Liv Morgan’s remarkable evolution to SmackDown Women’s Champion

Liv Morgan has come a long way in her WWE career.

After debuting on NXT as a jobber, she has worked her way up through the ranks and is now the SmackDown Women’s Champion.

Her journey is one of patience and perseverance and it has brought her an army of diehard fans.

Here’s a look back at Morgan’s WWE story — from NXT new girl, to the Riott Squad, to SmackDown queen.

NXT debut

In 2015, the Superstar made her WWE debut on the black and gold brand under the short-lived ring name Marley.

She was initially brought in to be a jobber — a wrestler who routinely loses matches — and her first loss came against Eva Marie in November of that year.

The following month, Marley became Liv Morgan, but wins for WWE’s new girl on the block were still few and far between throughout her three years on NXT.

Promotion to main roster and the Riott Squad

Morgan’s first appearance on the main WWE roster was alongside former teammates Ruby Riott and Sarah Logan. The trio established themselves as heels after attacking Becky Lynch on an episode of Friday Night SmackDown. They also gatecrashed a match between then champion Charlotte Flair and Natalya.

The troublesome three adopted their name, The Riott Squad, and made their in-ring debuts the following week by defeating Charlotte, Naomi, and Natalya.

In 2019, Morgan competed in the women’s Royal Rumble match as a solo competitor but was immediately humbled. She was eliminated after just eight seconds and set a new record for the shortest time spent inside the ring during a women’s Royal Rumble match.

The Riott Squad dissolved after two years together when Liv switched brands during the Superstar Shake-up. The trio eventually got back together, only to be disbanded once again when Ruby Riott was released from WWE in June 2021.

It was Riott’s departure that marked the start of Morgan’s serious solo endeavours on the main brand.

Championship attempts

Without her faction, Morgan moved on to chase singles success and found herself locked in a feud with Becky Lynch, who held the Raw Women’s Championship at the time.

It was a thrilling rivalry that had fans on the edge of their seats, wondering if Morgan could overthrow the legendary Lynch. But every attempt was thwarted by Big Time Becks, who had turned heel upon her long-awaited WWE return.

Lynch goaded Morgan, persistently telling her she wasn’t ready to be a champion. Meanwhile Liv continued to push, eager to “make the title mean something” again by taking it from The Man.

Emotions ran high, Morgan and her fans were left disappointed every time she would fail to get her hands on the title.

For a brief period, she also enjoyed a partnership with Rhea Ripley, which became very popular amongst fans.

However, Ripley turned on her friend after growing frustrated over their lack of success as a team, leaving Morgan betrayed and alone.

The storyline looked as though things had fizzled out for Morgan and that she would always come second fiddle to success. Until a life-changing night at Money in the Bank.

Rhea Ripley and Liv Morgan make their entrance at WWE WrestleMania 38

Miss Money in the Bank and SmackDown champion

Morgan competed in the 2022 Money in the Bank ladder match, where she saw off Alexa Bliss, Asuka, Lynch, Lacey Evans, Raquel Rodriguez, and Shotzi to claim the briefcase containing the all-important title match contract.

In a poignant ending to the clash, Morgan beat Big Time Becks to the briefcase by pushing her off the ladder and watching her fall as she climbed to glory.

She wasted no time in seizing her opportunity, either.

That same night, Morgan cashed in her contract after crashing Ronda Rousey’s title defence match against Natalya.

The Baddest Woman on the Planet was left injured from her match and Morgan took the opportunity with both hands.

She defeated Rousey to win her first ever WWE title and the crowd erupted as the new SmackDown Women’s Champion let her emotions pour out right on the canvas.

It was the start of a new era for Morgan — no more second fiddle, no more falling short of the mark, no more being elbowed aside by veterans like Lynch.

Now, while Morgan is still very much a babyface, she has a new steely demeanour about her.

Becoming the champion has brought out a fierce, no-nonsense persona and she has admitted she will take a beating from anyone in order to protect her title.

From an NXT jobber to the SmackDown Women’s Champion — Morgan’s remarkable story of an underdog rising to hard-earned stardom is certainly one to be admired.

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