In WWE, Bayley is the gold standard for women’s performers. But her wrestling career could soon be coming to a close if statistical data and current booking decisions are any indication.
Renowned for her ring awareness, generosity with other performers, and roll-with-the-punches attitude, Bayley has come a long way since bursting onto the NXT scene in 2012 after four years on the independent circuit.
Born Pamela Rose Martinez in June of 1989, she got her start in professional wrestling at the age of 19 and quickly forged a path performing as Luchadora and Davina Rose to the doors of the WWE.
Her gimmick in NXT was that of a power-of-positivity fangirl, but it slowly developed into a hybrid of Hulk Hogan and John Cena in the body of a five-feet-six-inch, 119-pound woman.
Fans have hung with her through the early days when there were a lot of losses, and they adopted her as a main event performer after her now legendary battles with Sasha Banks while still in NXT.
Since debuting on the main roster, there have been some bumps in the road, but she has still managed to become a top draw, finally capturing the Raw Women’s Championship from Charlotte Flair on the Feb. 13 episode.
Unfortunately, Bayley fans may not be getting to see their favorite women’s superstar in the ring for very much longer if you look at the numbers, current booking, and her own aspirations.
The Average Lifespan of a WWE Women’s Performer
Bayley was an integral talent in the so-called “Divas Revolution,” which gave way to the more appropriate “Women’s Revolution.” She, Charlotte, Sasha Banks, and Becky Lynch, earned the title of the Four Horsewomen.
But statistical analyses have been done on just how long a female performer typically stays in the game. According to a special report from PWTorch in 2015, the median length of a WWE woman performer’s career is 57 months or 4.75 years.
Being a median, some performers last much longer than that while others burn out in a shorter amount of time.
Bayley has had staying power, so it is only natural she has already beaten that average. However, she is also close to 10 years in the business and at five with the WWE.
While you shouldn’t expect her to retire after WrestleMania 33, it is clear time is starting to become a factor. But that isn’t the only factor at play here.
Current Bayley Booking Isn’t Favorable
Vince McMahon is known for preferring physique and athleticism (i.e. having the “right look”) over in-ring performance.
Yes, you’ve got to be able to “go,” but Vince allows more leeway for superstars, who possess a superhuman look even if they’re not that skilled in the ring.
Bayley has the in-ring ability. No question of that. But from an aesthetic point-of-view, she doesn’t look like the kind of competitor, who could be credible against the likes of Charlotte, Nia Jax, or even Dana Brooke.
The negative booking of Sasha Banks, who has suffered high-profile defeats to Charlotte and an utter rag-dolling at the hands of Nia Jax, is an indication this mindset is still a factor for undersized performers to deal with, and it extends to Bayley.
On the go-home edition of Raw, she and Sasha together were destroyed by Nia, and Bayley ate the pin.
With common intentions of exposing Sasha and Bayley for what they truly are, us a duo shouldn’t be surprising. However, also like Char’, I— pic.twitter.com/4O3TmqcwJf
— Nia Jax. (@GreatlyForceful) February 28, 2017
Going beyond that, WWE chose to put the title on Bayley during the Feb. 13 edition of Raw, a program the company knows to be struggling in ratings, instead of their more widely watched special events (aka monthly pay-per-views).
The championship “win” for Bayley was, in other words, buried instead of exalted as the payoff to a storyline as the company prefers to do for performers it is pushing. (Think the Daniel Bryan gauntlet win over Triple H, Batista, and Randy Orton at WM30.)
While the plans are not clear on what Bayley will be doing at WrestleMania this year, it’s unlikely WWE is building her to some grand “WrestleMania moment.”
Bayley Would Rather Be Behind the Scenes
The good news for those of you who love Bayley is that she was pretty much aware of the life cycle of a WWE performer going in, and that’s why she started to distinguish herself early as someone whose talents go beyond the ring.
In 2015, she began to take on a more active role with production and behind-the-scenes work.
Sometimes when you’re not on the show, is when you learn the most. pic.twitter.com/EfbVkO7uR4
— Bayley (@itsBayleyWWE) November 10, 2015
She has also set ego aside to help develop performers like Jax and Alexa Bliss.
But what do you think, readers? Is Bayley heading toward in-ring retirement, or does she still have a few years left between the posts? Sound off in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by WWE]