Bayley has opened up about the mood backstage when Vince McMahon announced his retirement, revealing that many were just unsure of how to feel.
On July 22nd Vince McMahon announced that he was retiring from his role as WWE CEO and Chairman of the Board. His departure came against a backdrop of allegations of sexual misconduct which had triggered an internal investigation.
With McMahon relinquishing control he was replaced on the wrestling side of the company by Triple H and Stephanie McMahon was made Chairwoman and co-CEO alongside Nick Khan.
During this huge period of upheaval Bayley was still on the side-lines following a serious knee injury, and her return at SummerSlam along with Dakota Kai and IYO SKY was one of the first major surprises of the ‘Triple H era.’ All three woman enjoyed working with The Game in NXT for a number of years.
During an appearance on The Five Count, the former NXT Women’s Champion reflected on McMahon’s surprise exit and Triple H assuming creative control.
“It’s still so weird to me, when the news broke that he [Vince McMahon] was retiring, I was just in shock and it felt like we needed to…’do we party or sit around and sit in our feelings and feel weird?’ It was such a strange feeling. It’s still talked about backstage how different things are. Not worse or better, just super different.
Fortunately, for me, I’ve worked with Triple H for years since being in NXT and we have such a great relationship and he understands what I’ve been through and where I want to go and how I view my character and things like that. In that sense, it’s been so awesome. I can see a shift, it’s kinda like a new relationship, is how everybody feels. Everybody has a little extra spunk in them because it’s different,”
Continuing on, Bayley recalled being backstage with Finn Balor and commenting that it felt like the pair had gone back in time to their NXT days.
“I was talking to Finn Balor backstage and Triple H just walked by and was like, ‘Hey guys, what’s up?’ We were like, ‘Isn’t this so weird? It feels like seven years ago again,’ especially with Finn because he and I were champions at the same time in NXT and Hunter was very hands-on and having him there again feels like Twilight Zone.”
Both Bayley and Finn Balor are set to be in huge match-ups at Extreme Rules, with the former challenging Bianca Belair for the Raw Women’s Championship in a Ladder Match. Meanwhile, Balor will be taking on Edge in an “I Quit” match as tension between the WWE Hall of Famer and Judgment Day reaches an all-time high.
H/t to Fightful for the transcription.