Liv Morgan on Career Turning Point in WWE, Potential Bianca Belair Match, More
Genuine feel-good moments are far and few between nowadays in WWE, but Liv Morgan's SmackDown Women's Championship victory at Money in the Bank on July 2 was an example of how amazing and magical they can be when everything aligns just right.
The former Riott Squad member had been working toward that elusive moment her entire career, including during her time in NXT. Despite being afforded several shots at the Raw Women's Championship and WWE Women's Tag Team Championship over the years and always coming up short, she used every setback to her advantage and now finds herself the face of the blue brand.
Morgan was already audibly over with the audience, but her popularity has been on another level since becoming champion. WWE's strong booking in the last month has also helped, and the sky is the limit as far as what she can accomplish in the role.
That's assuming the 28-year-old escapes SummerSlam with her title reign intact. She'll have to beat former champ Ronda Rousey for a second time on Saturday to prove it wasn't a fluke the first time.
Ahead of her upcoming title defense in at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee, Morgan sat down with Bleacher Report to discuss her title win and the long journey that preceded it, potentially facing Bianca Belair at WrestleMania one day, and more.
Check out the complete video of the interview on the next slide and read on for the highlights.
How She Felt Leading Up to Title Win and What's Different About Being Champion
Morgan was one of the biggest fan favorites heading into this year's women's Money in the Bank ladder match, but most didn't expect her to win because of how she's been booked for the better part of the past year.
She was notoriously known as a stepping stone who would give it a great effort only to fall short when it mattered most. That's largely what made her MITB win so special. WWE opted to elevate her to the next level despite there being several other viable options involved in the match.
While Morgan was walking to the ring for her entrance, the emotion in her eyes was very noticeable. That led fans to speculate she could be the one to ascend the ladder and secure the briefcase, and sure enough, she did.
"That whole day was make or break for me," she said. "I felt professionally in that moment that if I don't do this for my fans, I dropped the ball. That's how I was feeling, so I took it very seriously and felt I had no choice but to win. Heading into the match, I was thinking, 'OK,' but as soon as I walked through and heard the crowd, it struck a chord with me for some reason and thought, 'They want me to win this so bad.'
"It made me emotional. In that moment, I said, 'I'm doing it. There's no way I'm leaving this match without that briefcase in my hands.' It was a very overwhelming feeling where I was trying to compose myself. It gave me so much energy that it broke me."
Morgan had never before held gold of any kind in WWE. We were reaching a point where fans would have given up her, but becoming SmackDown women's champion proved not only is she a star but she has been the whole time.
“[Being called SmackDown women's champion] feels so normal, but I'm still getting used to the schedule," she said. "The schedule's very weird to me, still. Every Friday, I think it's Monday, and the live events. It's just different. I'm getting used to that aspect, but as far as being called champ [is concerned], it's my whole entire life."
How Her Dedicated Social Media Following and Fans Are Responsible for Her Success
Social media can be a disservice to many within the wrestling world, but it can also have its fair share of benefits as well.
Morgan has turned a negative into a positive by constantly fueling herself on the online support of her fans. No matter where she's fallen on the card in recent years, they've always had her back.
That's been the case from her time in NXT all the way through to now. She felt like she eventually had to win something significant to show that their unwavering support of her wasn't for nothing.
“I feel like my fans have watched me grow up in general," Morgan said. "I signed to WWE when I was 20 years old and I'm now 28. They watched me grow and learn this business the best I can to eventually where they started rooting for me because of the familiarity and watching me for so long.
"I've taken advantage of social media in that I want to talk to my fans and I want to see what's going on. I want to see what they're thinking and what they're feeling. I don't think I'd be in this position without them, but it's so true."
Morgan was well-aware she'd have to work twice as hard having not been formally trained prior to signing with WWE in 2014. Her passion and dedication for the business shined through, though, and allowed her to build an amazing fanbase.
"Coming into this business, I realized very soon that I was coming into the era of Four Horsewomen," she said. "I wasn't that. I wasn't a generational Superstar, I didn't have anyone famous in my family. I definitely wasn't the chosen one by any means, but my fans kind of put me in this position where they made me undeniable in a sense just because of how supportive they've been and how they've propelled me to keep going and keep fighting."
