This week’s WWE Monday Night Raw saw the return of my fellow country (wo)man Paige and what a great reception she got from the WWE Universe. It’s been a turbulent year for the Norwich native, but I think we can all agree that we hope she’s put any issues behind her and can kick on with what promises to be a glittering WWE career that was in danger of being derailed far too soon. Paige wasn’t alone on Monday however, and we also got to witness the debuts of Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose.
I’ll be honest and state right now that I’m not an avid watcher of NXT, so though I’ve heard of both newcomers, I’m not familiar with their work or characters down in Florida. I suppose that’s both a good and bad thing; good because they’re very fresh to me and I’ll have no prior knowledge of their style, promos or matches so I’m eager to see how they do, but bad because I’ve probably missed out on their matches, their feuds and perhaps some of their best work to date. An example of this would be the tremendous Bayley vs Sasha Banks match at NXT Takeover II in Brooklyn. I don’t think either competitor in that match has hit that height since on the main roster.
— WWE (@WWE) November 22, 2017
Smackdown Live also saw its own mini-invasion by former women’s NXT talent in the guises of Ruby Riot, Sarah Logan & Liv Morgan. Again, the same applies in regards to my prior knowledge of these three, although their arrival coupled with the Raw additions is an exciting prospect. Let’s explore some possibilities WWE can have going forward with these new faces:
They’ve fleshed out what was a small roster – Though WWE have done well in giving us two Women’s Divisions (one on each brand), their star power is stretched across two shows, which gives a lack of depth on each brand. This is a bit Catch-22, because if there were only a Women’s division on Raw, we’d gripe about the lack of time or matches the women were getting. By throwing three fresh faces in the mix on each brand, it gives WWE more scope to play around a little with three on three, tag or even a mini-series of knockout matches to determine a number one contender.
It will help with character development – The women have been hindered by not only a lack of numbers, but a lack of breathing space to be able to fully develop their characters. For me, Sasha Banks does her best work as a heel. With her on Raw however, she’s working with Alexa Bliss, Nia Jax and Alicia Fox. There’s simply no room for another heel. Their limited numbers also make it inevitable their paths will forever cross. It’s difficult to hold a single feud that doesn’t involve any other stars – something they can build upon and push from a feud to a rivalry. With Paige & co on board, it gives the opportunity to focus on some one-on-one feuds, giving stars both time and consistency in order to further both story-lines and their own characters.
— WWE (@WWE) November 22, 2017
There can be factions – Three seems to be the magic number in WWE, and their best successes in recent years have come from trios (The Shield, New Day), so it should come as no surprise that WWE looked to debut these partnerships in threes. I prefer a trio as a stable because it will always have the advantage over a tag and looks good when taking down a lone opponent. Four or more is too many and can hinder character development by having one or more lost in the mix. Fans can forget who is part of what faction and it can all end as a congealed, confusing mess – a-la N.W.O in WCW.
We can finally have a Women’s Royal Rumble – Our fearless leader John Canton has been a longtime advocate for this, and I think it could finally be a reality. We’re not talking about 30 participants, but there’s a strong possibility WWE can stretch to 20. Done right, this could be something both ground-breaking and epic. Rumbles are also a great way to make and protect top stars. For example, Asuka is going to be pushed to the moon in the next six months, but surely can’t be expected to win all the time, as it would hinder her colleagues. A Royal Rumble gives the perfect opportunity to have someone like Asuka tossed out by one of the afore-mentioned factions, ensuring she remains protected and doesn’t lose any momentum.
The Rumble will also show how far Women’s wrestling has come in the last 5-10 years, by giving us yet another match usually reserved only for the men. Were there talented women wrestlers prior to ten years ago? Without question, but the Trish Stratus’ and Litas of that era were hampered by lack of depth and a reluctance by WWE to give them a platform large enough to showcase their talent on a multitude of fronts and in varying types of matches. For every Lita, Trish or Mickie great match we would see, a bra & panty or pillow fight wouldn’t be far behind. Two steps forward and all that.
Now that such crude and frankly, out of date ideas have happily been consigned to the past, WWE have really embraced their women wrestlers and have continued to push the envelope with new ideas, new story-lines and new feuds to keep us intrigued. This also goes to show how talented, hardworking and determined the women of WWE are and their dedication into making this the best era for their division in the history of professional wrestling. I don’t care if anyone takes credit for the ‘Women’s Revolution’, I just want it to succeed and not just for WWE, but to fans around the world who can witness history makers and talent that delivers week in and week out. It goes to show that if you work hard enough, anything can happen.
As the saying goes; Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you’ll land among the stars. And WWE is a galaxy at the moment.
What do you think? Will the new faces shake up the Women’s roster in WWE? What difference will a returning Paige make? Would you like to see more factions? Is the possibility of a Women’s Rumble appealing to you? I’d love to hear what you think. As always, thanks for reading.