A Londoner’s Eye Quick Hits: New Generation of Divas?, Bye Bye Bellas, Losing Layla, Brooke & More

Hello all! This column has been transformed this week, breaking from the traditional one-subject tone to cover some “quick hits” on various things going on in women’s wrestling at the moment. As always, I’d leave to hear what you think, too, so leave a comment!

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Are we on the verge of a new generation of WWE Divas? It feels strange to see more and more names that we’ve come to know and cover here at Diva Dirt disappear over the past couple of years. The latest Divas to depart are the Bella Twins, leaving just a small handful of “established” Divas such as Natalya, Beth Phoenix, Kelly Kelly, Layla, Eve and Alicia Fox. Having lost the Bellas, Maryse, Melina, Michelle McCool, Gail Kim and Mickie James in the past two years, that’s a big chunk of Diva Dirt history! I’m not sure how I feel about a “new generation”, to be honest — perhaps because the thought of one makes me feel old!

Idealizing a potential “new generation”, there are names I’d like to see rise through the ranks much as Layla, Eve and others did. AJ, for one, deserves to a central spot in the division based on her work with Daniel Bryan; Maxine clearly is a triple threat talent; Naomi, if and when she breaks away from Brodus and Cameron, should be a talent to watch; and then there’s Divas in FCW such as Caylee Turner and Sofia Cortez who I am keeping an eye on.

It will be interesting, however, as the generation subsequent to Trish and Lita’s was subject to intense comparison, though the division then and the division in recent times are two different beasts. Will people compare a “new generation” to the current one? What seems pretty clear to me, though, is that any new generation — much like this one — will be hampered by lack of investment. I sadly don’t see that changing, thus continuing the vicious cycle of Divas not being as “over” as the likes of Trish, Lita etc. during their era.

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Speaking of the Bellas’ departure this past Monday, truth be told, I’ve had an up and down relationship with Brie and Nikki on my TV.

I saw potential when Brie debuted, but that quickly turned to indifference. The Bellas were just “there” for a while, not really capturing my attention. Then came NXT Season 3, which, in my opinion, was a turning point.

The Bellas’ characters — particularly Nikki’s — were on show more and I have fond memories of their series of matches with AJ. I’ve been a fan since.

I would be willing to wager that this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Brie and Nikki in WWE, though. If we believe what we read, they are amongst Vince’s favorites. Whether it’s one-off appearances or a full-time return somewhere down the line, I expect to see them on our screens again one day.

But for now, best of luck to Nicole and Brianna on whatever may be next for them.

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It’s great to see Layla back in WWE. As long-time readers of this site will know, I’ve always been a fan of Layla and seen a “spark” in her and have waited for that spark to ignite. It did, thankfully and now she’s enjoying much deserved success.

I don’t really have an issue with Layla becoming Divas Champion right off the bat, because what we have to remember is that the Divas Title’s “credibility” isn’t exactly a top priority amongst WWE’s head honchos, but I do worry that WWE may be losing what makes Layla, Layla.

Layla has always been known for her big personality and her comedic timing, however, in her first two television appearances so far, we’ve seen her play the generic babyface. Layla, who as part of LayCool, was given so much microphone time to develop her character now can’t get a microphone upon her return?

I hope WWE doesn’t lose what makes Layla unique, because her bubbly and funny personality could make her a great babyface, not just a generic one.

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I’m excited to see Brooke Tessmacher in the Knockouts Title picture this month.

Of course, I fully expect her to lose to be just another victKim (see what I did there?) come the Sacrifice pay per view, but I’m excited to see this young talent get a chance to shine and compete with someone of Gail Kim‘s caliber. It can only help her get better.

To Brooke’s credit, she is continuously improving and shows just that little bit more in each of her performances. She may have come into the business as a “model” and could be easily dismissed as one, just like fans tend to dismiss several of the WWE Divas, but Brooke has held her own against some talented wrestlers in the Knockouts division.

