Former Divas Champion Paige made her return to WWE this past week, on the Raw brand despite rumours that the company had decided to move her to SmackDown. Paige didn’t return alone either. She interrupted the fatal four-way match to crown a new number one contender for Alexa Bliss’ Raw Women’s Championship between Mickie James, Alicia Fox, Sasha Banks and Bayley before she unleashed Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose on the unsuspecting women.
Sonya Deville had been making quite a name for herself in NXT, but has only had 10 televised matches, while Mandy Rose has only made one appearance on NXT up to now and was mostly stuck on NXT Live Events. Many of the WWE Universe have commented on the fact that both women looked fine when they were attacking the main roster wrestlers, but when the other women fight back, that will be when all of their flaws are there for the world to see.
In reality, there were a number of other women that WWE could have chosen for Paige’s new stable, past and present, but it seems that the company is now focusing their attention on the NXT Women’s Division and promoting a number of these women to the main roster to mix things up. The following list looks at 15 better options WWE had when they were putting together Paige’s stable. Many of these may be more far-fetched but it would have been fantastic for WWE to have brought back some women and allowed the WWE Universe to feel some nostalgia.
15. Ember Moon
Sasha Banks was promoted to the main roster while she was NXT Women’s Champion back in 2015, so there’s no reason why the current Champion can’t follow suit. Paige could have combined the current Women’s Champion with the two undefeated Champions of herself and Asuka and then been able to prove that the NXT Division was much more powerful than WWE’s.
Every woman in the ring on Monday night was a former Divas or Women’s Champion on the main roster but it seems that Alicia Fox wasn’t the main target for these women, which means that they could be focusing their attention on Mickie, Sasha and Bayley moving forward. Ember and Asuka have a lot of respect for each other, and they proved that on Saturday Night at NXT: Takeover. It would have been incredible to see two women who tore each other apart in the ring come together to fight the same enemy.
14. Michelle McCool
Michelle McCool might seem like an odd inclusion to the list, but over the past few months, Michelle and Charlotte have had their own exchanges online that made it seem as though the former Women’s Champion would be open to returning to WWE. Michelle has been married to The Undertaker for the past seven years and is now a mother, but she would still be capable of being part of a three-person stable on the Raw brand.
Michelle has remained in shape and seems as though she would definitely be able to still perform with the best stars on Raw’s roster. Bringing her in as part of a stable with Paige would be interesting because it would be past versus present. While Paige isn’t that old, she has still been part of the company much longer than some of the women currently making a name for herself on the main roster, so it is understandable that she’s mad that she hasn’t achieved as much as they have. Alexa Bliss brought back Mickie James last year, so Paige could easily have brought back Michelle.
13. Nikki Cross
Nikki Cross came up short on Saturday night in her quest to become NXT Women’s Champion as Ember Moon walked out of Houston, Texas as the Women’s Champion. Nikki has been an integral part of Sanity ever since she made her NXT debut but it seems that she has been helping the male members of the group much more than they have helped her.
Nikki helped Eric Young and Alexander Wolfe to become Tag Team Champions, but they didn’t come out and help her to become Women’s Champion even though it was a no-disqualification match. Nikki didn’t try to involve herself in the main event War Games match either, so perhaps Nikki has realised that she needs a new stable moving forward and given her unpredictable nature and unmatched ability in the ring, she would have been a perfect addition to Paige’s stable. She is also someone that the WWE Universe would have recognized because she is a well-known star in developmental.
WWE didn’t realise how much the WWE Universe would react to the departure Emma, but their fanbase still continues to chant for the Australian star weeks after she was released from the company. WWE has gone as far as editing out the “Emma” chants at many of their live events, which shows just how much the company is not prepared to deal with the issue.
