Bayley Talks about her Surprising Heel Turn

Jan 22, 2020 - by James Walsh

Bayley spoke with My San Antonio for a new interview discussing her heel turn and how long she’s been thinking about doing it. You can check out the highlights below: 

On making the decision to turn heel: “In that particular situation, it was definitely kind of an on-the-fly kind of thing. I felt after Hell in a Cell, when I lost the championship to Charlotte, I felt that was a time in my career and in my life that I needed to make a huge change. I didn’t want to come back the same person. I didn’t want to fight for the same things. I didn’t want to represent the same things. So it was really my decision to come out in this whole different attitude and whole different outlook, in a way that I never have before in order to see if I can jump the ladder, make the biggest step that I was always afraid to make. And I had to change everything that I had been doing in the past seven years. I think, for the long run, it’s probably the best decision I’ve made in a really long time.” 

On the pressure of making such a big character change: “Yeah, it’s super nerve-wracking. Once I was given the thumbs-up, I was like, man, everything that I’ve known and done, not just in my career, but WWE consumes your life if you’re trying to be a top superstar in it. So everything I’ve known and done in my life for the past seven years was about to change, and I didn’t know whether it was going to be for the good or the bad or what was going to happen. So it was really scary for me, and I had doubts about it, but I knew if I didn’t just try to do something different or do something about my current situation, that I would just fall. I cut my hair the morning of, at the arena. So even then, I was in shock. But I knew there was no turning back now. It was really, really hard, and even now I’m slowly finding my way into making it all make sense and work.” 

On why she felt the need to turn heel: “It was really basically, my whole journey in WWE and NXT before, I always based everything I did character wise or in the ring off of the true feelings of the person. Outside of the ring, I always knew what Bayley was fighting for and what she represented, because it was truly what I believed in as a fan growing up. So once those things started to change, it kind of felt just a little content, and now I’ve done everything that I could in that position and as that person. I just felt like I kind of outgrew myself. So I found myself asking, ‘OK, what am I fighting for anymore? What am I doing? What’s my purpose?’ So in my personal and professional, where it intertwines, and that was where I was like, I need a different kind of motivation, and that’s really where it triggered all of these ideas.” 

On if she’s talked with other people for ideas about the turn: “Yeah, definitely. We all have our people that we go to for different things. For me, when I was going through this whole change, there’s only one person I went to, and that was Sasha (Banks). That was just to kind of tell her what I was thinking, how I was feeling, and I know she’ll always be honest with me and she always has my best interest at heart. She was really the only one when it came down to this, and I was just like, ‘What do you think? Should I do this?’ As far as wrestling and ideas and stories and all of that stuff go, I go to Scott Dawson a lot. When I was on the same brand with Seth, we would talk about wrestling all the time. He would help me through my matches. Now it’s Scott Dawson, and Roman (Reigns) always watches all the matches, so he always has good feedback. It feels like I’ve started over, so I’m kind of just trying to figure out what I’m doing first, and then I can go out and branch out for help and ideas.” 

On how long she’s thought about a potential heel turn: “It’s actually something that was in my mind for a couple years. I would say maybe even like a year after I got to Raw. I just kind of felt a little similar. I had already won the Raw Women’s Championship, not knowing how much more I could do, and that these tag titles were coming and all of this stuff. I already felt eager to make change, because I just want to keep growing all the time. Even now, it’s just, ‘What else can I do? What is something big I can do?’ Because we all work for those big moments, and I was just eager for a big moment.” 

On having more freedom and nuance as a heel than a babyface: “Yeah, I think everybody kind of feels that. But we try to relate it to how we would really react if someone were to say something rude to you or try to start a fight with you or jump you from behind. You wouldn’t just be like, ‘OK, well let’s go and have a fair fight.’ I don’t know, there are just so many things that have to really be like a big fairy tale. You have to be like a super, superhero. But we can’t all be John Cena. Everything he does — even if some fans are like, ‘Aww, come on,’ — in the end, you’re like, ‘Oh, yeah, he did it the right way.’ But he’s John Cena. So it’s kind of hard to say. But I would say as the antagonist, it is definitely easier to be a jerk and easier to find things that hurt you as a kid that you can bring to the surface, or when you were getting bullied, or just kind of turn the tables and put it into your own work.” 

On whether she’s happy with the fan reactions: “Yeah, it’s still very new. I know some people are still a little torn about it. The kids don’t really know what’s going on, or they’re a little heartbroken. We’ll go out to shows, me and Sasha will go out and there are still all these little kids wearing our stuff, and we have to be like, ‘No, we don’t like you anymore.’ So I think it’s hit or miss with people. But there’s a lot of people that have supported me for years that think this was a good change. So hopefully I just prove that I made the right choice in the long run.” 

On going back to her old finisher, the former Rose Plant: “I don’t have a name for it, and I should probably have a name for it, but I’m kind of slow. I went back to it because… I don’t know. I feel like I have the same attitude I did on the independents, where I didn’t care who I had to go through or who I had to step over to get where I wanted to be. I just wanted to succeed and get to WWE. So kind of bringing that mindset to what I’m doing now, I kind of don’t care. I’m just being selfish now and thought it would work to bring that.”


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