Alexa Bliss had a reasonably successful run in NXT, where she developed into a competent wrestler and cultivated heel persona that would wind up landing her within her niche spot with WWE. During that time, however, she was largely working under the shadow of the so-called Four Horsewomen—Sasha Banks, Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, and Bayley who broached four star territory in different permutations of working together. While Bliss may have been a notch above pretty faces from the generations to precede her, it looked as though it would be her lot in WWE to play a supporting role to these brighter stars who’d happened to emerge at around the same time.
Things shifted on the main roster, however. After getting called up when WWE re-split main roster brands, Bliss wound up a de facto challenger to Smackdown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch. And as Bliss really found her footing, particularly on the mic, WWE’s faith in Bliss seemed to falter. In a surprising turn of events, Bliss would win her first gold in WWE (or NXT) by taking the title off of Lynch at TLC 2016.
In the months to follow, Bliss would move Raw and become the first woman to have won both the Raw and Smackdown Women’s Championships, then the first one to win both title’s twice. Moreover, in the most prominent women’s division in the world, she’s been the woman, the dominant champ who has more often than not gotten the better of banks, Bayley, and others.
There’s a lot about Little Miss Bliss that fans may not realize, though. This article loks at fifteen things you may not have known about Alexa Bliss.
15 She Had An Eating Disorder
While Alexa Bliss may be short in stature, she hardly looks as though she has an eating disorder, but rather appears incredibly fit, especially if you check out images of her from her days competing as a bodybuilder.
Bliss has spoken openly in a variety of interviews, however, about having had a serious eating disorder during her teenage years. The issue led to her being hospitalized at which point doctors purportedly told her that the disorder easily could have been life threatening. Bliss has spoken up in the interest of sharing how dangerous eating disorders can be, and to explain that it’s normal to have body image issues, but there are different ways of responding to insecurities. Bliss actually cites her foray into bodybuilding as a way in which she channeled her concerns about body image in a productive and healthy direction.
14 She Almost Had A Country Music Singer Gimmick
For many WWE talents, there’s a tricky period when the powers that be try to figure out the appropriate gimmick to attach to the worker. Maybe it was the popularity of Taylor Swift, or Bliss’s legitimate background as a singer (whose grandfather played with country music bands), but an early stab at her identity in NXT saw her playing a country music singer.
The gimmick didn’t stick, and in talking about it for Chris Jericho’s podcast, it sounded as though Bliss was grateful because the gimmick was a bit silly and had a ceiling on it. It turned out that letting Bliss be herself looked like the right move as not pigeonholing her into a very specific identity has helped her come into her own and incorporate more pieces of her real life personality into her act.
13 She Weighed Less Than A Hundred Pounds When She Started With NXT
It’s not so unusual for a new recruit to WWE to need to change their body to some degree. There are a lot of scrawny or ill-defined physiques coming in from the indies who may need to pack on muscle or get more ripped. However, I don’t know that WWE ever before had a talent who walked through the doors of their training facility weighing in at under one hundred pounds.
To be fair, Bliss’s poundage is a bit less shocking when you consider that she’s only five feet tall. Nonetheless, WWE mandated that she put on some weight before she start training in earnest in the ring, and Bliss was all too happy to oblige. While she likely remains among the lightest active members of the roster, she certainly doesn’t look unhealthy, and if anything, strong and athletic at this point.
12 She Was A Ring Announcer—And She Sucked At It
WWE tried out Alexa Bliss in a variety of roles and gimmicks when she first started in developmental and among them was the spot of NXT ring announcer. That role makes sense enough, given she was an attractive woman with a beaming personality, not to mention that she was small enough that it was understandable why WWE would have reservations about her believability as an active wrestler.
The only problem? Bliss sucked at ring announcing.
Bliss makes no bones about the fact that she wasn’t satisfied with her own performance, and feels that she constantly flubbed her lines in the ring announcer role. WWE seemed to realize its mistake soon enough, as she transitioned to wrestling.
11 She Knew Dana Brooke Before Either Tried Wrestling
Alexa Bliss wasn’t the only woman of her generation to crossover from the bodybuilding world to professional wrestling. Joining her in that journey was Dana Brooke. Though the two haven’t crossed paths much in WWE, their strong, athletic builds suggest their shared roots in a world that was all about building muscle and tone.
