WWE Superstar Bayley recently opened up about her backstage struggles on SmackDown ever since she turned heel. The Grand Slam Champion admitted that things were tough for her when she first turned into a villain.
However, she felt fortunate to have Sasha Banks on her side during the initial part of her run as a heel. Bayley stated that her character was good for a very long time, and it wasn't easy for her to embrace a different side to herself on SmackDown.
The lack of WWE fans helped Bayley explore her heel turn without someone actively hurling criticism at her. It aided her in finding her niche on SmackDown. Talking to Renee Paquette on the latest edition of Oral Sessions, Bayley revealed how she overcame those challenges backstage. The SmackDown superstar was quoted as saying:
"I felt really lucky that I had Sasha [Banks] with me because we could just play off of each other. Everyone was like 'Oh! it was so easy to be the bad guy and it is so much more fun'. But I had such a hard time because I was the good guy for seven years, my whole career. 'The Huggable One' or whatever, so for me, it was hard to make people believe that I can be a jerk."
"If I was talking, I didn't have to worry about people not buying into it. Or someone saying, 'It's not really you. I am not buying a ticket to watch you.' So, I was just able to do me and grow that way without having to worry about people yelling stuff and hurting my feelings."
After turning heel, Bayley took a while before getting comfortable with the change in her character. Once she started experimenting more with the possibilities of a villainous gimmick, there was no turning back for the former SmackDown Women's Champion.
Backstage effect of the pandemic era on top RAW and SmackDown superstars
Bayley also discussed how the pandemic era helped other WWE Superstars step up their game. She feels that top talents on RAW, SmackDown, and NXT had to dig deep within and find the uniqueness that would help them narrate a better story. Here's what she had to say:
"A lot of people really had to dig deep to find the core of them. And it feels like everybody did. You can just have more moments and the deeper story-telling that kind of feels more intimate."
Bayley has enjoyed an excellent run on SmackDown since last year. She is currently not involved in any feud, but the longest-reigning SmackDown Women's Champion in history serves as a significant catalyst in the ongoing feuds on the Blue brand.