With WrestleMania 37 in the can, we can all say that WWE did their best to put on their first live show after a year. Yes, a few hiccups along the way, but it was definitely a good offering, with a few great moments to add to the annals of WWE lore. But Bayley’s role and significant absence from the squared circle was certainly enough to turn a few Bayley fans off of the show overall, and for very good reason.
Is it the end of the “burial approach?”
The aforementioned Burial Approach, as I have always called it, is when management decides to bury a member of the roster, essentially have he or she job time after time and see if he or she has the gumption to make it back from even the lower echelons. WWE is famous for this approach and many have survived and overcome such a fate.
But my beef in this situation, is rarely have we seen someone of Bayley’s status get buried. And if you doubt that, I have one question: Was Steve Austin buried—ever—after getting the title?
To quote the great Rattlesnake: “Unh, Unh!”
So why should Bayley be dealt the treatment now after all she has done?
A meeting of the champs
The latest episode of NXT—the first of which in their new weekly time slot of Tuesdays at 8PM—showed the three reigning women’s champions, Raquel González (NXT), Bianca Belair (Smackdown), and Rhea Ripley (Raw) in what can be called a modern day curtain call, if you will, where all three stars joined in the NXT ring to share a moment of pride, happiness and accomplishment. After all, they are all three graduates of NXT and look how far they’ve come since leaving NXT for the main roster of the WWE brand.
They deserve their accomplishments as well as their version of the curtain call, as I think that all three of those women are top notch and they deserve an exceptional run.
But a tragedy has occurred regardless, and if the meeting of the three women in the ring was in fact done to show how quickly NXT stars can move up in the business, the WWE has also shown indirectly how those stars will be treated in the future, when they, the corporation itself, feels that their time has passed, or if they’re done with them.
Not for me.
Not for fans of Bayley.
After watching Mania, and even as early as the Royal Rumble back in January, it was in the air like a stink you just can’t find the source of. They had nowhere to go with her, nowhere to place her. And yet we are talking about a former Women’s champion, and one who has record-breaking accomplishments. That’s no way to treat someone who has done as much as she.
A look back
This is an athlete who has certainly paid her dues, as I’ve hopefully clarified. But even if it wasn’t written here in black and white, fans know…wrestling fans never forget. Case in point, I’m sure everybody remembers NXT Takeover Brooklyn, where she faced Sasha Banks. Talk about stealing the show.
Her career is the perfect storybook career, and now to review just a few basic points:
After starting out on the main roster, having successfully reigned supreme in NXT, she has since been Raw Women’s Champion, Smackdown Women’s Champion, rendering her the first-ever Triple Crown Champion/Grand Slam champion!
The Smackdown championship, she held for 380 days.
Enough said on this front? I certainly hope so.
What’s next on the horizon?
The sky is the limit. Just give her something to do. And besides, knowing her, I’m positive she has a zillion ideas already.
I more than understand giving chances to newer members of the roster, especially the talent pool over at NXT. But you can’t just discard of those that helped make NXT what it became. Look at Charlotte Flair…look at the chances she’s been given, is still getting. For the icons, for the soon-to-be-legends, like Bayley, there’s always room on the roster, or at least there should be. Undertaker didn’t have a title match for many years in his twilight, but his was still a rather prominent presence regardless. So, yeah, go ahead and give others a chance, but don’t forget who helped you get to the dance.
Instead of having her simply interrupt the hosts of WrestleMania (Hulk Hogan and Titus O’Neil), she more than deserved to be involved in a match of prominence on that card.
Hello, McFly!…or should I say, Ding Dong, McFly!
To paraphrase Chris Jericho, in what he told Steve Austin in the by now very popular sit down interview on The Broken Skull Sessions, he—like Bayley—sure doesn’t belong in the number two match.
So once again, to see the statement made by the three women’s champions on NXT this week, the lasting impression I had, watching that was … let’s see a few years down the line, when WWE is done with those three ladies, where they’ll be. Will they fare better than Bayley, and will Bayley be given the chances she deserves still, the chances she worked so hard for? Only time will tell.