Piper Niven (WWE’s Doudrop): battling against the odds

LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 12: Mae Young Classic contestant Piper Niven appears on the red carpet of the WWE Mae Young Classic on September 12, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Bryan Steffy/Getty Images for WWE)
LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 12: Mae Young Classic contestant Piper Niven appears on the red carpet of the WWE Mae Young Classic on September 12, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Bryan Steffy/Getty Images for WWE) /

Piper Niven — real name Kimberly Benson of Scotland — has been seen a lot on WWE TV as of late. But you wouldn’t know her by any of those names. The returning Eva Marie re-christened her as Doudrop, unfortunately, but since we’ve seen her appear on Raw, she’s made quite the impression on one and all.

Just going with it

Regardless of the name, Niven’s running with the chance she’s been given; making the most of it, as it were, as any smart, forward-thinking professional wrestler would do. Especially in WWE, it’s not a very good idea to make light of any opportunity thrown your way, as she most certainly hasn’t.

Lately on the main roster, Niven’s had run-ins with some of the best women to be featured on the show, most recently Alexa Bliss. As Doudrop, she has been stuck in the middle of Bliss and Marie’s feud, doing all of Marie’s dirty work and bidding. In the process, she caught the eye of many fans, as well as the chairman himself.

Apparently, Vince McMahon loves the angle; this is essentially why we’ve been seeing so much of it, of course.

According to heelbynature.com, as per PWInsider Elite (Mike Johnson): “…We’re going to see a lot of Eva Marie and Doudrop, because Vince apparently loves the end goal…I was told he’s super impressed with Piper Niven so far…”

And the end goal — the end result — is often so important in professional wrestling. But just who is Doudrop, really? Is she merely a cog in an angle for Eva Marie? Or does her past promise so much more?

The Piper is calling…

Niven started training at the age of 15 and got her debut match a year later. She’s thirty now, marking 15 years in the business for her, which undoubtedly places her in an elite class of wrestlers. Niven hails from Ayrshire, Scotland, specifically.

Of her training, she has stated, according to Wikipedia: “I got beat up, totally beat up. I remember lying in bed the next day, being so sore and in absolute agony, but I just loved it, I had to go back.”

Among other promotions, Niven has worked for World Of Sport Wrestling, ICW, Preston City Wrestling, Alpha Omega Wrestling, EVE Women’s Wrestling, World Wonder Ring Stardom in Japan. She worked under the name Viper in those years.

It was in Stardom where she started a working relationship with none other than Io Shirai. She also competed in the 2017 Mae Young Classic as Piper Niven, a tournament that so many indie and established female wrestlers competed in. Really, it was a who’s who of female wrestlers. Just take a look at that card and you’ll see.

Notable championships she’s held include the AOW Women’s Championship (once), ICW Women’s Championship (twice), PCW Women’s Championship (once), WOS Women’s Championship (twice), the Artist of Stardom Championship (also with Io Shirai and Hazuki), and Pro Wrestling Illustrated  ranked her at number 37 out of the top 50 wrestlers in 2017. And to tell you the truth, dear readers, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. She has certainly accomplished a lot in her 15 years as a professional wrestler.

Of her time in ICW (Insane Championship Wrestling), a very notable moment in Niven’s career was taking part in the first-ever Queen of Insanity Match against Kay Lee Ray, and it was for the ICW Women’s World Championship. It was essentially a hardcore match, and to say that it shattered expectations, going further in terms of hardcore wrestling action than anything WWE has put on in the last decade or over, would be putting it too mildly. It was a hardcore match clinic.

But all of Niven’s time in Japan and on the indie circuit also involved her having to work a part-time job to help pay the bills. She worked at home in Ayrshire with her mother and father at the family business. The stability of working for her parents, though, allowed her to travel for her wrestling obligations, and as she has stated, she felt blessed for having had that base while she chased her dreams.

She also suffers from Bell’s Palsy but doesn’t let that stop her in the slightest.

It was finally in 2019 that Niven signed on with WWE. She started on NXT UK. There, she had run-ins with Rhea Ripley and the plethora of stars on that brand, establishing herself from angle to angle. She competed on WWE Worlds Collide, a program that included wrestlers from all of the WWE brands.

Also of note, she competed in a Triple Threat Match against Toni Storm and Kay Lee Ray at NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool II.

It should also be stated that in her time on NXT UK, she also broke ground for female wrestlers and for NXT UK as a brand, when she competed in the very first mixed tag match in the brand’s history.

Notice how she’s been a part of a lot of firsts in the pro wrestling world? Make no mistake about it, this woman is here to shatter expectations and help advance the business.

The ins and outs of her in-ring tactics

In Fight Like a Girl, the BBC documentary, fans get a glimpse into Niven’s world and how she dedicates her life to professional wrestling. It also shows many of her matches and moments in Japan, and by watching them, it’s clear that her execution in the ring is among the top performers in the business.

Niven is serious about her conditioning, her delivery on the microphone, and from hold to hold, suplex to suplex, her in-ring work. On Raw, for now — and I hope only for now — we’re only getting a sample of what she can accomplish overall.

Where she can go

For someone who’s already accomplished so much in an industry that can, at best, be considered a revolving door for talent, Niven’s longevity proves that she’s here to stay. Her doing the most with an angle like the one she’s been dealt, albeit with the unfortunate name, shows that she’s willing to do what management thinks is best for business, which isn’t always good, but worked for stars like John Cena and others.

But like Cena, when something doesn’t work, she’ll need to speak up for sure, as we’re positive she’ll be able to do when and if that time comes. For now, we have to trust that she will be led down the proper pathway, which is always hard to do with WWE.

Her frustration with Eva Marie is obviously building

As far as her angle with Eva Marie, Niven — as Doudrop — is being the dutiful sidekick for now, but if I were Eva Marie, I’d watch my back around her. Oh yeah, and I hope she goes back to being Piper Niven; maybe even reignite her rivalry with one Rhea Ripley.

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In the meantime, dear readers, let’s watch and enjoy as this talented young woman rises amongst the ranks, and makes a few bold statements of her own.