Bayley
Bayley. Image Credits: WWE

Born on 15 June 1989, Pamela Rose Martinez is an American professional wrestler who is currently signed to WWE as a member of the SmackDown brand. She uses the ring name Bayley and has currently won a double championship – in her second reign each as SmackDown Women’s Champion. Meanwhile, she’s also one-half of the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions while teaming with Sasha Banks.

Before signing with WWE in 2012, she wrestled on the independent circuit under the ring name Davina Rose. After that, Martinez was assigned to the NXT brand, where she became a one-time NXT Women’s Champion. She debuted on the main roster in 2016 and went on to become a one-time WWE Raw Women’s Champion.

She was also one-half of the inaugural WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions as part of The Boss ‘n’ Hug Connection (with Sasha Banks), and a two-time SmackDown Women’s Champion. And in 2019, she also won the women’s Money in the Bank ladder match.

Bayley and Sasha Banks
Bayley and Sasha Banks. Image Credits: WWE

Overall, she is a four-time women’s world champion and two-time women’s tag team champion in WWE. She is the first to have won the Raw, SmackDown, and NXT Women’s Championships and Women’s Tag Team Championship.

She is also recognized as the first women’s Triple Crown and Grand Slam Champion in WWE history while being the third woman to hold Double Championships in WWE history. She is also the first to successfully defend a WWE Women’s Championship in Saudi Arabia, at Super ShowDown.

Early life

Martinez grew up in the Bay Area suburb of San Jose, California to a Mexican-American father and an Anglo-American mother. She attended Independence High School in San Jose and once played as a captain of the school’s basketball team.

Personal life

Martinez also has a younger sister. She cites Randy Savage, The Rock, The Hardy Boyz, Lita, Rey Mysterio, John Cena, Eddie Guerrero, Ivory, Victoria, Bret Hart, Triple H, The Fabulous Moolah, and Trish Stratus as her influences in wrestling. Martinez is engaged to Aaron Solow, whom she met in 2010. She also owns a pogo stick that her mom got her when she was young. Martinez plans on opening her own wrestling school, once her in-ring career comes to a close.

Professional wrestling career

Independent circuit (2008–2012)

Since the age of 11, Martinez started attending shows of a professional wrestling promotion in Northern California – Big Time Wrestling. Her professional wrestling career started in April 2008 at the age of 18. She started attending Big Time Wrestling’s training classes by her head trainer Jason Styles, which is why Big Time Wrestling was Martinez’s home promotion.

In September 2008, she had her first match on the American independent circuit and adopted the ring name as Davina Rose. Rose wrestled for Big Time Wrestling from 2008 to 2012, while she branched out in between 2011 and 2012 to wrestle for other promotions such as NWA Championship Wrestling from Hollywood, Pro Wrestling Destination and Shine Wrestling.

Bayley
Bayley. Image Credits: Wrestling TV

In October 2010, Rose met her mentor Serena as the two of them teamed together for a tag team match. In October 2011, Rose made her debut for Shimmer Women Athletes. And then at the tapings of Shimmer Volume 41–44, Rose got herself entangled in Serena’s feud with the Canadian Ninjas (Portia Perez and Nicole Matthews).

She lost all four matches she wrestled including her debut match to Mercedes Martinez. In 2012, Rose continued to wrestle for Shimmer and received her first victory on Volume 48 while teaming with Mia Yim to defeat Melanie Cruise and Mena Libra. Whereas, Rose picked up her first two singles victories in Shimmer on Volumes 51 and 52 as she defeated Cherry Bomb and Rhia O’Reilly.

WWE Career

NXT wrestling career (2012–2015)

In December 2012, Martinez was signed by WWE for its developmental territory NXT and made her debut for the brand at a live event in January 2013, wrestling under a mask. After that, she adopted the ring name, Bayley, making her NXT television debut in a losing effort to Paige on the March 20 episode.

On June 12, she adopted a new character of a doe-eyed fangirl. Meanwhile, she lost to Alicia Fox in the first round of the NXT Women’s Championship tournament to crown the inaugural champion. A few weeks later, on August 21, she unsuccessfully challenged AJ Lee for the Divas Championship.

On September 4, however, she marked her first win, while teaming with Charlotte, against Alicia Fox and Aksana. Much to Charlotte’s annoyance, The BFFs – Beautiful, Fierce Females (Sasha Banks and Summer Rae) attempted to convince Bayley to join them.

