Bayley On How It's "Weird" Being A Heel For The First Time In WWE

Before Bayley joined WWE in 2012, she spent four years on the indies and wrestled for such promotions as NWA Wrestling from Hollywood and Shine.

She was asked what she misses most about the indies when she joined Booker T's podcast.


"I think I miss traveling with my friends, friends because the people I would train with we were training together for hours every week, like twice a week and sometimes three times a week. I don't know how to explain it but they were my first family in pro wrestling, like my first real friends and when we went on our road trips, just the struggle together it's now funny to look back on. I have such a deep connection with those people and such strong friendships because we all kind of took care of each other when we needed to so I guess I kind of miss that," said Bayley.

"You have it in WWE, of course, I have Sasha Banks, but something about that was special and learning together and learning the ropes together, but I don't miss sleeping on paper beds though."


By winning the Women's Championships for Raw, SmackDown and the tag team division, Bayley is WWE's first Women's Triple Crown Champion. She talked about what that means to her.

"I obviously had goals and things I wanted to do in wrestling and just make an impact to give the fans the same feeling as I feel when I watch WWE. But when I got into it, I thought to myself, I am not going to last. This is too hard. I am not girly enough, the training is too hard, but once you get going, you're like, man, I can make crazy things happen with these girls," said Bayley.

"Sasha Banks and I had the first-ever Iron Man Match for the women in NXT and it was the first main event for a pay per view on the Network, so that was when my mind really started growing. It was a huge milestone and I knew things were just going to get bigger and things were going to get out of control but would open up a lot of doors for the women that you see in NXT right now, and the women you see on Raw and SmackDown the same way Nattie Neidhart did for us just like seeing the evolution go and go and go and just getting bigger and bigger. It's just wild, but I never expected during my teeny-bopper days and my posters waiting in line to meet all of you [Booker T] guys that I would be at the other end of it. It's just crazy."


Like any Superstar, Bayley's character has had its ups and downs and it's easy to get frustrated. She was asked what keeps her focused during the peaks and valleys of life in the WWE.

"I think for me this lifestyle is so fast-paced that I don't have time to think about anything else. It could be said the other way around where it is so fast-paced you start to fall into the rock star lifestyle, but for me, it is so fast-paced I was like, oh I need to keep up. All the women are so good and as good that I want to keep up and be better," said Bayley.

"Having Sasha Banks there has been my main help. I think she is the greatest. She is always focused. Even though she is younger than me she is more like the bigger sister where she holds me down, so I definitely need that person on the road to keep me sane and focused and a shoulder to cry on and all that stuff. I think I keep setting small goals for myself every few months, which has definitely helped me. If something is not working just figure out why. I definitely have fun here and there though."

For nearly seven years Bayley played a babyface on WWE programming but that changed recently. She's in the first heel run of her career and it's led to her retaining the SmackDown Women's Championship.


She was asked how she feels portraying a heel after being a good guy for so long.

"It's been weird for me because for seven years I had the same character with the same fan-base for so long," stated Bayley. "The whole time, especially towards the end, I just kept saying how I really wanted to do something different. I want to be bad. I want to be mean. It'll be easier. I know exactly what I will do and I would know how to act, but then when I get to it I'm like, uh, what the hell am I doing? Now what?

"It's all a learning process, but it's fun. In my career, I want to be able to do everything and go through all of the different avenues and through all of the waves. I don't want to stay on the same road all of the time."

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Hall of Fame Podcast with Booker T with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.

Peter Bahi contributed to this article.