Bayley: The Most Disappointing Wrestler of 2017 (So Far)

Discussion in '[Hidden] World Wrestling Entertainment' started by Wildcat66, Jun 14, 2017.

  1. Wildcat66

    Wildcat66 DELETE!

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    I think it's safe to say that Bayley's main roster run will likely go down as the biggest disappointment of 2017, especially considering where she was before and the fanbase she once had.

    There she was, the most beloved babyface; not just in NXT, but all of WWE. She was the NXT womens champion everyone loved and related to, and everyone knew that she would inevitably reach the main roster.

    So...what happened?

    I think it's something that I feel is a common trend with some NXT call-ups, WWE got so excited with what Bayley was doing and the response they were giving her and they figured, if they brought her up and slotted her right in the title picture early on, they'd make millions knowing that the IWC and casuals both would take interest to her.

    Needless to say, it has not panned out. And now, her momentum has seriously eroded. In fact, and this is a growing worry I have; I fear if things don't change soon, Bayley will end up being the new Paige. (just, without the scandal) They both came in with a lot of hype, and a lot of promise, but because of questionable decisions in their booking, character or otherwise; they lost all their momentum and never fully recovered.

    Now, it's not all doom and gloom. Bayley's career is far from over and she has plenty of time to recover, just because someone is on a downward patch doesn't mean they can't be fixed. Jinder Mahal and Elias Sampson are perfect examples of it. And in defense of her interview with Corey, it did seem like they were going to try a different direction with her. (If you tilt your head and squint hard)

    It will however be difficult and may include some sacrifices, as someone who likes to stay optimistic, i'm hopeful that Bayley can at least regain half of the aura she had back in NXT. But I guess that's something we'll have to wait until December of this year to find out.
     
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  2. comrade_mario

    comrade_mario Mid-Card Championship Winner

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    I think this is just a problem all NXT call ups face. Down there they wrestle maybe once or twice a month on TV and so are never overexposed. We really want to get to the PPVs to see them in a top of the bill match wrestling for a title. That goes for Zayn, Nakamura, Sacha, Bayley and just about more of the call-ups.

    On Raw and Smackdown they're wrestling every week, either in thrown together tag matches or doing 50/50 booking with their opponent of the month and it just wears thin pretty quickly. Same with everyone else in the company. You can get away with, like the Attitude Era did, if the company is on fire creatively as the storylines will cover for the repetition in the ring. But WWE creatively has been pretty awful for years now and in-ring is all they can rely on.

    I've been a fan for near 30 years now and I honestly have never been more concerned about the company than I am now. It just stinks. It has been years of stagnation and nothing seems to be going right or turning around. I mean, the lull during the New Generation in the business lasted at max 5 years (I enjoyed the New Generation though) but WWE has been on the downward spiral for about a decade now.
     
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  3. Wildcat66

    Wildcat66 DELETE!

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    Eh, I wouldn't go that far. But then again, i'd like to consider myself a glass half full type of person who prefers to see how things play out before making a judgement.
     
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  4. Jack-Hammer

    Jack-Hammer YOU WILL RESPECT MY AUTHORITAH!!!!
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    I haven't been ecstatic about Bayley's time on the main roster as a whole, but I look at it from a different perspective. When it comes to the NXT call ups, there are often two types of threads created, depending on the situation: there are threads that criticize WWE for not pushing someone immediately due to Vince being out of touch or threads that criticize WWE for pushing someone too quickly if the OP feels the wrestler hasn't been used right by Vince. I'm not running the OP down or anything, it's just that I've seen threads like this regarding almost, not all but most, everyone that's been called up from NXT. There've been one or two about Samoa Joe, I'm sure there'll be one or two in the near future about Nakamura if he doesn't win MITB this Sunday or get his hands on a championship soon, there'll be some about Asuka when she finally hits the main roster and so on and so forth.

    That's not to say that mistakes haven't been made with Bayley, because there have been, but I also think that, as internet fans, we very much tend to overestimate whenever things are bad and to underestimate when things are good. I'm guilty of this sometimes as is just about everyone else that posts in these or any other wrestling forums, just check out Mario's post for a good example. In the long run, Bayley will be fine. She's still a fan favorite, fans light up whenever she comes out and things will be right as rain with her when she lands in a program that she has undeniable chemistry with. For instance, if/when her feud with Sasha Banks goes down, it could potentially be a show stealer.
     
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  5. LBGetBack

    LBGetBack Championship Contender

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    Yeah, stagnant is a good word. It's just incredibly boring. I stopped watching the weekly shows probably 6 months ago, but I would still check online to read about what happened on the shows. I don't even really do much of that anymore. I'm PPV only. There's just too much wrestling on TV to the point where it feels like nothing matters.
     
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  6. Wildcat66

    Wildcat66 DELETE!

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    That's something I've actually noticed within the IWC. Not just smarks or anti-smarks, but normal wrestling fans as well. This is why I like to wait and see how something plays out before I make a judgement, because something that seems bad right now might turn out to be the best decision a month later.

    BTW, I'm pretty guaranteeing that if Shinsuke loses the MiTB match, people are gonna start ringing the alarm bells and saying he's buried.
     
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  7. The Perfect Max

    The Perfect Max I Am Jericho

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    The problem isn't necessarily Bayley or the booking, but perhaps it is our understanding of who the Bayley character is supposed to be. I've been critical of Bayley for a while now, principally due to the incredibly stagnant writing and booking which has forced her into the corner of "I'm a WWE fan and that's it" kinda thing. It never changes from week to week and it has become bland and boring quite honestly. My perception of her has changed quite significantly since NXT, but having said that, was I, the young male adult, ever supposed to be the key demographic that the Bayley character was aimed at? No is the obvious answer, and it seems that the key audience for Bayley hasn't yet changed their opinion on her. Kids still cheer for her whenever she arrives and she's still a prominent figure on Raw. I do think she was brought up at a very odd time last year and then was pushed at an equally random time, but that doesn't change her usefulness to the roster.

    Ultimately, Bayley hasn't changed that much from her days in NXT and so it has become quite the interesting phenomenon that so many people have soured on her. I admit that I am one of them, but I think we must all realise eventually that she is serving her purpose right now, and I suspect that once she gets out of this rut, she will be fine. Just like Finn Bálor will eventually be fine, just like Samoa Joe, right now, is doing just fine. Hopefully it doesn't get to a Dolph Ziggler point of no return, and I doubt that, with the options they have with all the women, that Bayley will get to that point.
     
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  8. Wildcat66

    Wildcat66 DELETE!

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    I think at the end of the day, Bayley was meant to be for kids and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. What happened was that, like with most things in NXT; the older demographic gradually fell in love with her, if not faster than the kids ever did.
     
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  9. George Steele's Barber

    George Steele's Barber Advertise Here $9.95/month

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    Agreed. I've been highly critical of Bayley since probably about the time she won the title. I don't watch NXT so the only thing I saw from her was one of her Sasha Takeover matches on YouTube before she was called up. It was excellent, the IWC kept raving about it and even without much history and context I was still able to thoroughly enjoy that match.

    When she first arrived on the main roster, similar to Sasha after her call up, Bayley was kind of a ghost. It was terrific to see her called up, there is something about the joy and uniqueness that she brought to the show with her look and color. But soon the disappearing/"being held back" story didn't work the same way it worked for Sasha. I think people forgot about her or were at least apathetic. They were more focused on what Charlotte and Sasha were doing and Bayley didn't get the support that "held back" newly called up Sasha got during the Divas Revolution storyline. Once she was put in the title scene, the fans felt cheated by her winning the title so quickly and without much of a story beyond "this is my dream". It wasn't what was expected and frankly wasn't a story that lived up to what fans wanted for Bayley. She may have needed to fail more and wait longer. Maybe we needed to start to believe that Vince was holding her back because she was pretty enough.

    Her title reign just made things worse. She was exposed as a terrible actress. Her character made sense but the repetition and simplicity made her kind of feel like a stupid person. That's a good thing when you are a monster or Eugene but not a plucky role model. She was the least interesting competitor in her Mania title match that she won.

    And although I am being highly critical, I'm not going to say she stinks. I'm not that down on her. It's just that her and WWE have made some real head scratching moves. I liked her interview on Monday and I like that she disappeared for a week before. There was something different about her during the interview, the hug at the end was creepy instead of heartwarming. Maybe there is something new happening here. I would welcome that. It would make sense after the way they booked her to lose creatively at Extreme Rules. Maybe she can come back by turning on Sasha and taking on a role where she wants to be more like Alexa. She assumes the role of Alexa's lackey so she can learn how to be a "stronger" woman.

