Shayna Baszler is the current NXT Women's Champion and set to defend her title against Kairi Sane at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn this Saturday. She recently took some time to discuss her famous stable of friends known as MMA's Four Horsewomen and the possibility of facing WWE's incarnation down the line.
While staying focused on her upcoming NXT Women's Championship defense at the Barclays Center, Baszler spoke to Inside The Ropes about why she decided to make the jump to professional wrestling and how it made sense for her career.
"It's interesting because my Mixed Martial Arts upbringing is less Brazilian jiu-jitsu which is the traditional thing that people study," Baszler recalled. "I'm a catch wrestler so I used catch wrestling in Mixed Martial Arts.
"I think in the catch wrestling learning you have to use catch wrestling in kind of a no-rules fighting environment before you're even allowed to step into it in a sports entertainment aspect so truly I fought for so long -- like sixteen years -- that moving on to professional wrestling and sports entertainment was truly like the next step in my catch wrestling martial arts. I was just a thing that had to happen next."
Baszler said she was a life-long professional wrestling fan and studied the history between catch wrestling and sports entertainment. When the Four Horsewomen moved in together, Baszler would often watch WWE causing Ronda Rousey, Marina Shafir, and Jessamyn Duke to renew their fandom as well.
"Everybody was kind of fans when they were a kid but kinda lost it. So they all got kinda drawn back in. For a time we were just fans together," Baszler said. "I think at every professional wrestler's heart, there's a fan."
WWE version of the Four Horsewomen consists of Charlotte Flair, Bayley, Sasha Banks, and Becky Lynch. During 2017's inaugural Mae Young Classic, WWE filmed a segment where three members of each side had a backstage stand-off. Baszler was competing in the tournament so she wasn't there, nor was Banks because she was in Australia on a WWE promotional tour.
Baszler was questioned about the possibility of seeing a match take place between the eight women now under WWE's banner. She said her Four Horsewomen have never backed down from a fight before while taking a shot about how WWE's incarnation came second.
"If they want it to happen, the four of us are fighters," Baszler said. "We've never turned down any sort of fight. They want to argue about who is the Four Horsewomen and who owns it. I mean, we had it first and that's... fact. It was given to us so we didn't just call ourselves that, it was given to us.
"They started calling themselves -- I mean we're an actual team that trains together. Bayley and Sasha -- they're not even friends half the time right now, so who knows what's going on with them? You know what I mean? Whatever.
"If they want to, we won't turn down a fight, ever."
If you use any portion of the quotes in this article please credit Inside The Ropes with a H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription