Sunday 29 April 2012


Nikki Bella is the WWE Divas champion.

That’s not a sentence likely to fill any wrestling fan with joy. Nikki and her sister Brie are good looking young ladies and have improved greatly in the ring over the last several years but they’re nowhere near as good as TNA’s Knockouts or the women that comprise the SHIMMER roster (generally considered to be the best female only promotion outside of Japan). WWE simply isn’t seen as company that takes women’s wrestling seriously and Nikki’s victory is a perfect example of why.

But it should be pointed out that there’s a plan in place.   

Beth Phoenix, the woman Nikki toppled for the gold, is said to be injured. This isn’t true. Phoenix is as healthy as any active wrestler can hope to be. The reason that WWE are claiming she’s injured, with ‘The Glamazon’ helping the story along on Twitter, is that they wanted to take the title off of her because they are about to embark on their highest profile women’s feud in years.

Kia Stevens, formerly known as Amazing Kong and now billed as Kharma, is about to make her full time return to WWE. She is regarded as one of the best female wrestlers in the world and was considered a big signing for WWE back at the start of 2011. The most notable work in her career so far came during her stint in TNA, where she worked incredibly enjoyable matches with many of that company’s top names, including a stellar series with Gail Kim. She has wrestled extensively in Japan and across the US indies too, including the aforementioned SHIMMER.

WWE quite rightly believes that a programme between Kharma and Phoenix could be their hottest Divas feud in years. The decision to relieve ‘The Glamazon’ of the belt was made so that the company can bring Kharma back to television and immediately start building her up as the most dominant woman in the division without rushing into her clash with ‘The Glamazon’.

Presumably this will start with her crushing Nikki Bella and then ploughing through every other female performer on the roster. Once she’s established as a powerful force in WWE (and replays of her hitting the move formally known as the Implant Buster on Dolph Ziggler during this year’s Royal Rumble should help there) expect Phoenix to be brought back to begin chasing her for the title.

Can Kharma help revive the WWE Divas division?

I think if the two women are given substantial time and leeway to put on the best matches possible on pay-per-view and their feud is booked logically on RAW and SmackDown they could help to reinvigorate WWE’s knackered Divas scene and make the butterfly belt mean something. Phoenix has been WWE’s best female worker over the last year and a rivalry with Kharma should finally give her something to do beyond beat up expendable models each week.

If WWE handle this correctly they could set themselves on the path to having a competitive and enjoyable women’s division again. Natalya could be brought in after a couple of months to add a fresh dynamic to matches and perhaps enjoy a surprise title reign. Tamina Snuka keeps getting better and would be an interesting opponent for Kharma, Phoenix or Natalya. Meanwhile Kelly Kelly and Alicia Fox can keep improving and work as outmatched babyfaces against the division’s top string of stars.

It will all start with Kharma obliterating Nikki Bella, and possibly Brie too. Rumours have been going around that the Bellas are leaving WWE very soon so I’d expect that to happen sooner rather than later, possibly as early as this evening’s Extreme Rules pay-per-view. It will likely be WWE’s way of writing the twins off of TV. I will take an admittedly sadistic pleasure in watching them get squashed and I imagine others will too. I hope in six months’ time we can look back on Kharma’s return and see it as a turning point for WWE’s female performers and the starting point of a resurgence of their division.

No comments:

Post a Comment