Tantrum-throwing Alicia Fox challenges Paige for the 21-year old’s WWE Divas Championship.
• Following her fourth singles TV defeat to the reigning titleholder since her debut on April 7, Fox lost her composure on the May 12 Raw and caused havoc at ringside. She then went backstage and “quit” the promotion before “un-quitting” and saying she wouldn’t be going anywhere.
• Alicia then handed the Briton her first defeat on the May 19 Raw in London, England before exacting an over-the-top celebration.
• However, Alicia’s momentum was affected on last week’s Raw when she was defeated by Emma. Another wappy followed.
• Paige beat Tamina Snuka on last Friday’s SmackDown but lost her cool when Fox came to ringside, skipped around, took selfies with the ringside fans and then walked around with the Divas Title belt. It was the first real sign of the feisty Paige fans of NXT had enjoyed.
• The titleholder was tossed to the outside early on but got the early advantage with a sunset flip where Fox landed on Paige’s knees, then connected with more knees in the ropes, along with a suplex and elbows in the corner – however, Fox got the advantage after scooting to the outside for a breather and tripping the Brit on the apron and a snapmare from the steps to the floor.
• Back inside the ring, the challenger slowed down the momentum with a straighjacket submission hold and then another submission attempt from a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. She also sought to inflict further damage by dropping the champion through the ropes to the outside.
• After throwing her back in, Paige found a second wind, connecting with clotheslines and yanked Fox off the middle rope by her leg before locking in the PTO (Scorpion Crosslock) for the tap out victory.
• Another Divas match on pay-per-view, another time that it’s placed in the death spot inbetween John Cena and Bray Wyatt‘s well-received Last Man Standing Match & the main event elimination contest between Evolution and The Shield. Despite that, the women managed to elicit reactions from the enthusiastic Chicago crowd, so credit to them.
• Thumbs up for Fox’s crowd work. She antagonised fans, shot fierce words at them and made sure that she was hated enough to make the crowd cheer for Paige. Unfortunately, the fans didn’t get the post-match tantrum they were probably expecting as the show was short on time, so she stomped to the back. A pity, seeing as her antics after the bell is what got her over so quickly in the first place.
• As for the match, it was good stuff that did its best to overcome its awful positioning on the card. Seriously, why could this have not been in the second or third match so it could have a real chance of eliciting a proper reaction? It’s lazy booking and does a disservice to the women who proved last week that they can produce genuine emotion given the correct hype and presentation.
• Of course, there will be comparisons with Natalya v Charlotte from NXT Takeover – and while Paige v Fox wasn’t as strong, it’s hardly a fair comparison. One was given the right emphasis for a title match and was made to feel special, while the other was put out there as a breather between the two biggest matches on the show. Having said all of that, both Paige and Alicia should be happy with managing to get reactions, and their match made sense with Paige getting the comprehensive victory. She could do with some recognised build-up moves ahead of the PTO like Bret Hart had before he locked in the Sharpshooter, but that’s a minor suggestion. Overall, it’s another step to building up the Divas division again.
Elsewhere on the show, Brie Bella “quit” WWE to spare her husband Daniel Bryan of forfeiting the WWE World Heavyweight Championship – Stephanie McMahon had threatened to fire her if Bryan didn’t vacate the title. Bella left McMahon with a parting gift though, as she called the boss lady a bitch and slapped her, causing Stephanie to scoot out of the ring with embarrassment.
It was a good segment which did wonders for Brie, as she proved that she is in control of her future and refused to be bullied. Fair enough, some would argue that she took the fall for her husband but she made the decision of her own volition, which empowers her.
Incidentally, Stephanie was great in this segment. She’s such a brilliant heel.
– Lee Burton