Much of the story for Alexa Bliss and Nia Jax leading to WrestleMania 34 concentrated on Bliss using bullying tactics against Jax. Bliss had issues in the past with an eating disorder and this kind of subject is something she can personally relate to.
Bliss recently spoke to The Cheap Heat Podcast where she discussed what it was like for her to play a character body-shaming another. The current Raw Women's Champion said she took it so far because she knew how real this subject matter was. Bliss spoke to Jax before the program and they decided to take the story as far as they could to tell a more impactful story.
"The reason that I have chosen to take it this far with it is because these are real situations," Bliss said. "These things happen. I have lived through it. To be able to make this story as real as possible you have to commit to it.
"I remember speaking to Nia Jax before WrestleMania. We both wanted to make this story mean something because we both have had our body issues and we both have had this idea of wanting to portray body images to people. The thing is you have to commit to that and that is why I was able to get Alexa Bliss's character into this deeper level where people say that I am rude.
"If that is what it takes to make this story have meaning and have an investment because we care so much about this issue that we wanted to make it as real as possible to show that this really happens. In the end, the good guy will prevail which is what happened at WrestleMania."
Bliss made it clear she doesn't condone bullying or body shaming but this was an essential component to telling their WrestleMania story. She wanted to help paint a real-life picture of what is actually going on in society with their program. Although it was hard for her to get in that headspace, she said it was so much fun because she cared so much about the story they were telling.
"Obviously, I don't really feel this way about the bullying and the body shaming. Because I have had it done to me but I have to be every girl that I went to school with that will body shame you and make your life miserable. I had to have everything inside of me to do it.
"At one point I had to visualize these girls that I went to school with like when Mickie [James] and I were in the locker room. That moment I was sitting in that locker room and just sitting there visualizing some of the girls that I went to high school with and seeing their faces and portraying them. It was the craziest thing, but this was the one storyline that I definitely had the most fun with because it was something we both cared about so much."
Bliss addressed the issue of fan backlash for playing a bully on television. WWE is involved in the popular anti-bullying B A Star campaign and some fans drew a comparison to what was happening on Raw in Bliss and Jax's storyline and what WWE was telling kids in another environment.
"It's hit or miss. There are times that I see comments on Instagram and Twitter -- if you are bashing my character on television that is fine. I am totally cool with that, I'm a bad guy for a reason. You are supposed to hate me, but when you disrespect me or my work or myself as a character as me personally that is not okay.
"Because what we do with WWE we are here to put smiles on people's faces. We are not here to have you judge us as people. I always say, 'would you go up to someone you see at an airport who portrays a bad guy on a soap opera?' Would you disrespect them as a person? No, you would say that I don't like your character on television, but not at them personally.
"That is one of the things that bothers me personally. When they realize that when someone is mad at me, I am doing a good job portraying my character."
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.