I'll admit extreme skepticism on my part. For one thing, crossing the Bella Twins with AJ Lee and Paige felt a little like an excuse to use less segments per week on the Divas, which would have been a step backward. Though, this was an atypical situation to begin with since the drama between Nikki and Brie has been so grossly mishandled and really needed a reason for it to get back to wrestling.
So, going into Sunday night, we've got a Divas Championship match between AJ, Paige and Nikki, while Brie is left out in the cold. It became more awkward when, as we got closer to the show, it became obvious Brie wasn't going to be added to the contest. Never mind the fact that she didn't even get involved to cost Nikki the match, meaning a mere five weeks after Nikki turned on Brie at SummerSlam, the feud was all but ignored on the follow-up pay-per-view.
And, of course, the most ominous sign of failure: the match was assigned to the dreaded pre-main event spot when everyone typically hits the bathroom and makes a sandwich.
There was nothing unpredictable happening here. The Divas did nothing to change the classic formula that makes a triple threat match work, and that's a good thing. Immediately the pattern was established of one Diva always being sidelined outside the ring while the other two duke it out. The pace was fast and all three women shone, except for one instance where Nikki, trying to be creative with her offense, utilized a move where she used her ass to squish AJ's midsection against the middle rope. It looked painless and silly, and should probably never be used again. A for effort, though.
In a surprising twist, AJ Lee regained the Championship. It was a pleasant surprise, not that Paige isn't an amazing Divas Champion. I was perplexed, but it all started to make sense when Paige started to show obvious signs of being seriously pissed. Not that phony "my best frenemy stole my baby again" type of pissed, but like for real.
It carried over to Raw where AJ defeated Nikki Bella in a singles match as Paige watched from commentary. Paige made it clear the frenemy crap is behind them and shit has just gotten real. It's exhilarating to think of the possibilities at this point. There are engless things Paige and AJ Lee could do with a Championship feud that's actually emotional and competitive as opposed to the standard bubbly silliness into which WWE tends to force these amazing female athletes.
Here's where dream booking starts to come in. You know it will never happen in a million years, but the timing is perfect. If it doesn't happen now, we won't get this opportunity for another ten years. Both AJ and Paige are obsessed with the Championship and are beyond pretending to like each other at this point. So I'm going to go ahead and call it.
October 26: AJ Lee versus Paige for the Divas Championship. First ever Divas Hell in a Cell match.
Bayley put away Alexa Bliss in a quickie match on NXT. Alexa is very athletic and makes the chain grappling stuff look natural. She can go a long way in WWE as long as her Sparkle Motion gimmick doesn't get too carried away and hinder her ability to be taken seriously.
After the match, Bayley politely called out Charlotte and asked her for a rematch for the NXT Women's Championship. Charlotte agreed easily, reassuring Bayley of a newly-established respect. So it's all set for next week: Charlotte and Bayley for the title in a Takeover rematch.
If it doesn't get the main event of the show it will be a major injustice, that's for sure. But it'll be amazing nonetheless and this could be where Charlotte drops the title before being called up to the main roster. The Paige and AJ rivalry will likely be blown off following Hell in a Cell in a few weeks and whoever comes out of that with the Championship will need a new challenger.
Enter the Queen.
I'm going to shoot straight from the hip with you guys. It's an absolute chore for me to watch Impact.
The Knockout matches can be awesome, sure. But good grief, the inconsistency is almost enough to make it not worth the effort. They'll put on a great showing one week, then they'll be absent the following week save for a meaningless backstage segment. Another week there will be a badly-booked, rushed-together match with a random assortment of women and nothing will come of it. Then, out of nowhere, we get another good match.
My point is that sometimes you can tune into TNA's product, as a Knockouts fan, and be blown away. But then sometimes you regret even turning on the television. How is this conducive to convincing viewers to stick around week after week? And the fact that these shows are taped SO FAR in advance takes all the surprise and excitement out of it anyway.
I was optimistic when Havok debuted a few weeks back, but they've thrown a wet blanket on that fire several times already. You guys have got to keep me watching because I don't know if I'm self-motivated enough to do it.
Fret not, though. Gail Kim and Havok face off for the Knockouts Title next week. I know that. So I'll be there.
As always, FOLLOW ME on Twitter!