WWE Superstar Alexa Bliss recently sat with Lilian Garcia on her new PodcastOne’s show Chasing Glory to discuss her start in the WWE, how she learned to cut promos, her struggle with anorexia throughout the years and overcoming the disease, her “bestie” Nia Jax and what’s left on her bucket list in the WWE. Highlights of the interview courtesy of Chasing Glory below

On the challenges of being accepted as a wrestler: “I didn’t wrestle before coming here. There’s a respect thing here, you know what I mean? This whole business is based on respect and because I wasn’t wrestling in the indies beforehand, it was very hard to be accepted. It was very very hard because it’s a whole culture here, you know what I mean? You have to learn and it wasn’t the fact that anyone was telling me what to do, it was I had to learn by messing up. And so because I didn’t know these girls, I didn’t know these ways, you know it was very hard to adapt, it was very difficult and I was very lonely for a really long time. Coming into NXT, Charlotte took me under her wing immediately and saw you know, how I wasn’t being accepted because of my background, they just saw me as another fitness model coming in and I had never done fitness modeling and it irked me so bad anytime anyone would call me a fitness model, you know what I mean? These girls were so good and they already knew, you know the fundamentals, they knew the psychology, they knew everything that I had just come into this, you know what I mean? And one of the people that helped me a lot through that too was Shaul Guerrero. I became really close with Shaul in NXT and she always had my back for everything and she would help me as much as she could, Charlotte helped me as much as she could and they became my really good friends from that. It was super helpful because you know I had been in a locker room with girls my entire life, but when you go somewhere that you’re not used to, it’s kind of like a little bit of a culture shock.”

On learning how to cut promos and becoming Alexa Bliss: “My mom helped me a lot. We’d have promo classes in NXT once a week and me and my mom would make it our thing to come up with a promo and it would be fun. So I was always doing these promos in front of my mom and she’d be like, ‘Hmm, that didn’t sound very convincing.’ She would just be like honest, you know what I mean? It was just like in cheer when I would have a routine, she would be like, ‘Stop, start over again, stop, start over again.’ So it’s kind of like the same kind of thing with promos and then we had Dusty (Rhodes) as a promo coach who was amazing. He was brilliant at everything he did. I started getting comfortable in promos when I was partnered with Scott Dawson in NXT. It never debuted on TV, but I was playing his girlfriend in promo classes for like a few months and that’s what really kind of got me comfortable with promos because I was out of the box, I was reenacting, I was reacting off of people, you know? When I joined Blake and Murphy, that’s when i was able to really hone in my character as to who Alexa Bliss is because I didn’t have to be in the ring and try to portray a character at the same time and worry about a match and this that and the other. But the fact that I was able to be a valet and to establish a character, work on characters, work on promos, and it helped so much, especially since we were all three really close-me, Blake, and Murphy. I was dating Murphy at the time and it was just like hanging out with friends and being able to do promos and work with people who are just your friends makes it so much easier and I think that’s kind of evolved into what I think about now in promos is like what we said, ‘You don’t just say things, you feel them.’ I’m that psycho person backstage, every promo I still have, even if it’s just two sentences or three pages, I’m backstage, I’m talking to myself, I’m pacing and just saying each thing, dissecting it, being like, ‘Okay now how would I really feel if I just said that?’ And then I say it to myself a couple of times, ‘No that doesn’t sound right.’ And I say it and I’m like, ‘Okay, that’s what clicks. Thats what how I feel.’”

