WWE's Alexa Bliss says there's never been a better time to be a woman in the world of wrestling

There has never been a better time to be a women's professional wrestler than now, according to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) superstar Alexa Bliss.

For decades women have played a back seat role to their male counterparts in the world of sports entertainment, often performing in gimmick matches such as lingerie, mud wrestling and cat fights.

But the last 24 months has seen a major turnaround, with women's wrestling receiving a big promotional push from the WWE, including a headline act between Sasha Banks and Charlotte Flair at a Pay-Per-View event in October 2016.

The advancement of female representation in media has taken huge strides recently, with blockbuster hit movie Wonder Woman breaking records and UFC star Ronda Rousey breaking arms.

Bliss says the progress has resonated with her and her colleagues.

"We are superstars now, we are no longer 'Divas'," Bliss says.

"We have this women's revolution going on right now with what we as WWE superstars are achieving, week in and week out.

"We are constantly proving more and more what amazing athletes the WWE women's division has."

The 25-year-old credits a cult female comic book movie character for inspiring a major development in the Alexa Bliss character; Suicide Squad's Harley Quinn.

"I thought she was so cool and edgy... I knew straight away I needed to channel that and incorporate parts of Harley Quinn into who Alexa Bliss is."

'Little Miss Bliss' will be part of the WWE juggernaut when it hits New Zealand shores on September 13, taking place at Hornecastle Arena in Christchurch.

Just three short years ago, the thought of travelling abroad to wrestle in foreign countries for the WWE was little more than a dream for Bliss.

As a rookie with zero wrestling experience, she was signed to a WWE development contract off the back of an impressive amateur body building career.

The Raw women's champion credits her meteoric rise through the ranks of the WWE to the wrestling education she received in the company's development brand, NXT, and it's Performance Center (PC).

"The PC is the best thing to ever land in the WWE," she says.

"I had never trained before, I had never even wrestled before... Being in NXT with all the great coaches they have there was just so amazing.

"You get everything you need at your fingertips. The wealth of knowledge from all the coaches who have been in WWE for years is unbelievable and the result of that is NXT growing into the third brand of WWE because of how well the Performance Centre works."

Bliss won the Smackdown Live women's championship in December, just four months after her promotion from NXT and hasn't looked back since, earning the Raw title in April after being traded to the 'flagship' show weeks earlier.

The former kickboxer is widely lauded as one of the best trash-talking superstars on the male or female roster, but Bliss said it all comes from what she learned before her call-up to the main roster.

"I would have anxiety over our promo classes and I would panic and I was just terrible on the microphone," she says.

"But the fact we had classes every week I was able to gain in confidence and learn how to speak in front of an audience, be it 500, 5000 or 50,000.

"Our promo coach was WWE legend, the late Dusty Rhodes, and he would talk about trying new things and getting out of our comfort zone. He was a huge influence for me."

Newshub can exclusively reveal that New Zealand's own Dakota Kai will be competing in the WWE Network special; Mae Young Classic tournament, which kicks off on August 28.

New Zealand's own Dakota Kai
New Zealand's own Dakota Kai Photo credit: WWE

Kai will join Australian-based Kiwi Toni Storm and 30 other female wrestlers from around the globe in a single-elimination tournament.

It provides a unique opportunity for the talented young New Zealander to gain worldwide exposure on a platform like WWE Network which has over 2 million subscribers in the United States alone.

Bliss said the Kai needs to go into the whole experience with an open mind and a want to learn.

"I would say it's not a sprint, it's a marathon. You have to take things day by day and embrace the process."