TNA has an opportunity here to exemplify through Brooke, what WWE could be doing. She’s ever-improving in the ring, but also takes beautiful pictures and can be a “pretty face”, too.

—–

A lot of ado has been made about the WSU title flip-flop between Mercedes Martinez and Jessicka Havok this past weekend, but looking at it from a business perspective, it makes sense.

Rather than doing a straight rematch with a clean finish, wouldn’t you also drag it out to the next Internet pay per view — which is a much more lucrative show — if you were a promoter?

WSU needed a way to set up a third match on iPPV, because as proven by March’s iPPV, this is a main event that works and drew in fans.

The added stipulation of a “Casket Match” should be very, very interesting. I’ve never seen this done outside of WWE (that’s not to say it hasn’t been done, I’ve just never seen one). I’m intrigued to see how it will play out and what kind of casket WSU will purchase. For those who have been lucky enough to never have to deal with purchasing caskets — that sh*t is expensive, and WSU doesn’t have a WWE budget.

What do you think of these various quick hits? Tell me in the comments or on Twitter by clicking the button below!


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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1211052003#!/fuzzy.lumpkins Fuzz

    AJ and Kaitlyn may become the new Lita/Trish of the upcoming generation

    • mikie91

      Neither will ever be able to touch either Trish or Lita. But AJ should definitely be pushed to the top of the division. Kaitlyn not so much.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1211052003#!/fuzzy.lumpkins Fuzz

        I’m sure,if they’re pushed in the right direction…right now they just seem like 18 year old with petty boyfriend issues..but 3-4 years down the line, if kailtyn manages to stop botching in the ring, wwe keeps their priorities straight on storylines..i dont see why they cant fill in to be the new lita/trish,or atleast attempt to be :-P

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1211052003#!/fuzzy.lumpkins Fuzz

          18 year olds*

      • perceval

        After only a year there, Kaitlyn looked more believable trading blows with Beth and Natalya and powering out of their moves than women who have been there a lot longer, like Kelly, ever have. And that’s something the company needs to work on: Making the matches look believable.

        Kaitlyn’s a big girl with the bodybuilding background. Power moves work for her. For someone Kelly’s size, not so much. Kelly just plain physically overpowering Beth and Nattie with sheer strength and muscle doesn’t work.

        What Kelly needs to be trained in is submissions. That’s how Gail Kim became one of the best in the business. We wouldn’t buy little Gail just plain physically overpowering Victoria or Awesome Kong or Beth Phoenix, But, she hits the Flying Dragon, and it works. Same with AJ when she hits the Octopus. A move like the Flying Dragon or Octopus turns a tiny girl into a giant killer. AJ Lee vs Kharma has the potential to be the next Gail vs Kong if booked like that was.

    • moogle

      I know I sound absolutely insane, but I see a bit of the early Trish in Kaitlyn…

      Mainly in their backstage segments, both have that same witty natural sarcastic kind of acting. Which I love.
      Also, she’s picked up the wrestling so so quickly, showing she works very hard behind the scenes!

      I think too many people overlook her and focus on AJ and Maxine.
      I see huge potential in Kaitlyn, just compare her to when she started in NXT… big improvements!

      • perceval

        Not insane, at all. Having Trish’s build is why they signed Kaitlyn and Aksana in the first place.

  • javiousmckenzie

    I see Maxine, AJ, Kaitlyn, Naomi and Aksana the future

    • Raekon

      Same but along with them Caylee, Sofia, Page, Audrey and maybe even a Improved Cameron since she indeed showed potential and by that I mean a higher potential than a Raquel Diaz that I’m really rather looking forward to watch her outside of the ring than inside it.

  • Ouellet

    I want Kelly and Eve to be this generation Trish and Lita.

    • number1AngelinaLovefan

      Eve yeah, Kelly…WHY??