    But yes, she is the most disappointing wrestler of 2017 at this point but the year is only half way over so Bray Wyatt still has plenty of time to keep his streak alive.
     
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  10. Wildcat66

    Wildcat66 DELETE!

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    Wrestling to me is 50% character, 50% wrestling. As a wrestler, Bayley is solid and has good psychology to her matches; but as an actress? She comes off as...well, I don't want to say bad. At best, she's slightly awkward but clearly passionate; at worst? She's very stilted and bland.

    NXT and WWE have completely different writers, that is an understatement. A great script can help elevate someone who doesn't have good mic skills, but at the end of the day; if you can't turn chicken shit into chicken salad, you're in trouble.

    Maybe that's why Bayley stayed in NXT for so long, they wanted to see if Bayley's microphone skills would get better. In fact, I actually looked at a really early Bayley promo with A.J Lee back in 2013; she felt very stilted in her delivery even back then.

    Then again, the character of Bayley is possibly the easiest character in all of wrestling history so it's likely there was no way she could flop in the role even if she didn't try...

    But...would that mean the only reason Bayley got popular was...her character?

    I...I need to think this through for a moment.
     
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  11. Navi

    Navi With the safety off!!

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    I don't hate Bayley, but I'm not her biggest fan either. Personally I think she is kind of boring and definitely doesn't have any of the edge the other girls have. Not to mention her finisher is one of the weakest in the division.

    I was watching Bring it to the Table with JBL and Corey Graves last night, and Graves said when she was in NXT it was a license to print money. All the girls would show up dressed as her and the WWE loved it. JBL on the other hand was a little sour on her, saying that not all gimmicks translate well in the bigger arena's. He didn't think that the "This is Your Life" segment would harm her as he was in some stinkers himself, but it was just her character that would do her in.

    Bayley's character to me anyway is very one dimensional. She's the kid who loved the WWE and wanted to become a WWE superstar. Okay now she's done that, time to change it up a bit as it will only take her so far. So long story short, if she could show more layers it would help her along. I'm just afraid that they won't let her do it though.
     
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  12. Vanilla Midget

    Vanilla Midget Registered Suplex Offender

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    Getting fed to Alexa didn't help her. Both Raw and SDL and pretty weak in the heel department right now. Who's the next biggest heel after Bliss? Naya? Jax has been basically working as a tweener.

    Emma has been hurt, Alexa can't be top heel forever, so who's next? Bayley can get back on track, but she needs a foil. Remember the classic match Bayley and Sasha had at NXT Brooklyn?

    It seems pretty clear that it's time to turn Sasha heel. She's doing nothing as a face, working a mediocre 205 Live angle that isn't getting anyone over. Turn Naya face and have her go after a reunited Emma and Dana Brooke.

    Sasha vs Bayley could be a top women feud even without the belt. Naya and Mickie could go after the belt while Banks and Bayley can have a blood feud which can later have the title introduced.

    Bayley's booking has been abysmal. The way other characters have been talking about her has been atrocious. Kurt Angle should not have been burying the this is your life segment the way that he did, he's a babyface for crying out loud.

    Turn Banks heel, it'll solve so many problems and freshen up a very stale division with a big change. Start having other characters talk about Bayley as if she's a tough customer, and not a big loser.
     
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  13. Kodo Sawaki

    Kodo Sawaki Championship Contender

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    Not everyone transition so well. Charlotte came as someone who would probably be after Sasha and Bayley in terms of everything. But she transitioned well and now is maybe best there is to offer. Alexa wasnt even NXT Champion. But she got her game upped. By the time Bayley came along from her NXT run you already had Charlotte and Sasha on top of their game and Alexa building a name. Also, booking didnt help at all. How much until she mainevented and beat Charlotte? Few months? You cant build somebody as underdog like that. She had to crawl and scratch for opportunity and fail quite a few times and they put her in main spot right away in division where they got 4 women there. She isnt Cena, she was maybe big deal in NXT but she had to upped her game a lot from NXT so she could hang in there. And she just didnt adapted that well as others. So its just more factors that didnt go by her hand at all. Which doesnt mean that she would fail. In Divisiion where you have maybe 2 or 3 main players and she is one of them, she would get another opportunity. Question is would she grab it.
     