Charlotte Flair, Bayley
Charlotte Flair, Bayley. Image Credits: Bleacher Report

However, on November 13, this eventually led to Charlotte attacking Bayley during their match against the BFFs and she herself joined the BFFs instead. Then, she formed a brief alliance with main roster Diva Natalya, defeating Sasha Banks in both tag team and singles matches.

On May 1, 2014, she failed to advance in a tournament for the vacant NXT Women’s Championship as she lost to Banks in the first round. Following this, in a tag team match, she pinned Charlotte down while defeated Sasha Banks to become the number one contender to Charlotte’s NXT Women’s Championship.

But she was unsuccessful in capturing the title at the NXT TakeOver: Fatal 4-Way, and then followed in a rematch that took place on October 2. After losing to Banks, she was attacked by her former friend – Becky Lynch in mid-October.

Later, Bayley formed an alliance with her ex-rival Charlotte to feud with Banks and Lynch throughout the following several weeks. However, on the November 27 episode of NXT, she was attacked by Banks and Lynch and injured her knee in the storyline. She returned on the 21 January 2015 episode, saving Charlotte from the attacks by Banks and Lynch.

But then Bayley herself reluctantly attacked Charlotte herself. On February 11 at NXT TakeOver: Rival, she competed in a fatal four-way match for the NXT Women’s Championship, but she failed to capture the title.

NXT Women’s Champion (2015–2016)

In March 2015, Bayley began a feud with Emma who had criticized her for her nice act, claiming that it had prevented her from winning the NXT Women’s Championship. And thereafter, a match was scheduled between the two on the April 1 episode, where Bayley won.

However, after a distraction by Emma, Bayley was defeated by Dana Brooke on the April 29 episode. She gained revenge on Emma the following week, as she attacked her after Emma’s loss to Charlotte in a match. On May 20 at NXT TakeOver: Unstoppable, she teamed up with Charlotte to defeat Emma and Brooke. On the May 27 episode, she was defeated by Emma. After the match, she and Charlotte were attacked by Emma and Dana Brooke.

After a short hiatus, Bayley returned from a broken hand injury on the July 22 episode and defeated Emma. She stated that she had her sights set on the NXT Women’s Championship, officially ending their feud. In August 2015, she defeated Becky Lynch to become the new number one contender for the NXT Women’s Championship.

Sasha Banks vs Bayley
Sasha Banks vs Bayley. Image Credits: WWE

On 22 August at the NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn, she went on to defeat Sasha Banks to win the NXT Women’s Championship for the first time. She celebrated her victory with Banks, Lynch and Charlotte. The rematch for the title was scheduled for the NXT TakeOver: Respect held on October 7, where she defeated Banks with three falls to two after securing the third fall with three seconds left in the match to retain the championship.

It was the first-ever women’s 30-minute Iron Man match in the history of WWE. Throughout her championship reign, Bayley went on to fend off title contenders such as Alexa Bliss, Eva Marie, Nia Jax and Carmella.

Having already won a tag team match, the NXT general manager – William Regal made an announcement on the March 16, 2016 episode of NXT, where Bayley would defend her championship against Asuka on April 1 at NXT TakeOver: Dallas.

However, at the event, she lost the championship to Asuka, ending her reign at 223 days. After a brief hiatus from in-ring competition, Bayley returned on the May 18 episode of NXT. However, later she was challenged by Nia Jax to a match, with Jax winning the match.

After that, she was replaced by Jax at NXT TakeOver: The End following a storyline injury that made her unable to compete in a rematch for the NXT Women’s Championship against Asuka. However, she made her return on the June 22 episode, where she defeated Deonna Purrazzo.

On the July 27 episode, Bayley asked William Regal, the NXT general manager, for a rematch against Asuka for the NXT Women’s Championship at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II. Two weeks later on the August 10 episode, a contract signing was held between both women, which they accepted and signed. At the event on August 20, she failed to regain the title, in what was her final match in NXT.

Raw Women’s Champion (2016–2017)

Following her time in the NXT brand, Bayley made her WWE main roster and pay-per-view debut in a one-off appearance on July 24, at Battleground. She entered the ring as the mystery tag team partner of Sasha Banks and defeated Charlotte and Dana Brooke.

However, she made her official main roster debut on the August 22 episode of Raw. She was established as part of the brand by Raw general manager Mick Foley before she confronted and challenged the Raw Women’s Champion Charlotte to a title match. However, Charlotte refused the channel and instead forced protégé Brooke to face her, who was defeated by Bayley.

