Bayley: From Fan to Superstar - Part 2

By Jon Waldman     October 24, 2016    

Photo: WWE, Inc.

Recently, sat down with WWE Superstar Bayley for a one-on-one chat. Below is part two of this exclusive interview.

Part 2: Breaking out in WWE

When conversation about today’s female Superstars in WWE turns to the names that will lead the charge for a new era of elite heroes, one of the names that comes up near instantly is Bayley.

Already in her young career, the Raw Superstar has accomplished a great deal, including holding the NXT Women’s Championship, a title she gained by defeating Sasha Banks at NXT TakeOver: Brookyn in 2015. That match has been labelled by many as being among the greats in women’s wrestling history and even won the Match of the Year honor in NXT in 2015.

“Every so often, since I retired, a female competitor would come across my screen who would genuinely get me behind them and cheering for them. Bayley is definitely one of those stars,” Trish Stratus says of the current Raw Superstar. “You look at everything she does in the ring, see the passion she carries and hear these wonderful stories of the connection she’s made with her fans and you can’t help but fall in love with her.”

The dream to get to this point, where Bayley is uttered in the same breath as other Raw Superstars as Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens as the lead faces of the brand, was one that Bayley always ambitioned for and set her sights on, despite the lingering question of if it was truly accomplishable; but looking towards Trish Stratus and Lita for inspiration, she saw indeed that the level of stardom was attainable.

“I always knew that I wanted to do this, but you always have that doubt in the back of your mind,” she says. “WWE always seemed far-fetched and I never believed I’d actually get there, though it was always a goal. Once I finally got here, I was going to do the best I could and in my mind I thought I’d get to that spot; but the fact that it actually happened gave me more motivation to take it to the next level. It sounds cliche, but hopefully we can be the next Trish and Lita.”

After an incredible campaign in NXT, Bayley made the ascent to the WWE main roster officially this past summer. Previously, she was called up for a match at Battleground 2016 to stand beside Sasha against Charlotte and Dana Brooke, a moment that she recalled being filled with emotion once she got back to her hotel room after the event. The actual solid spot on the main roster, though, had a different feeling.

“When I debuted, I was a little more focused. I was emotional leading up to it, right before the curtain, because I knew my mom was there,” she says. “From then on it was no more NXT, it was straight WWE.”

What has built the opportunity in large part for Bayley and peers such as Sasha, Charlotte and Becky Lynch is that there is a defined sisterhood among the wrestlers. In the past, Trish has spoken about how there were no behind-the-scenes rivalries that would have worked against the “Golden Era” Superstars’ progress up the ladder, and Bayley sees much the same environment today. Though she now travels with the girls from Raw, in particular it was fellow NXT graduate, Carmella, who Bayley bonded with.

“We became really close and she was someone I traveled with to every single show. We’ve shared hard times like following matches we didn’t care for or didn’t go our way, and we’ve shared good times when we went outside Florida,” Bayley says.

It is, in fact, the “Princess of Staten Island” who Bayley sees as being the most similar to Stratus from the current women’s roster.

“She was a little bit different as far as she didn’t come from wrestling, but neither did Trish and she came out so successfully,” she says. “It sounds kind of weird but I’ve always compared Carmella to Trish because Carmella was a cheerleader and dancer, but she was so athletic and once she started training with NXT, I knew she was a hard worker and just had that natural ability.”

The hard work that Bayley describes can be seen up and down the women’s roster and the result has led to some incredible milestones. Last year, Bayley and Sasha became the first women to headline a WWE special event when their Iron Women Match (also a first) main evented TakeOver, and upcoming, Sasha and Charlotte will be the first female Superstars to enter Hell in a Cell.

There are goals that still lay ahead for Bayley, and with the determination the young Superstar has shown, there's nothing stopping her from reaching all plateaus.

READ: Part 1: Growing up in the Stratusphere »

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