Alexa Bliss currently sits atop the Raw women's division as the champion and top heel, but she says she would not be where she is today if it wasn't for Blake and Murphy -- her former on-screen cohorts in NXT.
"That's where I really learned to establish and build the Alexa Bliss character, which I'm very grateful for that. I know that I wouldn't be where I am if it weren't for Blake and Murphy allowing me to come in their group and learning this character and evolving it. They are very very proud of me and I am very grateful for that," Bliss said.
Bliss turned heel in 2015 at NXT Takeover: Unstoppable, interfering to help Blake and Murphy defeat Enzo Amore and Big Cass in an NXT Tag Title Match. Heading into that, Bliss said she felt like her job was on the line.
"From day one I knew that, when I was told I was being put with Blake and Murphy, I knew that that was my sink-or-swim moment. Because as a good guy on NXT, I wasn't being written for. My character wasn't believable. I wasn't being used. In my mind, when they told me that I was gonna be paired with Blake and Murphy, I knew that I was going to have to do a character change. So literally Wednesday night we had Takeover, and I pushed Enzo off the top rope and helped Blake and Murphy retain their championships. And the next day I came in with completely different gear. Within a 24-hour period, completely different gear, completely different hair, completely different look, completely different demeanor, because I knew that if I didn't run with this, I probably wasn't going to have a job. So I knew if I didn't have to worry about being in the ring and learning to portray this character, being on the sideline and portraying this character was extremely important. We had pitched this idea for eight months before it even happened. We were prepared to make this group and make it what it was. And I knew from that moment."
Bliss cringed when she watched her first televised match managing Blake and Murphy, noting her lack of activity.
"I looked like just the old Alexa Bliss, but just holding two tag championships. So I knew that I had to be more vocal, I had to be a presence, because if they were gonna add me with Blake and Murphy there needed to be a reason."
Reflecting back on those days now, Bliss told Roberts it was easier for her to develop her current heel persona -- which she has described previously as the mean girl everyone knows in high school -- as a manager because she could focus fully on that aspect of her job without having to worry about projecting character in the ring while simultaneously worrying about the match and the moves in the match.
While Bliss continues to be a fixture on Raw, Blake and Murphy have barely been seen on WWE programming in 2017. Blake made his last appearance on the May 24 episode of NXT, losing to Drew McIntyre. Murphy, who is Bliss' real-life fiancee, has not had a match on NXT since last December.