    • perceval

      Kelly is this generation’s Torrie Wilson. Abd, doing the Torrie type stuff is what she’s best at.

      • GailKim95

        Torrie was better than kelly

        • Crazy_J

          I liked and loved Torrie at different times but I never disliked her.. I can’t say that all the time for Kelly. Torrie just had more personality.

  • French.One

    I was waiting for the rise of new divas this year, and I should say I’m totally disappointed. I was waiting to see the NXT3 girls on the main roster take over the place, and I feel except arguably for AJ it has been a big failure for all of them (would it be because of bad booking/casual appearances or lack of skill).
    I have no faith anymore in the NXT3 girls, I think they all have been damaged, that the WWE will never care about them and will not dare to fix their character.
    Now I just wait for three FCW to come up if they ever make it (Raquel, Tenille, Paige).

    • perceval

      What makes you think they will be booked any better than the NXT 3 girls?

      It’s like how people were saying, just a month ago, “Take the ttitle off Beth. With Layla as Champion, it will be completely different. Creative will sudddenly do a 180, and give them 5 – 10 minute matches and plenty of promos!” No, it’s still the less than 2 minute matches and no promos. I guess the problem wasn’t Beth, after all.

      If ou look at AJ’s work at FCW & NXT, you see the Next Mickie James. But, how the hell can she show any of that as the Quickly Squashed Jobber on SD?

      • French.One

        I didn’t say the FCW girls will be booked better than the NXT3 girls, you’re right there’s no way to tell, but Raquel being Vicky’s daughter, and Paige having more fire in her than others divas, I have a little hope.

  • Raekon

    To the released talent of the last two years belong also:
    – Jillian Hall
    – Katie Lea

    To the “established” Divas belongs also Rosa Mendes.

    To the newcomers belong also Kaitlyn, Aksana and Cameron on the main roster and Paige, Audrey and Raquel down in FCW.

    Just thought I’ll fill the gaps with the one that were intentionally or unintentionally out. ;p

    Other than that well written and on spot when it comes to Brooke and the martinez/havok feud down in WSU. :)

    • French.One

      + Tiffany
      + Serena Deeb

      But they weren’t the main divas…

    • http://www.diva-dirt.com Melanie

      I wasn’t trying to list every former Diva in that period.

  • jacknife2058

    Brooke has entered the niche that Tiffany filled in WWE (sadly so very briefly =( ), she’s the “break out model”. Granted Brooke doesn’t appear to have the same upper body strength and we haven’t seen her take the bumps Tiffany seemed to (for want of a better term) enjoy, but she’s very fast and fluid for a rookie (heck she actually moves better than Velvet alot of the time).

  • xXxUniquelyiXxX

    Not to be rude, but how long will Layla last in WWE? She’s 34, right? I’m surprised/proud she came back from such a huge injury most athletes have to quit afterwards.

    • jacknife2058

      Layla’s 33, her birthday is 25 June (making her only 5 days older than me. =O ), if I didn’t know then I would have taken 5 years of of that.
      If Layla’s able to come back from the mess her knee was in, and WWE are willing to keep her, then the answer is pretty much “For as long as she wants to”. If Tara can still be a major competitor, and look awesome at it, then I see no reason why Layla couldn’t still be challenging for the Diva’s title in 2018-19. (That’s assuming she wants to)

      • Crazy_J

        I don’t see WWE keeping Layla until 2018.. idk why I just don’t.. diva’s don’t have a shelf life in WWE for very long which is why we see Tara (one of the best) on TNA.

    • TheGamergirl22

      TNA most of the former divas are her age and doing more extreme stuff like cage matches, I see Beth, Tamina, and Layla last as long as their contracts

  • majestylove

    Hey !
    Your forgot the amazing Jillian in your list of former divas D=

  • jayjayholler

    Dont like how you left Jillian out Melanie, but as your my favourite writer your forgiven

  • LadyGoDiva

    I’m all for new divas in the WWE and helping the division.

