If I had to rank the worst gimmicks or storylines in WWE over the last couple of years, there’s no doubt that Alexa Bliss’ supernatural antics with a doll named Lilly would rank near the top of the list. It might not beat out babyface Jaxson Ryker or RETRIBUTION, but the point is, most of the Alexa and Lilly segments made for really bad or embarrassing television.
Randy Orton vomiting black goo each week was one very dumb thing we had to deal with in early 2021 as a result of Alexa’s turn to the supernatural. But when a doll named Lilly came into the fold, Shayna Baszler quickly became the target for Alexa’s torment. It resulted in an episode of Raw in June that ended with the badass former MMA fighter running scared of what she dubbed a “stupid doll.” The segment was widely panned, and for good reason.
During an interview with Metro.co.uk, Baszler defended her story with Alexa and Lily, citing numbers that indicate viewer interest:
“It’s funny – the Alexa stuff, if you look around that time on that episode of Raw, the next day it had 1.6 million views and the next-watched segment was, like, Drew with 480,000.
So, as much as you [certain fans] think you don’t like it, people clearly love it! And I just like doing that stuff because I get to show a different side with more layers.”
I’d like to point out that the wedding of Bobby Lashley and Lana also got a decent amount of attention, but that doesn’t mean it made for good television or people clearly loved it. Sometimes the two things are not strongly related.
Sticking with the theme of adding depth to her character, Shayna mentioned that she can’t just be a badass MMA fighter and nothing else in WWE:
“You can’t tell those deeper stories if you don’t have depth to a character.
Even the Warmaster Horus, he’s this monster and this evil guy trying to destroy the Imperium but when you read, he had moments where he was in tears about what he felt the Emperor was doing to him.
You have to show these depths – even when you’re a badass, you gotta show these depths of character so you can tell these stories.”
This is very true, of course, and adding depth to characters is something that WWE mightily struggles with. For example, Ricochet has been the same bland “Superheroes R Real” loser pretty much his entire main roster run, with no attempt by WWE to add any layers beyond that. It shouldn’t be hard at all to find something interesting for him to do on television each week, yet here we are.
Shayna’s defense of the Lilly storyline would be stronger if there was any sustained and interesting changes to her character as a result. But there was nothing like that. Baszler did the job for Bliss on one pay-per-view and then moved on to a new story. She is now a generic and ineffective henchwoman for Sonya Deville.
SmackDown desperately needs a badass woman right now. They are so lacking in depth that women’s champion Charlotte Flair had to insert herself into the Royal Rumble match because she has no plausible challengers on the show. Baszler should be one of those plausible challengers, but it’s hard to see her at Flair’s level when she’s involved in goofy segments like being scared of a stupid doll. It’s no coincidence that when Charlotte got her own story with Bliss and Lilly later in the year, Flair pretty much no sold the stupid doll and came out much better for it on the other side.
What do you think of Baszler’s perspective on her storyline with Alexa Bliss and Lilly, Cagesiders?