Total Divas has cast the Divas division in an entirely different light, and not in a completely unflattering way, either. The show allows us a glimpse of what some of the Divas have to deal with in their everyday lives, and it’s a very eye-opening experience. For instance, we see confirmation that Natalya really is used as a doormat and little else, and we commiserate with her over that; similarly, we’ve also seen how Nikki Bella gets showered with gifts by her boyfriend John Cena and how she still wants more from him, leading us to dislike Nikki and sympathize with Cena. It draws emotion from an audience that the Divas have largely been unable to reach in the ring, and that can only be a good thing. Is it the answer, though? Is Total Divas the road that must be traveled in order to elevate the division, or is there another path?
Let us not forget about the WWE’s developmental territory in Florida, NXT. Ever since Florida Championship Wrestling was rebranded to become NXT, that group has been hailed as the salvation of the WWE in nearly every aspect, especially in the women’s division. First of all, all female talent that enters those doors are trained by the Queen of Wrestling herself, Sara Del Rey, and even if Del Rey herself never enters the ring on a flagship show, we can know that the next generation of Divas will have her stamp of approval. Secondly, the WWE has brought in quality talent from around the world, namely Emma from Australia and Paige from the UK. These two wrestled to become the inaugural NXT Women’s Champion, and Paige secured that honor for herself. As a second-generation competitor that has been wrestling since she was thirteen, Paige is one of the best not only on the current women’s roster, but in company history, and she’s not even old enough to purchase alcohol here in the States. With the accolades already under her belt at such a young age, Paige has all the tools needed to advance both herself and the division to heights unheard of since the days of Lita and Trish Stratus, perhaps even beyond. The only real question that remains is whether she will receive the opportunity.
Let’s not forget that NXT is not available on national TV in the United States, and while it is available on Hulu Plus with the rest of the WWE’s programming, that still is not a huge market. Circumstances do not seem to promise a rise to the main roster in Paige’s near future, either, considering that “good ol’ JR” has basically blackballed her due to her age. He may not be in charge of talent relations any longer, but JR still possesses a lot of clout in Titan Towers, so if JR says no, chances are good that the company will follow suit. Therefore, for the foreseeable future, Paige will remain in NXT, unknown to many. On the other hand, the E! Network has a wide audience by itself, the ratings for Total Divas have been on the rise since it’s debut, and at least the first episode also aired on the USA Network, so Total Divas definitely has a broader reach in today’s market.
In terms of the here and now, Total Divas has drawn a lot of attention to the WWE in general and to the division in particular, and it will continue to do so for some time. Reality TV generally has a short shelf life, however, and when the WWE ventures outside of the squared circle, the results are often of dubious quality and/or longevity. While the show may benefit the WWE in the short term, the sure bet for the company is to invest in the future, and right now, the future lies with NXT in general and with Paige in particular.
How say you? Is Paige going to be the vanguard for the salvation of the Divas division, or will the stars of today beat her to it through Total Divas? Join the conversation, won’t you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or in any of our social media groups!