The Bella Twins resurfacing on WWE TV ahead of Evolution next month is no coincidence, and it will only lead to Sasha Banks, Bayley and the rest of Raw's women's roster being more marginalized than they already are.
Since making their WWE debut over a decade ago, Nikki and Brie Bella have emerged as success stories both inside and outside the ring. From reigning as Divas champion on three separate occasions to their hit reality show Total Divas being renewed for an eighth season, they are two of the biggest stars to come out of the women's division in the past decade.
Prior to their recent return on Raw, however, neither of them had been fixtures on WWE programming in nearly two years. Their contributions to what the company has billed the "Women's Evolution" cannot be understated, but there is no need for them to be back in a regular role on the flagship show at this point.
Raw's women's scene is stockpiled with star power as it is, with Alexa Bliss and current champ Ronda Rousey at the forefront. They are scheduled to clash again for the Raw Women's Championship at Hell in a Cell on September 16, but beyond their feud, there isn't much to get excited about in the division.
That isn't a reflection on the talent, either, because the red brand has a handful of women who are deserving of a run with the Raw Women's title down the road. Notable names such as Banks, Bayley and Ember Moon come to mind, but they are constantly being overlooked in favor of Rousey, Bliss and now The Bella Twins.
Although Banks and Bayley rekindling their friendship has been a nice story to follow, it likely won't receive a proper payoff until The Bella Twins are out of the limelight, which might not be for another few months at the earliest.
Aside from her involvement in the inaugural women's Royal Rumble, Nikki Bella had not set foot in the squared circle since WrestleMania 33 before Monday's Raw. Brie, on the other hand, had not competed since her retirement from the ring at the previous year's showpiece event.
With that in mind, it's easy to excuse their abysmal performance against The Riott Squad this past week. Brie, in particular, showed major signs of ring rust, but more matches in the coming months (including at Hell in a Cell) should help her bounce back.
The Bella Twins will be taking on The Riott Squad again at WWE Super Show-Down in Australia on October 6, when they team up with Rousey, a spot that should have been reserved for Banks and Bayley given their issues with the trio as of late.
Once Bliss falls short (again) of beating Rousey at Hell in a Cell, she will likely be moved down the card in favor of the Bellas as well. Per the Wrestling Observer (h/t SEScoops), Rousey vs. Nikki is expected to headline Evolution, forcing the rest of Raw's women's division to take part in something far less important at the event.
Unless tag team titles are implemented for the ladies of Raw and SmackDown Live, no other marquee match makes sense for Banks and Bayley at Evolution unless they are facing each other. That isn't even taking into consideration what will happen to Moon, who has flown under the radar since arriving on Raw following WrestleMania 34.
Moon cannot be properly showcased as a star on the rise with all the attention going to Nikki and Brie, who don't have nearly as much to offer and are presumably only around to hype the latest season of Total Divas.
For what it's worth, Nikki's run as a singles star from late 2016 through early 2017 was quite enjoyable and led to compelling programs with Carmella and Natalya. The Bella Twins' tag team shtick, however, has been played out for years and isn't as fresh as the talent of today on Raw.
In addition to Banks, Bayley and Moon, Dana Brooke has been trying to create some buzz by breaking out on her own, while The Riott Squad have largely been involved in meaningless matches every week. Nia Jax has been out injured for months, and when she's cleared to compete, it's safe to assume she won't be brought back until after The Bella Twins are out of the picture.
It's too soon to tell whether The Bella Twins will wind up being a help or a hindrance to Raw's women's division, but WWE should focus on the members of the roster who have been directionless for months before bringing back faces from the past.
Graham Mirmina, aka Graham "GSM" Matthews, is an Endicott College alumnus and aspiring journalist. Visit his website, Next Era Wrestling, and "like" his official Facebook page to continue the conversation on all things wrestling.