Nikki Bella Breaks AJ Lee's WWE Divas Championship Record

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 15, 2015

Mar 11, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; WWE wrestler Nikki Bella in attendance of the game between the Minnesota Timberwolves against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Nikki Bella cleared her biggest remaining hurdle on her "Road to 300 Days," defeating Charlotte on Raw on Monday night to retain her Divas Championship.

With the victory, Nikki passed AJ Lee as the longest-reigning Divas champion in WWE history.

Charlotte thought she had the match won and celebrated in the ring with her father Ric Flair. Then Stephanie McMahon delivered the bad news to an emotional Charlotte: She pinned the wrong Bella sister, thus necessitating a disqualification:


Was @MsCharlotteWWE able to prevent #NikkiBella (@BellaTwins) from making history?! #Raw #DivasTitle http://t.co/jNdym3IYY4

As is standard in WWE, a title can't change hands in a DQ, so Nikki held on to the Divas Championship. However, WWE's Twitter account noted that Charlotte would become the new titleholder with a DQ win against Nikki at Night of Champions.

Although DQ finishes don't always advance a story, Justin LaBar of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review felt it was the perfect decision for Monday night:

Justin LaBar @JustinLaBar

Solid match between Nikki & Charlotte! Good, dramatic finish WITH HEAT! Be that much bigger a pop when Charlotte DOES wins Sunday #RAW

Bleacher Report's Ryan Dilbert added that painting Nikki as the clear heel in the feud only benefits both wrestlers:

Ryan Dilbert @ryandilbert

Return to clear face/heel dynamics in Divas division a welcome sight. Bettered both matches in Memphis.

Nikki beat AJ for the title at last year's Night of Champions, but the idea that she could break AJ's record really emerged after she successfully defended the Divas Championship at Beast in the East on July 4:

From that point forward, it almost seemed as if WWE was solely focused on having Nikki become the longest-reigning champion—to the detriment of the Divas division as a whole.

Prior to Monday, her last title defense on a non-house show was at Beast in the East. Even with the "Divas revolution" bringing more attention to the division, it's unacceptable that the Divas Championship was not defended for months on end.

In addition, the Divas revolution has lost a bit of steam, progressing very little since its inception.

It was a little like in WCW when Rick Rude and Ted DiBiase were revealed as members of the nWo. The momentum and excitement caused by Rude and DiBiase's debuts wore off when they proceeded to actually bring little to the nWo or WCW in general.

Team Bella, Team PCB and Team B.A.D. have wrestled in a variety of matches, which were fun in the beginning but have since grown tiresome.

It's one thing to have more women's wrestling on WWE television. It's something different to have more women's wrestling on WWE television and actually tell meaningful stories.

As Fighting Game Nation's Matt Black tweeted, adding the Divas Championship took the Divas revolution to its next natural step:

Matt Black @RAWFShowtime

So the #DivasRevolution is finally focused on the actual championship, what a novel concept! About damn time! #SmackDown

The initial plan was to have Charlotte and Nikki battle for the belt at Night of Champions after Charlotte won a Beat the Clock challenge on the Aug. 31 edition of Raw:

On Sept. 7, Charlotte then revealed she petitioned Stephanie McMahon for an earlier title shot, a request that was granted by the WWE minority owner:

Despite her upcoming challenge, Nikki remained confident that she would retain the Divas Championship:

Given all the circumstances leading up to the match, it would've been surprising if WWE pulled the rug out from under Nikki before she could overtake AJ.

In a way, it's almost refreshing that Nikki is now the longest-reigning Divas champion. Now that she has the record, there's little reason to have her keep the title. Her reign has largely run its course, and to continue having her go over the emerging Divas would only hinder the Divas revolution.

Nikki has unquestionably improved in the ring, but it is time for the likes of Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks to begin seriously factoring in the Divas Championship picture.

Charlotte may have come out of Monday night without the title, but she further established her status as a top Divas wrestler. At Night of Champions, you should bet on her getting a measure of revenge on Nikki.


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