Bayley Credits William Regal With Two Important Contributions To Her WWE Career
Bayley has praised the influence of British wrestling legend William Regal in helping her land a dream job in WWE.
The SmackDown women's champ, real name Pamela Martinez, started her career out on the independents before signing with WWE in 2012.
Bayley's babyface character arrived on the scene in NXT as she adopted an enthusiastic, loveable 'superfan' persona.
Speaking to SPORTbible in an exclusive interview, the 30-year-old WWE superstar recalled the origins of the character and praised Regal for helping her early in her career.
According to Bayley, the 51-year-old NXT GM was instrumental in landing her a job with WWE and making sure that the company's creative team didn't overlook her.
She explained: "William Regal was at my tryout and he saw the fan in me, and he knew that I was a fan since I was a kid and he saw me as the AJ Lee type that [...] although they weren't selling our shirts at the time -- at least they did eventually -- she attracted a huge audience and a lot of teenagers and girls and everything loved her. She was amazing.
"But he definitely pulled me aside almost every day of the tryout and said, 'We need you because you have this ability to you and something that kids can relate to you -- you kind of look like a kid, you know [Bayley laughs].'
"I'm young looking, so that was definitely something that he put in my head. Although I kind of went off and did my character stuff naturally and things like that and I just became who I was when I was a 13-year-old fan.
"But I definitely would credit William Regal to helping me one, get this job; and two, maybe talk up the meetings about me or creative about me and just kind of make sure that they were paying attention to what I was capable of.
"Thank you, William Regal!"
Regal, real name Darren Matthews, revealed earlier this month that the idea of Bayley came from his niece not being able to own an AJ Lee T-shirt.
"I had an idea while I was on the NXT show, the ladies' version of it, the game-show version," he said ahead of NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool II.
"My little niece used to call me and say, 'I like watching that, Uncle Darren, can I have a T-shirt of AJ Lee?' and I went, 'They don't make any' and it just struck me.
"We have Rey Mysterio for little boys. But we don't have anything for little girls. I found that the character of Bayley came from an idea I had because AJ turned into something else after she left -- she became very good at what she did.
"But the idea was to find somebody for a role and when I found Pam [Bayley], she would probably never have got hired before and I've got an idea that you can do this.
"She was willing to do anything so you go figure it out, and then she went and figured out with Dusty [Rhodes] how to do it, but I said this is the idea: we have nothing to market to little girls and it's all about young boys."
Bayley has since moved away from her colourful babyface persona, but she slammed the idea that fans think she turned heel.
"First of all, I'm sick of people saying that I turned heel and using this term or whatever the hell they think they know," she told SPORTbible.
"I took a step in my career. It was my choice: it was a personal decision.
"And I think I made the right decision because I'm your SmackDown women's champion!"
The SmackDown women's champ, who defeated Lacey Evans at the Royal Rumble last weekend, said that she would love a dream showdown with WWE legend Lita.
And Bayley also revealed the four superstars that she wants to face from SmackDown, Raw, NXT US and NXT UK.
Featured Image Credit: WWE