Episode 202: Alexa Bliss is My New AJ Lee

Hiya!

I’ve written about my love for wrestling a lot before. I love sports entertainment a lot and the WWE but I’ve been feeling my interest waning a bit after Wrestlemania. I still watch RAW and Smackdown religiously but it kind of felt I was just going through the motions. In retrospect, I think my love for wrestling has been dropping off way before that. In fact, I can pretty much pinpoint the precise moment when this started to happen. It was when my favorite wrestler called it quits from the WWE.

Now, to be fair, I have a lot of favorite wrestlers. I love CM Punk to bits because of the way he talks. I also love the fun and intensity of Daniel Bryan. I definitely love the wrestlers from the Attitude Era since it was the likes of The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, D-Generation X and the other WWE Superstars of the time period that awakened by love for the art of this “real” sport. However, my absolute favorite would have to be AJ Lee.

To paraphrase the catchphase of her husband, CM Punk: AJ Lee is the best in the world

There was just something special about AJ Lee that I really liked. It’s not just because she was a skinny, diminutive girl when you compared her to the other performers of the WWE. It wasn’t because she was a geek in real life (although that may be part of it). The primary reason why AJ Lee is my favorite wrestler was definitely because of he great skill in the mic and how she brought life into the character she portrayed. Most people tend to forget that a lot of what makes “sports entertainment” fun is the actual characters and the mic work. And AJ Lee had that in spades!

I guess she set the bar incredibly high as I feel a lot of the WWE women wrestlers have come close to doing what she accomplished because of her great talking skills. Even Sasha Banks, who I do love as well, hasn’t been all that great on the mic ever since she turned face. However, I feel that there is now one wrestler that has managed to rekindle my love for the WWE and wrestling in general. And that wrestler is Alexa Bliss.

Now, I will admit that Alexa Bliss isn’t the most competent wrestler in the WWE Women’s division. She does seem a little green when it comes to actually performing in the ring. In fact, her current wrestling style totally doesn’t match her size and look. You would think she would be a high flyer, zipping around the ring and just leaping all over the place. While she does have some moves that show off her gymnastic skills, like her backflip into the double knees to the gut of her opponent or her old finisher, Twisted Bliss, where she does a weird corkscrew splash from the top rope, she doesn’t really do all that much flying around.Most of the time, she just pounds her opponent with blows like a brawler. Totally unexpected from someone as small as Alexa Bliss is.

Alexa Bliss also doesn’t really know how to take a proper bump most of the time. At times, she just flops to the ground a split second or two just before she actually gets hit. She also lands on the mat a little bit too gracefully. I know she’s protecting herself from serious injury by doing this but it does take away from the effect when it should look like she got hit hard or got drilled into the mat.

Despite these flaws in her actual wrestling acumen, there is still something about Alexa Bliss that makes her my favorite wrestler. And it’s pretty much the same reason why I liked AJ Lee when she ruled the WWE scene. AJ Lee wasn’t the best wrestler in the ring. But she was one of the most well defined personalities in the WWE during her heyday. Like AJ Lee, Alexa Bliss really gives life to the character she portrays in the WWE right now. She’s doing something with the character that a lot of wrestlers tend to forget. She’s doing precisely what AJ Lee did as well, which made her incredibly popular as well: she’s making a definite character.

I understand that a lot of what makes the WWE entertaining is the actual matches but that’s only a part of the equation. The other component has to deal with the characters who are doing the wrestling. These guys and gals can’t just put on a good show. They have to make you want to cheer or boo them because this is how we make an emotional connection with them. But it does seem like wrestlers today don’t seem to know how to connect with the WWE Universe and wrestling fans in general.

A lot of the old school wrestlers during the Attitude Era knew how to do it. The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin, besides being great performers in the ring, were also great at being on the mic. They performed in skits that made us laugh and made us worry about their well being. In fact, take a look at one of the most popular things to come out of wrestling recently: “Broken” Matt Hardy.

Many fans who only know Matt Hardy during the Attitude Era are probably confused whenever the “smart” fans chant “delete” when he enters the ring. Well, they’re missing out because “Broken” Matt Hardy in delightfully entertaining. Matt Hardy is a good wrestler but it was the “Broken” character that sparked renewed interest in him as a wrestling performer. The entire premise of the gimmick is arguably ludicrous and insane… but it worked! But why? It’s because the character and the story is just so stupidly fun!

Of course, Alexa Bliss hasn’t gotten to the heights of Broken Matt Hardy’s success nor the levels of greatness AJ Lee achieved during her time in the WWE. But she’s still young, which just adds much more fun to what she’s doing with her in-ring character. She’s kind of crazy, egotistical but still incredibly witty and likeable. She’s like a bully you can see in a cartoon but there’s just so much win with the way she does it. It certainly helps that, well, she actually knows how to act. She not only acts with her whole body but she does focus on her facial expressions. She’s also incredibly animated. She’s certainly not subdued like a lot of the females in the WWE today.

Also, her mic work is superb. I’m pretty sure she as well as pretty much all of the Superstars in the WWE are given scripts on what to say. But she has such great delivery that there are times when I don’t think she’s following a script. At the very least, she adds her own spin to what she’s going to say, which just makes it sound like it’s coming from Alexa Bliss the character, and not some writer. She also knows how to react and play with the crowd, which makes it easy to overlook her shortcomings in the ring.

I guess I like Alexa Bliss so much and why she’s my favorite character in the WWE right now is because she is a genuine character that’s just so enjoyable to watch. Not in the ring, because she’s just not that good when it comes to the actual wrestling. But she makes me care about the character. Alexa Bliss makes me want to watch her because she’s an interesting character. I hope other wrestlers in the future put as much effort as Alexa Bliss puts into her in-ring persona because I know I wouldn’t have strayed away from wrestling for too long if that were the case.

Who’s your favorite wrestler in the WWE? Or what do you think of Alexa Bliss? Let me know in the comments section below!

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