WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion Bianca Belair has thanked Bayley for being there “every step of the way” during her fairytale 2021.

In a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, Belair elaborated on how Bayley prepared her for her Royal Rumble and WrestleMania victories, and then helped kickstart her title reign in April.

“She’s been there every step of the way for me until now,” Belair said. “She gave me momentum going into the Royal Rumble, we came full circle after WrestleMania, and she helped show the SmackDown universe who I am. She brought out a whole new side of me at Hell in a Cell.

“Fighting Bayley after winning the title at WrestleMania was perfect. I’ve been very fortunate to work with her. She has contributed to so much of my success. She’s made me better, and I’m going to carry that forward and carry that through.”

With Bayley expected to miss 9 months of action due to a torn ACL, Belair stressed that there would be a void in the WWE locker room.

“Bayley is a locker room leader, and an amazing person inside and out,” Belair said. “I’ve watched and learned from her, the way she handles situations and adapts so easily and quickly. She has the ability to make things look so easy.

“We’re going to miss her so much while she’s out. She’s a legend in the making, but she does so much more than just make it about herself. She gives and contributes so much to the locker room.”

On last week’s SmackDown, Belair defeated Carmella to retain her title. She is rumored to face a returning Sasha Banks in a WrestleMania rematch at the SummerSlam pay-per-view.

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