by Lee Hazell
Alexa Bliss is one of the most talented all-rounders in sports entertainment today. Dynamite on the mic, constantly improving her in-ring style and an acting ability that could see her cast in a sitcom, Little Miss Bliss is the hottest commodity in WWE’s women’s division right now, Four Horsewomen be damned. We caught up with her ahead of her match at WWE’s TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs 2017 to find out what she thinks will happen in her match with Mickie James, her time as a bodybuilder and what she thinks of a potential challenger in Asuka.
Alexa started off by evaluating the state of the women’s revolution, the ongoing campaign WWE is marching forward with to make women’s wrestling less about physical attractiveness and more about athletic ability, character and competition, “We’re constantly evolving and taking the revolution to the next level. We’re getting opportunities to main event; we’re getting opportunities to showcase what we can do; having stipulation matches which weren’t offered beforehand. As long as we keep it going nothing can stop it.”
Furthering that, she was asked about what she would think of the women’s division getting their own versions of iconic matches such as a women’s Royal Rumble, “I would love to see that happen. I think it would be a lot of fun and a nice little step to elevate our division, show that it’s still progressing and take it to the next level.” And of the Elimination Chamber she had to say, “I think it would be amazing. It’s definitely pushing the bar up for the women’s revolution. Yeah, it’s a scary stipulation, but I think it would be well worth it to bring it to the next level.”
However, on a possible stipulation between her and Asuka, Bliss would like to keep it simple. “I don’t feel like I would want a stipulation match against Asuka, just because I feel like she’s this unbeatable superstar and I would just want to get in the ring with her and see if I could be the one to end her streak.” Speaking of Asuka, Bliss loves the opportunity her addition to the RAW roster creates, “I’m really excited for Asuka to come to RAW. We’re always looking to take it to the next level and I think Asuka has a lot to offer that can help us do that. I really want to see what she can do because I trained with Asuka in NXT for a year or two, so I’ve seen her develop and grow, transitioning between styles of wrestling and I’m really excited to see her on the main roster and see what she can do.”
She doesn’t just want to see what Asuka can do from the stalls either, she wants to see what she can do from across the ring. “I’ve never faced her on a televised event. I would love to have a PPV match with Asuka. I would love for her to take my title and be the first person to ever beat Asuka. To show the world that she’s really not that unbeatable.”
Other than Asuka, Alexa has also had her eye on the Mae Young classic, “I was there at Full Sail [University] watching it. Kairi Sane was awesome. I loved watching Toni Storm, Shayna Baszler; I loved watching all these women because they all brought something. They’re all diverse, intense and it was so motivating to me to see this happen for women in our industry, to see every woman out there trying her best, giving her all for the next step.”
When asked if variety and diversity is important in the women’s division Alexa said, “That’s the one thing that WWE is great at. We have literally every type of woman on our roster. Everyone defines beauty and strength differently and I think we have a person that represents that for everybody. It’s very refreshing.”
Having everyone be able to see themselves in the characters they see on TV is important to Bliss, as is her own responsibility as a role model, “I know when I was growing up an only child, in sports, I saw my coaches more than I saw my parents. I felt that I didn’t really have somebody to relate to. I feel like for kids who get involved in sports and girls who have body image issues, I want to be the person I wish I had to look up to, to show that you can succeed no matter what. Staying active is very important and it can lead you to amazing things.”
One of the ways that Alexa kept up with her own philosophy was to be a competitive bodybuilder. She says of her experience, “It’s so different. Nothing can prepare you for what your body goes through in the ring. With bodybuilding, I lifted every morning for an hour and a half with my trainer and then I did a half hour of cardio, and at nights I would do an hour and a half of boot camp. My trainer had me eating every two hours, not burning any excess calories, so I would lift, do cardio and have to sit pretty much all day until boot camp. Then I would have to get ten hours of sleep.”
She compares this with her current job, “With WWE we travel so much we maybe get three hours of sleep. We work out when we can because it’s very important to stay fit on the road. There’s no schedule or regiment, so you have to make your own.” She paints a picture of self-reliance with all the challenges that that entails. “You’re very much on your own and with how busy we get with travelling it’s very hard to set a schedule.”
She recalls her change in career and what motivated that change. “I was at college, competing at the time and my trainer told me that WWE was having a try-out. I didn’t really know that people could actually go to wrestling schools or anything like that because I was so wrapped up in college and different sports, so when I heard WWE was having a try-out I knew that was an opportunity I didn’t want to pass up. I wanted to say, “At least I tried.” I am very happy I made that decision.”
Competing against some of the most athletically dominant women in the industry could not have been easy for Little Miss Bliss, because as her nickname suggests, she’s only five foot tall. We asked her how she overcame that disadvantage in her in-ring work. “I feel like my height is an advantage. I feel like because I’m not tall or very big, I feel like I’m quick. People don’t think I can do much damage but I have the element of surprise on my side.”
She goes on to talk about her experience being taught by some of the most seasoned mentors in the business. “I loved working with Sara Amato and Terry Taylor. They are brilliant. I worked with Sara the entire time I worked at NXT and I can’t say enough good things about her. I wouldn’t be where I am without her. Terry Taylor is amazing when it comes to psychology; he always has the best insight. I loved working with the both of them.
When asked about her match tonight at WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs, Alexa said, “I am very ready. I am very excited for TLC. I’ve had a little bit of a history with Mickie James on SmackDown Live and now on RAW. Yeah, I’ve been tormenting her a little bit, calling her old; but she needs to realise that she can try and take my title away but it’s not going to happen. I knew what I was getting into when I brought her back here to WWE and I wasn’t bringing her back to take my title.”
One of the things that makes her one of the best commodities in WWE today, is her amazing versatility. She has a great sense for how to distinguish herself apart from her colleagues and has worked hard to maintain her own iconography. One of the most engaging parts of her persona is the integration of cosplay into her ring attire. We asked her which superhero she most identified with and why. “I try mostly to identify as a supervillain. I look more like Harley Quinn but I really like cosplaying as The Riddler. When I was younger I used to watch the Batman movies and The Riddler was always my favourite character because he was just so eccentric, so out-there and everything was a puzzle and very smart; so I feel like I could identify with that in the ring because you have to be intelligent, you have to adapt and sometimes I just try to confuse my opponents and then attack.”
Bliss has also found fame as a member of the Total Divas cast in the last year. She shared her experiences with us, “Total Divas is a lot of fun. I get to be on there with my best friend Nia Jax. We got to really show who we are as people aside from in-ring performers. We got to travel a lot; I got to get a pig from it. It was definitely different to how I thought it would be. I didn’t think it would be so busy and so over dramatic but it was and it was a lot of fun.”
Speaking of her pet, we asked how it was to look after her deaf domesticated pig Larry-Steve. “He’s awesome. He’s like a child. He’s on a schedule. He wakes up every morning at 7 AM. He’s in a crib and he oinks to be let out. He eats at 7:30. Nap time’s at 2 PM and then he plays around the house.