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  14. OYDK

    OYDK King Of The Ring

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    I would agree with this. Big Bayley fan but she hasn't been able to transition well from NXT to Raw for a number of reasons, not the least of which has been that her character has been poorly managed from the start. Navi mentioned that Bayley's character is one-dimensional but that's only because creative has made her character one-dimensional. In NXT she, more than anyone else, was the anti-Diva. She didn't wear revealing clothes or flaunt her sexuality, she routinely mentioned that she wanted women in the WWE to be valued for what they do in the ring rather than how attractive they are, she was incorruptible at heart, and above all, she was the ultimate underdog who had to claw her way to the top over a very long stretch of time. Fans didn't automatically flock to Bayley in NXT, it took a while-- but because it was done right, when they did get behind her, they got behind her huge.

    On Raw, she's anything but the underdog. She consistently beat the best the division had to offer in Charlotte and became champ within 6 months of debuting. Like most things WWE does, they shoved the "this was my dream since I was a baby" angle down the throats of the audience and when it wasn't working, they force-fed them it anyway. And the way she's scripted to talk makes her seem like she's mentally deficient. All that being said, it's not all on management. Bayley herself hasn't been able to find a way to endear herself to the larger audience either. Her matches have been average, her delivery has been really bad, and she legitimately looks nervous out there at times. So has she been a disappointment so far? I would say yes.

    Still, this sort of thread (nothing against OP because he actually has a point) has been made with pretty much every single NXT call-up in like, history. There was one for Charlotte, Sasha, Becky, Nakamura, Joe, Balor, etc, etc, etc. and all have been just fine so far. This isn't the end of the world for Bayley. I have confidence that by this time next year she will have cemented herself as one of the top women of the division. Her transition will probably just take a little bit longer than others.
     
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  15. ShinChan

    ShinChan Gone. For. Good.

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    Can't blame Bayley for this. Her booking has totally screwed her character & gimmick. What made Bayley successful in NXT? Awesome underdog booking. Not just because it was NXT. But because the booking actually made sense considering her character.

    Don't know why but can't see her recovering anytime soon.
     
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  16. Jack-Hammer

    Jack-Hammer YOU WILL RESPECT MY AUTHORITAH!!!!
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    Looking over some of the responses and thinking about some other aspects of Bayley, I do agree with some of the overall negatives. Bayley's underdog character is one that works well for a smaller scale like NXT partially because we didn't see or hear from her basis. The character is sort of one dimensional, however, and that's really how it is with any persona that's based around being super nice and an underdog; there's really only so far you can go with such a character before it gets repetitive and redundant in a lot of ways.

    Something that's also been mentioned, something that I've meant to bring up a lot of times before but it always slipped my mind, is Bayley has what might be the weakest finisher since Santino Marella's "Cobra" in the "Bayley to Belly" Suplex; it just looks incredibly, incredibly weak when you just look at various throws, suplexes and slams from Big E., Becky, Charlotte, Nia Jax, that Sit Out Spinebuster Lana used on Naomi looked killer.

    I thought GSB brought up a good point with her interview on Raw this past Monday. I got a different vibe from Bayley, sort of a message that suggested that her character MIGHT be headed in a darker direction. Her hug with Corey Graves felt...I dunno, just kinda "wrong" I think? Graves sold it well in that he seemed extremely uncomfortable and that coupled with Bayley's declaration that she'll keep on being "herself" and that she's not there to hurt people has me wondering if they're eventually going for a "creepy kid" sort of thing with her, maybe with a dash of AJ Lee's "crazy chick" persona added to the mix. She'd seem her normally sweet, wholesome self but suddenly morphs into this vicious psycho that tears her opponent up, screaming her head off and maybe finishing everything off by suddenly calming down, going back to being smiley and friendly, maybe even creeping everyone out by wanting a hug from the ref or ring announcer after she's beaten someone up, etc. I may well be reading way too much into things, but I just sensed some sort of change in Bayley going forward.
     
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  17. Aeon Mathix

    Aeon Mathix Has Ascended

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    She will be fine. Women are able to bounce back a lot easier than men simply because they have only one title to fight for and history shows WWE doesn't know how to do anything with the ones that aren't fighting for a title. Also consider the fact that there are about 5 women on each "division" on both shows, it's too easy to build someone up as a contender just due to process of elimination.

