– WWE NXT Women’s Champion Bayley recently spoke with Rolling Stone to promote NXT “Takeover: Respect” on Wednesday. The full interview is at this link. Below are highlights:
With the departures of Sasha, Becky and Charlotte, it’s an interesting time for NXT’s Women’s Division – there’s a real mix of established talent, newcomers and veterans. How do you see the division right now?
I see that it has a million possibilities to get so much better. When Paige and Emma went onto the main roster; everyone was like, “Well, what’s going to happen to NXT now?” And then Charlotte happened, and Sasha and Becky and myself – we took it to a different level, and everybody took notice. Now that they’re gone, people expect a drop-off, like “Man, now there’s just Bayley down there.” But there’s so many people that they have no idea about, because I get to train with these girls every day. You see Carmella or Dana Brooke or Alexa Bliss on TV, and they’re working so hard, they know that it’s time for them to step it up. They hear it too; they don’t have to fill anyone’s shoes, they have to take it to a different level. And then Peyton [Royce] and Billie [Kay], they’re going to blow up because they’re so passionate and great wrestlers. And I don’t even have to say anything about Asuka, because she’s amazing. There are so many possibilities with her. It’s a really exciting time for the division, and it’s just going to keep getting better.
If you’re able to retain your title at TakeOver: Respect, who would you like to put the Women’s Championship on the line against next?
I mean; if I can beat Sasha, there’s so many. Nia Jax, I’ve worked house shows with her, and she always gets such a great reaction – she’s so unique, and she’s going to be a good thing for NXT as a whole. Fans have never seen anybody like her. It would be exciting to be able to do something with her, and Asuka as well. I was on Shimmer with her; I never got to have a match with her, but watching her matches with Sara Del Rey, or working with a few Japanese girls, to get a little taste of that style, I’d like to get into that to grow as a wrestler. And this might sound bad, but I really want to work with Eva Marie, just because it seems like that’s what people want.
Why would that sound bad?
[Laughs] My fans don’t like her, so I don’t want them to be like, “Oh, why do you want to work with her?” But the reason is because she’s a different competitor and I think we’d have an interesting dynamic. I get a lot of tweets about Eva, and I can’t blame the fans, because all they really know is what they see on Total Divas, and they base their cheers on that, I guess. I’ve never personally had a problem with her; I don’t see her much, but the shows that she has done, I’ve seen her progressing each match, each show, each training session. I know that the drive is there to get better, so it’s up to her to see how far she can go.
In the build to TakeOver: Respect, you’ve been promoting your match with Sasha using the hashtag #WomensWrestling – what do you think of the term ‘Diva?’
Well, I’m obviously part of the Divas now, working here. I don’t really see the difference – sometimes when someone uses the term “Diva,” or you see it on TV or in a movie, it’s like, “Oh, she’s just being a Diva,” which sounds really bad and really prissy. But I think that’s just a title here; none of the girls up on the main roster are prissy or have attitudes or anything like that. So I think it gets a bad rap from TV and movies, but I just use “Women’s Wrestling” because that’s what I grew up on, that’s what drove me to get to this point and that’s what I want to push. And, technically, I am the NXT Women’s Champion, so until I’m the Divas Champion, I’m going to keep using that.
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