I didn’t have “Alexa Bliss is implied as Sister Abigail” on my 2020 bingo card - and shout out to Adam Blampied of WrestleTalk for getting that prediction bang on years ago, by the way - and I sure as hell didn’t have “The Fiend attacking a woman in any context” on said card either. But here we are.
On Friday’s episode of SmackDown, the main event saw a very fun SmackDown Women’s Championship match between champion Bayley and challenger Nikki Cross, in a return match from last Sunday’s The Horror Show at WWE Extreme Rules (review). After Bayley eked out a successful defense, a dejected Nikki Cross refused any comforting from best friend Alexa Bliss, shoving her down and storming off to the back. Then, the lights went off, piece by piece, until the Performance Center went totally dark.
Before long, a red light filled the makeshift arena and behind Bliss was the terrifying Fiend, who circled her before slowly bringing his hand closer to her face. As Bliss begged him off, she was soon met with a Mandible Claw, which left her unconscious as the screen faded to black, ending the broadcast.
In 2020, the argument is fair that there’s no place for man on woman violence of any kind in wrestling, but I could argue that here, given the specific context of the storyline, this one works. Alexa is valued by Braun Strowman, who for the record, we still haven’t seen since the conclusion of the Wyatt Swamp Fight last Sunday. The Fiend knows this, and to further the mind games, he caught her at her most vulnerable, after her best friend and tag team partner left her alone in the middle of the ring.
On top of this, the scene itself was damn terrifying. The music, the way The Fiend circled Alexa, and her selling of genuine terror, it all came together to end the show with a hell of a cliffhanger. Granted, I don’t know if this could have worked as well as it did if there were a full arena, as opposed to the smattering of NXT recruits behind the plexiglass. But as a follow-up to The Fiend’s re-emergence at the conclusion of the Swamp Fight, it works. It was unnerving, shocking, and adds a ripple to what will likely be SmackDown’s biggest storyline going into SummerSlam in three weeks.
Check out the horrifying return of The Fiend: