a more villainous persona shortly before the pandemic, she came into her own and carried the company through the PC and ThunderDome era, and she’s excited to see how fans respond to her character.
‘I’m interested to see how they react to me when I come back,’ she exclusively told Metro.co.uk. ‘I just feel so grateful that [WWE] gave me the opportunity to show a different side to me and show that I can be so much more. I’ve been having the best time!’
She added: ‘This is definitely some of the most fun matches and moments and stories that I’ve been in my career. It hasn’t even been in front of actual fans! So I can’t wait to get in front of fans and be able to share that with them.’
Indeed, the big test will be SmackDown’s upcoming WWE Live tour across the UK in September, with the fans over here providing one of her most memorable moments as they sang an affectionate parody of Hey Baby to her at NXT TakeOver: London in December 2015.
She smiled. ‘London was a TakeOver… I’ve never had a crowd literally bring me back to life. My body was just dead on the mat, Nia just annihilated me. To literally have them sing me back to life and win that match was so crazy, I’ll never forget that.’
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