I’m a Shrugger: I Don’t Get Bayley

A common refrain across the internet is that WWE has “messed up” with Bayley. This is a universally accepted narrative in professional wrestling. Bayley is MONEY. How does WWE not see that?! The kids should love her! She’s so likable! I find this to be unequivocally false.

To invoke the legendary Vincent K. McMahon, Vince didn’t screw Bayley.

Bayley screwed Bayley.

The “Cowboy” Bob Scale does not lie. I have written about this in a previous blog. I have developed a way to rate wrestlers on a 10 scale, by Look, Promo and In-Ring ability. Some say Bret Hart invented this, but nobody can prove he came up with it before me.

I have also stated that in order to be a credible champion, you need a combined score of 23 CB. Where do I arrive at 23? You need at least an average of an 8 in 2 categories, and I’ll let you slide with a 7 in a third. So lets see how Bayley stacks up.

Look: 2

Looks matter. It’s what somebody is going to see the moment you walk through the curtain. To get the objective stuff out of the way, I don’t think Bayley is an attractive woman. I’m sorry.

Out of all of the women on the roster, I think she’s only prettier than Tamina, who is pushing 40 and looks like your angry aunt at the family barbecue.

I’m sure the guy in the XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXL “Hug Life” shirt loves her because she looks “attainable”, but whatever. The common fan would not look twice at Bayley if Mandy Rose or Sonya Deville walked by.

But hey, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And the “Look” category should NOT be confused with “Attractiveness”. For example, Nia Jax gets a 10 for look. Do I think Nia Jax is gorgeous? No, but she has a look to her that stands out instantly.

Besides attractiveness, Bayley literally looks like a mentally challenged adult who was allowed to come out on Raw for a Make-a-Wish. I’m sorry, but it’s true. She runs out with her tassles and her wacky inflatable tube men and it’s just not a character. She looks foolish.

Promo: 1

Bayley is raw sewage on the microphone. Absolute, pure trash. I won’t argue this.

Remember the God-awful “I don’t know why you’re booing. This is for the people not booing” incident? Remember when she came out to interrupt Alexa and started off with “I’m—uhh—so sorry—to apologize.” WTF?

Bayley shows no passion for promo or character. She acts as if this is the part of the business that she hates doing, and she wishes she could just get to the wrestling already. She reminds me of that scene in A Beautiful Mind when Russell Crowe says to the beautiful woman at the bar “I know that you’ve made aggressive looks towards me and it indicates you find me attractive. I know there are certain things I have to say in order for us to sleep together, but I don’t know what to say, so can we just skip to the sex?”

While Crowe has a great point, that’s not going to cut it on Raw.

This business is centered on look and promo. The Rock wasn’t putting on 5 star Gargano vs Cole classics with Stone Cold, but their characters made for 5 star entertainment in its own right, in its own way.

There’s a reason why Alexa Bliss, who can’t hold a candle to Bayley in the ring, is a 5 time Women’s Champion with nearly 3 times the amount of title reigns as Bayley. Alexa is entertaining, Bayley is not.

In-Ring: 9

Now here’s where Bayley shines. She’s a fantastic in-ring performer. She can absolutely go toe to toe with the elites like Charlotte Flair and Sasha Banks, and can elevate a lesser wrestler (the Nia Jaxes of the world) to a watchable match.

Hell, the woman got a fucking belly-to-belly suplex over as a finisher! Good for her. It’s a pleasure to watch her matches.

Also, here’s the kicker – she can show personality in the ring! Some of her best moments are in the legendary Sasha Banks NXT Takeover matches when it’s No-More-Ms.-Wacky-Inflatable-Tubemen-Bayley and she summons her inner nastiness to kick the living crap out of Sasha, not unlike Forrest Gump summoning power to beat up that hippie who slapped Jenny.

One of her best moments the past year was her impromptu “You’re not shit, Sasha!” on Raw. She just can’t seem to make the transition from in-ring personality to microphone personality, and it’s a key distinction.

