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You’ve Got a Friend in Me

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2-on-1 Handicap match for the SmackDown Women’s championship

Bayley (c) vs. Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross

Nikki Cross is too kind, too sweet, and too precious to be getting played like this.

...Unless she isn’t.

The Road to Extreme Rules

When Sanity was called up to the main roster in 2018, the group was missing perhaps their most iconic member: Nikki Cross. Cross stayed in NXT to play with Shayna Baszler before finally moving to the big show in late 2018.

Unfortunately, she didn’t gain much traction; her wild demeanor and unbridled - let’s call it enthusiasm - connected with the crowds, but she couldn’t find a way to really stick on the show until she underwent a bit of a character change, wearing her vulnerabilities and insecurities on her sleeve instead of protecting them behind a slightly-crazed smile.

And that’s blood in the water for someone like Alexa Bliss.

Ever since, Bliss has done everything she can to win Cross’ loyalty, using her new “friend” as a means to get back into championship contention. For the most part, that ploy has been successful. Bliss earned a title shot against Bayley at Stomping Grounds, after all.

But then again...there are some issues.

Bliss clearly wants a meaner, nastier version of Cross. Cross didn’t interfere effectively during the Stomping Grounds match, and it looked for a moment like Bliss was ready to ditch her new friend after just a few short months. However, Cross came through in the end and won Bliss another title shot by defeating Bayley in a singles match. Cross also got to choose the stipulation after winning the Beat The Clock Challenge this previous week.

What’s at stake?

Now here’s where things get interesting to me.

We can all agree that Bliss has very straightforward, selfish motivations, right? She wants Cross to help her win. And yet, she’s also tried in recent weeks to do things for her to make her feel valued, especially after Carmella brought up the fact that friendship should be a two-way street. Whether that’s a sincere attempt from Bliss to become better friends or just a rough attempt to cover her backside when Carmella called her out, who’s to say for sure.

However...do we buy Nikki Cross as being this gullible? Sure, Bayley hasn’t exactly done a killer job at talking Cross away from her Bliss loyalty, but Cross has had promos in the past where she talked about being made fun of as a kid. Do we buy that she’s suddenly, well, stupid enough to not see this coming?

What’s at stake is the SmackDown Women’s Championship, sure. But honestly, I’m pretty sure Bayley holds onto the title. The story here is the Bliss/Cross dynamic, and I really think Cross’ character is at stake more than anything else. For the life of me, I cannot shake off this promo from back in May.

Who’s really holding the strings, here?

Poll

Who will win?

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross
    (88 votes)
  • 69%
    Bayley
    (203 votes)
291 votes total Vote Now