From wreaking havoc with Sanity to challenging for the NXT Women’s Championship, Nikki Cross has started off with a bang in WWE.
Here are five fast facts you should know about Nikki Cross.
5. She Knew She Wanted To Be A Wrestler From Age 10
Most wrestlers knew they wanted to be in the business from a very young age, and Nikki Cross is no exception – she knew from the moment she watched her first match at age 10:
“I was 10-years-old, and it was [WWE] ‘Fully Loaded’ that my sister put on [the television],” the Scottish lass recalled. “The first match was Lita and The Hardy Boyz against Trish Stratus and Test and Albert. That was the first match that I ever laid my eyes on.”
Of course, Albert and Lita are now both coaches at the WWE Performance Center, but Cross hasn’t told them they inspired her.
4. She Has A Master’s Degree
A career in pro wrestling doesn’t leave a lot of room for outside pursuits, but Nikki Cross managed to not only get a bachelor’s degree, but also a master’s degree from the University of Glasgow. Not only that, but she’s also a certified fitness instructor, nutritionist, and personal trainer.
3. She’s A Multi-Sport Athlete
Cross might not seem like the team sports type, but, like many pro wrestlers, she played multiple sports before joining the business.
While growing up in Glasgow, Scotland, Cross played basketball, field hockey, and netball, a sport derived from early versions of basketball that was developed in England in the 1890s. Believe it or not, she was also a cheerleader and dancer. I assume she spent more time on the competition teams than she did cheering other people on the sidelines.
2. She’s the Longest Reigning Pro-Wrestling: EVE Champion
Nikki Cross made her professional wrestling debut under the name “Nikki Storm” for Scottish Wrestling Alliance on September 20, 2008. Interestingly, in her debut match, she teamed up with Majik to take on Paige’s parents, Ricky and Saraya Knight.
Following her debut, Cross began wrestling for numerous promotions across Britain, including Insane Championship Wrestling and the all-women Pro-Wrestling: EVE. She captured the Pro-Wrestling: EVE Championship three times, more than any other person, and she remains the title’s longest reigning champion, holding it a whopping 665 days from February 2013 to November 2014.
1. A Sanity Stablemate Trained Her
Wrestling often has a crazy way of coming full circle, and Cross’s wrestling career has come full circle in a crazier way than most: the person who first trained her is now her stablemate in WWE.
While studying at the University of Glasgow in 2008, Cross did a Google search for “Scottish wrestling school.” The search led her to the Source Wrestling School, where Big Damo – a.k.a. Killian Dain – was a trainer. In 2016, Dain told the Miami Herald that Cross was one of the “most talented” and determined wrestlers he ever “had the privilege of teaching”:
“She was fiery, determined, and if we told her she couldn’t do something, then she would go and do it 100 times over. This was at a time when women’s wrestlers were often treated with kid gloves at wrestling schools, but Nikki absolutely refused to be treated differently to her male counterparts and demanded the guys hit her as hard as they hit each other. She was crazily resilient. For example, she broke three bones in her hand and was back to training the next day. I struggle to think if she ever missed a training session.”
Cross’s gusto pulled off: she signed with WWE in April 2016 and debuted with Sanity that October. Less than two months later, Dain joined her.
What would you like to see Nikki Cross accomplish in WWE?