This Fan Tribute To NXT Women’s Champion Bayley Will Make You Feel All Of The Feelings

Without being hyperbolic, Bayley’s run up to winning the NXT Women’s Championship is everything that makes pro wrestling worth loving. Sometimes wrestling makes it very difficult for you to want to participate in being an active fan, especially when it comes to women’s wrestling, but every once in a while something really special happens, and it reminds you why putting up with it is worth it.

Wrestling fans take such extreme, polarizing stances on things that it’s often hard to figure out how on earth you can be a fan of the same thing they are, and feel so drastically different about it than they do. While yes, pro wrestling itself is the thing we have in common, the one thing that can be said of anyone in wrestling – in or out of the ring – is that we’re all chasing the same thing: that moment.

That moment is different for everyone, but if you love wrestling, you know it well. It’s the moment where everything else in the world ceases to exist, and you’re completely and utterly swept up in what’s happening. It’s when the critical or jokey or dismissive part of your brain shuts off, and you entirely forget that suspension of disbelief is even a thing. It’s watching the Sendai Girls vs. Team ROH. It’s walking out in front of 15,000 people and having every single one of them behind you. It’s training and struggling and fighting, and then finally winning something that makes every single struggle and fight worth it.

We all love Bayley for a million different reasons, but the important thing about her winning the NXT Women’s Championship is that we were given a moment. Right now we’re told by the No. 1 female wrestler in the company that wins and losses don’t matter, but Bayley’s journey from nervous fangirl to throwing poison ranas in a sold-out Barclay’s Center is the thing that proves that wrong the most.

When you give women a story, and a complex, layered, human character for people to love or loathe, you’re giving them reasons to exist, and giving a purpose to everything they do in the ring. Bayley gives us something to care about, and someone for little girls to look up to. The four women embracing in the ring gives us grown up women something to celebrate and be proud of in an industry that has spent decades telling us that we don’t matter, and we don’t deserve to matter.

Reliving everything that Bayley’s done up until that moment should make you feel everything. It should make you feel proud of someone who put their heart and soul into everything finally getting proof that it’s worth it. It should make you feel hopeful that one day – even if it’s not soon enough – things can change for women in wrestling. It should make you angry at the state of the Divas division, and every person who thinks the answer to the Divas revolution is to build up one type of woman by being dismissive and cruel to another.

But most of all, it should make you love pro wrestling more than anything else in the world, even if it’s just for a moment.