Bayley may not have spent years of her career hugging anyone within arm’s reach if not for the actions of William Regal.
In addition to his years as the on-screen General Manager of WWE NXT, Regal worked behind the scenes for years in WWE, including as part of talent development.
On the most recent episode of his Gentleman Villain podcast, Regal spoke about Bayley’s superfan gimmick, and how he thought of it to appeal to younger female fans.
“I will claim that that was my idea, because it was. When I was commentating on the original NXT, when it was the Game Show, AJ Lee was on there and she was fantastic on there and my niece used to ask me ‘can you get me some t-shirts of AJ Lee?’
“She was very young and there were [no shirts]. So I’m like why doesn’t this company have a marketable character for young girls? They’ve got everything for teenage girls and older ladies but nothing for little girls.”
After years as the Hugger, Bayley would end the character in 2019, turning heel and becoming the ‘Role Model.’
Bayley will challenge RAW Women’s Champion Bianca Belair in a Ladder match at Extreme Rules 2022.