    I agree Bayley was mishandled horribly, but take into account who on Raw was there to be in the Women's Title picture? Charlotte and Sasha had about 50 matches between them from Summerslam to about January simply because there was no one else that could have been in title matches. Nia Jax and Dana? As if. They needed to freshen it up just a little and unfortunately Bayley had just come up after Charlotte and Sasha ended their neverending rematch clause feud.

    Bayley can be saved easily however. Just start a losing streak where she questions if she is able to compete at this level anymore. She hits rock bottom and maybe someone encourages her or have a little fan come up to her in the back while shes crying and have her tell her how much she believes in Bayley and is the reason she fights everyday. This lights a fire under Bayley and she cuts some easy promos about doing this for all little girls like her out there and starts winning matches, wins a big number one contender match for WrestleMania where Sasha is champion. They have a classic and Bayley wins and has a stipulation if she doesn't then she will quit or go back to NXT. Almost like how Sami Zayn's NXT story went.

    Underdogs are the easiest characters to book in wrestling. Sami Zayn's story, Daniel Bryan's story whatever weren't crazy unimaginable stories. They simply had the aura of being held back and were putting on great matches but never getting anywhere with them. Something everyone can relate to when it comes to working hard every day at their job but never getting noticed. Wrestling fans love to live through these characters we see on TV and it's the ones we can connect with that rise to the top. Bayley will be no exception.
     
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  18. AnthonyM4

    AnthonyM4 Getting Noticed By Management

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    Most disappointing wrestler of 2017? She won the women's title, ended Charlotte's ppv winning streak, and successfully defended the title at wrestlemania! Not bad if you ask me. After wrestlemania her booking hasn't been the best, but maybe there will be a payoff to all this. They booked Daniel Bryan poorly after Summerslam 2013, but he won the wwe title in the main event of wrestlemania 30. Unlike Bryan though, the fans have seemingly turned on Bayley which is a shame! It's not her fault she's been booked badly since wrestlemania! She's still my favorite wrestler since 2015. Loved her work in NXT and she could be that good if wwe let her on the main roster.
     
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  19. LBGetBack

    LBGetBack Championship Contender

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    Bryan had some phenomenal matches, had developed something the fans loved(the yes! chants) and was seen as being held down.

    Bayley, while a good wrestler, has not really had any memorable matches on the main roster yet, hasn't gotten over with the main roster fans yet, and already won the title and had a several month reign. She has t been "screwed", if anything she was hotshotted to the title way too quickly. Apples and oranges for why the fans were behind Bryan and aren't behind Bayley.

    And I agree, this isn't really her fault. Maybe they are booking her like this now to build sympathy for her much like they did for Bryan when he lost in 20 seconds or whatever to Sheamus(Bayley getting absolutely dominated by Alexa Bliss in every single encounter is similar)? We'll see. They botched her so far, but it's certainly not over for her. she's a good wrestler who showed in NXT that she can get over. Give her a good angle and if she puts on some strong matches, and she'll be fine.
     
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  20. Wildcat66

    Wildcat66 DELETE!

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    A road to redemption storyline to me is the best idea for Bayley, have her go on a losing streak, how her doubt herself, hit rock bottom, then something happens that makes her recover.

    Another idea suggested by GSB is that she could be the second coming of AJ Lee, going insane with each passing second. I wouldn't mind that.
     
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  21. LoudClearVoice

    LoudClearVoice Mid-Card Championship Winner

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    Alexa Bliss blew up really quickly and that is the immediate issue, IMO. I think Bayley's character was played out in NXT and the NXT audience and WWE audience is different. Trying the same underdog/fangirl gimmick didn't catch on with the more mainstream audience.

    Back to Alexa though, here's the problem.... Alexa got pushed hard and she ran with it and rose to the top. So, she was the top girl on Smackdown and arguably in WWE. WWE seemed to be teasing a Sasha heel turn and feud with Bayley. When they switched up Alexa and Charlotte, they couldn't put Alexa in a secondary feud on RAW so she jumped right ahead of Bayley and the presumed Sasha-Bayley feud. Rather than burying both Bayley and Sasha, they could have had Alexa in the title picture and sasha bayley as a secondary feud.
     
