Exclusive: Artist Rob Downie Discusses Designing Nikki Cross’ New WWE Superhero Character
Downie reveals when Cross initially reached out about the idea
Nikki Cross debuted a new character and costume this past week on WWE Monday Night Raw, proudly showing off a superhero outfit ahead of her tag-team match alongside Alexa Bliss against Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler.
The former Women’s Tag Team Champion happily shared on social media that it was her idea to become WWE’s newest superhero and had some help from Scottish artist Rob Downie in developing the idea.
Speaking exclusively to Tom Campbell on the Cultaholic Wrestling News Podcast, Downie has revealed that Cross initially reached out to him about the concept in March , having connected with the WWE superstar last year.
He said: “Nikki has been following me on Instagram for about a year. I think she first followed me last April; this was when I did a big picture of the five Scottish wrestlers who were holding Titles in WWE and NXT. She’s been supporting my work ever since, liking my posts and that, and she’s been sharing my stuff.
“It was about in March of this year that she reached out to me and asked if I could draw a picture of her as a superhero for a pitch. She asked me to keep this quiet and I think I did a good job of that. I think my girlfriend was the only one I told.
“She gave me the specifics like the colours, and asked if it could include a cape and a mask, wristbands and stuff like that. I just drew her as I would picture her as a superhero. Looking at pictures of her old gear...I thought I’d put a cross in it, because of the Scottish flag and her last name.
“She seemed quite happy with it, but because I knew it was a pitch it was quite a scary commission. Because I wasn’t just trying to impress Nikki with it, I was trying to impress whoever it was she was pitching it to.”
Having sent Nikki his design, Downie could only wait and see if WWE accepted Cross’ latest pitch.
It was a pleasant surprise then, flicking through his social media timeline, when Downie saw his design come to life in a WWE production.
He added: “I found out when everybody else did. I didn’t watch Raw live this week, but I saw a gif of her wearing the costume on my Twitter feed and I realised it got approved, which was brilliant.
“I reached out to her and asked her if I was able to post the picture and she said ‘no problem’.”
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