Watching elimination after elimination on Diva NXT made me realize something - we are entering a new age of "Diva." And it's the third generation too! Don't believe me? The first generation (otherwise known as the "Golden Age") consisted of women like Trish Stratus, Lita, Molly Holly, Victoria, Jazz, Torrie Wilson, Stacy Keibler, and so on. The second gen., which we are now being prepped to let go of, consists of women like Melina, Mickie James, Beth Phoenix, Michelle McCool, Layla El and so on.
Moving forward, the newest generation seems to be mainly made up of all the contestants seen on Season 3 of NXT and it's coming pretty fast. So before the new age is upon us, it'd be smart to study up on what we have in store, no? So without further adieu, here is the third generation of "Diva:"
Bio: One of the brightest young stars ever to grace WWE's stomping grounds, AJ Lee started training to wrestle back in March of 07'. Lee worked with WSU, Women's Superstars Uncensored, from 2008 to 2009, continually honing her skills all the while. In May of 2009, AJ was signed to a developmental deal, later becoming Queen of FCW and participating in the first ever all-Diva season of NXT.
AJ proved to be one of, if not the, frontrunner for the competition. She competed in the best matches of the season, winning fan's hearts with her quirky, hyperactive attitude. Lee proved to be the true wrestling fan out of all the girls, consecutively winning the competitions based on knowledge of the company's superstars.
I personally love AJ and she's my favorite up-and-coming WWE Diva. I thought she was royally screwed out of the win when she was eliminated, and I wouldn't put it past WWE to rig the loss. In any case, there are big things coming for this young talent.
Wrestling Skill: 4/5- AJ is the best and most experienced wrestler out of all the FCW women, bar (maybe) Naomi.
Mic Skill: 3/5- AJ isn't terrible on the mic, but she's not spectacular either. Her biggest problem is pausing between sentences and taking too long to get her points across. It worked to her advantage somewhat in NXT, but that sh*t don't fly on the main roster!
Best Match To Date: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9Nf3Q-qyM8
Bio: Aksana was a Lithuanian-born bodybuilder and personal trainer who came into WWE in 2009. 2010 would see her develop on NXT. She was put into a storyline with Goldust as to keep fans interested in her, especially since her wrestling skills were less than stellar.
Aksana went on to have a wedding, turning on Goldust in the end and becoming a heel.
Wrestling Skill: 2/5- Aksana really needs to work on her skills in the ring. Like, really. It seems to me that her biggest problem is aggression. I sense a hesitance come from Aksana when she's on the offensive in the ring, almost as if she doesn't want to legitimately hurt her opponents in the ring. She needs to learn how to make it look real, without actually doing any harm.
Mic Skill: 4/5- Aksana played her character to a T'! She was the crazy Lithuanian girl who didn't know what the hell was going on half the time and it was hilarious! WWE even did a section called "Aksana-isms" on their website! Her only downfall is that she didn't play a heel that convincingly and she can be hard to understand for some.
Best Match To Date: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QG9fp47uH4&feature=related
Bio: Coming from a dancing background, Naomi came into FCW in 2009. It was evident from the beginning that she had a knack for wrestling and in the coming months fans would see that she could really wrestle at the level the Top Divas go at it as well.
Naomi, along with AJ, was one of the women pegged to win the whole thing, and rightfully so! She had the best matches of the season, always came off as a real person to the fans. Naomi is expected to debut in WWE in the future and I can't wait!
Wrestling Skill: 4/5 - Naomi has come leaps and bounds in the ring from when she first started. She picked up all the necessary mat basics while working as a heel, but it wasn't until she turned face that she really came into her own.
Mic Skill: 4/5 - I see Naomi the way I see Lita on the mic; they both seem real. The fans have an undeniable connection to both women and it's because they come across as real people who could live amongst us that it's so.
Best Match To Date: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-1edy8jeQk
Bio: Maxine, along with all the other Rookie Divas (most, anyway), was brought into the WWE in 2009. While she didn't impress much in the ring, she was a great character. Maxine would go on to become FCW's general manager and took part in NXT Season 3.
Wrestling Skill: 3/5 - Not horrible, but not amazing, Maxine gets by on the basics and needs to start differentiating her style from the other women in the WWE.
Mic Skill: 5/5 - I personally think Maxine is the best Diva out of all the Rookie Divas not only in FCW, but in the whole of WWE as well. I found myself constantly begging my computer screen to let Maxine save the talking segments. If that doesn't say a lot, I don't know what will!
Best Match To Date: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i88bY9aPs8E
Bio: Coming from a bodybuilding background, Kaitlyn was signed to WWE in 2010 and literally developed all of her skills on NXT Season 3. People watched her grow throughout the entire thing, all the way until she won the competition!
Many were shocked that she won, but it can be said that it was most likely due to the fact that she was involved in the biggest storyline of the season with the most over heel in the company, Vickie Guerrero.
Wrestling Skill: 2/5 - Kaitlyn isn't a travesty in the ring, but she isn't exactly awe-inspiring either. She tries new things all the time, but due to lack of experience it usually ends up being an epic fail. Also, she seems awkward throughout her matches.