Bliss had acknowledged that she and Brooke crossed paths earlier, during their respective bodybuilding careers. It sounds as though the two weren’t particularly close and haven’t necessarily become great friends in WWE, but do share a common bond in regards their roots, and a mutual respect based on that. Of course, in the realm of WWE, Bliss’s charisma and improving ring skills have helped her take the next step arrive as the bigger star in this endeavor. Both are still young, though, and time will tell regarding Brooke’s long-term trajectory.
10 She Earned Her Pro Card As a Bodybuilder
While there are thousands of individuals competing as bodybuilders across the US and abroad, Bliss was serious about the endeavor, as evidenced by her actually going so far as to earn her pro card.
To earn a pro card, an individual needs to win or place in one or more regional competitions, and thus earn the right to compete at a higher level. Thus, Bliss was more than just a bodybuilding enthusiast who showed up for a few competitions, but rather someone who took the sport seriously and worked her way up the ranks. Towards the end of her competition days, though, Bliss reports she ran afoul of some judges by not always following the strict guidelines for attire—introducing more flair to her act to appeal to the crowd at the expense of her scorecards.
9 She Embarrassed Herself Talking To Arnold Schwarzenegger
As a competitive bodybuilder, Bliss had the opportunity to compete at the Arnold Classic—a featured competition at the annual Arnold Sports Festival from Ohio. Her last time in the competition, she actually got to meet Arnold Schwarzenegger himself.
Bliss recounted the experience in her visit to Chris Jericho’s podcast, and said that she embarrassed herself in front of the star. They shook hands, and Bliss recounts Schwarzenegger saying, “You must be Alexis.” She grew excited at the idea Arnold had heard of her and may have even been trying ot meet her, before he pointed out that she was wearing a nametag, and that’s how he knew what to call her. She laughed at herself on the podcast, citing it as an embarrassing experience.
8 She May Have A Real Beef With Sasha Banks
Alexa Bliss has spent a good chunk of 2017—especially since moving from SmackDown to Raw—feuding with Sasha Banks over the Raw Women’s Championship. The feud has been a reasonable success, including good matches and the drama of the two trading title victories. It may be that some of their heat in the ring stems from legitimate beef backstage.
There are a variety of reasons to think the two get along. Observant fans have noticed that the two do not follow each other and never interact on Twitter, which may seem like a minor and silly point, but it does stick out when most of the roster (and particularly the women) are following each other. Additionally, there’s the matter of Banks at least bloodying and possibly breaking Bliss’s nose in a match in NXT.
Perhaps the most compelling evidence, however, came when Bliss visited the Cheap Heat podcast and, when asked about her relationship with Banks, was diplomatic, but seemed to be alluding to real beef. Rather than downplaying animosity, she seemed to emphasize that regardless of personal issues, she’s a professional in the ring who puts business first.
7 She’s A Disney Fanatic
While Alexa Bliss may play a mean spirited heel on TV, she certainly has a softer side in her real life. Bliss has made mention in numerous interviews and Q&A sessions with fans that she’s a huge fan of Disney. She’s indicated that it started with annual trips to Disney for her family growing up. In addition, she referenced on social media that she was now avidly collecting Sulley merchandise—toys and memorabilia related to the popular blue monster from the Monsters Inc. franchise.
It may be Bliss’s roots as a Disney fan that have fed into her interest in cosplay as well, as she’s developed a noted interest in theming her ring attire for big shows around comic book characters like Harley Quinn and Spiderman.
6 Her Mom Wouldn’t Let Her Watch The Attitude Era
Alexa Bliss was indoctrinated into wrestling fanhood via her family and reports having watched the WWE product and others throughout her childhood and teenage years. However, there was a specific period when her mother told her she needed to stop watching.
While many fans remember the Attitude Era fondly for its wild storylines and iconic characters, it’s understandable that it wouldn’t exactly be seen as family friendly programming. Bliss was born in 1991, and so would have not yet even been a teenager during this time period that featured women like Sunny and Sable in sexualized situations, not to mention bloody, hardcore violence emerging as a regular part of the show. Bliss’s mom forbade her from watching WWE at this time, but Bliss reports that she watched it anyway, and her mom eventually seemed to accept it.
