Has Alexa Bliss Lost Her Place Among the Top Women's Stars in WWE?

Philip LindseyContributor ISeptember 18, 2020

Has Alexa Bliss Lost Her Place Among the Top Women's Stars in WWE?

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    Photo credit: WWE.com

    Alexa Bliss became a breakout star for WWE in 2017 as part of the SmackDown Six who established the brand's women's division. Unlike The Four Horsewomen, she didn't have success on NXT, so she became a pleasant surprise as she went on a monster run for the next year or so. Although she was easily the best antagonist on the women's roster at that time, she hasn't reached the same heights as a face.

    The second women's triple crown champion is one of the most decorated Superstars in the company. The self-proclaimed Goddess of WWE boasts 505 days as women's champion over her five reigns with the Raw and SmackDown women's titles. In addition, she is a two-time WWE women's tag team champion. Bliss has accomplished more than some other superstars could dream of already, but it's hard to ignore the fact that her character has grown stagnant.

    It may not seem like it has been two years, but Bliss hasn't held a singles title since August 2018. Ronda Rousey famously defeated her at SummerSlam that year to kick off her reign as Raw women's champion. Unfortunately, Little Miss Bliss struggled with injuries in the months that followed, which forced her to take a five-month break from in-ring competition. She returned at Royal Rumble 2019.

    Recently, her storyline with Nikki Cross and their run as a tag team gave her a new role, but it's not quite as impactful as what she was doing in the years prior. That isn't to say Bliss isn't still a star, but she hasn't had a meaningful storyline in a while. 

Alexa Bliss Still Has Star Power

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    Bliss may not be a part of the high-profile rivalries that she was in 2018, but she is undoubtedly one of the most popular members of the roster. It wouldn't take much to put her back in the position to be a top contender, but she doesn't need to be in the title picture to be effective.

    She is good enough to carry a secondary feud on SmackDown similar to what Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose were doing. With the right opponent and story, it could be a proper use of her standing with WWE. 

    If there is any doubt that she can still garner a reaction, revisit her performance in this year's women's Royal Rumble match. Bliss was the first entrant and lasted for 26 minutes and 34 seconds, nearly as long as the winner—Charlotte Flair. During that time, the crowd in Minute Maid Park was receptive to her. 

    If given a significant pay-per-view match, Alexa Bliss can generate interest because she's still an established star. Other women such as Asuka may have stepped in and flourished, but the Five Feet of Fury is a capable stalwart. However, she hasn't been that compelling as a protagonist.

Alexa Bliss Is Better as a Heel

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    That brings us to the next point. Bliss was one of the best heel champions WWE had to offer for a long time.

    One could argue that better in-ring competitors have emerged over the last two years or that Bayley developed into an amazing heel in her absence. However, Bliss still remains one of the most memorable and detestable characters from this generation of women's wrestlers.

    She wasn't at her best in 2018 because she was delivering acclaimed matches. Instead, she excelled at cutting biting promos and her character work was second to none. That is what her recent stint on SmackDown has been sorely missing. 

    The initial appeal of making her a babyface seemed to be because she was such a big star. However, WWE foolishly stripped her of all the aspects of her character that made her successful. 

    Bliss just works best as a villain because she was allowed to grow in the role. She was never allowed to develop a character as entertaining as a face. That isn't an indictment on her abilities; it's evidence that she wasn't given good material to work with.

Alexa Bliss Doesn’t Need a Title to Be Relevant

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    One of the problems with the way WWE books women's wrestling is there isn't enough time spent building up performers who aren't competing for either of the main titles. That's slowly starting to change, but the women's roster is big enough now to promote non-title feuds.

    Some people believe a title should make a star and not the other way around. Alexa Bliss is a big enough name that she doesn't need to be champion to be relevant. She has accomplished enough for fans to know she can be a threat to a reigning champion at any point. 

    As noted earlier, Bliss can easily improve WWE's secondary women's feuds if given the opportunity. If it seems like she has been lost among the current crop of stars, it's because the company strayed away from what made her a star in the first place. 

    That wasn't her gaudy championship reigns; it was that she was a fully formed character. WWE needs to get back to that and refine her on-screen persona. Hopefully, that's the plan now that she is involved with Bray Wyatt. 

A Much-Needed Character Change

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    Speaking of "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt, WWE has a great opportunity to do something interesting with Alexa Bliss following the role she played in Wyatt and Braun Strowman's storyline. 

    Bliss created a positive buzz when she made a cameo in the Wyatt Swamp Fight at The Horror Show at Extreme Rules. The fact that she could take part in a world title program is a testament to how popular Bliss is, and all it takes is an engaging angle to hook the audience. 

    When The Fiend attacked her on the July 31 episode of SmackDown, WWE raised the ante and the segment did well. Bliss has shown signs that she was affected by the encounter with Wyatt since. Her appearance is subtly changing, and she seems to drift off in the middle of conversations.

    Last week, Bliss used Wyatt's finishing move, Sister Abigail, on Nikki Cross during the No. 1 Contender's match on SmackDown. This raises even more questions about what's going on. 

    This is the most interesting thing WWE has done with Bliss in over a year, and it's exactly what she needs. 

What's Next for Alexa Bliss

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    So, has Alexa Bliss lost her place among the top stars in WWE? The short answer is no, because she could be inserted into a title feud this week and it would be believable. 

    In reality, it's a little complicated. Bliss is still a star who can be utilized in various ways, but WWE has lost sight of what made her an elite performer. She doesn't appear to be a top star anymore because the company hasn't used her and many other women on the roster efficiently.

    It seems like Bliss Cross Applesauce is about to break up, but when they were together WWE had a chance to build the women's tag division around them. 

    In general, though, WWE doesn't spend a lot of time building its tag divisions, and the company also doesn't tend to promote more than a handful of women at a time. It's hard to ignore this now because their women's roster is deeper than it has ever been. 

    Maybe Alexa Bliss will establish herself as a focal point now that she is seemingly turning heel again. Her new gimmick could position her as a contender again. On the other, this could give her a chance to help elevate other lesser-known performers. As fans have seen with Chris Jericho's work at AEW, the mark of a true star is the ability to put others over.