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  22. The Gribbler

    The Gribbler Gribble me this, Gribble me that...

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    Okay, for mine this was a booking problem.

    1st you had the hill to climb, overcoming the odds and becoming womans champion. Instead of leaving that star making moment to Wrestlemania, they do it at a nothing RAW for no apparent reason without appropriate build.

    Then you have the breaking of Charlottes PPV streak. Which instead of doing at Wrestlemania, they did at the pissy PPV just before Mania that fuck all people watched.

    Then you have some throwaway fatal 4 way where Bayley beats her biggest adversaries. All of this should have happened at once. To make her look like a star on the biggest stage I think could have made all the difference.
     
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  23. Wildcat66

    Wildcat66 DELETE!

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    Alexa was white hot on SmackDown, and in a way is still hot today; i'm guessing Vince saw what she was doing on SmackDown and immediately saw money in her, maybe more than he ever did with Bayley.
     
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  24. enviousdominous

    enviousdominous Behold my diction

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    I think that the WWE is trying to appeal to many different fanbases all at once, and thus some fans will feel alienated by how certain wrestlers are used.

    I don't know how Bayley feels about how the WWE has been making her look weak, or even if she sees it that way. I'm sure that some performers are just satisfied to be on tv with a gimmick that sells shirts.

    Bayley is playing a character who just can't cross the blurry line that separates fighting your opponent fairly and using weapons even if she's in a match where use of weapons are permitted. I imagine that this endears her to happy households where if they witness a remotely evil act perpetrated on tv they'll quickly change the channel back to the Disney channel. Bayley might lose all the time, but she didn't lose her spirit or some bullshit.

    I think that Bayley would do well if she took some time off and did one of those anti-bullying tours of elementary schools. Maybe have her as a surprise entrant in a Survivor Series women's tag match just to give the rest of us some time to miss her a little bit.
     
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  25. THTRobtaylor

    THTRobtaylor Once & Future Wrestlezone Columnist

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    She's not doing badly at all... you get a turn, but it's not a long one these days... that's the reality of life as a champion in WWE... it gets changed up far quicker than it ever did... if you get a solid 3 months, you've done well.

    Bayley as a gimmick is in the same situation that Adam Rose was when coming up from NXT... the smaller scale and relative freshness of the gimmick in that setting was what got them over and the "smarks" interested to be chanting "this is awesome" etc...

    The problem is, by definition, those gimmicks are the ones people hate most on the main roster... and are almost now conditioned to thanks to Cena and Roman...

    Bayley on the main roster is going to be as dull and hated as Cena endlessly playing "goody two shoes" or Reigns trying to be the babyface hero... The sad thing is the gimmick does fit Bayley far better than it ever did either of those two guys... but they've ruined it for everyone...

    When WWE has used women in that role before, like Molly, there's normally a wrinkle to it that makes them a heel...even when it's the guys like Kurt Angle or the Right To Censor who are being "whiter than white" they were heels.

    For a face "goody two shoes" who isn't being a heel, at least under the radar, there aren't too many great stories they can have... it's either an underdog chase/redemption arc, which they've done or... the obvious relationship angle... perhaps that's where her "acting" would be exposed most... it's also quite awkward to play the whole "Never Been Kissed" angle they seem to want to go when she is known to have a boyfriend off-screen (and gay as a lot of morons seem to assume.)

    Pretty much any other story forces her to become slightly heel in some way, which they don't want...

    Is it unfair? perhaps as Bayley IS great at what she does... but while everyone saw Charlotte being a star (and getting more leeway cos of her lineage) and Sasha and Becky being the big names when they were all in NXT, people forgot Alexa was there... Her rise has been a bittersweet thing for WWE... they now have a cracking heel for their women's divisions... but their big face hope seems to be the casualty of that... they can't push Alexa as a strong heel for the future AND Bayley as the face version at the same time... they've chosen Alexa, rightly in my view as there's more potential for stories...

    The way to get Bayley back on track is to bring back Molly Holly, or at the outside Beth Phoenix as a manager/mentor who encourages her to fight/gains her trust and then turns on her, a bit like Karate Kid 3. That would give Bayley a reason to become tougher/more ruthless as a character and have more of an edge to her career going forward... fool me once etc...
     
    #25
    Wildcat66 likes this.

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