Thanks to friend of the site (and one time contributor) James Sabata for sending along these detailed notes from the Ace Comic Con in Phoenix on Friday, January 11th. You can follow James on Twitter @JamesSabata as well. If you want to use any portion of these notes/quotes, please credit James Sabata and TJRWrestling as well. Thank you.
Alexa Bliss wasn’t one of those women who fight for years on the Indy scene trying to get noticed. She saw an ad and sent her video to WWE, thinking her background in athletics and bodybuilding might get her noticed, but as she looks back now, Little Miss Bliss thinks “Maybe I just talked too much.” All wrestling fans know how important personality is in making it in the business and Bliss has personality for days. But there was a time she didn’t expect to make it into NXT, let alone go on to hold multiple championships.
“I was in NXT and I was supposed to get a 30-day trial. They called me almost right away to tell me I was no longer receiving the 30-day trial. I was heartbroken. Then I found out it was because I was going to NXT full time.” Her hard work and dedication had paid off and she’d been noticed, but Alexa wasn’t one of the women who had honed her craft on the Indy cycles and it showed.
Bliss recounted meeting NXT’s coach at the time, Bill Demott, for the first time, who looked over her sequin-covered outfit in disgust and asked, “What are you?” She talked about her first gimmick; a smiley happy girl with no real direction. Then she joined Blake and Murphy and turned heel.
“It was really hard at first. I didn’t really know how to be mean like that.” Alexa summoned her past insecurities, trying to base a character off the girls in her life who had bullied her and mistreated her in her school years. After a while, the character flowed naturally and morphed into the Champion we all love to hate.
Bliss stated she’s accomplished the things she came to the WWE to accomplish (and then some). While she enjoyed being in the first women’s Elimination Chamber match and many other firsts, the two things that stick out most to her are her match with Sasha Banks in Abu Dhabi (and the “This is Hope” chant) and her favorite match of her career. “My favorite match was with Nia at Wrestlemania. I got to be in the ring at Mania with my best friend and she got to beat me for the title.”
Lillian asked her about Bliss’ on again off again relationship with Buddy Murphy. “I had a lot of guilt with being drafted to Smackdown. He was still in NXT and trying to make it and I was talking about all the good things happening to me. I got to the point where I didn’t want to talk to him about it at all. But he’s a very caring person and wanted to cheer me on. So I learned to deal with it.” She added, “But the road schedule is what makes it hard. First, you see each other all the time. Then it’s a couple days a week. Soon it’s one day a week. Or once a month. It’s really hard to have a relationship in this business, especially when you’re both concentrating on where you’re trying to go. Now it’s my time to support him. He’s the Cruiserweight Champion and I get to cheer him on. I just wish we saw each other more often.”
Alexa was given her dream match with her idol, Trish Stratus, only to have it taken away due to concussion symptoms. “I found out for sure that the match was off the night before Evolution. We have a very strict concussion protocol and if you fail any of it, you have to go back to step one and pass everything again. I didn’t make it in time.” When asked how she’s faring now, Alexa slyly stated, “I’ve been training. I’ll be back very soon. I wish I could tell you how soon, but I can’t.”
They went to fan Q and A at this point. Some of Alexa’s quick answers included:
Larry Steve (her pet pig) is doing very well. They have his Instagram back. His password had been hacked and they lost it for a while, but he’s back on social media. You can follow his adventures at Instagram.com/larry_steve_.
Larry Steve is additionally gaining some ability to hear as he ages. He responds to his name now.
In one of the most divisive moments of the night, Alexa stated that pineapple “Absolutely” belongs on pizza, particularly alongside pepperoni.
If she could be any horror character, she would be Chucky from Child’s Play.
Her favorite rival is Nia Jax, but it was very hard for her to body shame Nia, particularly with Alexa’s own battles with eating disorders and body shaming. She admitted Nia would often sit her down and tell her what to say in her promos because Alexa couldn’t bring herself to say those things about her best friend.
When asked who her favorite Indy Women’s Wrestlers were, Alexa stated, “I would have said Toni Storm and Io Shirai, but now they’re both in WWE.”
