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Nikki ASH Might Return To Her Nikki Cross Roots (& That’s Awesome)

Following her loss to a returning Candice LeRae, Nikki ASH removed her mask and appeared to have an emotional breakdown of sorts on WWE Raw.

The Nikki ASH gimmick has been running on fumes for a while now, but a tease on the September 26 episode of WWE Monday Night Raw seems to indicate that a dramatic character shift is coming for the wrestler. At one point, ASH occupied a spot similar to where Liv Morgan finds herself. A lovable underdog who sometimes punches above her weight class to win big matches.

In July last year, ASH cashed in her Money In The Bank briefcase on Charlotte Flair after a Rhea Ripley beatdown, winning the Raw Women’s Championship. She held the title for just over a month before losing it back to Flair in a triple-threat match at SummerSlam. However, ASH has sunk down the card over the last year, settling into a mid-card tag team alongside Doudrop. There have been a few different break-up teaes between those two, but fans might not have to sit through that storyline to get a revamped version of Nikki ASH on Raw.


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Following her loss to a debuting Candice LeRae, ASH removed her trademark mask and appeared to have an emotional breakdown of sorts in the corner. LeRae gave ASH the ring even though she’d won the match, and the commentary team said it looked like ASH had a “collapse.” Doubling down on that, WWE posted the video from Raw to Twitter, pointing out that she’d taken off her mask. It’s also worth noting that ASH and LeRae have a history dating back to their time on the NXT brand. This short match could be planting the seeds for a more long-term program between the two.

WWE wanted to ensure that the audience knew that ASH had removed her mask, meaning that a character change could be on the way. She could go in a new direction, but reverting to the immensely popular Nikki Cross persona may be in the cards too. Remember, Triple H brought the most out of that character when he was booking NXT. And given the attention and care the women’s division has received since Vince McMahon retired at the end of July, seeing Nikki ASH devolve into Nikki Cross across the next several weeks seems like a real possibility. Especially if Monday night wasn’t a one-off between her and LeRae.

It’s speculation, of course, but Raw doesn’t have a character like Nikki Cross on the roster. The returns on Bayley’s Damage Control stable have been mixed so far, and the brand could use another tweener to mix it up in the mid-card. All six of the red brand’s top women are engaged in the same ongoing feud right now, so allowing Nikki Cross to run rampant following a heel turn could build her back up to contender status. Regardless of who wins the Raw women’s title at Extreme Rules, Cross could be lying in wait as a fresh-faced character, ready to make an impact. Regardless of how her evolution shakes out, a change in direction for ASH is yet another deft touch by Triple H as he continues to remake WWE in his image.

Next: WWE Needs 1 Tweak To Make Roman Reigns Vs. Logan Paul Work At Crown Jewel

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