Friday 14 August 2015

Double the Butterfly, Double the Fun

Over the last few years there's been intermittent talk about a Divas tag team division being introduced to WWE. Much of this talk has come from the Bella twins in interviews with various non-WWE organisations, websites and magazines (and, for what it's worth, it tends to be more Nikki than Brie). The recent renovation of the Divas division has, predictably, led to the Bellas making another push for it.

Potential tag team champions.
In principle I think it's a good idea. A singles belt and tag belts would help the division to feel more like a rounded, competitive division rather than a bunch of wrestlers swapping one championship amongst themselves. It would also make sense considering the prominence of tag wrestling in general these days.

The trouble is that it feels far too early for the Divas division to be heading in this direction. Right now the focus should be on establishing that this really is the best Divas line-up we've had in years. That means continuing to highlight Sasha Banks,  Becky Lynch and Charlotte (Flair) as women every bit the equals of their more tenured peers. It also means continuing to give women's matches the time to impress and satisfy, as well as making the singles championship currently carried by Nikki Bella feel like a prize worth winning. The introduction of tag titles would detract from this process and it would throw the focus of the division off kilter.

It would also highlight the lack of depth to the roster. Yes, the additions of the three NXT stars is welcome but it only brings the number of active wrestlers up to nine. Throw in Natalya (who's currently taking time off to help husband Tyson Kidd recover from an injury) and that's enough for five teams, hardly enough for a thriving division despite what large stretches of the last decade of WWE's men's tag division would have you believe.

Stick Charlotte in a singles title feud with Sasha Banks,
have Paige and Becky as a tag team.
The good news is that there are two pairings that are obvious for carrying a Divas tag scene. One is the Bella twins. You really shouldn't need me to explain why but I will: they're sisters and therefore a natural tag team. The other is the pairing of Paige and Becky Lynch. Their shared background on the British indies provides a logical reason for the two to form a regular team (because they feel a kinship). Their real long-time friendship dating back a decade could be referenced to make their journey to the tag team titles seem more special and heart-warming, more of an achievement.
A third option worth touching on is the "family" connection between Naomi and Tamina, although Tamina's limited in-ring ability would make them a poor choice to carry the division.

If the Divas' roster can stretch to twelve or so strong (a perfectly achievable goal considering the number of women in NXT) then a Divas tag division would be entirely justifiable. Emma and Dana Brooke are a logical pair of call-ups to make should tag straps be introduced. Alexa Bliss could find someone to team with. The two newcomers who I won't name because they're currently rotating through various handles could be introduced as plucky underdogs. Bayley and Charlotte's friendship from NXT would be the good basis for a call-up and a title chase. The division just needs time to get its singles work right. Post-WrestleMania next year things could, and should, be very different.

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