Bayley and Sasha Banks

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Bayley and Sasha Banks
Sasha Banks (left) and Bayley (right)
Tag team
MembersBayley
Sasha Banks
Name(s)Bayley and Sasha Banks
The Boss 'n' Hug Connection
DebutJuly 24, 2016
Years active2016—present

Bayley and Sasha Banks are a professional wrestling tag team currently signed to WWE, performing on the SmackDown brand. From July 2018 to April 2019, they were known as The Boss 'n' Hug Connection. Bayley is the current WWE Smackdown Women's Champion in her second reign.

Bayley and Banks, which were already known as two of The Four Horsewomen and had occasionally teamed up since 2013, teamed-up for the first time on pay-per-view at Battleground on July 24, 2016, and became regular tag team partners in its afternath on house shows; they would remain only allies and occasional partners on-screen until December 2017, when their team-ups on Raw would become more prominent. Despite a storyline during 2018 involving the two of them facing relational issues both backstage and during matches, they became the inaugural WWE Women's Tag Team Champions at Elimination Chamber in February 2019. Although they went on a hiatus following their title loss at WrestleMania 35 in April due to inactivity by Banks, they reunited in September shortly after her return, this time as heels.

During their time as a tag team, both Bayley and Banks also held the WWE Raw Women's Championship once each, while Bayley held the WWE SmackDown Women's Championship twice.

History[edit]

Origins and occasional team-ups (2013-2016)[edit]

After years wrestling on the independent circuit for years, Bayley and Banks both signed with WWE in 2012, before debuting on the NXT brand later that year.[1] Their first occurrence teaming up was on a February 14, 2013 NXT house show in Tampa, Florida, in an unsuccessful effort against Audrey Marie and Charlotte.[2]

The two would only have matches as opponents from May 2013 to 2015, including for the NXT Women's Championship; during that period, the two, together with Charlotte and Becky Lynch, became known as The Four Horsewomen of NXT (and later only "The Four Horsewomen" or "The Four Horsewomen of WWE"), garnering popularity and recognition for elevating women's wrestling in WWE.[3] Banks won the NXT Women's Championship from Charlotte on February 11, 2015 at NXT TakeOver: Rival, in a Fatal 4-Way match also involving Bayley and Lynch; she would keep the title for 192 days before dropping it to Bayley at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn.[4] After the match, Sasha celebrated with Bayley and former rivals Becky Lynch and Charlotte.[5] The match was highly praised by critics and won Match of the Year at the NXT Year-End Awards. At NXT TakeOver: Respect on October 7, Banks was defeated by Bayley in the main event in the first women's 30-minute Iron man match in WWE history, losing two falls to three in what would be her last match in NXT, as she would soon be drafted to Raw.[6]

Formation and house shows (2016-2017)[edit]

A year later, while feuding with Charlotte and Dana Brooke, Sasha Banks announced a mystery partner for a match against her rivals at Battleground on July 24, 2016; at the event, the mystery partner was revealed to be Bayley, who teamed with Sasha Banks to defeat Charlotte and Brooke, in what was the duo's first on-screen team-up.[7] Although Bayley was still a member of the NXT roster at the time, she moved to Raw on August 22 after failing to re-capture the NXT Women's Championship at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II from Asuka, who had defeated her for the title at NXT TakeOver: Dallas on April 1.[8][9] She was introduced on Raw by General Manager Mick Foley as the new challenger for Charlotte's Raw Women's Championship.[10] Meanwhile, Bayley and Banks would become regular tag team partners partners on house shows via a three-way alliance with Alicia Fox which lasted from September 16, 2016 to February 5, 2017, during which the three mostly feuded with Flair, Brooke and Nia Jax in winning efforts.[11] [12] Although the two were still active as a tag team in house shows, this was presented as a mostly off-match alliance on-screen by WWE, although they still occasionally pair up on screen, notably at 2016's Survivor Series event during were both a part of Team Raw in the women's Survivor Series match against Team SmackDown, which they won with Bayley and Charlotte (now renamed Charlotte Flair) as the match's survivors.[13]

On the February 13, 2017 episode of Raw, Bayley defeated Flair for the WWE Raw Women's Championship with the help of Banks, later retaining it in a Fatal-4-Way elimination match against Banks, Flair and Jax at WrestleMania 33.[14][15] She would eventually loose it to Alexa Bliss at Payback.[16] Banks would then win the title at SummerSlam, only to loose it back to Bliss eight days later on the August 28, 2017 episode of Raw.[17][18]