At Clash of Champions, Bayley, including Banks, was unsuccessful in winning the championship from Charlotte in a triple threat match. Meanwhile, she entered a feud with Brooke and the two brawled and traded victories in matches.

This culminated in a match at Hell in a Cell on October 30, which was won by Bayley. At the Survivor Series on November 20, she survived alongside Charlotte Flair as members of Team Raw, but as was attacked by Flair after the match.

But, she went on to defeat Nia Jax on January 2, 2017, becoming the number one contender for Flair’s Raw Women’s Championship. She challenged Flair at the Royal Rumble but was unsuccessful in claiming the title.

Bayley vs Nia Jax
Bayley vs Nia Jax. Image Credits: WWE

However, after her, Cesaro and Sheamus defeated Flair, Gallows, and Anderson where Bayley pinned Flair, she earned a rematch for the title. Two weeks later on the February 13 episode, she defeated Flair in the main event to win the Raw Women’s Championship after an assist from Banks.

At Fastlane, Bayley retained the title against Charlotte thanks to a distraction from Banks, giving her first pay-per-view loss. Bayley made her WrestleMania debut at WrestleMania 33, retaining the title against Charlotte, Banks and Jax in a fatal four-way elimination match.

On April 30, she dropped the title to Alexa Bliss at Payback, ending her reign at 76 days. On June 4, she failed to regain the title in a kendo stick on a pole match at Extreme Rules. In July 2017, Bayley again became the number one contender for the championship and was slated to face Bliss at SummerSlam on August 20.

However, she suffered a separated shoulder injury which left her unable to perform. She returned from her injury on the September 18 episode of Raw to help Banks fend off Bliss and Jax. And six days later, at No Mercy, she lost a fatal five-way match for the Raw Women’s Championship.

The Boss ‘n’ Hug Connection (2017–2019)

On November 19, 2017, at the Survivor Series, Bayley was again part of Team Raw in a five–on–five elimination tag team match, where she was eliminated by Tamina. By the end of the year, Bayley teaming with Sasha Banks and Mickie James, started a feud with Absolution (Paige, Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville), leading to various singles and tag team matches that were mostly won by Absolution.

On 28 January 2018, at the Royal Rumble, Bayley competed in the inaugural women’s Royal Rumble match but was quickly eliminated by her best friend, Banks. A month later, on February 25 at the Elimination Chamber, SHE took part in the first women’s Elimination Chamber match, where she was eliminated by Alexa Bliss after Banks pushed her off a pod.

Alexa Bliss vs Bayley
Alexa Bliss vs Bayley. Image Credits: WWE

Bayley competed in the inaugural WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal on the WrestleMania 34 kick-off show and had her revenge as she eliminated Banks. Bayley was the last woman eliminated from the match by the eventual winner, Naomi.

On the March 26 episode of Raw, Bayley and Banks brawled backstage and had to be separated. This led to a face-off between the two in mid-April which ended in a no-contest after The Riott Squad (Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan, and Liv Morgan) interfered and attacked them both.

Throughout mid-2018, Bayley and Banks continued their animosity and attacked each other. Both of them, Bayley and Banks, were told to attend counsellor meetings to help maintain their friendship. In July, the two reconciled and created a tag team, known as The Boss ‘n’ Hug Connection. On February 17, 2019, at the Elimination Chamber, they won the inaugural WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship as they eliminated Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville last in the tag team Elimination Chamber match.

The duo made their first successful title defence at Fastlane against Nia Jax and Tamina. At WrestleMania 35 on March 25, they lost the titles to The IIconics in a fatal four-way match, ending their reign at 49 days. On April 15, WWE released a video of Banks not returning Bayley’s calls.

SmackDown Women’s Champion (2019–present)

On April 16, Bayley was drafted to SmackDown brand as part of the Superstar Shake-up, disbanding her team with the then-absent Sasha Banks. At The Shield’s Final Chapter event, she teamed with Ember Moon to defeat The Riott Squad.

At Money in the Bank event held on 19 May, Bayley won the Money in the Bank ladder match, granting her a women’s championship match at any time of her choosing. Later that same night, she cashed in her briefcase and defeated Charlotte Flair, winning her first-SmackDown Women’s Championship. The win made her the first WWE Women’s Grand Slam winner in WWE history.

After that, Bayley feuded with Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross throughout the mid-June and July, defeating Alexa Bliss once at Stomping Grounds. Bayley retained her title over Bliss and Nikki Cross in a handicap match at Extreme Rules. At SummerSlam, she successfully defended the title against Ember Moon.

