Alexa Bliss is wonderful

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.

 

On promos:

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.

Continue reading “Alexa Bliss is wonderful”

Mustafa Ali: ‘Why do I have to be the bad guy?’

Ah, Mustafa Ali.

He’s one of my favorite wrestlers in WWE right now. He’s one of my favorite people on social media and I follow a LOT of people, so that’s saying something. Simply put: I’m a massive fan. He made an appearance on 670 The Score and I had to give it a listen.

Fun fact I didn’t know: He’s been wrestling since he was 16 and his family wasn’t initially supportive so he would tell his family he was “working on school projects” but would really be sneaking out to training.

One of the hosts asked him what part of his job makes him say “yay” (great question) and his answer is awesome. I’m just going to leave this here:

“I came into WWE with a very clear initiative: obviously I wanted to support myself and my family, but something that’s kind of personal to me is that .. professional wrestling in its history, has always kind of had the evil foreigner, you know  if you don’t look like us, or if you’re not from here, you’re the bad guy. There’s nothing wrong with that because everyone understands it’s entertainment. I think what’s going on in society today, not to get political and stuff like that, but stuff that’s going on, sometimes we have to take a step back and kind of ask ourselves ‘what subliminal messaging are we sending, you know?’ So I came with a very clear-cut initiative, asking ‘why do I have to be the bad guy? I’m from Chicago. I’m as American as you. I love apple pie! [laughs] Why do I have to be the bad guy? I can do this amazing moveset.’ I remember them kind of scratching their head going ‘Well, why can’t he be a good guy?’

So, what my goal is, what makes me happy, is I get so much love for that. People saying ‘it’s such a relief to tune in and see something we haven’t seen before.’ Especially from people from that background, people that have Middle Eastern backgrounds, or southeast Asian backgrounds, going ‘It’s so cool to hear the name Mustafa Ali and for it to not get booed.’ It’s a big deal for them, it’s a big deal for me.”

He goes on to say, “I think I’m doing something special, if that makes sense you know? It’s different. I feel good about it. I hope it takes a life of its own. To me, it’s kind of like I’m trying to change an aspect of the business.”

It was a really great listen so check it out yourself or just stay tuned because I will likely post more from his interview. Can’t help myself.

Root for this man!

Charlotte Flair shares sweet story of Ric’s fatherly concern mid-match

A few months ago, Charlotte Flair was a guest on E&C’s Pod of Awesomeness (highly recommend). She had a fantastic conversation with Edge & Christian, but one of my favorite parts was the Ric Flair stories. It was clearly a conversation between 3 people who’ve known each other a long time and were trading stories about this guy they all knew and loved. It was very ‘Oh that Ric!‘ 

Charlotte talked about how Ric as her manager was very sink-or-swim for her as a performer, commenting “It’s easy to let Ric Flair steal your spotlight every night walking to the ring. I thought about that every night, like ‘oh man this is not going to go well. He’s going to go rogue, I don’t know! I would look over and he would be randomly woo’ing and I would be like ‘why are you woo’ing? It’s not the time to woo!”

Continue reading “Charlotte Flair shares sweet story of Ric’s fatherly concern mid-match”

Naomi was initially told she was “too athletic”

Naomi has been with the WWE since 2009 and it has been a long road filled with struggles to find her place. With a SummerSlam title defense looming, she finally made her Talk is Jericho debut. Naomi and Jericho had a great conversation about her journey, including a fun bit where she and Y2J discuss their similar glow gimmicks and the pitfalls of glowing all the time. However it doesn’t sound like her glow gear costs anywhere as much as Y2J’s infamous $15,000 jacket.

In one of the most interesting parts, she talked about how she experienced both worlds: joining the company around the tail end of the “divas” era then the beginning of the women’s revolution. She says:

“We would get short matches, all of us girls back then, always kind of pushing and trying and wanting and asking for more, just never really … it wasn’t the time. I remember being told like ‘That’s too athletic, like, they don’t want the girls wrestling like the guys.’ I was specifically told that, like ‘you’re too athletic,  you need to bring it down, they don’t want the girls punching each other in the face. Pull hair, do girl stuff, catfight, stuff like that.’ So when I saw, like, what was going on in NXT with the revolution and those girls came up who just, who could GO, and who were so talented, I was like ‘hell yeah! This is what we want to show! We’re more than just beauty and brains. We can kick ass too, you know? So that was really exciting. I was excited for the opportunity to be on their level.”

Jericho comments how he had heard that about the “too athletic” stuff before and “it’s such a weird thing to hear in this day and age.”

It’s funny to read that back now, as WWE commentary now proudly tells us how athletic Naomi is. Glad she pressed on and the company came around to switching their viewpoint on womens wrestling.  They couldn’t stop her glow!