As each female combatant entered the six-pack challenge at Backlash, Alexa Bliss received the smallest crowd reaction of all the wrestlers. There are many reasons for this, but it mostly boils down to the WWE Universe simply being more familiar with the other people vying for the championship.
That’s how she entered the match. As a mostly unknown, unproven to the skeptics, wrestling talent. That is not how she left.
She was the workhorse of the six-pack challenge. Sure, she was eliminated first, but it is worth noting that most of the eliminations after she was pinned happened in quick order.
Bliss may very well be the best in-ring talent in SmackDown Live’s women’s division. That is not to take anything away from an improved Nikki Bella, or an always game Becky Lynch, it is just a way to highlight how special she happens to be.
That aspect of her abilities was put in the limelight on Sunday night while being the wrestler used the most to take bumps, hit offense and carry other performers during the bout. While other women also got in offense and took bumps, no other performer — despite Bliss being eliminated first — was as used in actual-action as the tiniest wrestler in the division. And, my goodness, was she glorious.
Between taking some pretty nifty bumps to her innovative offense, all the way to how she would react to each near pin fall, she performed not only like a 10-year veteran of the squared-circle, but as if she’s the person the WWE trusts the most for big moments.
With Lynch deservedly becoming the first ever SmackDown Women’s Champion, and with Carmella and Bella seemingly headed into a long feud, the other female performers can’t be forgotten.
Furthermore, the non-Bella/Carmella’s of the world can’t solely play the role of heel being fed to Lynch.
That’s not to say Bliss should be removed from feuding with Lynch because a loss would await her. In fact, it is the opposite. Bliss should be the FIRST wrestler to feud with Lynch, but WWE needs to do it in a way in which it’s not a one-off.
A lengthy feud between Lynch and Bliss can help elevate the women’s division (specific to the SmackDown) to insanely high levels. Here you have two good in-ring workers, with one of them (Lynch) already being massively over as a face with the crowd.
Then you have Bliss — who is already arguably the best wrestler in the division, but gets even better each time in the ring — who has the potential to make her character either the most loathed heel this side of The Miz or the most beloved “wait, s/he’s supposed to be a bad guy, yet we’re cheering for him/her” that side of Kevin Owens.
Bliss was the standout performer on Sunday night. The other wrestlers also did well in the six-pack challenge, which is a good overall sign for the division moving forward, but Bliss was transcendent in her excellence. So much so, in fact, it only felt like a matter of time before the crowd turned on everyone else and began to root for her instead.
Honestly, had she stayed in the match for even three or four more minutes, that’s probably what would have happened.
Here is to hoping that Bliss gets utilized in all the right ways in the immediate future. Not only because she has massive potential, but because she is already an insanely gifted performer.