WWE superstar Bayley was the latest guest on the New Day’s Feel The Power podcast to talk about her journey from beloved babyface and locker room leader in NXT to the despised heel and long reigning SmackDown women’s champion. Highlights are below.
Her journey from white meat babyface to despised heel:
I think because I’ve been that character for so long, as much as it was me, it all felt kind of real with my age and what I was doing with my life and my career literally growing up. I started as a super bubbly babyface and just in awe of being there, like a kid with a ponytail. But then, when I felt myself growing up having these championship matches at NXT, winning the title in Brooklyn to being the leader of the locker room when Sasha, Charlotte and Becky were called up. It was a gradual growth, a real life thing. Once it took a couple of years, I kept seeing that it was time for a change and just didn’t want to be the same character or the same person for the rest of my career. I felt like I had more to give. I didn’t think they would give me that chance until I had this random thing where I hit Becky with the chair and I cried when I lost the title at Hell In A Cell like, ‘I can’t go back to being the same person.’ So I really fought for the change and for everything to kind of take my career in a different direction.
Calls the decision to turn heel one of the best/scariest decisions she’s ever made:
Honestly, it’s been the scariest decision and the best decision I ever made and I’m so happy that they allowed me to do that. I just feel like the first seven years of my WWE career, I dedicated it to the fans and give back to the little kid me and how I wanted to be like a hero to those kids. But I feel like this end of my career is now just about me and now I need to do what I need to get to that next level and I can’t be down here anymore. I needed to get to that next level. I needed to be like, ‘I just don’t care about them. I care about me and what I am gonna do to succeed and it fit perfectly.’ In this crazy, crazy pandemic world that we live in the past year with no fans, it just kind of fit perfectly when I finally shut off the fans. ‘I don’t need you guys anymore. I did what I did for you guys. I did what I could. Now I need to focus on me.” I don’t have to pay attention to them. It was a focus on me and no one else in the arena. I can focus on my opponent and my character, so it felt like the perfect time for me and it worked out this year where I can focus on what I need to do to become a different performer but also make sure I’m at that level and people see me in that light.