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 five championship reigns—being a former NXT Women's Champion and a record tying four-time Raw Women's Champion. Her match against Bayley at NXT TakeOver: Respect on October 7, 2015 was the first women's match to ever headline a major WWE event, the first women's Iron Man match, 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 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.