What She Feels the Turning Point in Her Career Was
Morgan was first heavily favored by fans to capture the women's Money in the Bank contract last year.
In the weeks preceding the pay-per-view, she was forced to earn her way into the match when no one else had to jump through the same hoops. Thus, Sonya Deville abusing her power as an on-air authority figure at the time only made Morgan a bigger babyface.
On the final edition of SmackDown before MITB in 2021, she was granted minimal mic time to discuss why winning meant so much to her. In the midst of her passionate promo, she got emotional and won over the audience by the end.
Morgan sees that as being the turning point in her career that led her to the success she's having today.
“I'm a big believer in the universe and everything happening for a reason, and I 100 percent thought last year was my time and I thought it was my moment," she said. "Fast-forward to this year, there's no doubt in my mind that Money in the Bank was mine. I cut this promo leading into Money in the Bank last year that didn't air on TV telling the crowd how excited and ready I was...and they broke out in 'You deserve it' chants.
"I'm just standing there at the top of the ramp and looking out in the crowd. As far as a time that was most memorable, I knew I had their support. I felt their support with every fiber of my being and I thought that was it. That was the start of it all, having more confidence and growing and evolving."
Wanting to Give More Opportunities to Non-Four Horsewomen
What's extra impressive about Morgan becoming champion is that she managed to do it in the Four Horsemen era of the WWE women's division, where it's largely been about Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks and Bayley since 2015.
Their work has been so exceptional that their dominance of the division isn't necessarily a bad thing, but few others have been able to break through the glass ceiling. Bianca Belair and Rhea Ripley are among them, and now Morgan can be included in that conversation as well.
Interestingly, Morgan defeating Ronda Rousey for the SmackDown Women's Championship marked the first time in five years that the belt hadn't been involved in a Four Horsewomen exchange. That should be a sign WWE is about to focus on some new faces with the titleholder at the helm.
Her high-profile matches with Lynch earlier this year cemented her status as a star on the rise, even in defeat. She aims to pay it forward by doing the same for others to ensure the future of the women's division is in good hands.
"I'm so happy and proud it was me, but that's insane," she said about the factoid. "I hope as champion I can give more opportunities to girls like me and maybe a little bit sooner. Just give them an opportunity to have this spotlight and have these amazing matches that they know they can have but haven't been given the opportunity yet.
"I feel like I was fighting my whole career to be like, 'No, look at me. I can do this. I'll show you. Pick me, coach.' And when they finally did, I was like, 'I told you!' I would love to defend this against as many women as I can."
What She Hopes to Accomplish as Champion and Dream WrestleMania Opponent
It's been three weeks since Morgan won her first title in WWE and she's still in a state of awe. She's risen to the occasion so far both in the ring and on the mic, but she has no real aspirations of doing any one thing as champion.
At the very least, she wants to defend her title against credible competition and continue being an all-around workhorse.
"I just want to be a great champion," Morgan said. "I want to be a great, reigning and defending champion. I know that sounds boring, but as a little girl growing up, that's all I dreamed about, to hold this women's championship and be the best women's champion I can possibly be.
"I saw a stat the other day, I don't know if it's true or not, but I'm one out of seven people in WWE who have had the most matches so far in 2022. That's exactly the kind of champion I want to be. I want to put in the work. I want to show everyone how hard I'm willing to work and how much this means to me and how much I'm willing to fight for this."
When asked about which opponent she'd prefer to face at WrestleMania someday, only one name came to mind: Bianca Belair. Once Morgan wraps up her rivalry with Ronda Rousey, The EST of WWE better watch out.
“I've love to main-event WrestleMania, I'll just throw that out there," Morgan said. "I think Liv Morgan vs. Bianca Belair would be amazing. I think it'd be phenomenal, maybe Survivor Series. I think it'd be one of those cool babyface vs. babyface matches where hopefully the crowd is 50/50 and excited and high-energy the entire time. We have amazing chemistry and know each other very well. I think we'd put on an incredible show-stealing performance."
Graham Mirmina, aka Graham "GSM" Matthews, has specialized in sports and entertainment writing since 2010. Visit his website, WrestleRant, and subscribe to his YouTube channel for more wrestling-related content.