In 2005, at the age of 13, Bevis made her debut in the World Association of Wrestling, a promotion run by her family, under the ring name Britani Knight. She went on to hold several championships on independent circuit within Europe. In 2011, she signed a contract with WWE and started wrestling within its developmental systems, eventually debuting on WWE's main roster in April 2014. In her debut match on the main roster, she won the Divas Championship, becoming the youngest champion in the title's history at the age of 21.
Bevis was born and raised in Norwich, Norfolk, the daughter of professional wrestlers Patrick Bevis and Julia Hamer-Bevis, who once unknowingly wrestled while she was seven months pregnant with Bevis. As a child, Bevis was scared of wrestling because of the injuries her family received and the concept that her parents fought other people for a living. She also intended to become a zoologist. At age 13, she officially made her debut as a wrestler. At the age of 15, Bevis worked as a bouncer and bartender at her parents' bar while they were away. She attended The Hewett School in Norwich, graduating in 2008.
Bevis made her debut in 2005, at the age of 13, when her father, who was running the show, asked her to replace a wrestler who failed to turn up. Her earliest recorded match was in April 2006 when she, using the ring name Britani Knight, teamed with her mother for a loss in a triple threat tag team match in World Association of Wrestling (WAW). Knight then allied with Melodi to form a tag team called the Norfolk Dolls (based on the movie The California Dolls) and they wrestled in multiple English promotions. The Norfolk Dolls won the new World Association of Women's Wrestling (WAWW) Tag Team Championship in June 2007 by defeating the Legion of Womb, but it became inactive due to no title defenses by the Norfolk Dolls.
At the age of 14, Knight sent résumés to numerous wrestling promotions around Europe and earned a chance to wrestle in countries like Scotland, Wales, Belgium, France, Turkey, Denmark, Norway, and Germany, as well as the United States, managing to travel by herself at 14. She began to compete for singles championships without much initial success. In Scotland, Knight competed for the World Wide Wrestling League (W3L) Women's Title, but lost to Sara in the tournament finals in September 2007. In December 2007, Knight took part in a tournament where the winner would become the first WAWW British Champion, but lost in the finals to Jetta. In 2008, Knight challenged both Sara and Jetta for their respective titles, but failed in her title bids.
Knight went on to achieve more singles success from 2009. In August 2009, Knight defeated her mother Sweet Saraya in a two-out-of-three falls match to capture the vacant Herts and Essex (HEW) Women's Championship. Later that month, Knight once again defeated Saraya to capture the WAWW British Championship. In November 2009, Knight captured the Real Deal Wrestling (RDW) Women's Championship from her mother in an elimination match also featuring Chelsey Love and Stacey Baybie. In December 2009, while in HEW, Knight won the RQW Women's Championship by defeating Jetta in a champion vs. champion match with her HEW Women's Championship on the line. In May 2010, Knight and her mother challenged Amazon and Ananya for the PWF Ladies Tag Team Championship, which they won. On 17 July 2010, Knight lost the HEW Women's Championship to her mother.