It’s that time again everyone! Welcome back to How It Started vs How It Ended! The column today will be all about Emma, known today as Impact star Tenille Dashwood.
Hello, I’m Emma
Former WWE Superstar Emma made her TV debut on November 28, 2012. Emma started off her WWE career on the wrong foot, losing a singles to match to former FCW Divas Champion Audrey Marie. In January 2013, Emma began to show off the more bubbly side of her personality, and began to dance to the ring. Emma would continue the fun from bell to bell, and pick up wins over various members of the women’s roster, including Audrey Marie and Bayley. On the June 26th edition of NXT TV, Emma carried her win streak into the inaugural NXT Women’s Championship tournament. Emma worked her way through the tournament, defeating Aksana and Summer Rae, before suffering a loss to the first ever NXT Women’s Champion Paige. On the August 7th’s episode of NXT, Summer Rae competed with Emma in a dance competition. The winner would go on to become the Number One Contender to the NXT Women’s Championship, and Emma pulled off the upset. Summer Rae attacked Emma, setting up a feud for the Aussie in the process. During the August 22nd NXT TV taping, the two met in a one on one match, and Emma came away with the victory. Emma and Summer Rae faced off again at the September 12th TV taping, where Emma competed alongside Santino Marella, and picked up another victory over Summer Rae and Fandango. The ditzy Emma went at it again a few weeks later, in a match where Summer teamed with her BFF’s teammate Sasha Banks to take on Emma and NXT Women’s Champion Paige. Paige took the pin during the match, and Emma began to focus more on herself again. On the January 1st episode of NXT, Emma put her Number One Contender-ship status on the line, and took down her challenger, Natalya. Emma moved on to NXT Takeover: Arrival, where she went toe to toe with Paige once again. A resilient Emma showed that she was more than capable of being a serious competitor, but ultimately fell in defeat to Paige once again. Emma received one last chance at NXT gold after Paige relinquished the title in April, competing in another tournament to crown the champion. Emma took a hard fought loss to Charlotte, who eventually won the tournament. On June 5th, Emma reunited with Paige, and the pair made the save for Bayley, who had been attacked by Summer Rae. The next week, Emma competed in a 6-Woman tag team match, teaming up with Bayley and Paige to defeat the BFF’s and Charlotte. The match would be the last contest Emma competed in on the NXT brand, for now.
Getting The Call
After proving to be one of the top competitors in NXT, Emma received the call up to the WWE main roster. During the January 13th, 2014 episode of Raw, Emma began a string of appearances in the crowd, during matches Summer Rae competed in. The appearances led into an early February episode of Raw, where Santino Marella invited Emma into the ring, and set up a dance off between her and Summer. Emma won the dance off, and the two reignited their rivalry from NXT. During this time, Emma and Santino began teaming up frequently, leading to a match against Summer Rae and Fandango, during March 2014’s first episode of Raw. Emma’s team won the match, and the two rivals danced towards an episode of Main Event. Emma forced Rae to tapout to a submission hold, and moved on to Wrestlemania. Emma made her Wrestlemania debut, challenging for the Divas Championship, in the 14- person “Vickie Guerrero Invitational”. Emma took on notable opponents like Alicia Fox, Naomi, Natalya, and The Bellas, before falling short of a victory to AJ Lee. Emma rebounded quickly from her defeat the next night on Raw, and picked up a victory in tag team action, after teaming up with Santino to defeat Rae and Fandango again. Fandango dropped Summer as his companion, and replaced her with Emma’s newest rival, Layla. Emma and Santino continued to team up, and Emma began to use Marella’s “Cobra Strike” finisher, renaming it “Ven-Emma”. On the next week’s episode of Raw, Layla and Fandango defeated Emma and Santino. Emma met up with Layla again two weeks later, this time in a singles match, where Emma hit the “Ven-Emma” for the win. During the May 6th Smackdown taping, the two teams competed in a match for the final time, ending with Fandango and Layla standing tall. The friendly pairing of Emma and Santino came to an end in July, after legitimate injuries forced Santino to step away from the ring. The first main roster run for Emma would come to an end in the weeks that followed, and she hit the reset button on her career.
