Bayley's RAW Women's Championship victory has been a hot topic over the past few days, but not for the reasons you might think. While many fans were thrilled to see the lifelong WWE superfan achieve her childhood dream, the numbers suggest many tuned out before it ever happened. Most problematic was that the one demographic WWE hoped would be most interested in Bayley's victory was the one that saw the biggest decrease.
Dave Meltzer noted on Wrestling Observer Radio that 38% of teenage female viewers turned off Raw before the main event. He says this is one of the biggest drops in the history of Raw, calling it "insane."
"If you think … the Bayley character draws teenage girls, it's like absolutely the opposite," Meltzer said. You can listen to what Meltzer said about Bayley her:
While it's understandable to see these numbers as an indictment on Bayley, I believe it's an unfair assessment. It's quite possible most fans that tuned out did so because they've seen Charlotte and Bayley wrestle at least five times since December. Three non-title matches and two title defenses can wear down an audiences investment, regardless of who the superstars in the ring are. Audiences have become fatigued with RAW's continuing attempt to run back the same matches week after week.
A championship match should be enough to keep viewers around for another hour, but when the Women's Championship has been passed around like a nerf football, it's hard to blame anyone for not caring. Since the championship's creation last April, there has been EIGHT title changes in ten months.
When Bayley finally got the call to the main roster, she was poised to be the female John Cena, except instead of only being popular with children, she was also over with the smarky Internet Wrestling Community. But that was months ago. Bayley's push was kept on hold while Sasha and Charlotte finished their storyline.
Perhaps Meltzer is right and Bayley is not a draw with female teenage fans. After all, teenagers can be cynical and Bayley is anything but. Most teenagers probably relate more with characters like Paige or AJ Lee than they do with the neon queen of the huggers.
But does Bayley need this demographic to be a draw? She can still be a huge attraction for pulling in the kids under 13 and that can have a long lasting financial benefit for the WWE. Just as kids in the 80s grew up wanting to eat vitamins and say their prayers, Bayley's hard working, hugging message can hook fans that will stick around for a lifetime.0comments