Well, was that ever an interesting couple days of WWE TV.
It was always going to be tough to top the past weekend of wrestling; with NXT TakeOver: War Games and Survivor Series, there truly was a high bar set for both the flagship show and it’s Tuesday counterpart. While both shows delivered quality episodes, it was the women who stood out in the post-Survivor Series fallout. Five women made their debut’s on the main roster, as Ruby Riot, Sonya DeVille, Mandy Rose, Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan made their first appearances on the main roster. While that would have been enough in itself, the class of ladies was headlined by a returning Paige, making her first on-screen appearance for WWE in over a year. It was outstanding to see the Anti-Diva back in a WWE ring, and the possibilities are endless with the five women joining her alongside the main roster.
Setting the Stage
I don’t think I can say it any better than she did; she’s baaaaaaack!
After weeks of speculation, Paige made her long-anticipated return to the WWE. To be quite honest, I doubt even she expected the reaction she got; after a few off-the-rails months with Alberto Patron (formerly Del Rio), there was certainly potential for her return to blow up completely in WWE’s face.
It’s terrific that’s not the case. Paige received a star’s ovation; in fact, she likely received one of the loudest pops I’ve heard since WrestleMania – and why shouldn’t she? Paige has always been a top-notch wrestler, and an underrated promo. It was also great to see her look genuinely happy walking onto the ramp; after a tumultuous few months, it was likely a personal highlight. Sometimes, fans forget the people behind the characters, and it’s great to see her come out on the right side of a tough run.
However, it’s obvious she had some support, as she brought some friends with her.
After cutting a promo, Paige marched to the ring looking ready to attack Sasha Banks and Mickie James, both of whom were competing in a fatal-four way match when Paige appeared. As the women turned their attention to the Anti-Diva, both were attacked from behind by two women. After a quick scuffle, they were revealed to be Sonya DeVille and Mandy Rose, both former Tough Enough contestants – a show on which Paige was a judge. After a beatdown of the three women – Bayley tried to fight back, while Alicia Fox ran away – Paige’s new stable stood tall in the middle of the ring.
This instantly becomes the most talked about angle on RAW. Could the three be united due to their Tough Enough connection, or are their ulterior motives at play?
But Wait! There’s More!
While there were rumours of more debuts coming on Tuesday nights, we got three women who certainly weren’t in the rumour mill.
Many expected the Iconic Duo of Peyton Royce and Billie Kay to head to the main roster; instead, we received a trio of women who immediately made their presence known. Ruby Riot, Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan made their surprise debuts on Smackdown Live, attacking Naomi and Becky Lynch in a backstage segment. The trio then proceeded to interrupt a title match between Charlotte and Natalya near the end of the show. Immediately, all three women looked like imminent threats to the division.
Two nights, five debuts, one major return, and a few terrific women’s segments
So where does that leave us? There’s a number of ways WWE can go with their two female stables, but I see the potential for the most interesting women’s storyline in years. While WWE likes to trot out the “Women’s Revolution” line, it’s always felt like the name was forced on the storyline; in a similar fashion to the last two nights, WWE debuted a few highly touted ladies and hoped things would fall in to place. The McMahon’s have been presented a huge opportunity, and they can’t afford to let it go to waste. There’s a few booking steps that I would take to maximize its potential return.
Fantasy Booking Paige’s Return
- Cross-Brand Faction. There would be nothing cooler than a cross-brand stable, headed up by Paige and Ruby Riot. Two factions, both part of one larger stable bent on destroying the Women’s division? Cool.
- Dominate. Both factions should tear apart their respective women’s divisions over the next few weeks. All are good-to-great wrestlers; Paige and Riot are both personal favourites. Between singles and tag action, none should lose a match for the foreseeable future.
- Titles. While it may seem early, WrestleMania is only five months away. Not every member can earn a title, obviously; however, I see absolutely no reason that Paige couldn’t be built to be a credible challenger to Alexa Bliss by the Royal Rumble. If she does, I don’t see a better person to be champion.
- Women’s Royal Rumble. Speaking of the Royal Rumble; with the return/debuts of the six women, WWE now has 22 ladies on the main roster, not including NXT. Keeping in mind room for more debuts and (hopefully) a few surprise returns, there’s more than enough women for the first-ever women’s Royal Rumble.
- WrestleMania Moment. If we’re looking at ideal booking, I’m calling Ruby Riot herself to win the first Rumble. If rumours are to be believed, the Four Horsewomen of WWE are set to face off against the Four Horsewomen of MMA; for a feud like that, there’s absolutely no need for the titles to be involved. Ultimately, I think a Paige/Ruby Riot feud over the title at WrestleMania could get both stars over at a level they haven’t approached before. A marquee cross-brand rivalry at ‘Mania, if built well, could be a high point for women’s wrestling, period.