The story of the unfortunately named “Divas Revolution” was also unfortunately spun as having something to do with Nikki Bella’s record breaking Divas Title reign. We all know that title reign only lasted as long as it did to get AJ Lee erased from WWE existence and nothing more. Well, some believe it had a little to do with John Cena, but I choose not to believe that. The story was executed as rival cliques (not the good kind) that just wanted to see which group could truly be the meanest girls in WWE. Another unfortunate part of this story was that 75% of NXT’s Four Horsewomen would be thrown into it. Three women that had helped build the momentum of women’s wrestling to the level of interest it was getting in the summer of 2015.
Sasha Banks, who was the NXT women’s champion at the time, Charlotte and Becky Lynch had become arguably the biggest stars of WWE’s developmental brand. Starting with Charlotte and Sasha’s matches (including the Fatal 4 Way where Sasha finally pinned Charlotte) in late 2014 and early 2015, each match these women had exceeded the previous one. Every match involving Charlotte, Sasha, Becky and current NXT Women’s Champion Bayley was seemingly hailed as the best women’s match to date. That all culminated on Saturday August 22, 2015 on the eve of SummerSlam. At NXT Takeover: Brooklyn, Bayley overcame Sasha Banks to begin her reign in what many would argue was the match of the year, for both men and women. The following night saw a three team elimination match that showed the Revolution hadn’t quite reached the main roster.
Over time Charlotte would wrestle the Divas Title away from Nikki Bella. In another unfortunate turn of events for the women, Charlotte wasn’t as over with the crowd as I’m sure WWE expected her to be. “We want Sasha!” chants filled arenas during every Divas match that didn’t include The Boss. Sasha was toiling away with Team B.A.D. on the outside of the title picture. Paige had turned on Charlotte, insulted her deceased brother and Becky was just kind of left as a silent sidekick for Charlotte. None of it was working.
Enter Ric Flair, notoriously the “dirtiest player in the game.” This is not to give Ric credit for what happened next, but his presence as Charlotte’s father helped push the story in the direction it needed to go. WWE decided to do with Charlotte what many feel they should do with Roman Reigns, they turned her heel. From that point on, Charlotte became more compelling to watch and you could actually see her grow more comfortable each week. Comfortable enough that oftentimes Ric Flair goes unnoticed in her corner.
The change in direction gave Becky Lynch reason to sever ties with her “best friend” along with reason to fight back and become her own character. I would argue that in the lead up to the Royal Rumble Becky Lynch was the hottest babyface in the company. Her promo work was great and her in-ring work was even better. The two engaged in in a very good match at the PPV that was marred only by Ric Flair’s involvement and was on par with every singles match of the night outside of the Last Man Standing match.
At the conclusion of the match Sasha Banks pushed her way right back into the Divas Title picture. She walked out to what may have been the loudest pop of the night and generated the exact same reaction as she took out Charlotte. Prior to taking out Charlotte she kicked Becky out of the ring, announcing that she is ready to take back her spotlight. This lead to an interesting simultaneous feud/pairing for the two that saw them win a great women’s tag match against Team B.A.D. as well as fight one another to a draw and a double disqualification in a quest to be number one contender for the Divas Championship. The end result would be a Triple Treat Match for the Divas Title at the biggest show of the year.
Over the last few weeks, it seemed one more unfortunate thing was happening. Inexplicably, Lana started a feud out of nowhere with Brie Bella. For three consecutive shows (Smackdown, Roadblock and Raw) Sasha and Becky were nowhere to be found, yet there was Lana, egging on and insulting Brie for no apparent reason. Then it dawned on me that we were actually finally getting a secondary storyline for the women heading into WrestleMania. Lana has proved herself as a pretty good heel on her own and this feud will lead to most of the women on the roster playing some part in WrestleMania.
It also helped that on last week’s SmackDown, the “Face to Face to Face” segment allowed Charlotte, Sasha and Becky to get their match over as much as any other on the Mania card. I loved that they got a segment dressed in regular clothes as opposed to ring gear. I loved that their interaction with each other was based on wanting to win the title and defeat the other two as opposed to insults and hair pulling. I loved that the two presumed babyfaces actually outsmarted the hell Charlotte and turned the tables on her, each hitting an impactful maneuver prior to her escape. Each woman laid out her case for being involved in the match and their desire for the title.
It’s been a good two months for the women, but that isn’t to say everything has been perfect. First, Ric Flair was still a little too involved for my liking, although that has changed. He is now simply marking out over every insult Charlotte hurls or every dirty trick she pulls. There is still the issue of unnecessary comments like Becky calling Sasha “Nicki Minaj” or saying there is more to being a boss than dollar store jewelry. Lastly, a lot of the matches on Raw and SmackDown! have been given too little time and have felt too rushed. Negatives aside, the Divas Championship will be up for grabs at WrestleMania, which is already a step up from last year. On top of that, it won’t be competed for by 14 women of little consequence chosen entirely at random. In fact, it may even be the first women’s match in WrestleMania history to go over 10 minutes.
Most importantly, the most important prize in women’s wrestling is going to be fought over by the three most important women in the game. No filler, no overt attempts at sex appeal, just the three best women WWE has to offer battling on the biggest stage to be champion. In all likelihood it will be viewed as one of the top matches of the night. Now, to me, THAT is the true start of the Divas Revolution.
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