One thing I’ve happened to notice, this year especially, is an underlying sense of animosity that is being aimed at Alexa Bliss’ way. Where did all of this hate come from and is it warranted?
Back at the original brand split, Alexa Bliss was drafted to the Smackdown brand. However, her draft wasn’t televised as it was a WWE Network exclusive event. That being said, while the appearance was given that her addition to the Smackdown women’s roster wasn’t anything meaningful, she proceeded to make an impact the moment she started to get involved in WWE storylines. Many people started to notice her charm and great character development. While Becky Lynch was the first ever Smackdown Women’s Champion, Alexa looked to become the prominent attraction for the Smackdown women’s division, and she slowly started to gain popularity. After months of chasing the title, Alexa finally got her moment at TLC 2016, when she defeated Becky in a Tables match to claim the title. Over time, she would form an alliance with returning veteran Mickie James and would carry the title into WrestleMania 33, where she’d lose a six-pack challenge for her title.
After her reign at Smackdown was over, it was time to head over to the premier brand of WWE, Monday Night RAW. As a product of the Superstar Shake Up, she interrupted Bayley and Sasha Banks in a segment to introduce herself to the RAW Women’s Division, and she go on to defeat Bayley at Payback for the RAW Women’s Championship on her first try. They gave the title to Sasha Banks for a week when she won it from her at Summerslam, but she essentially held the title from Payback all the way to WrestleMania next year, when Nia Jax would uncrown her. When Nia defeated Alexa in a rematch at Backlash, many thought that it would be a while before Alexa held back the title. But that wouldn’t be the case, as she would become the 2nd ever Women’s Money In The Bank winner, and would take back her title by cashing in on Nia that same night to become a 5 time Women’s Champion. And of course we all know that she was handled in short order by Ronda Rousey at Summerslam.
So, it goes without saying that Alexa is quite accomplished for a woman that was initially overlooked when she was first drafted. She has basically defeated all of the top superstars from the women’s division and she has enjoyed tremendous success on both brands that she’s been in. But as I stated at the beginning, I couldn’t help but notice a growing animosity for her. I don’t know where it started, but I think it began at around Money In The Bank. This was after Alexa lost her rematch against Nia and was entered in the women’s Money In The Bank ladder match. I saw a whole lot of hatred thrown her way when she was holding the briefcase high atop of the ladder. In a field that included other established elites such as Sasha Banks and Charlotte and interesting wildcards such as Becky Lynch and Ember Moon, Alexa was chosen to hold the briefcase and win the title at the same night. I’m not sure why exactly people specifically hated the decision, but from what I could surmise, I believe that people think Alexa Bliss is representative of WWE as a whole. That being a regression to the status quo.
Alexa obviously didn’t need the briefcase at the time, as she has shown she could get a title match when she wants. So her win was confusing to many because WWE passed on women that could have used the briefcase to enhance their careers. Becky Lynch was in a holding pattern and her holding the briefcase could have been a way to give her the jolt she needed (though hindsight has shown her “heel” turn at Summerslam sufficed). Ember Moon really hasn’t done anything since her main roster call-up despite being a dynamic superstar and popular in NXT. They may have been better options, but Alexa was chosen. Many don’t believe what WWE sees in Alexa. Many think WWE is just a fan of the typical good-looking blonde girl that makes for great eye candy to the casual viewer. If you ask me, people don’t like Alexa because they see her as the female version of Roman Reigns circa 2015. A person that gets endless and forced opportunities despite having a litany of flaws that haven’t been corrected.
Alexa isn’t a terrible ring performer, but if you ask me, she is definitely teetering on the below average scale. She definitely has the in-ring awareness and intangibles down, but she also has shown that she’s not someone that can carry a match. I also noticed a lot of uprising against Alexa during her Extreme Rules match against Nia. Many noticed that despite it being an Extreme Rules match, Alexa was taking little to no serious bumps in a match that was labeled Extreme. This perpetuated the idea that she is also unreasonably protected and further proved that she’s not worthy of a high standing because she’s also privileged.
The straw that apparently broke the camel’s back was the leaked announcement that Alexa would face WWE women’s legend and arguably the best female performer all around in WWE women’s history, Trish Stratus, and WWE Evolution in October. This caused great outrage because many believe Alexa wasn’t worthy of such a match and that it would be more suitable to have Charlotte or Sasha face her because they are better ring performers. Where do I stand on all of this?
I think some of the hate on Alexa is unwarranted, but I do acknowledge where people are coming from. I watch her every week, and while I’m amazed at how great a heel she could be at times, she clearly is lacking that extra gear, which is why other stars are in a league above her because they can put everything together in a great package. When I see women like Charlotte and Becky perform, they can always tell a story or integrate psychology in a match, even if the actual match can be average. With Alexa, there is rarely any structure or something to guide the match along. She’s sort of like a more refined version of Carmella. There’s a lot of extracurricular activity, but there’s not much in the ring that’s going on. To be successful in WWE, you need much more beyond ring skill, but being competent in the ring is important. I do believe that Alexa can hold her own, but she clearly isn’t at an elite level. Many people believe that Alexa is just another Diva who found herself benefitting from being in the “Women’s Revolution”.