Bayley will forever be linked with Sasha Banks, Charlotte and Becky Lynch as ‘The Four Horsewomen’ but in a new interview she has detailed how a former star showed her that it was ok to just be herself.
Appearing on WWE After The Bell with Corey Graves Bayley discussed switching her character to become a heel, how performing without a live crowd actually helped her and the impact that AJ Lee had on her career.
The former SmackDown Women’s Champion explained how she found it difficult to make fans believe that she had evolved into a new character after being the “hugger” for so long, but by not having a live crowd in the arena it allowed her to see that she didn’t need them.
“Not having a crowd is what helped me the most,” Bayley said. “I was having trouble making the crowd believe and the fans believe that this is me now. I was with a ponytail and being a hugger for so long that it was hard for them to see me in this different character. They had like a weird, not reacting, don’t believe it and weren’t buying into it [reaction]. Then when we got to the PC I thought it was going to be a one night thing and then the more we did it without fans I thought you know what, I don’t have to worry about them, I can play off my opponents, I can play off Sasha who’s my tag partner.”
Bayley went on to get further into her character’s transition, detailing how she knew she had to be the complete opposite to everything she had ever done before.
“I knew I had to go from being a good guy to being a bad guy,” Bayley said. “I knew I had to do a complete 180 for people to believe me and for people to buy into it. I had to do the complete opposite of what I was doing. I was there for the kids, I was all about the kids, I wanted them to have somebody to look up to and be who I was. I wanted all the little Bayleys’ in the crowd to have someone to cheer for like I did.
“Now I have to be the complete opposite and I hate the little Bayleys’ and all the children in the crowd. I knew i had to cut my hair, I knew I had to stop wearing colours, I knew I had to just be a complete jerk. I knew I had to shed the snakeskin and forget about it.”
In recent weeks Bayley has taken charge of her own talk show segment, following in the footsteps Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens to name but two.
However, the former NXT Women’s Champion revealed that the show was an idea pitched to her, and highlighted how far she has come from struggling to cut promos in front of Dusty Rhodes when she was training in NXT.
“This whole talk show thing, it wasn’t even my idea,” Bayley said. “It wasn’t something where I went to them and said hey, I’d love to do a talk show. I was the complete opposite of anything you see on T.V. now. I would get in front of Dusty and I would freak out and start shaking, all I wanted to do was wrestle and be in the ring. That’s why I wanted to be in WWE, I didn’t care about talking yet because I didn’t know how to do it yet, I was crying every single word I let out, I was shivering. Even in my past, it took me a long time to get comfortable even as the hugger character.
“It’s helped me find my words and find my voice and it’s so crazy. It’s something that I thought I was never going to find in WWE, when I signed I wanted to be the best wrestler in the world, wanted to be a champion, I wanted to do it all. I never thought this was going to take me to different heights. My dream was always to be well rounded, I wanted to be the one superstar that could do it all and I feel like I’m on my way to do that because this talk show has helped me in a different light.”
Bayley also spoke about the women who had inspired her, and continue to inspire her to be where she is today, and while she admitted there are far too many to mention them all, she did reserve special praise for AJ Lee.
“Obviously I can’t name all the women that have helped us, but I always have to give credit to AJ [Lee],” Bayley said. “She changed my life when she just said it’s okay to be myself. Her whole thing was stay weird and be yourself and she dressed how she wanted to and it inspired so many girls. There’s a lot of women that people don’t even realize have made this all possible.”
Since turning heel Bayley has become increasingly active on social media, most recently asking for a Cage Match against Bianca Belair.
H/t to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.