Lee, with her beloved Divas Championship.
Divas champion A.J. Lee desperately needs some new opponents in 2014. She’s taken on the likes of Brie Bella and Natalya too many times to count over the past six months. Her record-breaking title reign is running a serious risk of becoming stale.
But who can WWE bookers pair her with in the future? Well, after looking at women from the main roster and developmental show NXT and examining their various strengths and weaknesses, let’s pick out five suitable candidates.
Charlotte on NXT.
Thanks to her natural athletic talent and family connections—she's the daughter of two-time Hall of Famer Ric Flair—NXT star Charlotte looks to have a bright future in WWE. Could she be called up soon to be Lee's next opponent?
Charlotte's introduction to the main roster could also serve as a good way to bring back Flair to the storylines. Her father could serve as manager for the first couple of months, giving the Divas Championship a spotlight it hasn't had in years.
However, her inexperience works against her on this list. Is the star, who only signed a WWE deal in 2012, ready for such a high-profile position?
Nikki, with John Cena at a recent press event.
OK, so she’s no Trish Stratus in the ring—and probably never will be. But Nikki Bella would make a decent, if not particularly great, opponent for Lee come the Royal Rumble. It would also help her if she trained with her far-better-in-the-ring sister Brie in the run up to the pay-per-view.
If Nikki tries hard enough, it’s easy to see her and Lee churning out a somewhat half-decent match.
Tamina Snuka takes the fight to Brie Bella.
Just how long will it be before Tamina Snuka grows sick of Lee’s bratty and erratic behavior and turns on her friend once and for all? Hey, it’s a story we’ve seen time and again in pro wrestling. No on-screen alliance or friendship ever lasts that long in WWE. Not only would their matches together be excellent—Snuka is a criminally underrated wrestler—it would be a fresh program, too.
One drawback is that Snuka seems to lack the charismatic personality needed to be a top female star in WWE Would the fans get behind her if she went against Lee?
It’s difficult to see, isn’t it? That alone keeps her from topping this list.
Paige, still on NXT.
Paige has stood out on NXT thanks to her charisma, girl-next-door looks and polished in-ring skills. After years in developmental, the British star is due a call-up to the main roster—truly, she's a better wrestler than most of the current women on television. It's puzzling why management has allowed her to stay on the sidelines for so long.
A debut on Raw to embark on a feud with Lee could be a great start to her big league career and help establish her straight away as a major deal. There's a very good chance their matches together would be excellent too.
However, the Diva arguably lacks the exposure needed for such a high-profile role. Just how would fans react to this new girl showing up out of nowhere to challenge for the belt? It’s hard to know.
Naomi, poses for a photo.
The 26-year-old Naomi has always been one of the better female wrestlers in WWE, but the company seems reluctant to give her a chance to show off her skills. It is absurd that she has spent much of her time in the company stuck being a backup dancer, while women like Aksana get regular in-ring time.
She has also improved as a personality over the last couple of years, thanks to her recent reality television exposure. She seems far more comfortable out there than she used to be.
Could she be Lee’s next opponent? Well, she’s my top choice. And their program would play into Lee’s current feud with the cast of Total Divas.