We are just four weeks away from the grandest stage of them all ‘Wrestlemania 34’ in New Orleans. Next, upon the schedule, the WWE will be invading the American Airlines Center in Dallas Texas, On March 19th & 20th for Raw and Smackdown Live.
The Hype Magazine Correspondent Landon Buford recently had the opportunity to speak with former RAW and NXT Women’s Champion Bayley about being a part of the first-ever women’s Royal Rumble, Elimination Chamber, and the Iron Women’s Matches. The former Raw Women’s Champion would discuss a possible Ironwomen’s match with the former UFC champion, Ronda Rousey to test her durability in the ring. In addition, sharing a story about her and soon to be WWE Hall of Famer Ivory first meeting when Bayley was just 12 years old, and again as a member of the WWE roster.
Make sure you catch WWE RAW & Smackdown on Monday & Tuesday at 8 pm EST on the USA Network.
March is Women’s history month. What does being an inspiration to girls all over the world mean to you?
It is something that I have always wanted to do since I was a little girl. Coming from that standpoint, I already had the desire to be a role model, and that is because of the WWE and how the women inspired me to be a better person. Also, I wanted to do better in sports and obviously one day make it to the WWE. Also, I want to make women feel that achieving their dreams is very possible and my goal is not just to inspire women, but individuals all around the world.
What are your thoughts about being a part of the first women’s Royal Rumble, Elimination Chamber, and the Iron Women’s Matches?
It is insane because I was thinking about the Iron Women’s Match just the other day, but Royal Rumble is one of those matches that you remember watching as a kid, and everyone has their favorite memory of it. I remember counting down while watching at home and everyone is counting down together whether you are in the live audience or at home to see who will come out next. To be a part of something like that and to be in the back, while all the girls go out front, to feel the energy was a dream come true. The Elimination Chamber was a crazy experience because those were the matches that I always wanted to be a part of as a fan. Even though matches like TLC, Cage, a ladder were scary situations, they were just things I wanted to participate in as a performer. Being in the chamber match, I felt very comfortable, and I hope I can participate again next year.
It has been well documented that you were a fan of the WWE growing up. What was it like being in the ring with Hall of Famers Lita, Trish Stratus, Jacqueline Moore, Beth Phoenix along with Michelle McCool, Vickie Guerrero, Torrie Wilson, Molly Holly, and Kelly Kelly?
The fact that all those individuals participated in the first ever Women’s Royal Rumble, was like my childhood came full circle. It was crazy because when we saw them walk in I was like I could not believe they were there. I only wish that I had gotten in the ring with Lita because she was my number one inspiration and role model growing up. Being in the ring when Trish Stratus came out was an unbelievable experience along with the sound of the crowd, this was something that I will never forget.
Ivory will be inducted into this year’s Hall of Fame. As someone that grew up watching her, in your own opinion, what does she mean to today’s generation of female competitors?
Well, I cannot speak for everyone, but for me, she was one of the individuals that stuck out for wrestling. Also, she was able to change her character when she made the transition to The Right to Censor role. That is one of the most rememberable characters for me at least, and the fact that she was able to do that was really cool. I remember having the opportunity to meet Ivory as a kid, and she was the first woman’s wrestler that I met. She looked at me and said, “ I’m going to see you in the ring one day aren’t I ?” I took that sign that I was going to make it and then I met her again at Wrestlemania 30 or 31 as a member of the WWE roster and told her that story. Now she is about to be inducted into Hall of Fame, and I can wait to see her be inducted because Ivory deserves that ring.
How do you and Sasha push each other to be better in the ring?
We have known each other for about five years now, and we know each better than anyone else in the women division right now. I am pretty sure I had the most matches with her if you go back and look at our time in NXT and FCW. We were always set to wrestle each other whether it was the first takeover or the Ironwomen match. She has been my opponent for my first everything in the company. I think that is where the competitiveness comes from because I know how talented she is and we both want to be the best at we do. We are friends, but there is that fan in both of us that say I’m better than her.
Who would you like to have a storyline with on a long-term basis and when do you think you will get another title shot push?
Anybody right now would be cool, but I think a storyline with Ronda Rousey would be ideal. I am really pushing for the four horsewomen storyline, and we have been waiting for it since the Mae Young Classic. Personally, it would be a lot of fun and draw an audience. After Wrestlemania, we will see who walks out as champion and then I can set my eyes on that person and go after it again.
Ronda Rousey will be teaming with Kurt Angle to face your Stephanie McMahon and Triple H. If you could be in the first non-match paper view match with Ronda which type of Match would you like it to be?
I would like it to be in an old fashion wrestling match, but maybe an Ironwomen match. To see if she really has what it takes to be in a ring for that length of time.
Raw and Smackdown have featured a lot of tag team matches as of late. In your opinion do you think the company should implement titles for women on both brands?
I have said this a couple of times in past interviews, but I think it has been discussed as far as the women in the locker room. The women’s division is strong on both Raw, Smackdown, and NXT and I think we would be able to highlight a lot of us in a tag team. Maybe it is not too far off as we already had the opportunity for a lot of first this year. I do not think it is too crazy to believe that there will be a women’s tag team division pretty soon.
Each wrestler must cut promos, who are some of the people you studied the most as a kid?
I am a huge Macho Man Randy Savage fan, and none could do promos like him. His are the ones I remember and the ones that I would watch consistently. I also watched Ric Flair every time you saw a highlight from wrestling it featured Ric Flair. Those two individuals were the individuals I studied growing up, but when I started working with the WWE, I began to study Dusty Rhodes. He was a mentor for all of us, and we learned a lot from him.
WWE is invading The American Airline Center in Dallas on March 19th & 20th. What can the fans expect from the standpoint of never seeing this event live?
The experience of watching an event live is not like any other event. Fans have the opportunity to attend other sporting events or the movies, but a WWE live event is a different experience from crowd noise, and you never know what will happen because the event is live. So, if you have not had the opportunity to attend a WWE event I encourage you to get your tickets now for Raw and Smackdown.
The Raw brand features future Hall of Famer Mickie James, can you talk about her leadership in the locker room and what you have learned from her since her return to the WWE in October of last year?
Having her here is a fantastic opportunity. When she came back to Smackdown, I was jealous of the women division there because they had competed against one of businesses OGs. Not that she is old or anything, but I grew up with her and Trish Stratus. They both had a great storyline, and I learned a lot from their contributions to the company from a character standpoint and techniques inside of the ring. Since she came over to Raw, it challenges us to approach things differently. I wanted to pick her brain since she has seen the evolution of the business with her OBW background.
It is tough to have other ventures when you are on the road 365 days a year, but is there anything you are pursuing away from the WWE?
In the ideal world, I love music and would love to be a tour manager one day. I do not know if that is something that I would pursue, but I think it would be exciting. It has always been a dream of mine to open a wrestling gym back home in California.
What is your ultimate goal in the WWE?
To main event Wrestlemania