After a wellness program violation, several unfortunate leaks, and multiple unflattering incidents resulting from her rocky relationship with outspoken WWE persona non grata Alberto del Rio, it didn’t seem that Paige, one of the true originators of the women’s revolution, would be returning to the company. Against all odds, however, both Paige and WWE have been teasing the return of the Anti-Diva. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter has confirmed this, saying her return is imminent.
While the WWE.com article implies Paige could be considered a free agent ala John Cena, able to come and go from either show as she pleases, backstage scoop says she’ll be a member of the SmackDown Live roster when she returns. It’s probably the right call, as while neither show is doing particularly remarkable things with their women’s divisions, Raw has more big-name stars, such as Sasha Banks, Bayley, Alexa Bliss and Nia Jax.
Who would Paige likely work with on SmackDown? Let’s take a look at the possibilities.
Charlotte Flair or Becky Lynch
Not only are Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch easily the two best female wrestlers on the blue brand, they both also have history with Paige as members of
Submission Sorority Team PCB. When #GiveDivasaChance gave way to the Divas Revolution, the division at the time was pretty arbitrarily split into several factions, and Team PCB — for Paige, Charlotte and Becky, naturally — was one of them. Because they all have submission finishers, I guess? So does Sasha, but she’s black, so I guess she had to join Team BAD. Anyway, it would be easy to pick up she they left off with either of these Superstars.
Paige especially has history with Charlotte, dating back to when she oddly cut a heel promo on The Queen mocking the real-life death of Charlotte’s brother, Reid Flair. Yeesh. Odds are that won’t be revisited too heavily though, as it was pretty universally hated.
The Princess of Staten Island has one thing going for her: James Ellsworth! Okay, she has two, including the Money in the Bank briefcase. It’s definitely possible Paige could somehow antagonize and goad an overconfident Carmella into putting her briefcase on the line against Paige and wrest control of the contract. While Carmella is not the greatest in-ring performer of the SmackDown women’s roster, she is quickly learning, and some time in the ring against a veteran like Paige would do her some favors, making this a mutually beneficial feud.
Though there is no timetable for Nikki’s return to the ring, and she’s busy doing her on thing on Dancing With the Stars, the return of Total Divas in a few weeks likely also means the return of Total Divas-related storylines on Raw and SmackDown. And while Paige is no longer listed as a main cast member for the show this season, that doesn’t mean she won’t appear at all. Some small conflict on Divas could easily turn into a full-blown feud between the two reality stars on SmackDown Live.
The easiest way to make an impact upon her return, of course, would be going straight for the SmackDown Women’s Championship, even if that championship is currently held by the human equivalent of a root canal. Natalya is easily the least interesting member of the roster, but she does hold the gold. Who better to put an end to Nattie’s reign of boredom than a returning fan favorite in Paige?