Nikki A.S.H.

Like any good superhero, Nikki A.S.H. has an origin story.

[Ed.: This is the last time the phrase “good superhero” will appear in this induction]

In 2021, after a long absence and an even longer stretch of irrelevance, Nikki Cross began a winning streak of sorts. First, she “beat” Rhea Ripley in a Beat the Clock match by lasting the time limit.

The time limit was two minutes.

The very next week, she “beat” Charlotte Flair by again lasting the time limit.

That time limit was also two minutes.

Next, she actually pinned Ripley in a tag match (after Rhea’s own partner beat her up).

Then, to cap off her incredible run, she beat Charlotte by countout when Flair lost track of time.

Her “streak” might have been farcical, but Nikki now believed in herself…

…and in her sperruh (spirit)…

…and in her spark…

…and in her positivity…

…and in all the other inspirational buzzwords crammed into her sickly-sweet promo.

But this wasn’t some elaborate ploy to sell insulin pumps. No, the point was, Nikki Cross believed in herself…

…and like anyone who believed in herself, she’d be dressing up as a Ninja Turtle from now on.

I kid! Her full costume was equally as dumb, but in a different way.

Nikki ASH

Nikki then twirled around, giggled, and hopped off to the ring.

Nikki A.S.H.
Jeez, act your age, thought Alexa Bliss.

All of this — the saccharine promo, the shameless pandering to the under-seven crowd — was played straight. The ThunderDome’s noise machine was set to “Cheer”, after all.

Obviously, Nikki’s new persona was reminiscent of a famous gimmick from the 2000s.

Two famous gimmicks, actually.

But if WWE were trying to recreate the Hurricane character for a new generation, they were getting it backwards.

The Hurricane started as a heel because he was a grown adult pretending to be a superhero…

…then soon turned babyface because he was so funny.

Nikki A.S.H. started as a babyface because there were no fans around to say otherwise…

…and eventually turned heel because she was so lame.

You’d think WWE would have done more to play off the Marvel Cinematic Universe (the biggest movie franchise ever, after all).

You’d think they’d have given Nikki a secret identity, or “villains”, or witty lines like, “She’s right behind me, isn’t she?”

But instead, they sent her out every week with nothing but that same cloying promo and that same garish outfit.

We’d seen better costumes from Connor’s Cure kids.

(Better names, too)

Despite the outfit, Nikki insisted she wasn’t a superhero — she was almost a superhero. Or at least that was her goal.

Not to be a superhero, mind you, but to be ALMOST a superhero.

In fact, that would be her name — Almost a Super Hero, or Nikki ASH. Get it? It’s an acronym.*

*After the first week, WWE made a point to always say “A.S.H.” as initials, likely to avoid confusion with the famed author of surprise pregnancy romances.

Soon, Nikki A.S.H. would win Money in the Bank and cash in the next night on Charlotte.

Amazingly, whether it was that the fans were happy to see Nikki win the big one, to see Charlotte lose the big one, or just to be at a live event at all…

…Nikki A.S.H. actually got cheers in her first few weeks in front of the live crowd.

Yet her promos actually got worse somehow. What the hell kind of rallying cry was, “We can all ALMOST be superheroes”?

Imagine how popular other WWE Superstars would (or wouldn’t) be with that kind of nickname. Who could ever get behind The Nearly All Mighty Bobby Lashley…

A Beast Incarnate of Sorts, Brock Lesnar…

…or Pretty Much The Man Becky Lynch?

And do you really think any of these guys would have made it into the Hall of Fame?

  • Andre, Almost a Giant
  • The Practically Immortal Hulk Hogan
  • Jake “The Possible Snake” Roberts
  • “For All Intents And Purposes The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry
  • Basically An Undertaker
  • “The Heartbreak-Type Kid” Shawn Michaels
  • “90% Ravishing” Rick Rude
  • Ricky “Close Enough to a Dragon” Steamboat
  • Bret “Just About A Hitman” Hart
  • Jim “Not Quite An Anvil” Neidhart
  • George “Effectively An Animal” Steele
  • Brutus “Kind of A Barber” Beefcake

But not to worry: Nikki A.S.H. would soon stop telling people to “almost be superheroes” (once WWE stopped giving her the mic).

After about a month, fans lost interest.

Maybe it was because Nikki A.S.H. lost to each of her Summerslam challengers…

…then tapped out at the pay-per-view.

Or maybe it was because of her ring gear.

Nah, probably not. (More like Almost a Super Star, am I right?)

Or maybe it was because of her lack of ambition, settling for being “Almost a Super Hero”.

At least when Rosey was a Super Hero In Training, he was aspiring to something. His acronym was a lot more honest, too.

Check back next week for an important Veer update.

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