Wednesday, February 28, 2024

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Women of the Year 2014: Paige

Every hour until the clock strikes midnight (Eastern time) and we usher in 2015, Diva Dirt will highlight – in no particular order – the women who made an impact in 2014.
 

Paige

With a shocking debut rivalled only by Sting and double reigns as WWE Divas Champion, 2014 was arguably the year of Paige.

The 22-year-old independent starlet started the year as NXT Women’s Champion. She destroyed the likes of Bayley and Sasha Banks on NXT, juggling those formidable foes alongside Emma, the plucky Australian who took her to the limit at the inaugural NXT Live Special, NXT: ArRIVAL in February. After besting the rookie ranks, Paige showcased in a monumental way that she was ready for the major leagues.

It was the night after WrestleMania 30 and AJ Lee was on top of the world. After defeating every single Diva on the roster the night prior, the Divas Champion felt invincible – that was until Hell in Boots showed up!

Paige suckered AJ into a championship match that ended up making history. The then 21-year-old reversed AJ’s signature Black Widow submission and left her lying with a Paige Turner. Paige hooked the leg and soaked up the electric atmosphere as she won the WWE Divas Championship in her debut match.

Her first reign was filled with hard-hitting action that saw her best the dangerous Tamina Snuka, the unpredictable Alicia Fox and the insanely athletic Naomi on Pay-Per-View. Sandwiched in between those victories, Paige proved herself against the likes of Aksana and Cameron that she was here to stay with her impressive array of finishing moves that could target her opponents from every angle.

Her feud with AJ kicked up a notch upon the return of the “crazy” Diva. Mirroring Paige’s first night on Raw, AJ lured Paige into a match, rolling her up to reclaim the championship. The pair clashed three other times across the year on pay-pay-view, the most notable of which was at SummerSlam. At this event, Paige reversed the Black Widow in spectacular fashion once more, transitioning AJ’s move into the RamPaige to become the youngest two-time female champion in WWE history.

Paige and AJ also clashed in a triple threat match with Nikki Bella, a high-octane bout that provided drama and hard-hitting action. The closing submission and attempted reversal sequence Paige was involved in was fantastic. Despite losing the championship in this match, Paige had won respect in defeat.

Paige’s next chapter involved former and future rival, Alicia Fox. The deranged duo wreaked havoc for AJ until deciding to create chaos for each other. The short-lived feud proved that although impressive as a face, Paige was outstanding as a heel.

Although things have quietened down for Paige in recent months, the Anti Diva proved that she is the future of the business in 2014. She stole the show in NXT, was chosen to carry the entire main roster division in the absence of AJ and she proved that she can tickle your funny bone too with her current comedic antics. Paige has the charisma, the look and the skill set to take her to even greater heights in 2015. Tear those stars out from the sky Paige. We believe you can do just that.

Come back at the top of every hour to see who else has been crowned one of 2014’s Women of the Year.

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