JC’s Top Rope Report: The Surprise of Smackdown
In the world of pro wrestling, drastic change can happen in just six months. You never know when Vince McMahon might wake up on the wrong side of the bed and scrap all his future plans. An injury can happen at any time. Future plans can go out the window just like that. But sometimes, things can happen that surprise you in a good way.
Six months ago, Lacey Evans was on Monday Night RAW in the middle of a feud with Becky Lynch. Everyone, including myself, were wondering why the feud lasted as long as it did. Then of course they did the worst thing possible you can do in the WWE: Add Baron Corbin to it. Lacey Evans at three straight losses to Becky Lynch and I was wondering what the hell was next for her. Lacey Evans was thrusted right into the spotlight upon her main roster debut and it was clear to a lot of people that she wasn’t ready for it. So what could the WWE possibly do to rehab Lacey Evans?
Lacey Evans moved over to Smackdown during the Draft. The positive thing was that she was away from Becky and had the chance to start fresh with some new opponents. When Bayley turned heel and joined up with Sasha Banks, there was a clear void for the top female wrestler spot on Smackdown. I just assumed Alexa Bliss would jump in and fill the top spot. Or even Nikki Cross perhaps. But out of nowhere, Lacey Evans showed up and took that spot.
The face turn was so simple and well done. Sasha Banks and Bayley were in the ring running down the women’s division of Smackdown after Survivor Series. They were claiming to be the leaders of the women’s locker room and out comes Lacey Evans. She threw a jab in at Bayley for tapping out and stood up to Sasha Banks.
Now of course it helps that Sasha Banks is a great heel. Her talking down to everyone and coming off as a complete bitch helps this out. And of course I mean this as a compliment to Sasha Banks. Sasha is much better in the heel role.
But Lacey Evans? She found her spot as a face on Smackdown. Often times you hear wrestlers say that they would much rather play the heel role. Lacey Evans, however, is such a natural babyface it isn’t even funny. I have no idea why the WWE thought it would be a good idea to bring her up as a heel to start. She didn’t really have much time in NXT to fully develop as a performer. She was never in the spotlight when it came to the women’s division of NXT. That really didn’t allow her to properly develop a heel character.
We all know that Lacey Evans is a former U.S. Marine. She has a young daughter and despite being a “Sassy” Southern Belle, she is a sweetheart from the south. All of that combined just screams babyface. And Lacey Evans is finally getting the chance to show she can be a top face on Smackdown.
I was still hesitant to fully go in on this face turn. But as the weeks went on, the crowd continued to get behind Lacey Evans. And I am not talking about small cheers here and there. I’m talking about actually, full on “Lets Go Lacey” chants against the likes of Bayley and Sasha Banks. I’m glad their haven’t been any smart crowds lately to go against this. And why is the crowd cheering her? Because Lacey Evans is fully embracing this face role and looks to be having much more fun as a face. She looks legit happy coming out there every week playing the face role.
Now the WWE needs to be careful to not go too hard with his good girl act. Of course, how can they do that? Well it is the WWE that’s why. They don’t need shove it down our throats that Lacey Evans is a former Marine. We know that she is. She also needs to cut down on the Marine salute during her matches. But those are small nitpicks in what so far has been a stellar face turn for Lacey Evans.
So here we are going into Wrestlemania season. But Lacey Evans is facing Bayley at the Royal Rumble. Of course Lacey Evans earned that right by going the traditional beat the Champion and in a non-Title match route. Now you could argue that they could have waited to pull the trigger on the Lacey Evans face turn and had her win the Rumble. But I feel like at this point that Shayna Baszler is a lock to win that. But I really do think that Lacey Evans should win the Smackdown Women’s Title at Wrestlemania.
That means you have to stretch this program out all the way until Wrestlemania. It’s possible, but you have to get creative with it. So the first step is to have Bayley win at the Royal Rumble with some kind of shenanigans. You don’t want Lacey Evans losing clean. Elimination Chamber is in March. If Shayna wins the Rumble then you will need to establish a Contender for Bayley here. I’d throw together a Chamber match of Lacey Evans, Sasha Banks, Alexa Bliss, Nikki Cross, Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose. It might not be pretty. But you get down to Lacey and Sasha and have Lacey pick up the win.
Now I might over complicate it here, but I’m adding Sasha Banks to the match to and making it a triple threat match. You can start teasing dissension between Sasha and Bayley in the build up to the match. And Lacey has a backstory with both women. You can have Lacey Evans then overcome the odds at Wrestlemania, and maybe breakup Sasha and Bayley and go from there. Give Lacey a new challenger after Wrestlemania as well.
If you would have told me six months ago that I would be fully behind a Lacey Evans face turn I would have laughed in your face. But here we are in the lead up to Wrestlemania and I think she is the best thing going on Smackdown. While some credit goes to the WWE, I’m giving even more credit to Lacey Evans for fully embracing this role and proving a good amount of people wrong who doubted her. And that includes me.
Until Next Time,
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