Turning a new Paige: Revolution in the Divas division
After years, there is something new in the Divas division in the WWE. Till about a couple of months ago, I used to tune into NXT to watch some good women’s wrestling, with the likes of Emma and Paige putting on some excellent quality bouts. Although you had the likes of Natalya and AJ Lee on RAW, the scene was dominated by AJ for nearly a year, which had quite honestly become monotonous and stale. WWE wasn’t ready or interested to provide the WWE Universe with good feuds or matches, and that resulted in the stagnation of the Divas division.
When WWE finally made the decision to bring Emma on RAW, it was a great sign, as Emma is one of the best female talents on the roster. Her matches with Paige on NXT were top notch, and I was looking forward to watching Emma put on some really good matches against the likes of Natalya and AJ Lee. Sadly, she was relegated to comedy skits along with Santino. A few weeks ago, it was reported that AJ had asked the management to give her some time off, and that was when things got interesting. Paige, who is considered to be the brightest talent on NXT, was brought to the main show. AJ’s time – off proved to be a blessing in disguise for Paige.
When Paige debuted, WWE did something unthinkable. Like Santino and Carlito winning titles during their debut matches on the main roster, Paige too was involved in something that no one saw coming! Paige defeated AJ Lee to win the WWE Divas championship, thus holding both the NXT women’s title and the WWE Divas championship! Those who had followed Paige aka Knight’s career in the independent circuit would know that she probably is the breath of fresh air that the Divas division so direly needed. With the likes of Emma and Paige on RAW, the Divas division is being overhauled, which can only be a good sign for things to come.
That isn’t to say that AJ’s run as the Divas champion was a failure. After the retirement of Lita and Trish, and talented women’s wrestlers such as Victoria and Gail Kim leaving the WWE, the women’s division had a makeover, with “models” replacing the “wrestlers”, and the division was repackaged and the Divas title replaced the WWE Women’s championship. Since then, the fans and the superstars alike have complained that the WWE management didn’t care about the Divas division, and it was only used as filler on the episodes. Perhaps, the biggest testament to that would be Gail Kim’s exit from the WWE, when she slid under the bottom rope during an elimination battle royal, and no one from the WWE management observed the events!
Since then, the Divas division was relegated to one minute matches, while the fans complained about the lack of talented female wrestlers on the roster. For a brief period, the division became interesting once again with the likes of Beth Phoenix and Natalya, along with the signing of Kharma, also known to the wrestling fans as Awesome Kong. But with Kharma being released due to her pregnancy and Beth leaving the WWE, the division once again went through a transformation, which didn’t do the fans any favors.
With AJ’s record – breaking run as the Divas champion, what was once seen as an interesting phase in the WWE became stale. AJ’s character as a crazy, deranged person gave a new dimension to her and her matches, but that didn’t last too long, owing to limited opponents for her to face. When reports emerged that AJ would be taking time – off due to her engagement rumors with WWE superstar CM Punk, it was the right time and opportunity for the WWE management to give a fresh face a chance with the title, and that was when they brought Paige to the main roster from NXT. Looking back at her track record in various promotions and then on NXT, one has to believe that Paige will bring the much needed credibility to the Divas division, something that WWE desperately needed. We have to wait and see how WWE books Paige as the Divas champion, but if they make the right decisions, chances are that we will witness yet another revolution in the WWE!