The Rise of Liv Morgan: Will the former Riott Squad member's hype live up to the billing?
Have a look at social media during a WWE event these days and you see a lot of people discussing and making predictions concerning the return of Liv Morgan. Morgan has become one of the most popular talents that WWE have without actually being featured on a regular basis. But where did this fandom come from? There is an argument that Morgan is popular with certain fans on the internet simply because she’s off TV, whether those particular fans would still show the same support towards her if she won four matches in a row on TV would be questionable. Notwithstanding that, there is indeed a genuine connection Morgan has with a lot of the audience that we have to respect and appreciate.
You can look at Morgan’s start on the main roster to see where the popularity began. Morgan was introduced as part of the Riott Squad alongside Ruby Riott and Sarah Logan, two fantastic talents who have their own claims to popularity and success in their own right.
The Riott Squad was a stable that seriously over-delivered. In essence, they were a stable mainly used to get others over, but they did it extremely well and made a lot of fans take notice of the three respective talents. It was during the September 24 episode of RAW in 2018, where Morgan was knocked out mid-match by Brie Bella where I personally noticed a major shift towards fan perception towards her. Morgan continued to wrestle for a portion of the match after being knocked out when she could have easily rolled out of the ring. She showed great courage and resilience in a moment where nobody expected her to be a hero. Since then, we've seen a lot of support for Morgan, especially on social media.
In April 2019, the Riott Squad was split during the Superstar Shake-Up with all three members being separated in the process. Morgan would find herself on the SmackDown Live brand, a show that in the past has done extremely well in using all the available women on the brand (SmackDown Live 2016). But unfortunately, it wasn’t to be.
Between April 2019 and December 2019, Morgan would just have the one match on the show. That match in question would be against Charlotte Flair in a losing effort. Fans reacted extremely positive to the match and Morgan’s chance to shine and she certainly delivered, showing off some new offense and once again highlighting her ability to sell like a true pro.
The post-match segment was also well received by fans - Morgan would break down outside the ring and steal Corey Graves’ headset and declare that “when she comes back, she’s going to be real”. This left fans wanting more. What was this ‘real’ side of Morgan? Where was this going? I acknowledge there were lots of rumors that hinted towards Morgan being Sister Abigail, but those rumors didn’t really have any legitimate weight.
We never got a payoff to the post-match segment, which is a shame as there was indeed a genuine interest and curiosity factor there. The next we would hear of Morgan was in a promo package hyping her return to the RAW brand. The promo package was very similar to those for Emmalina years earlier.
Ultimately, I think the connection from fans towards Morgan has come from fans connecting with her potential. Morgan has been used in limited roles, but those roles she’s been given, she’s succeeded and over-delivered. There is potential that needs to be highlighted.
At just 25 years of age, Morgan is a talent that WWE needs to utilize and understand what they have. As I previously mentioned, there’s the possibility that those fans may lose interest in a month or so, but that isn’t always the case. Morgan deserves a shot, an opportunity for her to express her talents on a major platform and on a regular basis.
Whatever direction WWE decides to take Morgan’s character in during these forthcoming months, it’s clear that she will give it her all and prove to fans that them putting their faith in her was the correct move.Published 22 Dec 2019, 21:02 IST