Paige makes her first WWE pay-per-view appearance as part of the Extreme Rules card, defending her Divas Championship against number one contender Tamina Snuka.
• Paige made her main roster debut on the post-WrestleMania XXX Raw on April 6, defeating AJ Lee in an impromptu match to win the Divas Title.
• Tamina Snuka became the number one contender to the title by winning a Divas battle royal on the April 15 episode of Main Event, eliminating Nikki Bella, Naomi, Cameron, Alicia Fox, Brie Bella and Natalya to earn the shot.
• Between then and now, Paige has defeated the likes of Aksana and Fox on a number of occasions. The only real interaction the pair have had was after Paige’s win over Fox on last week’s Main Event when they had a staredown on the entrance ramp.
• Paige started off with a flurry of strikes and kicks to keep her larger opponent on the back foot, then used her speed to take Snuka down. The titleholder followed up with a victory roll for a two count, and connected with some knee shots to Tamina while the challenger was in the ropes.
• The challenger took advantage by delivering a superkick to Paige while the Briton was climbing the ropes, causing the champion to spill to the floor. Back inside the ring, Snuka slammed Paige three times, and thwarted a rana attempt from the apron the floor by whipping Paige into the barricade.
• Snuka’s attempt at a super Samoan Drop failed as it was countered with a powerbomb for a two count which the referee erroneously counted three before waving it off. The champion then connected with a low head scissors which sent Tamina’s face into the mat for another near fall, but then ate a Black Hole Slam.
• Tamina attempted to gain the victory with a superkick was her undoing, as Paige blocked the foot and locked in the Scorpion Crosslock for the tap out victory.
• Paige v Tamina shares similarities with the Angelina Love/Madison Rayne match from TNA Sacrifice last week in that there was nothing wrong with the contest – in fact, it’s probably one of Tamina’s best – but was plagued by its positioning on the card. Placed after the John Cena v Bray Wyatt cage match, it was in the death spot where it would struggle to generate a reaction. The women deserve better than being dumped in the comedown slot on PPVs – it means that the matches suffer from a lack of crowd involvement and hurts the progression of the participants.
• Considering Snuka has been wrestling for five years, the basis of her offence was a superkick and numerous bodyslams.
• WWE is trying to get Paige over, but realistically, having her go against Tamina – who despite being pimped as a threat ahead of a title challenge and then relegated back to being nothing special again after she loses – isn’t the best. Had AJ Lee not left for a rest she would have likely been Paige’s opponent on this show, and would have made for a much better match – but Snuka has been messed around and been used to be an early scalp as part of a new title reign so she lacks credibility.
• Still, Paige’s victory helps to establish her a bit more but WWE needs to get her involved in a real storyline with someone who can offer competitive matches where it feels as if she is at risk before overcoming the odds to win. Promos and angles will also help. The 21-year old is now gaining momentum, so let’s see what WWE has for her next, as there is only one heel at the moment who can really push a storyline – and she’s spending time with her fiancé in Chicago at the moment.
– Lee Burton