Two of my faves in the wrestling world collided when Alexa Bliss appeared on Lilian Garcia’s Chasing Glory podcast.
They even filmed the podcast for Total Divas! Maybe we’ll see it (I can’t imagine we will), but either way, Lilian recounts that the TD crew remarked how they didn’t know a lot of Alexa’s story so hopefully the interview will help color in a few lines for Alexa presenting her story to the Total Divas audience.
There’s a LOT she covered. She talks about not fitting in initially at NXT, and if you love the rumors about the beef with her and Sasha, you will probably love that part. Really, listen to the podcast. Here are some of my favorite parts.
A great takeaway for everyone:
Howard Fine told them that when they make a mistake to just say “oops!” He told them “it makes the problem so much smaller” and it helps Alexa acknowledge it then move on. Lilian told a funny anecdote that in acting classes, if they messed up they were told to say “I’m sexy” instead of “I’m sorry” which is amazing. I love all of this actually and hope to implement it in my own life. Maybe not the “I’m sexy” part in the office…
On being drafted:
She says “I was very shocked I was drafted. Because in NXT, I was never really a highlight character, I was never a person they chose to really go with, if that makes sense.” She had spent most of her NXT career serving as valet for Blake & Murphy, never had a Takeover match and remarked that “I wasn’t trusted enough to have a live match yet” (what does that mean?) She went to say, “I was like ‘oh my gosh there are all these things I was supposed to accomplish still, am I even ready?’ In my mind, you had to check all the boxes before you could get to the main roster. There were quite a few boxes I hadn’t checked yet, there were more boxes unchecked than checked.” She knew she was an “underwhelming draft pick” and that if she was going to come in under the radar then she had to kick the door down.
She is pretty sure that she cried in her first promo class because she was so terrified! What the what. How could this be?
She and her mom would bounce promo ideas off each other at home. Alexa would try out promo ideas and her mom would give feedback, very often telling her “that doesn’t sound convincing!” Remember her mom cutting a promo here? Apple doesn’t fall far from that Blissful tree.
She claims she started getting comfortable with promos when she was partnered with Scott Dawson, “it never debuted on TV, but I was playing his girlfriend in promo classes for a few months.” (lol can you imagine?) She says it helped her because it was out of the box and she got to react off people. Then joining Blake & Murphy really helped the pieces fall into place.
The toughest promo she had to learn? Her coronation promo after winning the Raw women’s title, commenting “That was really difficult. It was three pages. It kept changing and changing.” She says Johnny Russo, a writer on staff, really gets her character and lets her have input.
On the eating disorder:
Alexa has courageously been very open about her battle with anorexia over the years. It’s so, so, so important for her to be candid about her struggles and how she overcame. I mean, damn. Look where she is today!
It started when she was 15 and her boyfriend broke up with her. She saw pictures of herself with cellulite, and put together that he probably broke up with her because she was fat. It began as simple dieting then when she started weighing herself every day, it became a numbers game, and she became obsessed with ‘what’s the next number I can get to?’ and counting calories. She would make note cards with restaurants that she normally ate, an item from the menu, and the amount of calories/fat/sodium in that item, and how much of it she would consume to fit her (very low) amount of calories that day. She’d chew up protein bars and spit them out just to get flavor. She lost 40 pounds in six weeks. Her mom had struggled with anorexia when she was younger, so she recognized the signs in her daughter. Her parents brought her Chipotle and said “We need you to eat this.We’re worried about you.” She looked at her mom and threw the Chipotle at her and said “I’m not eating that. You can’t make me.” She commented to Lilian about the moment that “I was terrified of the food.” That was the moment that lead to the hospitalization (she was 89 pounds and a heart rate of 28). They told her parents “with or without your consent, we’re keeping her” telling them she was 24 hours away from dying. Her parents obviously gave their consent. She recalls looking in the mirror and she couldn’t see the drastic transformation that had everyone so worried. She was hospitalized for 6 weeks because her heart rate “wasn’t coming back.”
She asked the doctor if she was going to die and he didn’t have an answer.
When she went to college, her cheer coach had eating disorder tendencies. Alexa would tell her that she was very sensitive to those, but nonetheless the coach would tell her things like “if you get down to this weight, you’ll be on the nationals team!” Alexa kept telling her ‘I don’t feel comfortable’ but it wasn’t enough, especially with the stress of school and living away from home, still triggered the eating disorder to come back. She left after a football game and told the team she needed to leave, readmitting herself back to the hospital the next day.