The best advice she can give anyone who wants to make it in the business is “Patience, Respect, and Drive. You have to be patient and wait for the machine to work. You have to respect the business and where it’s come from and what others have put into it. And you have to have the drive to keep pushing no matter what. That’s the only way to succeed.”
Alexa was quiet at first when asked which female performer should be the next inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, but eventually said, “I would pick Mickie James.” Lillian Garcia pointed out that Mickie isn’t retired.
Alexa smiled, “It’s the women’s evolution. First time for everything. The rules no longer matter.”
Lillian Garcia starts it out by saying, “In April 2017, you were fed up. You went on a podcast and said you were going to change everything, that you couldn’t stand the direction of your character or what you were doing. That you needed to turn it around.” And has she ever.
Becky Lynch went from being universally seen as a really good wrestler who was never given a chance to the single hottest star burning throughout the WWE Universe. With a shift in her character, Lynch’s confidence has grown and she has ascended the throne as the self-proclaimed “THE MAN.”
When asked about losing her opportunity to face Ronda Rousey at Survivor Series and how it felt to watch Charlotte get the chance instead, Becky chose instead to talk to a young girl in the audience, maybe six years old. “You get it. Right? You’ve probably been playing with a toy that you really want to play with and then your friend comes along and plays with it. And part of you is happy for them, because it’s their turn, and you had your turn. And part of you is really mad, because that’s your toy and you want to play with it. That’s how I felt. And they had a great match. And man, that’s what you want. You want them to have a great match. But it still sucks.”
Lillian brought up the rumor that there will be a triple threat match Wrestlemania between Ronda, Lynch, and Charlotte. Lynch all but confirmed it, stating that she hopes it’s the main event and stated she couldn’t wait to beat them both and prove that she’s The Man.
This led to Lillian asking about the nickname. “It’s not about gender. In every sport, in every industry, for years, whenever someone is at the top and they’re the best of the best, they’re The Man. But it’s not gender. It’s a mindset. All exceptional people in any industry are considered The Man. And I’m the top dog right now.”
— AiPT! Wrestling (@AiPTwrestling) January 12, 2019
The Q and A portion of the panel began.
Her favorite comic is Hoot.
She stated she did not model herself after Steve Austin, but it’s a very high compliment and she loves being compared to him. When asked what a match between herself and Austin would look like, “I don’t know, but I guarantee it would be amazing.”
Someone stated that even though she lost the title, she hasn’t lost her championship swagger. Becky said, “No one beat me for it. I’m still the Champ. They might have my championship, but I’m the Champ.”
She stated her favorite rival is Charlotte Flair. Becky added, “She’s strong. She’s so strong. She’s like a truck. And passionate. You test yourself when you face Charlotte Flair. You better bring your A Game.”
The best advice she can give anyone looking to break into the business is “Work hard. You’ll eventually get rewarded. Show your personality. Bring out who you are. Your best self. Working on your speaking ability. And just keep working. There’s absolutely no reason that anyone can’t make it if they try hard enough. Especially right now, when there are more opportunities available than ever, whether that’s WWE or NXT or whatever else.” She additionally stated, “Stand up. Never let them see you’re tired.”
A little girl asked Becky, “How strong are you? Can you show me how strong you are?” Becky responded that there was no way to show her… but then said, “I got it. I know how to show you how strong I am. First, I’ll beat Asuka. Then I’ll win the Rumble and go to Mania and I’ll beat Charlotte and I’ll beat Ronda and then maybe I’ll beat Steve Austin and then John Cena. That’ll show you how strong I am.”
When asked about the new rules in WWE and whether she likes them, Becky ranted about how it’s interesting that as soon as she loses her title, due to interference and isn’t actually beaten, they immediately make a rule that there’s no rematch clause. “So I fought for it. And now I get my rematch. They can’t stop me. For years and years, you guys keep putting me on top and the machine keeps trying to hold me back. But we all know they can’t.”
Thanks again to my good friend James Sabata, who you can follow on Twitter @JamesSabata and if you use any of this recap on your site, please credit James and TJRWrestling.net. Thank you.