Paige Must Move to Next Level of Competition for Sake of Title Reign

Erik BeastonFeatured ColumnistMay 8, 2014


Paige has made quite the impact since debuting on the post-WrestleMania episode of Raw back on April 7.

She ended the 295-day Divas Championship reign of AJ Lee, has torn through every opponent put in front of her and has wowed audiences with the Scorpion Cross Lock, a move utilized by former WWE Women's Champion Bull Nakano.

As champion, she has defeated the likes of Alicia Fox, Aksana and Tamina Snuka while the company continues to integrate her into the roster. The matches with Fox have been particularly good, as each woman has shown great intensity and aggression. The Aksana and Tamina matches have been more straightforward, as Paige has had to overcome the power advantage of those two Divas in order to leave victorious.

While her considerable in-ring skills have been on display in those matches and fans have gotten a taste for the type of performer she is between the ropes, it is imperative that she move on to the next level of competition so fans remain invested.

No disrespect to any of the three women she has been working against to this point, but in the eyes of the fans they are considered the lower-tier Divas thanks largely to the exposure the rest of the roster gets on Total Divas.

No matter how many times the Bella Twins, the Funkadactyls and Natalya have lost championship bouts over the last year, they remain the upper echelon of competitors thanks to the manner in which they are presented by WWE.

For Paige to maintain momentum and her title reign to gain legitimacy, she must square off with and defeat those women in competitive matches. A series of bouts with Natalya would do a particularly great deal to showcase Paige's athleticism and ring awareness.

Matches against the Bella Twins would have more heat to them than most, thanks to their relationships with Daniel Bryan and John Cena and the fact that they are regularly treated as the stars of the reality show.

Perhaps the most interesting potential opponent is Naomi, whose unorthodox offense would mesh well with Paige's more aggressive style.

The money is still in her rematches with AJ, but not knowing when the former champion will return to television makes those matches impossible to book at this point.

Paige is one of those talents around whom the company can build an entire division if they so choose. She is a tremendous worker, a unique personality and a role model for young women everywhere if booked correctly.

That starts with character development and continues with the quality of competition and wins she earns.