03rd Jul2014

The WWE Main Roster Report: Part 4 – The Divas

by Chris Cummings

wwe

The WWE main roster is always changing, some wrestlers leave for whatever reason happens to cause their departure, some wrestlers move up the card because management wants to give them a push and some wrestlers move downwards, or stay still, sometimes merely because the creative team has a lack of ideas for their television character.

The last twelve months have been memorable and a lot has happened to the main WWE roster since June of 2013. So, let’s take a look at the main superstars who are on the main stage of WWE, rate them, and look at how their future in WWE looks at this moment.

The grading system is as follows:

A+ – Is/Should be one of the main faces of WWE. A true star.

A – Should be/Is in the main event scene and has the talent to stay there.

B – Should be being pushed as a future top contender. Needs some spark.
C – In their current role they’re not meeting their potential. Should be used better.

D – Needs work and help from creative. Highly lacking as a worker.

F – Why is this person here? No amount of booking magic can help.

The Divas

Paige

The youngest diva in WWE, Norwich born Paige is no stranger to the wrestling business, growing up as part of one of Britain’s most famous wrestling families (The Knight Family). Put in some marvellous women’s matches in NXT against the likes of Emma, Natalya, Sasha Banks and Summer Rae, Paige relinquished her NXT Women’s Title after debuting on RAW the night after WrestleMania 30 and defeating AJ Lee for the Divas belt. Receiving a huge pop from the UK-heavy crowd in attendance, it was an exciting beginning for Paige on the main roster. She has since been booked bizarrely, defending the title successfully so far, in June 2014, yet being booked as an underdog who is naïve and a bit lucky. The strange and harmful way in which Paige has been developed so far has caused the cheers to decrease and the initial interest to dwindle a bit, but she is a very talented worker, and if she can see it through, hopefully she will get a chance to properly shine in WWE. Grade: B+

Alicia Fox

Alicia Fox is someone I have always thought was a solid worker but someone that WWE never really did much with, leaving her to just appear once in a while in a losing effort against whomever WWE were pushing in the Divas division that week. Turning crazy-heel, attacking announcers and destroying the ringside area, Fox introduced a different side to her character in April 2014 and went on to feud with Divas Champion Paige for a little while, entering a few good matches on RAW during the period. It is anyone’s guess what happens to Fox next, but she is solid in the ring, has a marketable look, and plays “crazy” very well. Grade: B-

AJ Lee

The longest reigning WWE Divas Champion in history, AJ Lee (don’t call her crazy) was one of the highlights of WWE’s women’s division over the last couple of years. Losing her Divas strap to the debuting Paige in April, AJ Lee has taken time away from WWE screens, marrying real-life partner CM Punk during said break. A talented worker and talker who the fans react to and care about, AJ Lee’s future in WWE depends on when she returns and for how long, if she does, but she has been one of the best female workers in wrestling in the last few years and undoubtedly leaves a respectable legacy behind her. If, or when, she does return, a feud with Paige is surely in the plans, which should result in some top notch matches. Grade: B

Tamina Snuka

Tamina, daughter of WWE legend Jimmy Snuka, spent most of the last twelve months as the “bodyguard” or “muscle” for AJ Lee, standing beside the crazy-chick with her arms folded, ready to assist her in match victories when the referee’s back was turned. This was a good use of Tamina, who is an okay worker but works much better in this sort of role. It appears likely that Tamina and AJ are no more, and Tamina hasn’t really been seen in WWE since AJ took time off. As a hands-on valet/bodyguard, Tamina could be of use to WWE, but I don’t feel like she is a strong enough wrestler to have a long career as just that. Grade: C-

Brie Bella

Brie Bryan? Brie Danielson? Brie Bella? Whatever you call her, Brie has been a pretty big part of WWE storylines in 2014. Marrying Bryan “Daniel Bryan” Danielson in April, Brie appeared alongside her hubby in storylines with Kane and Stephanie McMahon prior to Daniel suffering a neck injury. Improved in the ring, but still a bit wooden on the mic, Brie is likeable nowadays and is one of the main points of WWE’s successful “reality” show, Total Divas. Grade: C

Nikki Bella

Another main part of Total Divas, Nikki Bella also made strides to improve as an in-ring performer over the last year. Returning from a leg injury in 2013, Nikki went on to have some pretty good multi-diva tag matches on RAW. The real-life partner of John Cena, Nikki has job security for as long as she is dating WWE’s “face”, but she hasn’t done much of note in recent months on TV. Grade: C

