Tonight as part of an open challenge from SmackDown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch, the call was answered by NXT Superstar Nikki Cross, who came out accompanied by her NXT stablemates SaNitY (Eric Young, Alexander Wolfe & Killian Dain). While Cross has worked on the main roster before (ironically enough, in tag team action with Becky Lynch), it was solely on Live Events. Tonight’s appearance marked her televised debut on the main roster.
— WWE (@WWE) November 7, 2018
Nikki Cross has been a presence in the NXT Women’s Division almost since her debut with NXT back in 2016. The 29-year old from Glasgow, Scotland was paired with SaNitY and the wild child of the women’s division went from heel to fan favorite with her wild antics and reckless abandon, in matches against the likes of Ruby Riott, Asuka and Shayna Baszler. When SaNitY debuted on SmackDown Live earlier this year, many were surprised that Cross didn’t join them, instead remaining in NXT. It remains to be seen if her televised debut tonight was a one-off (so that another UK-born and bred star could compete in front of a British crowd) or she’ll be sticking around as an official call-up.
As Nikki Storm, she made her debut in 2008, trained by Irish wrestler Big Damo (who incidentally now works with her in the WWE as Killian Dain), with the Scottish Wrestling Alliance (SWA). For the first several years, she was a huge part of the SWA, but began to work with some other promotions, dipping her toes into the likes of Glasgow’s Insane Championship Wrestling (ICW) and England’s World Association of Wrestling (WAW) and Pro Wrestling EVE.
As she began to make a name for herself, she began to work more and more with ICW and EVE – she’s the only woman to hold the EVE Championship three times – and in 2013 she made her Japan and US debuts. She worked alongside Command Bolshoi in Japan Women’s Wrestling Project (JWP) for a tour, and in the US made her debut for SHIMMER, Shine, Women’s Superstars Uncensored (WSU), and more, where she would face future rivals like Heidi Lovelace (Ruby Riott), Athena (Ember Moon), Kana (Asuka), Candice LeRae, and Mia Yim for the first time.
In 2015, she did her first tour of Stardom in Japan, joining the Oedo Tai faction and facing off against the likes of Io Shirai, Momo Watanabe, and many more. By 2016, she was one of the leaders of the women’s wrestling movement in the UK and one of the most in-demand indie free agents in the world. It was in April of 2016 that she signed with the WWE and soon reported to the WWE Performance Center, working NXT Live Events under her real name, Nikki Glencross, before debuting with SaNitY that summer. Since then, NXT’s Scottish wildling has emerged as a character that entertains and shines by win or defeat, as her maniacal Pillmanesque persona dwells more on the chaos that the win-loss ratio.
Here’s hoping that Nikki Cross is finally being called up to the main roster to join SaNitY – who quite frankly feel lost in the shuffle at this point on the Blue Brand – so she can add some spice to the women’s division of SmackDown Live and some sizzle back into SaNitY.