WWE ‘Raw’ Women’s Champ Nikki A.S.H. on Representing Underdogs Heading Into ‘SummerSlam’
Nikki A.S.H. is flying high in WWE as the Raw women’s champion. This “Almost a Super Hero” unexpectedly won the Money in the Bank contract in July and cashed it in to dethrone Charlotte Flair the next night. It’s an underdog story that has really resonated with audiences.
Next up for the company’s caped crusader is title defense against Rhea Ripley and Flair in a triple threat match at SummerSlam. Ahead of the collision in Las Vegas, here the superstar opens up about realizing her dream and inspiring others.
Your August 2 Raw street fight against Charlotte Flair felt like a turning point for Nikki A.S.H. How did it feel to show that more aggressive side?
Nikki A.S.H.: I’m so incredibly proud of what we were able to achieve on Monday. I do think people went in and saw another side of me, fighting for what’s right and standing up for herself. The Chicago crowd was absolutely fantastic. Hearing their cheers when I lifted my Raw women’s championship was an incredible feeling. I’m so beyond happy.
Months ago you were inserted into this rivalry with Rhea Ripley and Charlotte Flair. I thought there was some great foreshadowing considering what happened.
I love that you brought that up. A couple of months ago we had the Beat the Clock challenges with Rhea and Charlotte both kind of underestimating me. We had those really fun matches. It has been such a whirlwind. I love seeing everything come together and things that happened organically. I think you’re right. Those seeds were planted. I love the story we’re telling.
What’s it like to have the company fully behind your vision for Nikki A.S.H.?
I’ve been so happy with the support. I was always a massive fan of superhero cartoons and superhero movies and TV shows. I loved Spider-Man and the X-Men from the 1990s. I love Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, WandaVision, Jessica Jones, the female-led superhero franchise. They have been successful and empowering. After the Royal Rumble, I got the idea greenlit. I’m so proud to see it come to light. It’s great teamwork at WWE to bring it to life. I’m so touched by the fan art and messages I’ve been getting.
Speaking of superheroes, John Cena is back in the mix in WWE. Any talk of Peacemaker and Nikki A.S.H. sharing the screen together?
That would be an awesome combo. I’m getting the Nikki Mobile ready, Scott! It’s really wonderful to have John Cena back on the live events and Mondays on Raw. He is a great person to have around and pick his brain. His message has always been so empowering, especially to our younger audience. I can only be inspired by him. Hearing the crowd’s response for him — the “Summer of Cena” has been great with these amazing shows and live events heading into SummerSlam.
What does it mean to you to have support from the wrestling community who knows the dues you paid?
Everyone just reached out, even people who watched me before WWE. I’m so grateful and humble. I try to have empathy and compassion and make people laugh. I am a bit of a class clown. I’m a little on the goofy side. I always try to be kind. I feel like I’ve done something right the way people came to me and showed me love and support.
Any interaction, in particular, after you won the title that got you particularly emotional?
I remember Tamina Snuka, who is a locker room leader, an absolutely incredible person, hugging me after I won the championship. I cried. Sarah Schreiber is one of my best friends. She does so many interviews with me. I looked for her and shared that moment. A couple of the boys in the locker room got my husband on FaceTime when I came through the curtain. Drew McIntrye said something like, “The girl from Glasgow has done well.” Just when I thought I finished crying for the day. When it comes to people in the locker room, we go through so much together. Having their support and respect means everything.
You have your hardest title defense at SummerSlam against Rhea and Charlotte in a triple threat match. What can we expect?
I think if Monday is any indication, SummerSlam, you’re going to see an absolute fight. You have two strong, powerful women in Charlotte Flair and Rhea Ripley. You have Nikki A.S.H. who is the underdog and has really proven it doesn’t matter how small you are. It matters the size of your heart. For me, that’s such a wonderful thing about SummerSlam is you’re going to see three different competitors for one of the greatest accolades in our industry. All I can say is expect the unexpected and you’ll see what I really bring to the table.
Can we expect a special Nikki A.S.H. outfit for the occasion?
I’m very proud of the costume I wear. The blue and the gold and yellow represent values. I am proud of those colors and what they represent. Let’s stay tuned and find out.
WWE Raw, Mondays, 8/7c, USA Network
SummerSlam, August 21, 8/7c, Peacock, and Pay-Per-View