Back in 2013, AJ Lee shocked the world with her “pipe bomb” that spelled out exactly how she felt about the Divas Division of the WWE. It was real, poignant and much like her husband, CM Punk took the company and the wrestling business by storm.
I wrote an article for another website, claiming this was exactly what the women in the company needed to start what could be determined to be a “revolution” of sorts – one of change and acceptance.
I was way off the mark.
The recent battle in and out of the ring between Charlotte and Paige over who is the face of the “New Revolution” of WWE and its women has been a refreshing angle to a stagnant situation. While it has been a real eye-opening experience to see heat on Paige, who is saying all the right things, with a sassy edge to her ability in the ring, she takes center stage, even upstaging the current Divas Champion, Charlotte.
The segment on Monday Night Raw two weeks ago, where the inclusion of comments made about Charlotte’s deceased brother, Reid Flair, did sit well with the Flair family or wrestling royalty like Jim Ross.
And to make matters worse, it seems as though the company that brought Flair’s daughter into the fold is now putting the blame for the situation squarely on the shoulders of the new leader of the band. I doubt the heat Charlotte may get from the back for her decision on the angle will be anything like Lee and the issues she encountered once Punk left WWE and she toiled in the Divas Division until she retired from the business altogether.
Pipe bombs, I said, usually have an impact on shows, promotions and the industry. In the span of eight days, the WWE was completely turned on its ear with a new champion, new feuds, a great path toward Night of Champions and now a Diva who turned every woman in the ring and outside the ring at that moment into little girls looking for their Barbie Dolls.
Neither Paige nor Lee are Barbie Dolls, nor is any of the current divas on the roster like Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch or Naomi. And Charlotte, for all the talent she has and the pedigree of being a Flair, couldn’t be a Barbie Doll if she wanted to in the first place.
Make no mistake, Paige’s antics are refreshing, cold, calculated and a bit risqué by WWE standards of today. If this were the Attitude Era, she would fit right into the fold. Lee, as well, if given a chance to shine, sans the inclusion of anger based on Punk up and leaving the company.
WWE needs more of the in-your-face heat these two could bring. What we saw at Survivor Series and then on Monday Night Raw was nothing more than two women in a cat fight that is a little more heated than a regular feud.
It needs to be better. It needs to be more aggressive. Seeing heat from the women in this business is a nice change of pace – one WWE should take advantage of and hasn’t. Lynch and Banks are too talented to sit in the middle of the pack and soon will need their own angles of seeking the brass ring.
Paige’s outburst was just the start of something big. It may not have been the shot Lee fired two years ago, but it was enough to whet the whistle of WWE fans – maybe in an attempt to see more women in singles matches. And maybe it was enough for the divas of the company to stand on their own and deliver the kind of matches they are capable of.
Until then, we can listen to Paige and hope her words will not fall on deaf ears.