It’s time for your weekly reminder that WWE isn’t doing very well at the moment. The problems have been going on so long at the moment that it can be a little difficult to keep up interest, but every now and then you see something that draws you back in. Unfortunately that seems to be a waste of time more often than not, as WWE is going to manage to screw things up one way or another. This week, we’re taking a look at one such case, and how it might be getting even worse.
Back in June, Nikki Cross debuted a new character, which would eventually be dubbed Nikki Ash: Almost a Superhero. Ash would go on to win the Money in the Bank briefcase, cash it in on Charlotte, and win the Women’s Title in a nice moment. Then Charlotte won it back about a month later because Charlotte, so Ash went on to win the Women’s Tag Team Titles with Rhea Ripley and promptly did nothing with them, leading to losing the titles and a losing streak that has (at least as of when I’m writing this part) most recently seen her used as a means for a Jerry Lawler cameo.
So what went wrong? Ash might not be the biggest star in the wrestling world, but she is better than what she is getting at the moment. She has a natural charisma and the fans seem to react to her. Throw in some charm and a character that showed all kinds of potential down in NXT and it seemed almost impossible to screw this up. That’s not how it works in WWE though, and that was on full display in Ash’s case.
After doing a grand total of nothing important as Cross, it was time for a major change. She was getting reactions from the crowd and the division could always use the extra depth, so maybe it was time to switch things up. With Money in the Bank coming, why not change things up a bit? That’s what brings us to the problem, as something that could have gone well went down in a hurry.
Enter Nikki Ash, who was a superhero. She had the mask, the superhero style gear (including the all important cape) and the confidence that came with it. Well kind of at least, as the ASH stands for “Almost A Superhero”. Normally I would say something like “stop me if you’ve heard this before”, but that would be impossible because no one would be stupid enough to call someone ALMOST a superhero.
So what was ALMOST a superhero you ask? It’s somehow as stupid as it sounds: Ash said that when she put on the mask and cape, she felt like she was ALMOST a superhero. Not a superhero mind you, but kind of close to one. You remember similar ideas: Hulk Hogan as ALMOST a Real American, the Rock as the ALMOST Great One, or HHH as ALMOST the Game. It’s almost like this was a completely stupid idea that no one else would ever use but that never stopped modern WWE.
This is where things get interesting, as Ash came up with the gimmick herself. That is something where I would love some more information, because I’d find it hard to believe that Ash came up with the ALMOST. For the sake of this, we’ll assume WWE came up with “ALMOST”. In short, Ash as a superhero in the mold of Mighty Molly had some potential (heck, the mask sales alone would have been great). Ash trying to explain what ALMOST a superhero meant though? That’s the kind of thing that only WWE could think of, which gives me hope that it isn’t Ash’s idea.
Believe it or not, ALMOST a superhero didn’t exactly get off the ground, though losing to Charlotte the week after becoming Women’s Champion (via a Money in the Bank steal, just like you see in the Superman books) didn’t help. Yes believe it or not, Ash was the latest victim of the path of furious Charlotte dominance, as tends to be the case with…well everyone really.
So Ash was champion, ALMOST a superhero, and a loser. It was all downhill from there, as less than a month after the loss to Charlotte, Ash would lose the title, say it with me, to CHARLOTTE! After a worthless two month Women’s Tag Team Title reign (during which Ash manages to go 2-2 before the title loss, because WWE), Ash reached her current point: another joke, who is on a losing streak in an attempt to build sympathy, as WWE still doesn’t get how this stuff works.
Unfortunately, Ash is the latest case of WWE trying an idea, having no idea that it was a stupid plan in the first place, not supporting it, and then having nothing to do when it failed miserably. Oh wait: they do have a solution, as Ash is now going to keep losing over and over as we build towards the split of a team that wasn’t great in the first place. That’s how far too many tag teams go these days, and it seems that Ash is going to be just another victim.
It really is indicative of the problems with WWE today. You have an idea that could go somewhere, but instead of doing what makes sense, or, you know, anything good, we get some concept that doesn’t make sense. That’s how we wind up with things like ALMOST a superhero, which had to be explained over and over. Thankfully even WWE was smart enough to get that it wasn’t working, but the damage was already done.
The fans do not think much of Ash and given WWE’s track record, there isn’t much of a chance to make it better. Ash is seen as a loser and that can take some time to shake off. What makes it worse though is the fact that WWE seems much more intent on treating her as some lame wrestler with nothing to care about and no reason to get better. In other words, to keep up the Christmas season, she’s on the bad list, and that isn’t something you escape from that easily.
But wait: they might have a plan for her. Instead of losing, she can make OTHER people lose, likely setting up a showdown with Ripley at some point. This is of course after her segment with Lawler, just in case you thought Ash was worth something more than a laugh at the moment. It’s another case of WWE thinking that the best thing to do with someone is having them hit rock bottom and then bounce back, because in WWE’s mind, all of this stuff will be forgotten when Ash wins one match….and then loses a bunch more, assuming she has anything to do.
So what can be done? As easy as it might sound, just have her win a few matches. Yeah it really can be that easy: fans see Ash as a loser because she loses, so have her be a winner and fans will see her differently. There is still something to the superhero deal, but ditch the ALMOST deal (and for goodness’ sake, NEVER have her try to explain the thing again) and just let her be Mighty Molly all over again.
Ash is another example of someone talented who got stuck behind the weight of WWE’s creative department destroying anything good about her. She is stuck with this idea (and again, I’d love to know how much of it came from Ash) and that is all she is going to get, save for a long losing streak which likely won’t get resolved in any kind of a good way. It happens to all kinds of wrestlers, and that should explain why WWE is where it is at the moment. Things are very bad and it seems that Ash is out of hope. ALMOST at least.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 60,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 6,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books.
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