WWE’s next pay-per-view, “Fastlane” will be shown live at 5 p.m. on Sunday on PPV and on the WWE Network. The show, held in Milwaukee this year, is headlined by Kevin Owens defending his WWE Universal title against Goldberg.
Rich Swann and Akira Tozawa vs. The Brian Kendrick and Noam Dar
Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax
Sami Zayn vs. Samoa Joe
Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman
Neville vs. Jack Gallagher for the WWE cruiserweight championship
Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson vs. Enzo Amore and Big Cass for the Raw tag team title
Bayley vs. Charlotte for the WWE Raw women’s title
Last week, WWE held its “Monday Night Raw” television show at Staples Center. WWE Raw women’s champion Bayley sat down with Hannah Mitchell, daughter of Times assistant sports editor Houston Mitchell, to discuss the moment she won the title, along with a few other things:
You dreamed all your life of winning the women’s title. What was that moment like?
Aside from winning the NXT title in Brooklyn…. I’d say it’s pretty even with that moment. It’s such an accomplishment that I have always, always wanted to have. And to be able to do it so close to home made it more special. It’s really hard to explain. I knew my family and friends were watching at home. My phone was overflowed with text messages. Getting back to the locker room and just staring at the belt will be hard to top.
It seems that all the wrestlers who came from NXT are really close and have a bond different from a lot of other locker rooms. Why do you think that is?
I really do feel like we are family because we spent every day of the week together. We only had Sundays off when we were in NXT and were training at the Performance Center Monday through Friday. So we spent five or six hours together. Then we would travel to shows together on Saturday, which could be anywhere from three to four hours. We’d drive together, we’d fly together. We went to the U.K. together, we went from state to state together. The core of NXT was such a tight group because we were all fighting for the same goal, to get to the next level, so we all kind of bonded.
Everyone knows you for “Be a Hugger.” Why is hugging so important?
I guess because when I got here I was so excited and that was the best way I could express it. I just get so excited with everything and that’s my only way to express it. I mean, I can’t go around kissing people, so this is something everyone can do.
Now that you have the title, what is your next goal?
I want to be on my first WrestleMania. And I guess with this title, that means I have a good chance to be on WrestleMania in Orlando in a few weeks. And then, to main-event WrestleMania some day would be the ultimate goal.
What advice would you give to girls who want to become wrestlers?
I would say, “Don’t be shy.” Definitely do it. It seems like such a male-dominated sport, but in WWE now we are all superstars. We are all even, we are all the same. Charlotte and I just main-evented “Monday Night Raw” last week. Charlotte and Sasha [Banks] have main-evented a few times, including pay-per-views, so it is not out of reach if you want to be a WWE superstar. First, find a reputable school you want to train at. Sometimes you have to drive far and sometimes you have to move somewhere else. But find a really good school with a trainer that’s going to really have your back and have your best interests. Not a guy who is just going to take your money. Then, after you get going, try to travel as much as possible and never stop learning. That’s the main thing. Even when you make it here, never stop learning.
If you could go back in time and visit yourself in high school, what advice would you give high school Bayley?
I wish I did better academically. I just made sure I kept the minimum GPA needed for playing sports. I wish I would have taken the academics more seriously. Because I knew when I graduated I wanted to wrestle, so I felt studying wasn’t important. But it is, because I am not going to be able to be in the ring forever. I need a backup plan and I need something to fall back on. So, I wish I would have taken school more seriously.
When you one day become a member of the WWE Hall of Fame, who would you want to give your induction speech?
Wow. That’s a huge thing to say, that I am going to be in the Hall of Fame. I hope I am. I would love for Sasha to induct me, but only if I am allowed to induct her.
Follow Houston Mitchell on Twitter @latimeshouston