In “I Was There” 3MB provides a first hand account of a things we attend.
It’s rare that an episode of Total Divas makes us want to re-watch a match but this season’s Wrestlemania episode of Total Divas made us take another look. At Wrestlemania 31. the Divas competed in a tag match: AJ Lee and Paige teamed up to face the Bella Twins. On the WWE main shows, the match revolved around whether the frenemies AJ and Paige – the Freaks and Geeks of the WWE Divas Division – could get along long enough to be a viable threat to Nikki and Brie, the Bella Twins.
This is where watching Total Divas pays off (or at least reading our recaps). In addition to watching for glimpses of random Superstars like Paul Heyman, you get a more in-depth look into this match-up.
The Total Divas series started with one of the lowest points of the Divas division. Their “match” – Nikki and Brie were to team with Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes to face Brodus Clay, Albert, Naomi and Cameron – was cut from Wrestlemania 29 at the last minute. By the time Wrestlemania 30 rolled around, the Divas were in a match, all of them: they completed in “AJ Lee versus the World,” a bedlam match for the Divas championship. But Total Divas revealed that, even with the success of Total Divas, there was a chance they were not going to perform. If the rest of the card ran long, their match would be cut. It didn’t but the Divas were put in the unenviable position of not only following The Undertaker versus Brock Lesnar but also Brock Lesnar just defeated The Undertaker’s Wrestlemania streak! Then they were ushered out to a completely silent Superdome.
Wrestlemania 31 wasn’t was a scramble. It was in the middle of the show and – by all accounts – not in danger of being cut. It didn’t cram every Diva into a match, only 4 Divas, complete with a story arc with regular segments on RAW and Smackdown for weeks. Wrestlemania 31 was more important to everyone involved. On top of that, this was Paige’s first Wrestlemania match, a milestone in her career. Nobody wanted to disappoint the WWE Universe, especially Paige.
Paige started the match for her team and started wailing away on Nikki Bella. The team strategy on either end seemed to be divide and conquer. Here, the strategy seemed to be more in the Bellas court. They used underhanded tactics to isolate Paige in the ring, repeatedly knocking AJ Lee off the apron to the outside. Then the Bellas proceeded to use their best offensive maneuvers on Paige. Brie Bella hit a dropkick from the ropes.
Nikki Bella hit the Rack Attack on Paige to try to end the match early. But Paige weathered the storm and persevered.
Paige rallied long enough to make the necessary tag to AJ Lee. From there, the Freaks and Geeks took control of the match.
AJ Lee unleashed her pent up frustration on the Bella Twins, jumping at them with the full might of a spider monkey. She climbed up Nikki Bella and proceeded to wail on her head.
AJ staved off the Bellas long enough for Paige to recover and re-join the fray. They were able to isolate Nikki Bella as a result. AJ Lee locked on the Black Widow, getting the Divas Champion to tap out.
It was an emotional moment for the Divas. After being bumped off the card at Wrestlemania 29, then essentially being given a no-win situation at Wrestlemania 30, Wrestlemania 31 was a definite win. They were no longer the “snack break” as Nikki Bella calls it (we call it a “bathroom break”): that was reserved for the musical performance of David Guetta’s “Rise” featuring Skylar Grey, Kid Ink and Travis Barker. But it was also an emotional moment for Paige, which was evident on her face as soon as the match was over. She had cemented her name in the history of Wrestlemania: Paige ended her first full year in the WWE by being victorious in her first match at the biggest show of the year.