So, just what is going on with veteran Diva Layla El?
The former Miami Heat dancer's promising angle with Divas champion A.J. Lee was dropped suddenly in August, and the star hasn't been seen on television since. No official reason for her hiatus has emerged, and Layla herself has refrained from commenting on the matter.
Interestingly, PWInsider's Mike Johnson notes that not only has Layla not been cleared to wrestle by WWE doctors, but people within the company don't think she will ever be back in the ring.
Johnson writes, "Layla is still under contract to WWE but not cleared to wrestle. The belief among those I've spoken to is that she won't be returning to the ring."
No one seems quite sure just what the nature of Layla's health problems are.
As she noted to her Twitter followers in May 2011, she underwent serious knee surgery after tearing both her MCL and ACL. She was out for well over a year recovering. Is it possible she's facing knee issues again?
Regardless, it is unfortunate if Layla's in-ring career is indeed over.
Since participating—and winning—the company's Diva Search contest in 2006, she had worked incredibly hard to improve as a wrestler, eventually turning into one of the best female workers under contract. It was pleasantly surprising how good she eventually became.
Of course, at 36 (practically ancient for a female performer in the youth-obsessed WWE) and having probably done everything she could in the Divas Division, she may have only had limited time left on the roster anyway.
While there are exceptions (Vickie Guerrero), female wrestlers in WWE generally don't stick around nearly as long as the men.
It's a sad reality of the business.
Certainly, when she was cleared in 2012 and 2013, the company seemed to be struggling to come up with ideas for her. The alliance with Lee was the first worthwhile thing she had done in ages.