Raw and SmackDown swapped two of their biggest stars in the women's division during this week's superstar shakeup, as two-time SmackDown Women's Champion Alexa Bliss moved to Monday Night Raw, while Charlotte was swapped to the blue brand. (You can see the full list of roster changes here.)
Just a few days after the shakeup, Alexa Bliss spoke to Fox Sports about the change, her relationship with Nia Jax, and who she'll miss from SmackDown.
You can now watch Alexa Bliss on RAW every Monday at 8 p.m. ET on USA Network.
Fox Sports: When did you find out you were heading to Raw, and what was your first reaction?
Alexa Bliss: “I found out pretty much that morning. The night before we got travel, and were going to be able to travel where Raw was. I wasn’t sure if they were bringing people in to kind of throw us off or if we were actually being drafted to Raw.
It was really cool, because I’ve done a lot on SmackDown and now it gives me the opportunity to see what now I can do on Raw.”
Fox Sports: When you arrived at Raw in a new environment all of a sudden, was it like the first day of school?
Alexa Bliss: “Oh yeah, I definitely was the new kid. Walking in, everyone’s already kind of had their place there. I’m just coming in, brand new, first day of school. Everything’s about first impressions, so just making sure I make a good first impression on people.”
Fox Sports: Now you’re coming into a division led by Bayley, who had a reputation as a mentor to some of the younger women in NXT before she was called up. What has your relationship with Bayley been like, and what did she mean to you early in your career?
Alexa Bliss: “Bayley helped me a lot in my career, especially in NXT. I had some of my best NXT matches with her, and she definitely helped me develop as a talent, because you’re just as good as the person you’re in there with. She definitely helped me so much with all of that, and I’m really excited to see what happens if we can have some kind of match or feud on Raw. I think it’d awesome.”
Fox Sports: There was a moment you had with Nia Jax on Raw Monday, who I know is someone you’re very close with. What’s it been like to reconnect with her now that you’re on Raw?
Alexa Bliss: “I was so excited! Nia and I, we used to room together on the NXT trips, and we’re super, super close. We’re best friends. It’s awesome that we can be on the same brand together.
I feel like if we could ever be aligned together on Raw, that would be awesome - because, you know, I can just talk a lot of crap and she can back it up for me. Basically kind of like what our friendship’s like anyway.
It was a lot of fun, I’m super excited. She’s the best, and I’m so excited to be able to hang out with her more and work with her more in the ring.”
Fox Sports: How hard was it to keep in touch with your friends on Raw when you were on the other brand?
Alexa Bliss: “I would definitely say… especially with Nia Jax, we had been super close in NXT, pretty much inseparable. And then it got to the point where we spoke to each other maybe like once a month? Because our schedules are the complete opposite, with Raw and SmackDown.
I saw her one night on the U.K. tour because both brands were in London for a night. I got to see her then, but it’s definitely hard to keep in contact with people on the other brand because everyone is so busy and we’re all traveling at completely different times. It’s difficult, but that’s when we try to utilize FaceTime and texting and all that technology stuff.”
Fox Sports: Do you think SmackDown was the right show for you to start your career on the main roster?
Alexa Bliss: “Absolutely. SmackDown has been branded as the ‘land of opportunity,’ and to be able to take the opportunity that they have given me and really kind of run with it, I think it’s been amazing. They gave me a lot of time and opportunity to show my character and who I am and what I bring to the division. [It’s] given a lot of attention to the women’s division as a whole and really built the women’s division of SmackDown.
When I was on SmackDown, I would say we had the most well-rounded women’s division, and I think that’s all because of the opportunities SmackDown gives. I think it was definitely the right place for me to start."
Fox Sports: Do you have a favorite memory from your time with the women on the SmackDown roster?
Alexa Bliss: “One of my favorite memories has to be when I [won] the SmackDown Women’s title at TLC, everyone was just so happy for each other.
Or even when we had our six-pack challenge match. We were all just so proud of ourselves and of the division, you know, working together to put on the best performance that we could, and everyone was just so happy. Just having that support in the locker room has been amazing. It’s the best locker room I’ve ever been in so far.
Fox Sports: Is there anyone in particular you're going to miss from SmackDown?
Alexa Bliss: “I’m going to miss all the girls, obviously. I used to travel with Carmella a lot. I’m going to miss traveling with her, we had a lot of funny road stories.
I’m going to miss the Usos. Everyone’s just so fun and hard-working and funny. The live events were a lot of fun.
I was going to say Miz and Maryse, but they actually moved to Raw as well, so I won’t miss them. They’re awesome as well. They’re a couple [of] characters. I love it.”
Fox Sports: Moving to Raw also gives you a new set of potential opponents. When you’re performing at live events night after night, does it get monotonous at all wrestling the same opponents after a while?
Alexa Bliss: “It’s always fun facing new people. I don’t think it really gets monotonous because things change. The crowd is a big part of our live events and how we do things. We go on crowd interaction, so even if I’m wrestling the same opponent, each match is going to be different. And it’s always fun and exciting. It’ll be great to have new opponents and to see how that goes, but it definitely doesn’t get monotonous.”
Fox Sports: You clashed with Daniel Bryan from time to time during your SmackDown career, and now you’re on a show with a new GM in Kurt Angle. Did you get to talk with him on Monday?
Alexa Bliss: “I’ve never actually spoken to him. I didn’t see him very much on Monday - he was busy with all of his stuff, TV day is such a hectic day anyway.
The first time I had any kind of interaction with him was at the Hall of Fame, and I got to say hi to him. He was really nice, but I haven’t actually gotten to talk with him.
But his speech cracked me up to no end. Having the cowboy hat, being “sexy Kurt.” It made me really excited to have him on Raw and to be able to work with him. Anybody with a big personality, I’m a big fan of.”
Fox Sports: Going back to WrestleMania - one thing that stunned me was just how gigantic the ramp was. Even Braun Strowman looked tiny walking down that. How big did it seem during your entrance?
Alexa Bliss: “Oh my gosh, it was so long. So, here’s the thing, too - I’m 5-foot, and I’m all torso of my 5-foot. My legs are real short, so every one of one person’s steps are like two of mine. So it took, I felt like, twice as long to get down that ramp. I was just like ‘oh my gosh, this thing is so long, I need a golf cart or something to take me down.’"
Fox Sports: You were pretty busy once the match began, so was that entrance where you able to take in the moment?
Alexa Bliss: “The entrance is one of the main things I remember from WrestleMania. I remember the match, obviously, but I vividly remember standing at the top of the ramp and just looking around, and looking around as I’m walking down, taking it all in. That’s going one of the memories I will never, ever, ever forget."
Fox Sports: When you’re in an environment like that, outside with a such a huge crowd, does it put you off at all once you’re in the match?
Alexa Bliss: “It affects me during the entrances, for sure, because that’s when you can stand and see how many people are out there - but by the time you get down to the ring, you realize the ring is the same size as it’s always going to be. You’re in your element, you’re still in between the four ropes. The ring doesn’t get bigger, the audience does. And that kind of helps a lot, because you’re in your safety zone, your comfort zone when you get in the ring.”