We’ve learned not to bet against AJ Lee here at Ringbelles. We’ve predicted title changes a number of times in the last year, and every time she’s managed to keep her title – even last night with 13 simultaneous challengers at WrestleMania – but tonight at Monday Night Raw, AJ Lee’s 295 day reign as WWE Divas Championship came to an end with the debut of the NXT Women’s Champion Paige, and a poorly thought out impromptu challenge match, which ended with a Paige Turner and the creation of a brand new star in the Divas Division.
Following AJ’s post WrestleMania victory promo where she berated the entire Divas division for their inability to beat her, Paige came out, in full gear and with her NXT “Stars in the Night” theme. The internationally skewed audience at Raw reacted to her like a star, chanting her name. It seemed, according to Paige, that she simply wanted to come out and congratulate Lee – which for some reason only managed to irritate the champion, who challenged Paige to a match right there and then, so she could beat her like she’d beaten everybody else. Paige explained that she wasn’t ready yet, but a slap from the champion resulted in a change of mind. In the relatively short match that followed, AJ managed to hook in the Black Widow, but Paige eventually reversed her way out of the move and hit her Paige Turner for the win.
Three counts, and one big pop from the crowd later… a new star was born.
I think most people who’ve seen her on NXT have long since been calling for a Paige call-up to the main roster for quite a while – but what a way to do it. A debut on what they’ve continually been pushing as the biggest Raw of the year, and a clean win over the longest reigning WWE Divas Champion of all time? It’s an incredibly gutsy move, and shows an amazing amount of faith in Paige as a performer. With a $7m European Tour starting imminently, it seems very likely that Paige will have every opportunity to continue her rocket-assisted push. It’s great to see. Congratulations, Paige.
— Stew Allen
— Photcredit: WWE/Instagram