On the September 2 episode of Raw, Bayley turned heel for the first time in her WWE career as she helped Sasha Banks to attack Becky Lynch. Later, the following night on SmackDown Live, Bayley justified her assault on Lynch and explained that she only helped Banks because of their friendship.

Bayley successfully defended the title against Charlotte Flair at Clash of Champions after using an exposed turnbuckle. But eventually, she lost the title to Flair at Hell in a Cell which ended her reign at 140 days. On the October 11 episode of SmackDown, she debuted a new look, having cut off her ponytail and attacked the inflatable tube men (called “Bayley Buddies“) during her entrance, regaining the championship from Flair again. She subsequently debuted new entrance music and verbally attacked the fans, and remained on SmackDown with her friendship with Sasha Banks.

At Survivor Series, Bayley faced Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch and NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler in a non-title triple threat match to determine the superior women’s champion, which Baszler won.

On the November 29 episode of SmackDown, she started a feud with Lacey Evans, after Bayley and Banks insulted the women of the SmackDown roster for their loss at Survivor Series, Evans then attacked Banks. At Royal Rumble on January 26, 2020, she successfully defended the title against Lacey Evans.

On the following SmackDown, Bayley claimed that she had beaten every woman on the roster, and Naomi interrupted, taking exception to the claim as Bayley had never beaten her, thus beginning a feud. At Super ShowDown, Bayley defeated Naomi to retain the title.

Bayley vs Naomi
Bayley vs Naomi. Image Credits: WWE

On the March 20 episode of SmackDown, Bayley and Banks came to the ring saying that they were going to skip WrestleMania 36 this year, but they were interrupted by Paige, who announced that Bayley would defend her title against Naomi, Lacey Evans, Dana Brooke (who was later removed from the match), Tamina, and Sasha Banks in a six-pack elimination match at WrestleMania 36. At the event, Bayley retained the title after lastly pinning Evans. At Money in the Bank, she retained the title against Tamina after a distraction from Banks.

On the June 5 episode of SmackDown, Bayley and Banks defeated Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross to win the Women’s Tag Team Championship for the second time, which also made Bayley a double champion. At The Horror Show at Extreme Rules, Bayley successfully defended the title against Nikki Cross.

Professional wrestling style and persona

When beginning her wrestling career, and in fact, for the vast majority of it, Martinez’s character, Bayley, was depicted a “hugger” coming out with multiple inflatable sky dancers during her entrances as well as hugging many fans (particularly younger children) in attendance. She also earned the nickname “The Doctor of Hugonomics” (in allusion to John Cena‘s Thugonomics gimmick in the early-2000s).

In the ring, Martinez (as Bayley) utilizes her finisher of the belly-to-belly suplex calling it the Bayley-to-Belly Suplex. Since her heel turn, however, she has started using an old finisher from her Indy days called the Rose Plant on her opponents.

As of September 2, 2019, when she turned heel for the first time in her career, she started with depicting a hypocritical persona, as she acted like nothing had changed, with her entrance music and in-ring gear remaining intact, despite developing villainous traits and underhanded tactics. On October 11, Bayley debuted a new look, having cut her ponytail off, destroying her inflatable tube men, and using profanity against the fans in her post-match promo.

Other media

Martinez is playable in four WWE video games, making her video game debut in WWE 2K17 and appearing again in WWE 2K18, WWE 2K19, and WWE 2K20.

Championships and accomplishments

Pro Wrestling Illustrated

  • Inspirational Wrestler of the Year (2015, 2016)
  • Match of the Year (2015) vs. Sasha Banks at NXT TakeOver: Respect
  • Ranked No. 5 of the top 50 female wrestlers in the PWI Female 50 in 2016 and 2017
  • Sports Illustrated
  • Ranked No. 8 with Sasha Banks of the top 10 women’s wrestlers of the year (2019)
  • Wrestling Observer Newsletter
  • Most Improved (2015)
  • Worst Feud of the Year (2018) vs. Sasha Banks

WWE

  • NXT Women’s Championship (1 time)
  • WWE Raw Women’s Championship (1 time)
  • WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship (2 times, current)
  • WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship (2 times, current) – with Sasha Banks
  • Money in the Bank (Women’s 2019)
  • First WWE Women’s Triple Crown Champion
  • First WWE Women’s Grand Slam Champion
  • NXT Year-End Award (2 times): Female Competitor of the Year (2015), Match of the Year (2015) vs. Sasha Banks at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn
  • Bumpy Award for Tag Team of the Half-Year (2020) – with Sasha Banks
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