After weeks and months of pursuing the Divas Championship, Kaitlyn finally completed her journey last week on Raw when she defeated a departing Eve for the title. Now that Kaitlyn has the butterfly-shaped belt in her possession, however, it is contingent upon the creative team to come up with a logical and palatable feud for her.
That is obviously a problem due to the lack of depth that plagues the Divas division. In addition to Eve leaving, The Bella Twins, Kelly Kelly and Beth Phoenix have all hit the bricks over the past year. There are definitely some capable divas still on the roster, but few of them have any storyline or character to speak of.
Who should Kaitlyn face at the Royal Rumble?
In a lot of ways, the WWE is now starting from scratch with its Divas division, so the writers can essentially put anyone they please up against Kaitlyn. The clear choice would seem to be AJ since they are former friends who went their separate ways once AJ started dating Daniel Bryan last year, but that feud should be saved for WrestleMania, so there is some time to fill between now and then.
The options are limited with Tamina Snuka, Natalya, Layla, Alicia Fox and Aksana as the only full-time wrestlers on the roster aside from AJ. Naomi, Cameron and Rose Mendes are also around, but they're valets more than anything, although Naomi certainly has shown the ability to excel in the ring.
While the best matches would take place in a Kaitlyn vs. Natalya feud, Natalya is firmly face at the moment. I realize that can change at the drop of a hat when it comes to the Divas division, but the writers seem to like her with The Great Khali for some strange reason. Because of that, perhaps the most logical opponent would be Tamina as she is a full-fledged heel and has the power to match up well with Kaitlyn.
Based on something that happened on last week's edition of SmackDown, though, I would choose Layla as Kaitlyn's temporary rival. Layla is clearly a face, but while talking with Kaitlyn backstage last week she held the Divas Championship and acted as if she didn't want to relinquish it. While it's entirely possible that it meant nothing, it felt like something between them was being foreshadowed.
Back when Layla was the Divas champion, she was supposed to defend the title against Kaitlyn at Night of Champions. Kaitlyn was attacked by a disguised assailant who happened to be Aksana, though, so Eve ultimately got the title shot and won. The fact that Kaitlyn and Layla never had a proper one-on-one match for the title could be used as the reason for them to have a match at the Royal Rumble.
The bout would start off innocently enough with Kaitlyn and Layla shaking hands, but after Kaitlyn wins, Layla would then attack her and officially turn heel. There is a lack of heel divas on the roster right now and since Layla proved to be very good in that role as a member of Team LayCool, it would be a pretty sensible move to have her revert to heel status.
This feud could then last from the Rumble through Elimination Chamber before Kaitlyn finally transitions into a feud with AJ, which is what many are expecting. It seems like a matter of time before the Kaitlyn vs. AJ feud happens, but it is a much better idea to wait until after Elimination Chamber than to give too much away ahead of time.
The first feud for a new champion is always about getting over with the crowd and being made to look like a credible champion, so Layla would be a solid choice. She can play the annoying heel role really well and the fans would be firmly behind Kaitlyn in such a rivalry. Layla is also fairly solid in the ring and has been around for quite some time, so beating her will give Kaitlyn plenty of credibility.
No Divas Championship match has been announced for the Royal Rumble pay-per-view yet, but with only three undercard matches in place and both the United States and Intercontinental champions entered in the Rumble match, I have to believe that a women's match will happen. If it does, then Kaitlyn vs. Layla is unquestionably the best route to take.