With the WWE Grand Slam winner sure to be back in action soon following a lengthy injury layoff, we take a look at 5 things you might not know about everyone’s favourite hugger, Bayley!
Bayley made her debut on the NXT brand in 2013, fast becoming a crowd favourite and cementing herself as one of the stand out stars during the black and gold brand’s existence. 2015 was a breakout year for Bayley as she finally won the NXT Women’s Championship at TakeOver: Brooklyn in August.
A year later Bayley was called up to the main roster where she has gone on to win both the Raw and SmackDown Women’s Championship, the Money In The Bank briefcase, and was one half of the inaugural WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions with on/off best friend Sasha Banks.
But as wrestling fans, we’re all familiar with Bayley’s extensive accomplishments but what about the lesser-known facets of WWE’s resident Role Model?
1. A Rose By Any Other Name
The real-life Pamela Rose Martinez has not always been known as Bayley in the wrestling ring. Before joining WWE, she used the name Davina Rose on the independent scene where she had been active since 2008.
As Davina Rose, the Californian competed mainly for local promotion Big Time Wrestling where the future WWE Superstar shared the ring with the likes of Awesome Kong and the late Daffney. Bayley also competed under her previous ring name for all-female promotion SHIMMER, competing there with recognisable names such as former WWE star Mia Yim and AEW stars Allie and Mercedes Martinez.
2. The Shortest Reigning Ms Money In The Bank
Bayley became the third woman to capture the Money In The Bank briefcase when she won a gruelling ladder match at the eponymous event in 2019. A year prior to that Alexa Bliss had captured the briefcase going on to cash it in almost three hours later to end the night as Raw Women’s Champion. In 2019 however, Bayley decided to go one better.
The Role Model defeated Carmella, Dana Brooke, Ember Moon, Mandy Rose, Naomi, Natalya, and Nikki Cross to capture the briefcase earning her a title shot at any time, in any place. Less than 90 minutes after Bayley’s win, Charlotte Flair ended the reign of ‘Becky Two Belts’ as she defeated Becky Lynch for the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
But as Lynch had competed twice in one night, also successfully defending her Raw Women’s Title, Bayley clearly felt that both she and Charlotte could do the same. Having only held the Money In The Bank briefcase for an hour and 25 minutes, Bayley decided she’d rather pack a title belt as a carry-on as she challenged Flair for the gold, and defeated The Queen in just 20 seconds.
3. First Woman To Defend A WWE Title In Saudi Arabia
The partnership between WWE and Saudi Arabia has proved controversial, not least because WWE has had to limit the number of women competing on the show. While there were precisely no women allowed to compete on the first few Saudi Arabia shows, this changed in October 2019 at Crown Jewel when Natalya faced Lacey Evans.
When the company returned to the Middle East in February 2020, a woman’s match was once again on the card but this time gold was to be on the line in the form of the SmackDown Women’s Championship. In the night’s penultimate contest – and in a match that was over 4-times longer than the main event between Goldberg and The Fiend – Bayley put her championship on the line against Naomi.
Come the end of the night Bayley was the first woman to defend a WWE title in Saudi Arabia and the first woman to successfully retain her title there as well.
4. Her Mentor Was Straight Edge But Is Now All Elite
In the days of Davina Rose, the future WWE Superstar had one particular mentor that helped her during her early days, current AEW star, Serena Deeb.
Deeb is well known as a wrestling trainer and coach having worked for the NXT brand between 2018 and 2020. She had previously been a part of WWE when she appeared as part of CM Punk’s Straight Edge Society in 2010.
It was in SHIMMER that Serena Deeb and Bayley came across each other and the Role Model has previously paid tribute to the company and Deeb on social media, calling her time there “an important step” in her career.
Such an important step in my career. What an honor it was to be a part of, thank you @SHIMMERwomen and @SerenaDeeb.
— Bayley (@itsBayleyWWE) November 2, 2021
5. Bayley Wasn’t Always BFFs With Sasha Banks
For those unfamiliar with Bayley’s first encounters with Sasha Bank in WWE, let’s take a trip back in time.
Bayley picked up her first televised win in NXT in September 2013 when she teamed with Charlotte Flair to defeat Aksana and Alicia Fox. Almost immediately, the devious duo of Summer Rae and Sasha Banks began to swarm as they sought to lure the lovable hugger into their faction.
Flair was none too happy with Banks and Summer Rae’s behaviour and on the 13th of November 2013 episode of NXT The Boss and The First Lady of NXT teamed up to face Flair and Bayley.
During the match, Bayley looked to tag her partner in only to be greeted with a massive slap to the face leading William Regal on commentary to call Flair “a rotten cow.” Flair delivered Natural Selection on Bayley allowing Sasha Banks to cover her future tag team partner, with Flair joining The Beautiful, Fierce Females. Now Sasha Banks and Bayley turning on each other so often might make a little more sense.