In the Booth are featured editorials from members of the 3MBooth Elite. This time it’s
The Divas Championship and the Ghosts of Divas Past, Present and Future
I think it’s a fair to say that no one wants Nikki Bella to be WWE Divas’ Champion. Even her fan base, the Total Divas die-hards, would be way more excited to hear about an engagement ring than a fake championship title. Your average RAW audience member has been too conditioned to see the Divas’ title as a big sparkly butterfly award for the girl with the most… girlness? Smarks like you or me pretty much breathe fire every time we hear Michael Cole announce Nikki Bella as the longest reigning Divas’ Champ.
But what does that even mean? What does being champion of the Divas’ division even get you? For the modern era of fan, from the Summer of Punk and forward, the most memorable Divas Champion was AJ Lee. AJ was a fan favorite who was awarded the belt after doing amazing work in and out of ring (and the Divas divison). She was the General Manager of RAW before starting her record-breaking reign as Divas’ champ. Much like Women’s Championship holders like Chyna and Lita, the belt was almost like a reward for service in the bigger picture of the company.
Before AJ’s reign, Maryse was the longest reigning Divas Champion at seven months. Maryse was… oh man. [Editor’s Note: These are the opinions of @cyberpilate. We love Maryse!] This took me a long time to figure out and remember and I’ve been watching wrestling a long time. She’s French-Canadian and attractive and a heel and… I think that was her character [Editor’s Note: Again, we love Maryse! We love all French-Canadian Wrestlers!]. I honestly confused her with Michelle McCool for a moment trying to come up with things to say about her. She was from a Divas’ Search contest and was just about the limit of what they were looking for to be a face for the Division. Here’s the weird thing, though: after she lost the belt, she was only in the company for about a year. Her last highlight included managing Ted DiBiase, Jr.
In fact, a lot of former Divas’ Champs do not work for the company anymore, typically leaving after they drop the belt. Only Alicia Fox, Natalya and Paige are former champions that are still in the company. Even Nikki Bella left! After holding title in 2012, the Bella Twins were ‘fired’ by Eve Torres.
After Night of Champions, heck, at Night of Champions, The Revolutionary Divas could turn to each other and say, “You know what? That belt look stupid; let’s do something else.” At NXT, the women wrestlers were given lessons and trained in performing as fully developed characters that simply are not shown on the main roster. Whether that’s booking or timing almost doesn’t even matter, the plain truth is so much more to these women than a belt race. RAW audiences may see Charlotte and think “WOOOOOOOO!” but NXT fans know that she has been genetically bred to be amazing at wrestling. She’s ruthless enough to turn on a friend, but surprisingly honorable after a hard fought battle. She makes allegiances quickly and can break them in a heartbeat. Sasha Banks is going to be in a 30-minute Iron Man match on the next TakeOver as the main event and she can’t get a foot in the door of the Divas Championship. The Revolution Divas could turn from the Divas belt and feud over BFF ties, family dynasties, changing allegiances, a whole new storyline and we could buy it because they are fully formed characters who wrestle when given purpose. Do they need the butterfly prize?
The Divas Championship title is the only thing holding the Bella Twins to this mortal plane. Without it, they have nothing to do with the other women. They aren’t friends with any of them or have much of a history. They have natural heel heat but still want to be cheered. There’s no real motivations for their characters outside of “We want the belt because…” The moment Nikki loses that belt, she needs a Plan B and there’s no Seth with a steel chair waiting for her word. There’s no one to fight because all the worthy opponents have better things to do, more challenging matches to put on.
Maybe we should let them keep it. Let Nikki clutch that title tight in a room alone (with her sister and Alicia Fox for some reason), among fallen confetti and half hanging banners of congratulations. Besides, that’s already been done.
Let Nikki Bella stay Divas Champion so everyone else can move on to bigger more important things…