WWE Superstar Bayley is living the dream of every professional wrestling fan. After falling in love with the sport at age 10, the California native began her training just out of high school. Now 28, she just finished her first year in sports entertainment's big leagues -- The WWE. She's already held the Raw Women's Championship belt, and is a fan favorite across all ages thanks to her athleticism and her upbeat, optimistic persona. Bayley and a host of WWE Superstars will be at Worcester's DCU Center on Aug. 13 for the WWE Live Summerslam Heatwave Tour; she took time out of her non-stop travel schedule to talk with baystateparent about her journey.
How did you become a superfan at age 10, and what made you decide to make a run at a professional career? It was a natural attraction to what I saw on TV; I loved the stories that were being told in the ring. I just knew that this was something I needed to pursue.
Were you active in sports prior to starting your career? I played a lot of sports in middle and high school. I ran cross-country track, but I mainly played basketball. I was team captain my senior year of high school. I really did want to pursue basketball in college, but I decided to start my in-ring training at 18.
Who were your favorite Superstars growing up, and what was it about them that you loved? "Macho Man" Randy Savage was and is my favorite Superstar of all time. He had such a natural charisma and energy about him; he popped off of the TV screen!
What's harder: learning how to take a fall or learning how to cut a promo? For me, cutting a promo is much more difficult. There are so many different styles and emotions you go through in a promo; I am still learning on a daily basis. As far as taking a bump, so to speak, I was always pretty athletic and the fundamentals came fairly quickly. So a promo is more difficult for sure.
What would surprise fans about the life of a WWE Superstar? The travel grind. What the WWE Universe sees on TV is only a snippet of what we do on a regular basis. There are many flights and long drives that go along with the performances. Sometimes we will get off a flight, head straight to the arena for that night's show, then jump in our cars and head out and drive 200 or 300 miles that night for the next night's show. It still surprises me to this day how the WWE Superstars can turn it on night in and night out; but I guess that is just the passion we have for what we do and for entertaining the WWE Universe.
What are your thoughts about the evolution of women in the WWE, to the point where the Women's Division is highly athletic and competitive, and women are billed as "WWE Superstars," just like their male colleagues? WWE just held the Mae Young Classic, which will introduce 32 new women to the mainstream -- an entire tournament of women's wrestling! Women's wrestling is, in my opinion, the best it has ever been. The women on both Raw and SmackDown Live go out every night and raise the bar; we push each other and we have had some amazing opportunities. The women want to steal every show, every Pay-Per-View, and it shows in the opportunities that we have had.
Those unfamiliar with you may be surprised by your upbeat, positive message in and out of the ring, given it runs counter to the traditional aggressive, serious image of many sports entertainment Superstars. What message do you want to send fans? I want my fans to see that you can be positive even in a sport that has physical contact; kindness is not weakness, stay true to yourself, and follow your beliefs and dreams.
You're a person who has seen her childhood dreams come true. What's your advice to young fans -- and to their parents -- who want to chase their dreams? Just go out and do it; there is only one way to succeed and that is to just go out and do it. There is no secret to success, just go after it and work hard.