Naomi

Splitting from Brodus Clay and Tensai after they split as a team, Naomi, along with her partner Cameron, has been on and off television in random matches. Suffered an eye injury due to a dangerous and negligent knee-drop from Aksana on RAW, Naomi was out of action for a few weeks. Returning and entering some decent matches with the likes of Alicia Fox, Naomi became the number one contender to Paige’s Divas title in June 2014, beginning a babyface feud that should hopefully result in a couple of good matches. She’s agile and solid in the ring, but the “Funkadactyl” gimmick is past its prime and need to be thrown in the trash. Another “Diva” who is a part of Total Divas. Grade: C+

Cameron

The less-talented “Funkadactyl”, Cameron is one of the worst female workers in WWE today. Another part of the Total Divas show, Cameron has done little to improve in the ring, or as a talker, and is cringe worthy to watch when she tries to do either. One of the women in WWE who I look at and cannot fathom why she is under contract, not due to her appearance, but rather her lack of “getting it” in any way, shape or form. Grade: F

Natalya

The daughter of Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, niece of Bret Hart, Owen Hart and Davey Boy Smith, and Granddaughter of Stu Hart, Natalya entered professional wrestling with gigantic shoes to fill. A top class worker, Nattie has suffered from poor booking and silly gimmicks (farting, anyone?) for plenty of her run in WWE, but found some structure when she became part of the Total Divas show. A terrible actress but one of the best female wrestlers, Nattie seems to be the go-to Diva when it comes to helping young female talent. Has entered some good matches with Alicia Fox, AJ Lee and others this past year, as well as a great bout against Charlotte (Ric Flair’s daughter) in NXT. I think her late Uncle Owen and late Grandpa Stu, as well as the rest of her family, are proud of what she has put up with and done in WWE. Grade: B

Layla

Layla plodded along as both heel and face for the last year, entering poor performances and terribly annoying over-acting in the process. Joined with Fandango, taking the place of Summer Rae, in 2014, leading to a feud with Summer. Layla is okay as a valet, but terrible in the ring. Her selling and reactions are so over-the-top and silly that it is hard to watch. Finding the best spot she could be in, Layla dances and helps her guy cheat during matches. So long as she stays at ringside, I don’t mind. Grade: D-

Emma

Emma was the most over female worker in NXT before being brought up to the main roster in early 2013. A talented wrestler with energy and a fun gimmick of being nerdy and clumsy, she was brought up to the main roster and thrown into a partnership with the fledgling Santino character as a dancing buffoon who only really wrestles in mixed tags. Emma deserves much better treatment than this, a hell of a wrestler who can be very over given the proper character development and a chance to talk to the fans, I am looking forward to an eventual split and hopefully a feud with her former NXT friend and foe, Paige. Grade: B-

Summer Rae

Summer Rae split up with her dance partner Fandango in 2014 and entered into a feud with Layla. Joined the Season 2 cast of Total Divas and was booked as the “dramatic bitch” portion of the show. Summer appears to be well liked by WWE management and is a part of an upcoming WWE Studios film release, but she isn’t fantastic in the ring. She is trying though, and has potential to be a top babyface diva in the future if she puts work into her in-ring style. Splitting with Fandango was probably the best move for Summer’s career in 2014. Time will tell. Grade: C-

Rosa Mendes

Alongside Cameron and Layla, Rosa is among the worst that WWE’s Divas division has to offer. Useless in the ring and unproven on the microphone, Rosa works best as a valet, like she did for Epico and Primo Colon a couple of years back. I don’t know where her career is headed, but she sure isn’t going to be the next Bull Nakano. Grade: F

Eva Marie

The “heel” of season one of Total Divas, this “newbie” got a lot of heat in WWE when she debuted, whether or not the heat was real, or for television purposes, is another question. Pretty and with a standout hair-do, Eva could be a decent bad-girl if WWE went all out on pushing her as such, and giving her exposure on television. As she stands now, she is hardly booked and when she is she doesn’t do more than a couple of clotheslines or an armdrag. Hopefully she will improve in the ring, it is early days for this young diva, so I can’t be as harsh with her like I was with Rosa, Layla and the no-apparent-potential Cameron. Grade: D
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Join us tomorrow for the fifth and final part of our WWE Main Roster Report – taking a look at the rest of the WWE roster not covered so far…

 

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