For several weeks, it had become common knowledge that the contracts of the Bella Twins were expiring the night after Extreme Rules. Things were complicated when Nikki Bella won the Divas Championship from Beth Phoenix, but it appeared to be the perfect way to bring back Kharma. That didn't happen, however, and it can be chalked up as a missed opportunity.
Nikki took on a mystery opponent at Extreme Rules as Beth wasn't cleared to compete. Rather than that mystery opponent being Kharma, as most expected, it was a returning Layla. While there is no doubt that Layla's return automatically strengthens the Divas division, there was a perfect, built-in storyline for Kharma to come back.
Prior to Kharma taking maternity leave in May, the Bella Twins insulted her and made fun of her weight. Kharma vowed to take them out when she returned. With the Bellas' contract expiring, Nikki winning the Divas Championship and a mystery opponent being named at Extreme Rules, it seemed like the perfect storm.
One possible explanation is that Kharma simply isn't ready to come back. She was a surprise entrant in the Royal Rumble, but later it came out that her child was stillborn when she gave birth in December and that it greatly affected her emotionally. If that is still the case, then you can't pin everything on the WWE, but I'm led to believe that she is ready to return.
Eve actually made mention of Kharma when she told Nikki that she would have a mystery opponent. Eve said, "Don't worry, it's not Kharma," which caused the Bellas to breathe a sigh of relief. That was certainly interesting as Kharma's name hadn't been mentioned once since her return at the Royal Rumble.
Did WWE miss a golden opportunity for Kharma to return?
Also, Kharma has been tweeting about the WWE quite a bit lately, including teasing a beatdown of the Bellas at Extreme Rules. If Kharma weren't ready to return, then I doubt she would be tweeting about the product, so I have to assume that all of the pieces were in place, only for the creative team to fail to pull the trigger for whatever reason.
Failing to have Kharma write off the Bellas hurt a lot of people throughout this process. It was bad for Kharma because it would have been a perfect, impactful way for her to come back, and it also hurt the Bellas because the way they were fired by Eve was a terrible send-off. They were good soldiers for the company for several years and deserved to be written off properly by getting squashed by Kharma.
Layla was also affected negatively because she didn't get the reaction she should have when she returned. I get the feeling that the crowd was pretty much resigned to Kharma returning, and they had probably gotten their hopes up for it, so Layla coming back didn't have as big of an impact on them.
With all of that said, it's extremely tough to tell where the Divas division is heading now. I suppose that Beth could challenge Layla since she hasn't received her rematch yet, but that would make the entire process of transferring the belt from Beth to Nikki in the first place meaningless.
There simply aren't many heel Divas out there right now to challenge Layla, so I have to believe that Kharma will be next. Since she is talking about the WWE and was mentioned on WWE programming, it's obvious that there are still plans for a return. If there have always been plans for her to come back, though, I fail to see why it wasn't done to future endeavor the Bellas.
If and when Kharma does return, it should be entertaining, and it will provide yet another spark to a listless division. But there will never be a better opportunity to bring her back than they had at Extreme Rules or even the night after.
Whether you loved them or hated them, the Bellas did a lot for the WWE and put a lot of effort into playing whatever role they were saddled with. They'll probably simply be swept under the rug at this point, but getting what they had coming from Kharma would have been so much better for everyone involved.