WWE’s Bayley reflects on her year waiting for a call-up from NXT
On the latest episode of longtime WWE ring announcer Lilian Garcia’s podcast Making Their Way To The Ring, former NXT Women’s Champion Bayley opened up about the long year she spent in NXT after three of the other “Four Horsewomen” – Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch – had been called up to the main roster.
Bayley remained in WWE’s developmental division and watched from the sideline as the trio had one of the best matches of WrestleMania 32 in front of the biggest audience in WWE history, but she finally got her shot with a surprise appearance at Battleground last July. A month later, Bayley officially joined the Raw roster.
Bayley revealed to Garcia that after she was left in NXT, she began to wonder if her character was main roster-worthy.
“At first… it sucked. To be honest, it sucked, because I wanted to go. I wanted that so bad. But when I saw them debut I couldn’t feel anything but happiness for them. I was just excited. I was like, ‘OK we’re going in the right direction. It’s another step in the right direction.’
Honestly I didn’t think… I thought I would be there shortly after with them. I texted them, I’m so happy for them, it’s great, it was amazing. This whole Women’s Revolution is taking off even more.
But I thought ‘well OK, I’ll be there, maybe a couple more months and that would be fine.’ And I was the champion so it was OK. But then it took a whole ‘nother year, and I have to say that it was probably the best year I’ve had in wrestling thus far, because I had to rely on myself.
While they were there I was like ‘as long as I have them, I know I’ll be OK in matches’ or whatever it was. But once they left I became the leader of the NXT women’s division, and I had the title. We had just started touring, so I got to go over to the UK and go to all these new places for the first time as the Women’s Champion.
So it was a huge deal. I got to work with Asuka, who is amazing. I would have never been able to work with her had I gone up. I got to work with Nia Jax when she just started, and that’s just a whole other obstacle, like I’ve never been in the ring with someone like her before. I got to work with Eva Marie, who is very new… so many different people and all the new people at NXT that I was able to learn [from] and teach at the same time.
…. I kept hearing things about ‘oh you guys are going to go,’ and I thought it was going to be all four of us. So that’s kind of like what I expected, and then when it was everybody but me, I… Honestly I was like ‘maybe I wouldn’t work with WWE. Maybe Bayley is just an NXT character.'”