5 She Created A Unique Video Tape Audition For WWE
There are lots of roads to a WWE contract, which include talents working their way up through the independent circuit or being actively recruited based on outside athletic accomplishments in amateur wrestling, weightlifting, or other sports. While Bliss had been a competitive bodybuilder before transitioning to WWE, she actually got her foot in the door via a video tape audition.
Bliss has recalled that WWE put out the call for new talent, and that she answered it by self-producing a video built to showcase her personality and potential as an over-the-top performer in the mold of a WWE Superstar. Though she learned afterward that she was the only one to submit a video of that nature, it seemed to work as WWE did indeed come calling.
4 She Was The First Person To Win The Raw And Smackdown Women’s Championships, But Never Won The Title In NXT
WWE celebrated Alexa Bliss’s coronation as the first person to win both the Raw and Smackdown Women’s Championship, beating favorite Charlotte Flair to that milestone. While one could debate it isn’t such a landmark accomplishment given the titles had been separate entities for less than a year when Bliss won the Raw strap, it nonetheless bespeaks the company’s confidence in her. She was an underdog to head up the Smackdown women’s division but her promo work in particular earned her that opportunity. Then she was good enough in that role to get the nod as the face of the higher profile Raw women’s division.
These accomplishments are all the more remarkable for how far Bliss has come as a personality since her time in NXT. In developmental, she was never featured as champion, and generally functioned as fodder for acts like the so-called Four Horsewomen of NXT to get over on.
3 Her Grandmother Scared Her Using Wrestling’s Great Kabuki
For those who are ready to dismiss Little Miss Bliss as just another pretty face who stumbled into a WWE contract, it’s worth nothing that she actually had roots as a wrestling fan. Bliss’s grandmother was, by Bliss’s account, a serious fan. While some grandparents might share folklore or ghost stories to scare a kid straight, Bliss discussed on Chris Jericho’s podcast that her grandma would use images of The Great Kabuki.
The Kabuki character achieved its greatest fame in Dallas-based World Class Championship Wrestling in the 1980s. While WCCW did attain some national exposure at the peak of its run, it was nonetheless not as widely accessed as WWE or the Jim Crockett Promotions, and thus further demonstrates that Bliss’s grandma was a serious fan who went out of her way to watch wrestling, and thus paved the way for Bliss’s interest.
2 She Was The Only Person To Tap Out At WrestleMania 33
Through the early 1990s, it wasn’t so unusual to have a full WWE PPV go by without anyone winning a match via submission. WWE booked differently then, including offering a less realism-oriented product. In that context, faces in particular rarely gave up lest they look like cowards, and even heels tended to lose by pin fall (or DQ or count out). With the rise of more technical wrestlers like Bret hart, not to mention the popularization of MMA, the public came to accept submissions as a necessary part of fighting, though, and they became more integrated into mainstream pro wrestling. Today, it’s not unusual for performers to use submission holds as their signature finishers, or to at least have a submission finisher in their arsenal, including John Cena’s STF, The Miz’s figure-four leglock, Brock Lesnar’s kimura, and AJ Styles’s calf crusher.
It was, therefore, a bit unusual that WrestleMania 33 didn’t offer a single submission fall until its penultimate match, a SmackDown women’s free for all. That match ended with Bliss being the first—and it turned out only—wrestler to tap out at that particular ‘Mania, giving up to Naomi’s side choke. The finish was apropos for the story being told, and particularly the hometown heroine forcing the arrogant heel who’d tormented her to surrender.
1 She’s Calls Nia Jax Her Best Friend
On screen, Alexa Bliss and Nia Jax could be labeled frenemies, if for no other reason than because they’ve moved up the ranks from developmental to the main roster together, and almost always both been heels, and thus wound up de facto partners. There’s been an undertone, however, particularly when they’ve shared space on Raw, that Jax wants Bliss’s Raw Women’s Title. This culminated in Jax attacking Bliss in September to more firmly set herself up a challenger for the championship.
It turns out these tensions are purely a storyline contrivance, however, as Bliss has commented in a variety of interviews that she considers Jax her best friend. While their size disparity may make them a bit of an odd couple to look at, it seems their personalities jive and they’ve been close since their time at the Performance Center together.