WWE's Alexa Bliss on concussion, her pro-wrestling development and future

WWE superstar Alexa Bliss recently spoke to Newshub.
WWE superstar Alexa Bliss recently spoke to Newshub. Photo credit: WWE.com

With a frustrating 12 months behind her, WWE superstar Alexa Bliss wants to get back to the top of the sports entertainment realm.

'The Goddess' is exactly a year removed from being the queen of the WWE's women's division, but losing her Raw championship and then a near-nine month battle with a concussion put the brakes on her soaring career. 

Bliss entered Summerslam last August as champion but was dominated by former UFC champion Ronda Rousey, losing her crown inside six minutes.

A month later she was set for a headline act with WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus at the first ever all-women's WWE pay per view, Evolution. 

But weeks before her dream match, Bliss suffered a nasty head knock and resulting tests indicated she had concussion symptoms.

Those symptoms remained for the rest of 2018. Despite her in-ring return in January, Bliss' symptoms returned and the first half of 2019 has mirrored last year.

But Bliss - real name Alexis Kaufman - has shone in front of the camera, playing the role of an antagonistic talk show host on WWE programming.

Bliss told Newshub's Fight Club Podcast that while she remains frustrated she couldn't work in the ring, the ability to develop her character and perform in front of fans has been a blessing. 

"I love being able to perform in any aspect of the business, be it in or out of the ring," Bliss told Fight Club. 

"Yes, being out of the ring has been incredibly frustrating. It was an injury that you couldn't put a timeline on. Concussions are hard to diagnose - some people are out for a week, while some could be out for a number of years.

"It's not like a broken ankle where you can just reset the ankle and be good to go in a few months," she says.

"I'm very fortunate that WWE gave me the opportunity to do 'A Moment of Bliss' and remain connected to the audience. That's what I love to do and it's been great."

Bliss is a big fan of 'Cosplay'.
Bliss is a big fan of 'Cosplay'. Photo credit: WWE.com
Bliss cam be seen every Tuesday in New Zealand on Sky 5.
Bliss cam be seen every Tuesday in New Zealand on Sky 5. Photo credit: WWE.com
Bliss is a five time women's champion in the WWE.
Bliss is a five time women's champion in the WWE. Photo credit: WWE.com

Now fully fit and symptom-free, Bliss has already reclaimed gold just a few months after her return. 

The 28-year-old is the new co-holder of the WWE women's tag team championships with Nikki Cross.

Bliss and Cross are an unusual pairing, but the diminutive American is excited about their future as they look to make their mark on the scripted world of professional wrestling. 

"It's been really different with Nikki," Bliss told Fight Club.

"When I saw Nikki came to the main roster I knew straight away that we shared a lot in common. 

"We both came in as outsiders and I think people in this industry can judge you on your past, your credentials. Nikki doesn't judge me on my past - we get along and we have helped and supported each other with stuff both in and out of the ring. "

WWE superstar Nikki Cross.
WWE superstar Nikki Cross. Photo credit: WWE.com

Bliss was signed to a WWE developmental contract in 2013 following a career in gymnastics and professional fitness competitions.

A genuine wrestling novice, Bliss debuted four months later playing the role of a cheerleader, a gimmick she didn't enjoy. However she continued to develop her in-ring skillset and quickly showed a gift of the gab, connecting with the audience through her promo ability.

In 2015, Bliss' character took on a sinister twist, playing a 'mean girl' bully. It was a role she enjoyed and thrived in.

Four years on, having had multiple reigns as women's champion, hosted WrestleMania 35 and developed into one of the very best all-around talents on the entire WWE roster (both men and women), Bliss has some words of advice for her younger self. 

"I would tell myself that one day, hard work will pay off," she said.

"NXT [WWE's development brand] is such a grind and there are points where you think to yourself that you can't keep going. 

"But I would tell myself to enjoy that time in NXT because it will pass you by very quickly and you will have a lot of fun over the next few years - just keep it going."