    But I do have some worries now since the Bellas left and the divas division so thin.

    Hopefully things will get better.

    • perceval

      Well, there are Divas brand and then there’s the Division. Those are two different things, really. Losing the Bellas is like losing Stacy. Stacy is one of the most popular Divas in WWE history, yet her retirement didn’t affect the quality of the Women’s Division. The big losses to the Division in the last year were Michelle, Melina, & Gail, and Kong & Layla being out of action.

      • LadyGoDiva

        I get what your saying but it makes me wonder when Kelly Kelly leaves the WWE? They treat her like shes so important that they don’t want to let her go.

        But 2011 was really the worst year ever so I only hope that this year will be a decent year for the divas and the knockouts too

  • Litaker61

    Its actually depressing to think of the Divas the WWE has let go in the past 2 years. So much wasted talent….

    • Jhonmarco

      The only diva that was mentioned to be released that I saw as “wasted talent” was Gail Kim. Melina, Michelle, Mickie, Maryse, & even the Bellas had a good run.

    • perceval

      “Its actually depressing to think of the Divas the WWE has let go in the past 2 years. So much wasted talent….”

      Well, to put it in perspective, they had a worse two year period of losses: July 2004 – November 2006, which saw the departures of Jacqueline Moore, Sable, Gail Kim, Dawn Marie, Molly Holly, Ivory, Christy Hemme, Stacy Keibler, Trish Stratus, and Lita.

      If the Diva brand could survive that, it can survive this.

  • velvelove

    Trisha vs lita

    Mickie vs Melina vs Beth

    Kelly vs eve

    Aj vs kaitlyn

    The 4 generations of divas

    • perceval

      Judging from their FCW feud and their NXT 3 match, AJ vs Naomi has the potential to be it’s generation’s Trish vs Lita.

      • WWFoverWWE

        Agreed 100% AJ vs. Naomi is a must see.

        • clintocki

          ^Agreed

        • FrankNFurter

          I concur.

  • ricky_says_hi

    it’s honestly up to Layla to keep that personality going. most of her comedy as a heel came from her being embarrassed and being goofy and that’s hard to do when you’re a fan favourite. backstage segments would help with that so hopefully wwe will give her mic time as well

  • Jhonmarco

    Honestly I feel that AJ, Naomi, Maxine, Aksana, Raquel, Paige, & Kharma are the future of the Divas. Not a bad future I might add.

    Nice article. I just feel with Martinez/Havok they could have had Havok win controversially again instead of deflating some of her momentum & have her lose. Clean or not, it was bad booking.

    • WWFoverWWE

      I don’t think Aksana will go far beyond the manager/backstage segment girl. The ring is not where she shines.

      • Jhonmarco

        I’m not sure that’s a fair judgement. We’ve hardly see her in the ring.

        • redsandman99

          I think Aksana’s character is stronger than her wrestling at this stage (based on what I’ve watched of her in FCW) but she can easily get better with more experience.

  • perceval

    “I’m not sure how I feel about a “new generation”, to be honest — perhaps because the thought of one makes me feel old!”

    Hey, imagine how old Beth, Kelly, & Layla must be feeling, right now. They were there in the Trish & Lita days. This is two generations they’ve seen the end of, now. :)

    Strange thinking of Kelly as the grizzled veteran who has seen entire careers begin and end, who can tell the girls stories of having Paul Heyman as her writer and being in matches with the Sandman and Tommy Dreamer.

  • http://au.groups.yahoo.com/group/WWE_Divas/ art

    I’m glad lay’s back..shes one of the divas who can make you laugh,make you boo her & yet you still love her…
    people saying laylas old remember debra,ivory,sable,terri & so on were in wwe in their late 30’s & even wrestling in their 40’s…if anything i want layla to be a decade diva along with beth nattie, the good workers…

  • drewrey

    I am actually excited to see a new generation of divas, I like change, and I believe that the divas division needs change, ALOT OF CHANGE!!!!!!!

