Shayna Baszler, a former MMA fighter, became a fan favorite in NXT as WWE booked her as an unstoppable and feared heel that led to her holding the Women’s Title for a long period of time.
While she has been portrayed like that to some degree including her first program on the main roster with Becky Lynch for the Raw Women’s Title last year, in recent months, she has been put into comedy and theatrical storylines.
Baszler has been in a feud with Alexa Bliss, who has taken on the role of Bray Wyatt’s “Fiend” persona. That was showcased in their match at the Hell in a Cell PPV event this past Sunday. On an episode of Raw before the match, she was running from Bliss’ doll out of fear.
Many fans aren’t thrilled with the way WWE has been booking Baszler and she talked about this in a new interview with Sports Illustrated.
“I need to show that I can be counted on to nail whatever it is I’m being asked to do,” Baszler says. “It’s easy to be a badass tyrant like I was in NXT. I can totally fit that role. After establishing myself as that, it’s important to show I can cover a wide range of what professional wrestling is today.
“It’s like music. Some people like country, some like heavy metal. Not everything is for everyone, so I understand why some people roll their eyes when I do comedy. But I’m established as what I am. All it takes is one sentence from a promo delivered properly. I am a legitimate badass; that’s always there for me. I’m glad I can be on Raw and show a wider range.”
Baszler continued by talking about how teaming with Nia Jax has helped her expand her pro wrestling repertoire. She noted that he’s putting more tools in her toolbox and worked years to build this legitimacy so she won’t let people forget who she is.