One thing is for sure: Beth Phoenix finds her career in a precarious position after the results of WWE's No Way Out pay-per-view.
While she put up a good fight, she ultimately lost to Divas Champion Layla in their title match, getting pinned after an out-of-nowhere neckbreaker.
By the (low) standards of WWE women's matches, the bout was decent, with both women entering strong and lively performances. Phoenix was fully convincing at portraying the determination of her heel character to get back the Divas Championship, with Layla entering an equally great performance as the scrappy, cheeky underdog (she even mocked her foe's signature spots and personality quirks at various points before and during the match).
So what now for Phoenix? Or, more importantly, do WWE know what is next for her?
Well, after emphatically losing two pay-per-view matches in a row to Layla, she probably isn't going to be getting a title shot anytime soon.
This is probably for the best. While their matches have been good, the Layla/Phoenix series is growing as tiresome as the Kelly/Phoenix program did. Layla/Phoenix has nothing new to offer us in terms of promos or in-ring work. The daunting silence of the fans in attendance at the Izod Center during their match at this event may said it all. The fans are bored, and it's time for both women to move on.
Of course, while Layla may have a fresh lineup of challengers waiting for her, who is there for Beth to face? As a heel, she has seemingly taken on every woman on Raw.
However, a babyface turn could be in her future. Heck, WWE's booking team have done all the can with her as a heel, and they must know this. Maybe they'll decide a drastic change of character is in her future.
Certainly, it would open up a lot of possibilities for the former Divas Champion. She could align with Layla to help her take on the newly-empowered Eve Torres, for instance. Or battle with monster heel Kharma when she makes her eventual return to the organization.
In a bid for some new opportunities, Phoenix could also move brands. Certainly, Smackdown, more so than even Raw, needs some decent women's wrestling, and the talented Phoenix could work with newer, inexperienced wrestlers like A.J. and Kaitlyn to churn out good matches.
Alternatively, she could become a valet to one of the male wrestlers, a role she has flirted with in the past (when she dated comedy act Santino Marella).
Some may deem this a colossal waste of her in-ring talent, but becoming an outside-enforcer to some up-and-coming wrestler would give her the chance to do something new and, ideally, revive her stagnant career.
In conclusion, Beth Phoenix's career can go in a few directions after No Way Out. Or, depressingly, WWE may just forget about her and leave her off television for months on end (again). But let's hope not. The Glamazon is simply to talented not to have a prominent role in the promotion.
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