While Alexa Bliss has achieved tremendous success in WWE, life has not always come easy for the former SmackDown and Raw women's champion. Bliss battled eating disorders as a teenager -- issues so severe they landed her in the hospital multiple times. Understanding the struggle to deal with those issues made Bliss an ideal candidate as one of the participants on WWE's new Quibi series "Fight Like A Girl."
On the show, Bliss works with a young woman named Holly Jackson, who is also battling an eating disorder. Bliss assists her with a workout session before spending 10 weeks training at WWE's Performance Center, putting on 15 pounds in the process.
"It was almost like I was talking to myself when I was a teen because we had so many similarities and the thought processes and how she was feeling about herself," Bliss told CBS Sports. "It was so amazing to see her reveal at the end of it. I was just emotional and so happy to see that she was getting back on the right track. It hit home for me for sure."
Bliss reveled that one of her most powerful moments on the show was when she pulled Jackson aside off camera and asked if she was serious about getting help.
"When I was younger, I said I wanted help but I never really wanted to accept the help," Bliss said. "I had a talk off-camera and said that that was how I felt when I went through it. I didn't accept help. I told her, 'You're not going to get better unless you actually want to get better.' I asked her, very bluntly, I said, 'Do you want to get better?' She said, 'Yeah, 100 percent.' She wanted to feel good about herself. That was a very real moment we had with the cameras off. To see her overcome so much, I'm very proud of her."
Bliss' most recent struggles have come in the form of injuries as a series of concussions left Bliss' future in the ring in jeopardy.
Bliss suffered two concussions during matches with ex-UFC superstar and former Raw women's champion Ronda Rousey, leaving Bliss' future in question as she would have to get cleared by WWE's doctor before she could return to the ring.
for comments in which she stated she would never return to WWE full time because of "ungrateful" fans while also referring to WWE as "fake fighting." The subsequent responses from WWE superstars and WWE's inclusion of the comments in a storyline capacity on Raw has left unclear just how much truth there was to Rousey's statements.
"I'll just start by saying I like Ronda," Bliss said when asked about the comments. "We've always gotten along, I have a lot of respect for her and what she does and what she's been through. What she does in MMA and UFC, I've always been super supportive and everything like that. It was just the use of the word 'fake.' Especially because we welcomed Ronda with open arms. We all wanted to see her succeed, and whenever we would have a match, we would respect her UFC background and respect how she did certain things. We wanted to make an amazing story with amazing matches while meshing both styles of WWE and UFC together. I thought every girl that worked with her did an amazing job of that.
"But, with that, we had a whole documentary based on my concussions and how I didn't know if I was ever going to be medically-cleared. The thing is, you know, you're only as good as the person you're in the ring with. When you kind of bash the fans who were always really supportive and say what we do is fake, it's kind of disrespectful when we were so respectful of what she did coming in and we were respectful of her in WWE. Everyone was willing to help her succeed, you know? She did a lot for us, but we also did a lot for her. A lot of bodies laid on the path she walked on. So, to say what we do is fake is really unfair. Yes, the finish is scripted, we say that; it's protagonist, antagonist and conflict resolution. It's a story we're telling. My whole thing is ... if she comes back to WWE? Great. We would all love to work with her again, I'm sure. Just limit the use of the 'F-word.'"
Whether Rousey's comments stem from reality or are part of some elaborate storyline, WWE's current focus has revolved around navigating through the global coronavirus pandemic, with the company forging ahead by holding shows from its Performance Center in Orlando, Florida.
Bliss has been a part of these shows, including winning the women's tag titles with partner Nikki Cross for a second time at WrestleMania 36. Through it all, Bliss is making the best of the situation, taking advantage of extra time with her family and animals -- including her famous pet pig Larry Steve.
"I've been OK," Bliss said. "We've all been filming Raw and SmackDown and trying to put smiles on people's faces still even though there's a lot going on in the world right now and it's very unfortunate. It's a hard time for everyone right now. For me, it's been mostly hang out with my animals and my family, which I don't really get to do very much being home one to two days a week. I've been enjoying the time home and making sure everyone is still healthy and spending time with family ... obviously in groups less than 10. WWE is doing everything to make sure everything is good at the Performance Center when we performed Raw and SmackDown and WrestleMania. If we can help people escape reality a few minutes a day, it's worth it.
"Larry Steve is so spoiled. We painted his toenails yesterday. Now we have matching toenails. He loves it. He's having an amazing time. He's soaking up the sun and laying out all day. He gets to lay outside more now that I'm home and he's just loving it. He's the diva of the household and he knows it."