Feeling lucky? In this new feature we’ve dubbed Playing the Odds, we will weigh the odds of certain Diva or Knockout events occurring, be it a championship win or heel turn.
We classify each like so: if the event’s occurrence is highly unlikely, it gets the Long Shot stamp; if it’s within the realm of possibility, it’s a Safe Bet; if it is extremely likely, it is a Sure Thing. Now, this does not mean everything we brand a Sure Thing is destined to happen–it just lines up with what we feel to be feasible from precedent or a person’s current position. Also, this is from our point of view, so don’t take this as fact or anything of the sort.
In this first edition, we will take a look at the ongoing Divas Championship Tournament, seeing which Raw Divas have the best shot at coming out on top. We may not be in Vegas, but we’re placing our bets anyways–take a look at ours and make a few of your own in the comments.
Odds: Safe Bet. Even though the WWE has been noticeably fickle about giving Alicia big pushes (they’re more of a “now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t” type thing), she is certainly a rising star in the company. They have felt comfortable giving her title shots before (twice, actually), and though her pushes were always short lived, they showed that she’s not destined to be merely a background player. Comparatively, a Diva such as Layla, who is still pretty much a background player, has never seen the kinds of pushes Alicia has been given. This makes us believe that Alicia might have better luck than her “replacement” (remember, Alicia was Michelle’s tag along first). This year could hold Alicia’s big breakout, and winning this tournament or even giving a good showing in it could effectively kick-start that. Though, as promising as her future looks, the WWE’s fickleness when it comes to her makes us hesitate to give her our full confidence in this tournament. It’s certainly possible that she could go all the way, but we’re not going to be betting the farm on it either.
Odds: Long Shot. Yes, she’s already out of the tournament, which makes this sort of irrelevant, but when looking at it from an objective standpoint, pretending that the match had not taken place yet, it’s quite the long shot to picture Brie getting pushed all the way to the title. It’s not that we lack the faith in Brie having success on her own, but with the way the WWE books Brie and her sister–that is, extremely inconsistently–it’s tough to imagine the WWE giving either of them a title run. They seem to only use them in the ring when they need extra bodies. Otherwise, it’s escort duty fro the GM of the week. Bottom line, there’s just been no real investment made in the Bellas by the WWE. Until the WWE starts taking them seriously as competitors, they pose no real threat.
Read more to see how the other Raw Divas’ odds stack up.
Odds: Safe Bet. While her move to Raw has pretty much cut the legs off of her in-ring progression, that doesn’t mean she isn’t improving or not worthy of a serious push–the WWE just hasn’t seen fit to give her the ring time she had on SmackDown, and it has hurt her as a result. Being demoted to backstage segments and randomly pairing her with Chris Masters isn’t using her to her full potential, to say the least. We obviously feel that there are big things in store for Eve, but her treatment on Raw so far hasn’t been foretelling a serious push. With Melina‘s injury, though, it leaves the top babyface spot wide open, and Eve could be a prime candidate for that spot. This question is, will the WWE see fit to use her as such, or will she remain in the state of regression that resulted from one of the most ill-fated Diva draft moves in recent memory?
Odds: Sure Thing. She’s passed the first round, and has all the flash and pizazz that could easily place her in that open top babyface spot, so this gives us a bit of a hunch that she might just make it to the finals, if not capture the title. She certainly has some momentum going, having already got that one win under her belt, so she has a leg up on the other babyfaces in that respect. Overall, when we look at the candidates, no babyface stands out as much as Gail–she has that experience of holding a title (both in the WWE and TNA), and she’s certainly not inexperienced. She would be the safest bet for the writers to take if they wanted a face champ to, say, be chased by Maryse, as Melina was. She, we believe, could step up in Melina’s place better than any other Diva at their disposal. Many Diva fans would be all for it, too–a crowd pleasing move and a feasible one in the business sense–what could be better?
Odds: Long Shot. Again, as with Brie, this is irrelevant, as she has already been eliminated from the tournament. Still, judging by Jillian’s lack of luck when it comes to pushes (she held the Divas Championship for a hot minute and went on the have a botch-filled mini-feud with Melina that the WWE pulled the plug on pretty quickly) it seems like the WWE lacks faith in Jillian, especially now given her lackluster feud with Melina. They seem content to make her a side show act, and a serious push towards the Divas Championship seems out of the question. Now, given all of this, it’s no big surprise that she was the second Diva eliminated, but I don’t think anyone had much faith in her chances to begin with. Maybe some day Jillian will get another moment in the sun, but it ain’t now.
Odds: Sure Thing. While we have every confidence in Gail’s ability to pick up Melina’s slack, it’s no sure thing that the WWE would go for her. The more obvious candidate for the company to call on is her blonde counterpart. Kelly is easily the biggest crowd-pleaser of the babyfaces, getting the biggest Diva crowd reaction pretty consistently. While usually the WWE have used those sympathetic qualities in a more humbling way–as a glorified heel punching bag–they could easily spin that into a full-fledged push as the brand’s top face. If the WWE are looking for a solid figure for the fans to get behind, Kelly is the one. There have been underdog champions before (early Trish, to name one) and it is realistic to think that the WWE would go for that. She’s arguably the face of the WWE Divas in mass marketing already, so why wouldn’t the WWE want to actually push her to the forefront–in more than just commercials and Slurpee cups?
Odds: Sure Thing. We’ve already expressed our concerns that the tournament could end in the most predictable way possible–crowning Maryse as Divas Champion. It really is the most obvious choice, as she was destined to win the championship sooner or later, had Melina not been taken out with her injury. The WWE could have easily given her the championship in a Battle Royal and saved all the fuss that comes with an 8-Diva tournament, but this provides the opportunity to build Maryse up to the title in a way that the Battle Royal wouldn’t–she’ll defeat her competition in place of Melina and assume the position she would have been in eventually. It’s highly predictable, as we’ve said, and we sincerely hope that it doesn’t turn out to be so obvious. It’s not that we don’t have faith in Maryse to be a decent champion, it’s just that it takes all the fun out of things when you can see the ending from a mile away. Still, this is by far the safest bet of them all. Put your life savings on this one, folks.
Odds: Long Shot. With Brie already eliminated, it doesn’t leave much hope for Nikki’s chances. The WWE, as we mentioned above, doesn’t seem all that sure what they want to do with the Bellas. Whether they wrestle or not, it seems unlikely that they would push one over the other, especially to such heights as the Divas Championship. The short-lived sibling rivalry was ret-conned rather quickly too, so don’t expect a split any time soon. By the way, with Nikki taking the pin for Brie, that would make for an interesting squabble between the two, with Brie claiming that Nikki has been eliminated, and not her. Of course, the powers the be could then just disqualify them both for admitting to cheating. Ah well..
How do you think the odds stack up? Vote for what you think it the best bet below and let us know how you see it in the comments