The one thing professional wrestling was successful at back in the day was producing longstanding rivalries—rivalries that were played out over months, forgotten about, revisited and still produced like it was child’s play.
Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat. The Rock and Steve Austin. The Undertaker and Kane. Not only were they important to the progression of the business, but they also stayed with us as fans. We could refer back to them nostalgically or vividly recall a spot from years ago that still worked and was successful.
Thank you, Flair and Steamboat.
While we want another Rock-Austin type of rivalry and have hoped John Cena and CM Punk could take that place, the feud between Kaitlyn and AJ Lee fills the gap perfectly.
The fact the Divas title is part of this dynamic is just frosting on the cake.
AJ and Kaitlyn have developed a feud much like Lita and Trish Stratus, where actions, promos, other divas and even male wrestlers enhance the program. It’s a brilliant move on the part of the WWE to focus such an angle on the females of the company, since, frankly, the WWE had not shown concern for the development of the women until recently.
AJ’s unstable character (which is brilliant since she seems to be the most levelheaded of all the divas) combined with the un-gluing of Kaitlyn as of late with her “Secret Admirer” is brilliant. It shows the importance of a wrestler’s ability to mentally work within an angle, to say the “wrong” things at the right time and to make sure the mental warfare is as damaging as a submission hold inside the ring.
While it looks like Stephanie McMahon was trying to bury the women last week, Kaitlyn and AJ are helping them to thrive. And for everything the WWE wants to do to one-up TNA and its Knockouts (Taryn Terrell and Gail Kim’s Last Knockout Standing Match), the company should stick to what works now. AJ and Kaitlyn work.
And for what it is worth, the angle has legs that could last as long as any of the male feuds we have seen.
The WWE should continue to promote this, maybe more so than the current angles that are not working.