Return To Sender
After her time on the main roster, Emma returned to NXT TV, voicing her displeasure with her experiences, on the January 28, 2015 taping of NXT. Later in the night, Emma made her return to the black and gold ring, and faced off with Carmella. Emma lost the match, and went on to turn heel, after a backstage run-in with Bayley. The interaction led to a one on one match between the two, and Emma fell just short of a win. The next week, Emma aided Dana Brooke in a victory over Bayley, and the two began to team up. This led to a match at NXT Takeover: Unstoppable against Bayley and Charlotte, which the new heel duo lost. After picking up a win over Bayley on the May 27th episode of NXT, Emma attacked her foe, and cemented her status as a heel in the process. Once Emma moved on from Bayley, she picked up a huge victory during a Fatal 4 Way match against Becky Lynch, Charlotte, and her own partner, Dana Brooke. Emma kept things cordial with Dana after the match, and both began feuding with Asuka. The first big match of the feud took place at NXT Takeover: Respect, where Asuka faced off against Dana Brooke, with Emma at ringside. During the match, Emma attempted to interfere, but Asuka caught her red handed, resulting in an attack from “The Empress of Tomorrow”. Emma continuously provoked and attacked Asuka in the weeks that followed, leading to a match between the two at NXT Takeover: London, where Emma took on Asuka, with Dana Brooke at ringside. After an absolutely amazing match, Emma took a hard fought loss, and stopped hanging around Dana Brooke soon afterwards. Emma moved on to 2016, where she began to blaze a trail of her own once again, competing in a Number One Contenders Battle Royal for an NXT Women’s Championship opportunity. Emma would be eliminated by Asuka, and the two moved on to another one on one collision. Emma and Asuka faced off one last time, during the March 23 episode of NXT, with Emma falling at the hands of Asuka once again. The result foreshadowed the next chapter of her WWE career, which ends with a final stop on the main roster.
So Long, Farewell
Once Emma received her second call to the big leagues, she maintained her more aggressive attitude. Emma began by attacking Alicia Fox and Natalya on the March 22nd episode of Main Event, during their match against Team B.A.D. Emma executed the attack alongside her former foe Summer Rae, forming an alliance with Naomi and Tamina in the process. Emma moved on to the following week’s Raw, where she defeated Paige, with the help of outside interference from Lana. All of the heels formed Team B.A.D. and Blonde, and together faced Team Total Divas at Wrestlemania 32. Emma and her team lost when Naomi tapped out to Brie Bella, and she moved on from the group. Soon after her second Wrestlemania appearance, Emma found herself on the sidelines, and had to step away due to a legitimate back injury. During her time away, things took a strange twist in the story of Emma, when vignettes began to air for her “Emmalina” character. The first vignette ran on October 3, 2016, and hyped the repacking, or “makeover of Emma”. Emmalina promised to appear “soon” week after week, and after months of doing so, she finally emerged from behind the curtain, at the February 13, 2017 episode of Raw. Emmalina spoke to the WWE Universe, telling them “you’ve waited for weeks for the makeover of Emma to Emmalina, and here I am. And now, you will see the makeover from Emmalina to Emma”. The strange moment marked the beginning of the end for Emma, which started on the April 3rd episode of Raw. On that night, Emma lost a tag team match, alongside her partners Charlotte Flair and Nia Jax, to the winning team of Dana Brooke, Sasha Banks, and Bayley. Nearly one month later, Emma found herself back on the injury list, and out of action until Raw on June 12th. Emma experienced a bit of Deja Vu and competed in yet another 6-woman tag team match, alongside Nia Jax and Alexa Bliss. The trio picked up a victory over Sasha Banks, Dana Brooke, and Mickie James, and Emma continued the momentum into September. Emma team up with Nia Jax once again, defeating the pair of Alexa Bliss and Sasha Banks, as well as earning an opportunity to compete for the Raw Women’s Championship. Emma battled for the title at No Way Out, competing in a fatal 5-way match, in her first Pay Per View appearance since the 2014 Survivor Series. Emma pretty much served as filler for the match, and took another big loss. Emma looked to quickly turn things around in October, and she confronted Raw General Manager Kurt Angle, after he announced the debut of Asuka. In response to the confrontation, Kurt set up an elimination match for the right to face Asuka at TLC. During the match, Emma faced off against Sasha Banks, Bayley, Alicia Fox, and Dana Brooke, and found herself as the last woman standing at the end of the match. Emma moved on to square off with Asuka at TLC, ultimately falling in defeat to “The Empress”. The two faced off once again at the following episode of Raw, where the result remained the same. Just six days later, WWE announced that they had officially released Emma, bringing an end to her WWE career.
How It Started
How It Ended
What a disappointing finish for Emma. Though she never reached the top of the mountain in the NXT women’s division, she really played a huge part in the development of a few of her peers there. As for her main roster run, it seemed like the powers that be just didn’t have an idea of what to do with her. Once the Emmalina debacle went south, so did her favorability in the company. Emma goes down as the first Australian woman to compete in a WWE ring, paving the way for Australian stars of today like Peyton Royce, Billie Kay, and Rhea Ripley. Emma now competes in Impact, under her real name, Tenille Dashwood.
That’s all for this weeks edition of the column! Join me here next week, for an all new edition of the column, where I’ll take a look back at the WWE career of Cody Rhodes!