Long before she was a Smackdown Live Superstar, Bayley was a 10-year-old superfan in San Jose, Calif., watching her favorites like Lita and Eddie Guerrero on TV. She decided then that she wanted to inspire fans the same way the Superstars of the ’90s and early ’00s did for her.
When she turned 18, Bayley started to train for the squared circle, and after learning the ropes on the indies in 2012, she joined NXT’s burgeoning Women’s division. But she didn’t mirror Charlotte’s confidence, Sasha Banks’ swagger or Becky Lynch’s toughness. Instead, Bayley had an ever-present smile and an overwhelming enthusiasm that made it impossible to root against her.
She quickly inspired young ladies to wear side ponytails and grown men to embrace hugs. In 2015, she competed in the first 30-minute WWE Iron Man Match featuring two female competitors, defeating Banks to retain the NXT Women’s Championship and setting a new standard for the Women’s divisions in both NXT and WWE. She then went on to have classic showdowns against Asuka and Nia Jax before debuting on Raw on the night after SummerSlam 2016. On Feb. 13, 2017, Bayley defeated Charlotte on Raw to become the Raw Women's Champion.
When Bayley steps through the ropes, her opponents can be sure of two things: Bayley’s gonna hug you, then she’s gonna suplex you.