On her battle with Anorexia: “It started off as simple dieting and I was trying just to watch what I was eating and then I started weighing myself and then it becomes a numbers game. Once you start weighing yourself everyday, you start seeing little pounds drop here and there and then you say, ‘Okay, what’s the next number I can get to? What’s the next number I can get to?’ And then that’s when I started researching and learning about calories and I became obsessed. I can’t even tell you, it’s crazy to talk about. I became obsessed with counting calories, obsessed with making sure that I knew exactly what was going into my body at all times. I used to make these little note cards and my mom found these note cards and that’s when she knew I had a problem. They were just little tiny cards and they had food places that I had normally ate and it would have an item from that place-let’s say it was like chicken from Burger King, it would have the amount of calories, the amount of fat, the amount of sodium and I made my own little nutritional cards. And then I would write down how much of that I would have to make a certain amount of calories that would fit my diet that day. And you know cheering, we would have practice after school and it got to the point where I would try all these little tricks just to not eat and I remember I was starving, I was so hungry and it was cheer practice and I remember chewing up a protein bar and spitting it back out just to get the flavor of food in my mouth and some kind of energy absorbed from that and I would spit it out and go train because I was so calorie conscious. I would get up a four in the morning before school, I would go and do cardio and then at school I made sure that I would only eat a Jell-O, an apple, and an egg white and that equaled to 150 calories a day and the weight just started dropping off of me like crazy. I went from 130 to 90 in six weeks. My mom was anorexic when she was younger so she knew, she knew exactly when she saw that I was like smelling food, but not eating it or if I was cutting my food up into really tiny pieces. I would have a piece of bread in the morning and I would just tear it up into tiny pieces and it would take me 30 minutes to eat that one piece of bread. I got real skinny, I was weak, I remember I turned into this completely different person because when you’re wrapped up in an eating disorder, you’re not yourself.”

On dealing with the pressure of being a WWE Superstar: “I’ve fully accepted the fact that if I’m going to do a career like this, I have to be willing to take criticism, because it’s a part of the job, you know? Any Instagram thing I post, someone’s going to say something, I know that. Anything on Twitter, someone’s going to judge whatever I do, whatever I say, whatever I look like, I understand that. But I also know that if I were to ever read into that and slip back into an eating disorder, my body will not survive another one. I’ve been told that multiple times with how my body reacts to it, I will not survive another one. If I’m a little more heavier, if I’m ever a little thicker, that’s fine because that means I’m stronger. It means I’m not worried about not waking up in the morning, I’m not worried about the amount of calories I’m eating. There’s so many more things to life to worry about than that. Like they say, ‘An eating disorder will always be in the back of your head, you’ll never get rid of it.’ Once its there, its always there. Yeah, there’s still foods I’m still afraid to. I’m terrified to eat certain foods, but I know that if I eat them, it’s going to be okay. I’m going to get through it. I’ve been very aware with the fact that being in the public eye, being on TV, being casted to Total Divas, I’m setting myself out there for criticism, but I have to know in my heart, what I know is right.”

On her friendship with Nia Jax: “She’s very loud, I’m very quiet. We balance each other out like crazy. We’ll call each other out on crap all the time, we’ll joke around nonstop. I’ve always been friends with people like Nia, I’ve always been. I love Nia, she is amazing. She’s outgoing, she’s funny, we joke around all the time, we quote Bridesmaids like its going out of style, it’s the best! We’re always making each other laugh. Like when one of us is stressed, we always try to bring the other one up, you know? We sing songs on the top of our lungs on car rides. I’m pretty sure we’re the first like real best friends that have ever been on it (Total Divas) so I think that will be very interesting. When NXT has tryouts, they have some of the talent to come and help and like work the tryout, tell people where to roll, where to do this, basically boss everyone around. I worked Nia’s tryout and so I remember I was doing cardio while they were having a lunch break and she comes up and she starts talking to me like she knew me forever, like she’s never met a stranger in her life! And I was like, “Oh, hello!” And then we’ve just become really close after that and became best friends shortly after.”

Her future goals in the WWE: “I want to be one of the longest reigning champions and for our women as a whole, even if I’m not in the match, I want us to have a Main Event at WrestleMania. That’s what I want so bad more than anything even if I’m not in the match-I mean I would love to be in the match let’s not get that twisted, but if we could have a Main Event on WrestleMania, that would be the ultimate thing.”

Alexa also discusses growing up as an athlete, her draft to the main roster, engagement with Buddy Murphy and how she utilizes her WWE platform.

You can listen to the full interview here.

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