Every hour until the clock strikes midnight (Eastern time) and we usher in 2016, Diva Dirt will highlight – in no particular order – the women who made an impact in 2015.
The cult of Blue Pants grew in 2015, but it was far from the only version of Leva Bates that made an impact this year.
Leva – and her various cosplay identities – continued to pick up big wins on the indy scene over the course of the past 12 months. The biggest of all came in July, when Leva came out on top of a tournament to win the vacant WSU Spirit Title. It was only the third title win of Leva’s eight-year career, so the moment was absolutely a year’s highlight for her.
The only thing that could possibly top it is her surprise appearance at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn, where she made her presence felt in a big way by thwarting Alexa Bliss and helping The Vaudevillains win the NXT Tag Team Titles. That, along with four televised matches and a surprise NXT Women’s Title shot against Sasha Banks at a June live event, was enough to warrant NXT bestowing on Blue Pants the biggest honor they could give an unsigned talent: an official t-shirt. Leva, as an indy talent with official WWE merchandise, was the first of her kind. Though it wasn’t a NXT contract, it surely was a big feather in her cap.
Standout matches for WSU, SHINE and SHIMMER ensured that Leva’s name – the one without the Pants surname – would remain on the lips of every indy women’s wrestling fan. She even came close to securing her second title win of the year, making it to the finals of SHINE’s Tag Team Title tournament with her Lucha Sister Mia Yim at SHINE 31 before falling short to Jayme Jameson and Marti Bell. Unfortunately for Leva, that loss was too much for the Lucha Sisters to bear, and she found herself on the receiving end of a brutal attack from Mia. Thus, the Lucha Sisters were no more.
2016 brings with it plenty of exciting possibilities for Leva: she’ll surely have plenty of challengers for her Spirit Title, and without her tag partner Mia, she’ll have to foster some new alliances if she wants to stay afloat in the tag team scene. Then, of course, there’s always the chance of more Blue Pants in her future. If one thing’s for certain, though, it’s that Leva will meet every challenge with a hero’s can-do spirit and a costume to match.
Come back at the top of every hour to see who else has been crowned 2015’s WOTY.