However, unfortunately for Bayley, wrestling isn’t making you a megastar in wrestling. Cesaro gets a 9 in the ring, and Cesaro has never been a world champion for a reason.

“Cowboy” Bob Scale Rating

This leaves Bayley with a 12, which is not championship material.

For comparison, Alexa Bliss, Bayley’s opponent this Sunday at WWE Stomping Grounds live on the WWE Network where it’s time to kick ass and take names, scores the following:

A 10 for look, a 10 for promo, and a 4 in-ring. A total score of 24, which makes for a credible and deserving World Champion.

Alexa Bliss isn’t going to make Dave Meltzer cream his pants for a 6 star Tokyo Dome rating, and nobody is going to be leaving the arena talking about the match psychology masterclass that Bliss put on, but she sure is going to look good on The Today Show and the MTV Movie Awards, and she will be who stands out.

The Booking

Some make a fair point that her booking is bad. Okay…whose booking is “good” other than Brock Lesnar?

People get put in awful situations with terrible dialogue. WWE is not exactly a fucking Vincent Gilligan one hour drama. Alexa is being booked with a cup of coffee every week. Nattie had a farting gimmick, for Christ’s sake.

Look at Carmella. Booked like a complete joke. Literally the last pick in the brand split draft. But what does Carmella do? Out of the main event scene, she latches onto James Ellsworth and R-Truth. She understands value. She realizes what will get her on TV and to use what she’s got.

The true greats overcome bad booking. And the true greats are usually your champion.

Look at Daniel Bryan, the internet darling of 2014. Start and stop pushes. Squash losses. Left out of the Royal Rumble altogether. As hard as WWE even intentionally tried to suppress him, he overcame and main evented Wrestlemania.

Look at Becky Lynch. Booked as a perrennial jobber on the preshow of Wrestlemania 34. Booked as recently as Summerslam 2018 with a “heel turn” that only a complete fool would think would get boos as she ferociously beat up Charlotte Flair. Becky Lynch, as much shit as I give her, actually was booked to beat both Charlotte Flair and Ronda Rousey to win both Women’s championships in the fucking WRESTLEMANIA MAIN EVENT.

The Verdict

There was a story I heard once about the Hollywood producer Brian Grazer. He was nominated for Best Picture for producing Apollo 13 in 1994. When Braveheart was announced the winner, he put his face in his hands and tried not to cry, as his heart sunk to his stomach. He was sitting next to Jim Lovell, the astronaut Tom Hanks played in the movie. Jim Lovell put his hand on Grazer’s shoulder and said “It’s going to be fine, Brian.”

Brian replied, “With all due respect, sir, how could you possibly know what I’m going through right now?”

Lovell said “Look at me, son. I never made it to the moon either.”

Somebody has to lose. Not everybody can be champion. Bayley is a mid-carder.

There’s no shame in that. Mr. Perfect was a mid-carder. Ravishing Rick Rude was a mid-carder. These are all-time legends.

There’s a reason the Oscars have a “Supporting” category. Not everybody is the star.

WWE is trying their hardest to get Bayley over, despite her obvious flaws and limitations. And WWE clearly knows her limitations! That’s the point of Alexa’s brutal promo this week.

Bayley does dress like she raided the backroom of Century 21.

Bayley is a placeholder champion.

Bayley is a loser.

The point of the promo was for Bayley to “prove Alexa wrong” this Sunday.

WWE didn’t “mess up” Bayley. Bayley messed up herself by ignoring two fundamental aspects of her job. But no matter, Alexa Bliss is going to bump her ass off this Sunday and lose clean as a sheet to the hugger this Sunday.

And as Bayley holds up her title high, the casual fan watching alongside a friend will ask about the true superstar they just watched.

“Who is this Alexa Bliss?”

One thought on “I’m a Shrugger: I Don’t Get Bayley

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