The Kabuki Warriors def. Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross to become the new WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions

SACRAMENTO — Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross didn’t mince words when asked about defending the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles against The Kabuki Warriors during the Hell in a Cell Kickoff show: Good team. Really good team, even. But what have they done lately? Them, of course, is fighting words, and Asuka & Kairi Sane clearly took them to heart in a major way, dethroning Bliss & Cross with a performance that showcased a whole new side to the unpredictable duo.

From the jump, The Kabuki Warriors were not their typical selves, instead unloading on their challengers with perfectly synced aggression that seemed much more in Bliss’ wheelhouse than their own. The Empress of Tomorrow’s dormant mean streak was front and center throughout the bout, and she seemed to take particular glee in brutalizing Bliss. Sane spelled her partner capably, slowing the match down with her own quirky unpredictability before teeing up Asuka for another run at the champs.

Conspicuous by her absence in all this was Nikki Cross, who was relegated to emotional support on the ring apron, yet oddly managed to save her team’s reign in unexpected fashion: After Kairi Sane thumbed Nikki in the eye, the ref was preoccupied with calming the rabid Scotswoman and missed what was a surefire three-count by The Pirate Princess. That seemingly took the wind out of the challengers’ sails (no pun intended), and while Cross did not waste her opportunity once she got into the ring, Asuka had the last word, spraying Cross in the face with a mouthful of green mist after Bliss had launched herself off the ring apron to take out Sane. After the blinding tribute to The Great Muta, The Empress of Tomorrow followed up with a brutal kick to Nikki’s head for the championship-winning three-count.

Of course, Bliss & Cross have no reason to be ashamed. They’re not the first to fall victim to underhanded tactics like the green mist. They certainly did everything in their power to win. The Kabuki Warriors just did more.