In what has been a banner year for Bayley, the reigning SmackDown Women's Champion broke yet another record in WWE this week, this time by surpassing her fellow Four Horsewoman Charlotte Flair. Up until this week Flair had the most combined days as a reigning champion of any woman in modern WWE history (thus excluding Fabulous Moolah) at 947 days across 12 reigns. Bayley has now officially been champion for 948 days, thanks in large part to her record-breaking year-long reign with the SmackDown women's title.
Bayley is booked to defend her title against Sasha Banks inside Hell in a Cell this Sunday at the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view. If she retains she'll be days away from breaking Shane Helms' record of longest championship reign in SmackDown history at 385 days.
Bayley has surpassed Charlotte Flair for most total days as champion for any woman in modern WWE history. from r/SquaredCircle
It's ironic that Bayley was the one to knock "The Queen" off her perch, given the role Flair played in Bayley's two championship victories. She cashed in on Flair at the Money in the Bank in May 2019 to win the title, dropped it back to her at Hell in a Cell, the reclaimed it five days later on SmackDown while unveiling her new "Role Model" persona.
Last week Bayley was named No. 1 on the 2020 PWI Women's 100 list, which ranks the top 100 women's wrestlers in the world each year. Both Flair ad Becky Lynch have previously won the award. She then went on The PWI Podcast to reflect on the past year, and explained why she pushed so hard for a heel turn last year.
"I think for one, everybody thought it was going to fail," Bayley said. "They thought I made the wrong decision and I couldn't pull it off. I think I proved everyone wrong, especially with the craziness of what has been going on with the pandemic and not being able to perform in front of fans, which makes everything harder. But, I was still able to pull it off and use it to my advantage.
"Everyone second-guessed things, especially for me because I was doing that Bayley character for 7 years and it brought me so much success," she later added. "It brought me championships and brought me to the WWE, but it was not something I wanted to do forever. I want to experience everything in my career. I want to ride the wave and do all sorts of things. I knew I couldn't do it being that one character. Honestly, once I had the company's blessing and Vince's blessing, I knew I had to make it work. I had to make it work because it was my decision. If I failed then I failed myself and I failed the company. I definitely think people not believing in me helps because you love to prove people wrong. It helps on screen as well because then I'm not doing it for them, I'm doing it for me."