In an era where the line between traditional heel and face roles is often blurred, Alexa Bliss gives us an old school villain we love to hate.
Alexa Bliss defeated Sasha Banks at the first (and hopefully last) Great Balls of Fire show this past Sunday. Seriously, either go back to calling it Bad Blood or come up with a name that doesn’t rely on a gimmick resonating with people who fondly remember drive-in movies. Perhaps Vince took a recent study conducted by Magna Global to heart as the findings revealed the median age for pro wrestling viewers jumped up to 54 in 2016. This is not to say that more older people are watching WWE necessarily, but rather the younger audience is turning to digital media instead of traditional television viewing. If the company wants to use nostalgic themes for future events why not base the next show on rotary phones or dial-up internet?
For the time being, we thankfully do have a great lesson in nostalgia as Alexa Bliss continues to deliver a classic heel performance in every sense of the word. She’s talented, brazen, and most importantly, credible. When these ingredients works in tandem, we are presented with something truly special. A look at the other heels who inhabit the RAW landscape shows a mixed bag of talent; men like the Miz and the team of Sheamus and Cesaro are almost ham-fisted in how hard they sell themselves as bad guys and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. There’s no ambiguity when it comes to these characters and their level of villainous exposition helps to clearly define each of their feuds. Not only that, but they have championship gold to back up their words.
On the other hand, men like Bray Wyatt as well as Gallows and Anderson sell themselves as heels but take more losses than wins. Wyatt’s victory over Seth Rollins at Great Balls of Fire came as a surprise to many fans since the typical pattern for Wyatt has been to talk a big game but ultimately lose when it matters. In fact, Wyatt’s win/loss record in the WWE currently stands at 183/424 which means he has emerged victorious in only 29.6% of his matches. Perception is reality and despite Wyatt’s long-winded and cryptic speeches, he simply isn’t seen as a legitimate threat to anyone’s well-being. A much too short championship reign (49 days) gave him a modest bump earlier this year but was quickly extinguished by Randy Orton and resulted in Wyatt’s third consecutive WrestleMania loss.
We have been given a gift in Alexa Bliss, whose fantastic mic work is reinforced by big wins over strong competitors. She has held the RAW Women’s Championship since April and defended it convincingly against Bayley and Sasha Banks. Much like Miz, Bliss plays up the best parts of being a classic heel while finding ways to retain her belt even if it means taking a “loss”. I normally hate count out finishes, but her match on Sunday was so good overall that I’m willing to give it a pass because it worked well as a finish under these circumstances. Bliss hit enough big moves on Banks to make the ending seem more like a champion who was bored with her competition rather than someone running away. By my score, this was the best match of the night and rumors about the genuine dislike between these two women that dates back to their days in NXT only added fuel to this fire.
Any way you slice it, Alexa Bliss is best for business. Her talent both in the ring and on the mic elevates the rest of the women’s division and challenges her fellow competitors to take their own work to another level. I’d like to see her against Nia Jax at SummerSlam because I believe Jax should be the next woman to hold the championship. A humbling loss would help Bliss to further cement her status as one of the best heels on the RAW roster and certainly one of the most talented women in the WWE.