Mic Skill: 3/5 - Kaitlyn is very comfortable on the mic, but sometimes she doesn't get her point across. Her and AJ seemed to be like two peas in a pod and that isn't necessarily a good thing. Especially not when it comes to talking.
Best Match To Date: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQszJpoeK9g
Bio: Alicia started with WWE in 2006, signing a developmental deal for OVW. She honed her craft, winning the OVW Women’s Championship at one point. The reign isn’t recognized, but the win did happen. After OVW and WWE went their seperate ways, Fox went to FCW. She quickly became a "one to watch," impressing people with her quick learning. Finally, in 2008, Alicia debuted on SmackDown in June 2008 as Edge and Vickie Guerrero’s wedding planner.
Edge apparently cheated on Vickie with Fox, leading to them catfighting at The Great American Bash. After the angle was over, Alicia left TV for three months, returning on ECW with a dancing gimmick alongside DJ Gabriel. After the duo appeared for several months, the gimmick was dropped and Alicia was shipped to SmackDown as a heel. Fox became Michelle McCool’s protege, teaming with her on several occasions and managing her as well.
After helping Michelle win her first Women’s Title, Fox was shipped over to the Raw brand. She would go on to compete regularly on Raw, earning herself a Divas Championship opportunity at one point. Fox failed to capture the title at Hell In the Cell, but after months of appearing on Raw would win the title at the inaugural Fatal 4-way ppv. Alicia reigned for two months, battling with the likes of Eve Torres and Gail Kim. She lost the title to Melina at SummerSlam, though, and is now back to her old spot on Raw.
Wrestling Skill: 3.5/5 - I wouldn't say Alicia is amazing in the ring, but she can definitely hang in there with the best of them. She's become somewhat complacent in the ring and should really look into adding some new moves into her arsenal.
Mic Skill: 3/5 - Alicia's good on the mic, but she really needs to work on her tone. Sometimes she seems too playful and her ad-libbing is definitely "WTF" worthy.
Best Match To Date: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoAbeV1rS4s&hd=1
Bio: Her career looks good to me, all right! Eve first got started in WWE by becoming the last Diva Search winner (2007). Eve began training in their developmental territory, FCW, until she debuted on SmackDown. She became the SmackDown interviewer and her first main angle came against Michelle McCool.
McCool attacked Eve after giving her a fake apology and the following week Torres' made her singles debut in a losing effort. Then, Eve's first main storyline came against Layla El. She continually one-upped El' until they met up in the ring. Eve then beat Layla multiple times and for the next few months would face off against her in different tag team matches. Around this time, Eve aligned herself with Cryme Tyme, entering into somewhat of a feud with The Hart Dynasty's Natalya Neidhart.
The sporadic matches continued until Eve was drafted to Raw. This is where Torres' would find the most success of her career. After upsetting the then-Divas Champion, Maryse, on several different occasions, Eve beat her for the title. Then, after a few months, Eve lost the title in a fatal four-way match to Alicia Fox. Since then, the two have been involved in a short-term feud and Eve's been put on the back burner with R-Truth.
Wrestling Skill: 3/5 - Eve's main problem is making her matches flow. What I mean by this is that she always seems like she's practicing, or like she's second-guessing what she's supposed to do next. It comes across very unprofessional. I will say, though, her moveset continues to grow bi-monthly and it's refreshing to witness.
Mic Skill: 2/5 - Eve is awkward and uncomfortable on the mic. She seems forced and lost, so there you have it.
Best Match To Date: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xe31da_eve-torres-vs-alicia-fox_shortfilms
Bio: Nattie's basic training took place in one of the most prominent training facilities ever, the Hart Family Dungeon. She was the first and only woman to graduate from the course, traveling all around the world and building a very strong reputation for herself.
Neidhart would later be signed with WWE in 2007, working in DSW (Deep South Wrestling) and later OVW and FCW. She'd make her debut with WWE in 2008, attacking Michelle McCool on behalf of her future best friend, Victoria. In the coming weeks, Nattie would earn herself a shot to become the first ever Divas Champion, ending up losing the historic match to Michelle McCool.
This wouldn't stunt Natalya's growth, however, as she would later team up with Tyson Kidd and David Hart Smith to form the Hart Dynasty, a more modern version of the famous Hart Foundation. The trio would stay in the main title scene for months to come until all three went their separate ways in 2010.
Natalya found herself in a feud with WWE's hottest Diva talents, LayCool. They feuded for months until it all culminated at Survivor Series where Neidhart would realize her childhood dream and become a champion in WWE, Divas Champion, to be more precise.
Wrestling Skill: 5/5 - Natalya is a through-and-through pro in the ring. Her moves are clean, crisp and precise and she's never had a bad match in her career.
Mic Skill: 3/5 - People often overlook the fact that Nattie can come off as very bland on the mic. She isn't terrible, but she doesn't exactly engage me as a viewer either.
Best Match To Date: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrhJzfIfX3I
After looking at what we have in store for the women's division, I can say there is some hope. Emphasis on the some. Once the Melinas and Michelles of the division are gone, who will be left? Maybe Beth Phoenix, the Bella Twins and all of the aforementioned. I'm sorry, but that doesn't look good to me. Unless the WWE has major plans for the girls, or the women themselves take it upon themselves to improve ten-fold, I see Doomsday for the Divas Division.