She previously wrestled on the independent circuit, most notably for Chaotic Wrestling, where she once held the Chaotic Wrestling Women's Championship. Between WWE and their developmental brand NXT, Banks has had six championship reigns—being a former NXT Women's Champion, a record-tying four-time Raw Women's Champion and the inaugural WWE Women's Tag Team Champion alongside Bayley. Her match against Bayley at NXT TakeOver: Respect on October 7, 2015, was the first women's match to ever headline a NXT TakeOver, the first Iron Woman match in WWE history, and the longest women's match in WWE history at the time with a length of 30 minutes. Their match was voted by Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) as the Match of the Year, with Banks also being voted as the Woman of the Year, while their match at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn in August 2015 won the NXT Year-End Award for Match of the Year.
In 2016, she and Charlotte Flair became the first women to headline a WWE pay-per-view event and the first to compete in a Hell in a Cell match (both at Hell in a Cell in October 2016), the first women to main event Raw in a women's match since 2004 and the first women to win the Pro Wrestling Illustrated award for Feud of the Year. In February 2019, she won the inaugural WWE Women's Tag Team Championship with her tag team partner, Bayley (together known as The Boss 'n' Hug Connection), at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view.