Journey of a Frontman recently interviewed NXT women’s champion Bayley. Below are some highlights.
Her thoughts on a typical week at the WWE Performance Center: “You get there at ten and you’d have film study or in-ring training from ten to one. Then you might have an hour off and from two to 3:30, you’d be in the weight room training with the weights, doing the cardio, strength and conditioning stuff. And then you’d have a couple hours off, you’d come back in the evening for promo class. That’s Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. Thursday, we’d do TV sometimes. If not, maybe a house show somewhere in Florida. Same with Friday. Same with Saturday. On those three days in the morning, at least in my schedule, it’s a little lighter than some of the guys, you would do maybe weights in the morning and shows at night. And Sundays off.”
On wrestlers who have come and not made it through WWE Developmental: “Oh yeah, dude. I’ve seen so many. The funniest one ever was this girl, she was probably some kind of model or something, you know how they are. She did like a roll, did another one, stood up and looked at Sara and said “Terminate my contract. This isn’t for me.” (laughs) It’s like damn…haven’t even taken a hip toss yet. You haven’t even taken a back drop on the ground in the middle of Enfield, Connecticut for no reason. But yeah, all kinds of quitters. Can you blame them? Think about it, if you don’t absolutely love wrestling, how on earth could you wake up every single day at eight in the morning, walk into a giant warehouse and fall down a bunch and get back up and fall down and run around and bounce around the ropes? If you don’t love that, you’re not gonna do it very long. It’s almost like “Here…here’s a developmental contract for wrangling bull elephants.” If it’s as hard as I think it would be, I don’t think I would do it very long. I’m not really into that. I’m not really into wrangling bull elephants. But if it was my passion, I’ll wrangle some bull elephants. Those people aren’t passionate about it, of course they’re gonna quit. It’s hard, dammit. It’s not easy.”
On her celebration after her match with Sasha Banks at NXT TakeOver Brooklyn: “It was really cool and I feel like that was a defining moment in our careers, all four of us. I feel like it’s something a lot of the fans wanted to see because they’ve seen all four of us grow up together in the past couple years. They know how hard we all worked together and what we’ve done for the division. They’ve all seen us grow separately and go our own ways. They saw Sasha and Charlotte win championships and everything. Storylines aside and everything, I know it meant the world to us because we’ve all seen each other training every day and working for the same goal. We all know how important every championship match is, especially that one. We knew that all four of us together, including the other Divas, all of us worked to get to that match where it was Sasha versus myself. If it wasn’t for Becky and Charlotte and everybody else that works hard in the division, we wouldn’t have been able to be in that spot. To us, it was all four of us together until who knows how long. They’re all doing their thing, they’re all busy on RAW and Smackdown. I’m holding it down in NXT, so who knows the next time we’ll all get to be in a ring together. And it was just respect, regardless of how we feel about each other, problems in the past. I think I finally gained Sasha Banks’s respect and showed her that I’m not just giving out high-fives and stuff, I want to take the division as far as she does. It was a really cool moment, personally and professionally. I think that’s what the fans remember most.”
On how she got the name of Bayley: “It was one of my choices. There was a small list of names and Bayley was one of them, but it was spelled the other way. B-a-i-l-e-y. So I asked them if it was possible that we could change it to B-a-y-l-e-y. I wanted it to mean something to me, not just a random name. I’m from the Bay Area and so I asked them to spell it that way. I had to wait I think another week to make sure it was clear with legal and stuff. But yeah, they were able to spell it that way and it represents something.”
Bayley on who helped develop her character: “Dusty, The American Dream. Since we had promo classes every week, he was seeing the material I was coming up with and the ideas I had. Every week he was like “Oh you should do this. You should start out with the yearbook and have all these pictures of the Divas and the Superstars. Just have them come out and sign it!” So much material and so much knowledge. He just kept telling me “Just reach back to when you were actually eleven years old or twelve years old as a fan. Just bring that out of you.” Once he said that, it was so easy because this is literally how I was when I was ten or twelve years old. In my first match as Bayley against Alicia Fox, I put my hair in a side ponytail. But if you watch it back, once I got in the ring, I took it out. I was like “Well I need to have my hair down. This is a wrestling match.” I normally had my hair down for matches. When I got to the back, the first person waiting there was Dusty. And he said “Why did you take your hair out?” “Because I don’t want it to get messed up.” I didn’t want it to get all crazy. He was like “You wear a ponytail forever now. You go out there with the ponytail, you wrestle with the ponytail. I don’t care how it looks when you get back, that’s your thing.” And I was like “Okay, cool.” So then I always wore the ponytail and I was so happy he gave me that word of advice.”