The Boss 'n' Hug Connection and inaugural Women's Tag Team Champions (2017−2019)[edit]

At the end of 2017, Banks, Bayley and Mickie James started a feud with the debuting faction Absolution (Paige, Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville), who continuously attacked them.[19][20] That led to various singles[21] and tag team matches,[22] that were mostly won by Absolution.[23][24][25][26] At the Royal Rumble, Banks was the first entry in the first women's royal rumble match, and she eliminated Vickie Guerrero, Bayley and Trish Stratus, lasting 54:46, due to being outside the ring for most of that time, before being eliminated by The Bella Twins.[27] A few weeks later, both Bayley and Banks took part in the first ever women's elimination chamber match at the namesake pay-per-view, during which, after working together during the match, Banks pushed Bayley off a pod to help Alexa Bliss, the eventual winner, eliminate her.[28]

On the March 26 episode of Raw, after weeks of animosity between the two, including Bayley betraying Banks during their matches,[29][30] they brawled backstage and had to be separated.[31][32] Banks and Bayley faced off in mid-April but their match ended in a no-contest after The Riott Squad (Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan, and Liv Morgan) interfered and attacked them both.[33] In the following weeks, Banks competed in different singles[34] and tag team matches in both winning and losing efforts.[35][36] In June, after she defeated Ruby Riott in the finals of a gauntlet match for the last spot,[37][38] Banks competed for the first time in her career in a Money in the Bank ladder match, that was ultimately won by Alexa Bliss.[39] Throughout mid-2018, after Banks and Bayley continued to attack each other,[40][41] they were told to attend counsellor meetings to help maintain their friendship.[42][43][44] In July, the two reconciled resumed teaming up, dubbing themselves "The Boss 'n' Hug Connection".[45][46][47]

After a short hiatus from the ring due to an undisclosed injury, Banks returned to WWE television in October and took part in the first ever all women's pay–per–view Evolution, where she teamed with Bayley and Natalya in a winning effort against The Riott Squad.[48][49][50] In November, Banks again competed at Survivor Series as part of Team Raw, where she was the last woman from the team that was eliminated by Asuka after an attack by teammate Nia Jax.[51]

On February 17, at the Elimination Chamber, Banks and Bayley won the inaugural WWE Women's Tag Team Championship by lastly eliminating Mandy and Sonya in a six tag team Elimination Chamber match.[52] In their first title defense, Banks and Bayley successfully retained over Nia and Tamina, at Fastlane.[53] At WrestleMania 35, Banks and Bayley lost the championship to The IIconics (Billie Kay and Peyton Royce) in a fatal four-way tag team match after Kay pinned Bayley, ending their reign at 49 days.[54]

Heel turn and SmackDown (2019–present)[edit]

After WrestleMania, Banks would take a leave from WWE; although the reason was not addressed either by her or WWE, speculation from dirt sheets emerged that she was looking to quit the company due to her longstanding frustrations with WWE. Banks held the impression that she and Bayley were going to have a long title reign to bring credibility to the Women's Tag Team Championship, with the two allegedly not being informed until the last minute that they would be dropping the titles at WrestleMania.[55][56] This led Bayley to resume her activities as a singles wrestler, soon being drafted to SmackDown. She would go on to win the Money in the Bank ladder match at the Money in the Bank event, before cashing in against Flair later the same night and defeat her for the WWE SmackDown Women's Championship, which Flair herself had just won from Lynch; this also made Banks the first ever Women's Triple Crown Champion and Women's Grand Slam Champion in WWE history.[57][58]

Banks would return to WWE on the August 12 episode of Raw as a heel, defeating and then attacking Natalya and donning a new blue hairstyle.[59] On the September 2 episode of Raw, while Banks was attacking her future Clash of Champions opponent Becky Lynch with a chair, Bayley appeared to interfere, only to attack Lynch with the chair herself, turning heel for the first time in her career and reuniting her tag team with Banks (although they would not use the "Boss 'n' Hug Connection" monicker anymore); as Banks was still a member of Raw, the duo appeared on both Raw and SmackDown.[60] At Hell in a Cell, Bayley lost the SmackDown Women's Championship to Charlotte Flair, but regained it five days later on SmackDown; on the same night, Banks was drafted to SmackDown, making both part of same brand again.[61][62]

On December 1 at Starrcade, the duo performed in a Fatal 4-Way Tag team match for the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship (their first attempt at recapturing the title since loosing it on March 25), but the match was won by defending champions The Kabuki Warriors (Asuka and Kairi Sane).[63]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]