Rae debuted on the first episode of the sixth season of WWE NXT taped at Full Sail University, of the new NXT, as a ring announcer. Rae made her in-ring debut on September 27, Rae teamed up with Audrey Marie in a winning effort defeating the team of Emma and Paige in a divas tag-team match. In January 2013, Rae formed a tag team with Emma, with the pair defeating Mercedes KV and Paige in their first match as a team. Summer Rae teamed up with Emma on several occasions, trading victories with Sasha Banks and Paige. At the Royal Rumble fan-fest, Rae teamed up with Emma in a losing effort to Paige and Sasha Banks.
On the January 30 episode of NXT, Rae turned heel after attacking Paige when Paige accidentally ran into her after Paige won a match against Aksana. On the 13 February episode of NXT, a vengeful Paige interrupted a scheduled match to attack Rae, but suffered a shoulder injury in the process, which Rae exploited later that episode to defeat Paige in a her first match to end Paige's winning streak. On the February 20 episode of NXT, Rae exploited her win over Paige in a backstage interview where Rae official debuted her gimmick "The First Lady of NXT" ending the interview where she said she can focus on becoming the greatest Diva ever. On the March 13 episode of NXT, Rae defeated Emma in a singles match, during the match she even mocked Paige. After the match, Paige made her return and tried to attack Rae but she ran away. On the April 3 episode of NXT she teamed with Audrey Marie in a losing effort against Sasha Banks & Paige after Summer ran away from Paige to the back.
Rae made her main roster debut in the WWE European Tour with Fandango. Rae official debuted on the April 22 episode of Raw, as Fandago's dancer. Following his match, Chris Jericho attacked Fandango and shared a short dance with Rae on the main stage. Rae also made her SmackDown debut on April 26, 2013 with Fandango again in his match with Justin Gabriel. On the May 13 episode of Raw, Rae along with Fandango faced Chris Jericho and Dancing with the Stars competitor Edyta Sliwinska in a dance off but Fandango's dance was cut short by an apparent injury to Rae's ankle. However, Rae later revealed that her tweaked ankle was merely a distraction to trap Jericho into Fandango's attack. In June, Fandango suffered a legitimate concussion, removing him from his scheduled title match against Barrett and Miz at WWE Payback and being replaced by Curtis Axel. Rae returned on the July 1 episode of Raw, accompanied Fandago in an losing to Sheamus via count-out. On July 14 at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view, Fandango competed in the World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank ladder match, but was unsuccessful as the match was won by Damien Sandow. On the October 25th edition of Smackdown, Summer got into a brawl with diva Natalya inside the ring during a match between Fandango and The Great Khali. Summer had her debut match at Hell in a Cell when she teamed up with Fandango to face Natalya and Khali in a winning effort when Summer rolled up Natalya. Rae made her singles debut the following night on Raw, where she faced Natalya in a losing effort. The following week on Raw, Summer and Fandango faced Natalya and Tyson Kidd in a losing effort. On the November 18th edition of Raw, Summer competed in a divas musical chairs contest. This would end in a brawl between the cast of Total Divas and the rest of the divas. It was announced later that night that Rae will be involved in a 7 on 7 tag team elimination match at Survivor Series. She would be eliminated fourth by Nikki Bella.