Bayley suffered an unfortunate injury recently during WWE’s mandatory in-ring training session before the company’s return to the road. The former SmackDown Women’s Champion’s freak accident hasn’t been well-received by other talent slated to attend training drills.
Dave Meltzer reported several details regarding the backstage reaction to WWE’s new mandate in the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
Bayley’s untimely injury has led to talent second-guessing WWE’s decision to have compulsory training for almost all its wrestlers.
The idea behind the ring drills was to get the talent in shape before WWE’s extensive tour, but several wrestlers who spoke to Meltzer didn’t see any sense behind the move.
It was noted that most WWE Superstars have been performing consistently for weeks and have also not shown any signs of gassing out on television. The roster is more than warmed up, and the extra training didn’t come across as a logical step for the wrestlers.
A veteran WWE superstar, who chose not to reveal their name, made a big statement against the company’s call to sanction in-ring drills.
The wrestler fought as a full-time performer for 15 years and felt talents who were regularly participating in weekly shows and pay-per-views didn’t need any extra conditioning or preparation.
The superstar claimed to have not had a single conditioning drill throughout their career but admitted to doing cardio in the ring to stay in shape. The talent stated that the mandatory training is actually worse for a wrestler and their body’s wear and tear.
Here’s what the WWE wrestler told Dave Meltzer, as revealed in the Newsletter:
“I wrestled full time for 15 years. If you are in shape enough to do TV and PPV matches you need zero conditioning or preparation to go back on the road and do live events. My entire regular career I never did a single in ring drill for conditioning. I did cardio at the gym sure but never additional ring time. The only time I did in ring drills for conditioning was when I took post “retirement” bookings and had to have a big match for the first time in a year or so but that’s because I hadn’t had a match in a year and was going to have to do 30 minutes at a top level. When I went from working 1 match a week locally. . to 7 nights a week I did zero drills to prepare. The only thing harder about 7 nights a week to once a week is the wear and tear on your body, so doing more wear and tear with drills to prepare makes it worse not better.”
WWE was forced to make some significant changes following Bayley’s injury, as she was slated to fight Bianca Belair at Sunday’s Money in the Bank event.
What are your thoughts on the latest developments? Did WWE make a mistake by forcing its talents to participate in in-ring training?