If the ridiculously long WWE RAW can’t cater well for singles matches, with the rest doomed to minuscule tag team matches (for example on Raw 10/12/15, the short tag team match provided only for Paige to take the mic and rant at ringside while she thieved centre stage), then it’s not only more time that the Diva Division needs – it’s a reformatting.
There are three teams in the Diva Division: Team PCB (formerly Submission Sorority), Team Bella and Team BAD. Each one of these teams has three members. It was an idea that many fans weren’t happy with, as it somewhat diluted the invasion by the revered NXT women, however fantastic that promo was. It needed justification, and it was staring WWE Creative in the face. This rule of threes faded within no time at all.: How on earth has the idea of Triple Threat matches escaped WWE Creative? However it happened, it happened.
Fans have seen already that more than two women in a match does not have to be a messy battle royale as has become tradition in rushed three-minute tag team matches, and perhaps most famously the women’s attempt at their own Survivor Series match in 2013 – horrifying enough that it was given the dubious honour of the Worst Worked Match award by Wrestling Observer Newsletter. While the tedious faux-argument over who started the ‘Diva Revolution’, that the one match responsible in particular was the sensational chaos of the Fatal Four Way match between the women later known as the ‘Four Horsewomen’ (Becky Lynch, Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Bayley) at NXT Takeover: Rival. It was the moment that Banks first won her NXT title, Lynch showed talent through the Irish gimmick that would be shaken off in due time, and Bayley really began showing her worth. Without it, NXT Women may not have received the surge that they did, no matter how brilliant the singles matches had been to that point.
1. A MEMBER FROM EACH GROUP
Would you like to see this again? Of course you would. And could you believe that this legendary action packed match was just twelve-minutes long? For now, this would be the ideal method to keep even those not in the running for the sole singles title active. After all, nine women may be too many to be involved at once in the division, and that’s before we even begin to discuss talents such as Natalya, Summer Rae, the mystery of Emma’s future and for all we know, Lana. This format of putting forward one wrestler from each team for the weekly Raw Diva Triple Threat is ideal to tease confrontations that the audience are after, but won’t quite offer the full package, put tantalize as it’s apparent that they are on their way in the near future. The crowd wants Banks wants a particular ‘submission sister’ (sorry, I love that name too much to let it go) to face off, but either Team BAD submit Naomi, or one of the heel Bellas intervenes with the moments that the crowd are after. Finally come a PPV, one of the ideal matches arises, but there are fantastic matches en route to it. Also, if the dream match in fact does take place on Raw, finally a stipulation beyond ‘singles’, such as a cage, two-out-three-falls, no disqualification and so on shouldn’t be out of the question.
On top of this, if Stephanie McMahon is desperate to stick her nose into proceedings as usual, this tradition could quite easily be turned into a tournament that causes drama within the teams. It is a simple booking decision that would be about ‘sport’ for a change and the standard soap opera should emerge later on.
2. THE COLLAPSE OF A GROUP
However, the subject of the ‘soap opera’ is currently demonstrated as a massive problem, and that is how one of the groups, who on paper promised to be the most beloved for all being NXT alumni are falling apart, in particular due to the heel antics of Paige. It is for this reason that WWE need to hurry up – the teams are already crumbling. At this rate, there will be no speak of these trios again by the end of the year.
However this scenario is also brilliant as the team members are set upon each other (albeit not as dramatically as Ambrose, Reigns and Rollins of The Shield) in Triple Threat matches again, perhaps for the title, before the team system is reinstated with much needed tension, in the way that it should have been from the first day. The idea of a rivalry within a team could be great for the title in Team PCB, and for the No. 1 Contender title leading to another big event.
3. THE COLLAPSE OF THE TEAM FORMAT AS A NEW FACE ARRIVES
It’s not the only ongoing bickering feud amongst the women, but it’s certain the favourite amongst those following the Divas.
Nothing in booking is more dramatic and fun than, whether intentional or not, that plans spectacularly fall through. We’ve seen Undertaker and Brock Lesnar rampage around an arena. We’ve seen booking madness in the wake of the non-show of Daniel Bryan at Royal Rumble 2014. The women need one of their own, and for it to work, a format needs to be firmly in place. There can’t be such madness if there is nothing to break, right?
Considering how the Diva Division is aimless chaos at the moment (being the same old format of two or three Divas being prominent, with just more others functioning as friends and backing dancers), it is also needs a mainstay format to function without incident for at least a couple of months before the next promotion from NXT allows a member to plow out of her group and straight for her – ideally emphasizing chaos as fans eagerly anticipate Sasha Banks heading straight through Tamina and Naomi and for Bayley to hype up a singles match – A PPV Round 3 after their incredible Takeover: Brooklyn and Takeover: Respect matches.
In conclusion, if the WWE have been so insistent on promoting the teams as teams, that the Triple Threat match format, providing chaotic excitement week after week, only for trouble to arise in the coming months when a team collapses, and that there is later a dramatic collapse of the format entirely and the Diva Division caves in, is precisely the excitement that the division needs.
How would you book the Diva Division? Comment below.