Why Pairing With Nikki Cross Was The Best Thing To Happen To Alexa Bliss In 2019

(Photo credit: PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)

2019 was turning out to be a nightmare of a year for Alexa Bliss. She couldn’t get on the WrestleMania card due to the concussion issues that had haunted her from the previous year. She was instead put up as the host of the show, but in reality, that doesn’t really mean much more than an opening segment and a few others.

Bliss was being shortlisted as one of the superstars who had the worst luck in 2019, but things slowly changed for the better. It was odd to see a time when Alexa Bliss wasn’t challenging for the title. Think about this – from her very first PPV on the main roster, she had constantly been in the title picture, whether it was as a challenger or as a champion (though most of her time was spent as a champion).

She found her initial success on SmackDown in 2016, instantly being thrust into the spotlight. However,  it was her move to RAW that really took her to new heights in terms of superstardom. She became the #1 contender to the RAW Women’s title right off the bat and won it in her first attempt, establishing her as the queen bee of RAW.

This was when she went on to dominate the RAW Women’s title scene, much to the dismay of fans. In fact, in between May 2017 and April 2018, she was only not champion for a whopping 8 days. That speaks volumes of how dominant she really was in that time. It led to the Nia Jax storyline and coronation, but even that was short-lived as Alexa Bliss won the Money in the Bank briefcase two months later and cashed it in on the same night, becoming a 3-time RAW Women’s Champion and a 5-time overall Women’s Champion.

All of that seemed to come to a crashing halt with repeated concussions in the summer of 2019. While she didn’t blame Ronda Rousey, her match against her proved fatal as a judo throw led to Bliss getting slammed right on the head and subsequently concussed. She would have to sit on the sidelines, missing out on the first-ever All Women’s PPV Evolution.

Her bad luck would continue as she suffered another concussion and this time around, Bliss legitimately feared for her career. It was then that she revealed that she learned about the different types of concussions that took place and though she appeared at the Royal Rumble 2019 match, she didn’t wrestle much after that.

This was when there was a lot of concern among fans about her future in the ring, with reports from the dirtsheets making it look uncertain. However, post-WrestleMania, she began to get featured more on television and would begin a storyline with Nikki Cross. As it turned out, this would be her saving grace in 2019.

While it did seem like somewhat of an odd pairing at first, the two managed to gel well-together and Bliss’ presence was essential to Nikki Cross in becoming relevant on the main roster. Prior to that, she was largely forgotten about and just sat on the sidelines while the rest of Sanity was ultimately disbanded.

It became clear only after a while that this would be an alliance that was more than just a temporary storyline. While the endgame is, obviously, to have a match between the two, WWE has done a good job in taking their time with the alliance. They had multiple opportunities in the past to have Bliss turn on Cross and then make the latter irrelevant, but they’ve really taken their time to play it out.

Moreover, it has also helped Alexa Bliss realize a new babyface side of her character – something that she only had in the beginning of her NXT run. While she hasn’t outright turned, it does appear as though she’s a babyface now. As for Cross, she may not have the edge of her Sanity character, but thanks to Bliss, she has reached new heights in her career.

It culminated with Bliss & Cross winning the Women’s Tag Team titles the week of SummerSlam and establishing themsleves as a legitimate team. While this partnership has greatly benefited Cross and given her a regular spot on TV, the fact of the matter is that it’s actually done a lot more for Bliss.

Fans are happy to see her in the new tag team direction and it’s only a matter of time before their babyface popularity explodes. It has also helped Bliss come back from a very rough situation while simultaneously protecting her. Though it didn’t come across that way at first, this alliance has had massive benefits.