    One thing that does bother me, is that alot of people overlook Kaitlyn, everyone always praises AJ and MAzine, but seem to hate on Kaitlyn, I dont understand this. Kaitlyn has so much potential, and has improved so much in the ring, she also has charisma, people need to open there eyes a little more. I think this girl, like AJ and Maxine will go far!!!!!!!!!

    • WWFoverWWE

      People don’t overlook her, there’s just not much to say. She has improved but her overall skill level is just average. The charisma comment is just your opinion.

      • drewrey

        I know not everyone shares the same opinion, but I know that people have made comments on how they think she should get fired or that she has no potential. I have seen these types of multiple times, I am also well aware that my charisma comment is my opinion, I just wish people could see what I see. Sometimes I feel like diva fans are very close minded!!!!! Don’t worry though, I know all of this is my opinion.

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/bxshadow23?feature=mhum EveLover

      Everytime I see kaitlyn, I think of how good of a power heel she’d be. I can see it in her. I for one hope they turn her heel one day. She would dominate.

      • drewrey

        I agree, I feel like she would be awesome at being a power heel as well. I feel like she could do both very well. I just hope they let her showcase what she can do!!

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/bxshadow23?feature=mhum EveLover

    I would love for Eve vs AJ to be this generations Lita vs Trish. I see alot of trish in eve. AJ is pretty much alot like lita, which I love. But I doubt we’ll ever get a Lita vs Trish type of rivalry again, due to the lack of effort from creative.

  • AdrianRay

    Hopefully Layla improves her face character.

  • TheGamergirl22

    AJ or Eve are truly the people I see right now being THE Woman of WWE, they are the future unless creative botches it or they get released for no reason

    The real reason is the creative and booking will make or break, Why is Eve over they gave her time to develop her character and interact with males to care about her same with AJ we see her unfold to either a broken women or possibly Mickie James part 2 (without the lesbianism)

    It’s a shame Beth and Nattie had crap booking but Nattie’s 29-30 she can bounce back (if creative lets her) Beth is younger than Layla so she can bounce back.

    • gl83

      Funny that you mention that because the success of both Eve and AJ’s characters is in the fact that both of them are kinda relateable to people right now. Eve’s “hoeski” where she uses people to get what she wants and how she friend-zoned Zack Ryder struck a chord with many guys who had the same thing happen to them. Making her an instant heat magnet.

      With AJ, her character is going through a ordeal right now where she is in agony as she is struggling and unable to let go of the love she has for her former boyfriend. That is something that many women, who’ve had their first heartbreaks, have gone through and as such can sympathize with her in that regard, thus making her relateable as well.

      • TheGamergirl22

        I was thinking since Nattie and Tamina are third and second generation, their character could be like struggling to live up to live up to their father’s legacy, at least Tamina out did her brother Sim but getting a title shot.

        Or Nattie be like CM Punk seeing her father is an addict and i in jail going to rehab soon, but that could be too personal.

  • DJ8946

    Trish Vs Lita

    Mickie Vs Beth Vs Melina

    Kelly Vs Eve

    AJ Vs Naomi vs Kharma

    Caylee Vs Raquel

    Is That A Good List Of The Generations Of Divas?

  • Timalee

    In my Opinon. Naomi looks like a Jaqualine for the next generation. I can see WWE pushing Kelly or AJ as the really big competetor of the Generation. Beth and Kharma will be the Chyna of their generation. Katlyn i see as one of the backstage come out and wrestle here and there girls with small storys (like Nidia).

  • Simply Flawless

    I’d like to think this era of divas equivalents to Trish Stratus and Lita would be Layla and Eve. Layla’s recent reactions at the shows have been brilliant, and with time and development given to her they can only get better. Eve has polished in ring abilities and can pull of some wicked high flying moves … I think the Diva Search winners can do it! all they need is WWE behind them more.