Emma and Paige faced off in the finals of the NXT Tournament to crown the first ever NXT Women’s Champion. Paige won the match but her career has been entwined with Emma’s ever since, with the duo becoming good friends. It would have been fantastic for Emma to have brought her back as a way of WWE realizing that they made a mistake, but it seems that this wasn’t meant to be. Maybe they’ll bring her back in a few years time when the crowd has died down.
When The Shield made their debut on the main roster five years ago they were all about injustice and they then went out to make sure that justice was always served and people who didn’t deserve things weren’t actually given them. Paige, Sonya and Mandy invaded the match in the same way that The Shield did, but it seems that they are the wrong people to fight for injustice.
Mandy and Sonya have never been overlooked the way Aliyah has in NXT over the past few years. She is the youngest female wrestler in the company who has been training for more than three years and still she isn’t taken seriously by NXT. Aliyah knows what injustice is and she would have been the perfect person to have joined Paige in her fight. It is still unknown what these women want, but it will definitely be interesting to find out over the next few weeks.
10. Ruby Riot
Ruby Riot could still be being controlled by Paige since she was part of the SmackDown invasion on Tuesday night that saw her accompanied by Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan. The trio sent a message to Charlotte, Becky Lynch, Naomi and Natalya that night and it seems that they could have created a number of enemies by invading the brand the way that they did.
Ruby is a fantastic wrestler who has worked her way up through the ranks over the past few years from the Independent circuit to the NXT roster and she has proved that she deserves this kind of opportunity. It would have been interesting to see her work alongside someone like Paige since the duo is actually quite similar, but given the fact that she is on the main roster now anyway, we still might get to see this happen, if it is revealed that Paige is the mastermind behind both invasions.
9. Kairi Sane
Many of the WWE Universe have talked about how Kairi Sane is set to become the next Asuka and over the past few months ever since her Mae Young Classic win, Kairi is proved that she is one of the stars for the future in WWE.
When she failed to lift the NXT Women’s Championship on Saturday night, it was thought that WWE had a much bigger plan for her. It will be interesting to see what happens to Paige’s stable when Nia Jax and Asuka decide that they are going to get their revenge. Asuka is still undefeated and Kairi could have been a good equalizer. Right now Paige’s team doesn’t have someone that can match Asuka in the ring, which will definitely become a problem in the near future. In the meantime, it seems that WWE is going to continue to push Kairi on the NXT roster instead.
8. Billie Kay
Billie Kay won Break Out Star of the year in NXT last year along with her Iconic Duo partner Peyton Royce and has gone on to have some interesting matches in NXT over the past year. Kay wasn’t able to win her match for a place in the fatal four-way match at NXT Takeover: War Games, since Peyton Royce was the one representing The Iconic Duo instead.
Peyton seems to the one who gains all the attention for the group, while Billie is stuck on the sidelines, reduced to being her cheerleader. A call-up like this could have been exactly what she needed, as she’s proved herself over the past year and would flourish in the three-person stable. It’s unknown why she wasn’t chosen for something like this since WWE doesn’t have any plans to push her in NXT moving forward, unless the company wants The Iconic Duo to be promoted together.
7. Liv Morgan
Liv Morgan has made headlines over the past few months because of her breakup with Enzo Amore, so many of the WWE Universe would have been interested to see the star added to the same roster as her ex-boyfriend. Liv has gained a lot of negative attention over the past few years and is called “Bootleg Carmella” because her in-ring attire is similar to Carmella’s from a few months ago.
It would have been interesting for WWE to have taken Liv out of that kind of atmosphere and allowed her to become part of a stable with someone like Paige who can teach her much more than NXT ever did. Liv was promoted to the main roster on the SmackDown brand on Tuesday night, but many of the WWE Universe have commented on how she seems unable to effectively portray a heel, which could become a problem for her in the coming weeks.
6. Mercedes Martinez
Mercedes is another woman who made a name for herself in the Mae Young Classic and it seems that she has managed to turn heads enough for WWE to include her in many NXT matches.
Martinez is hard hitting on the same kind of level as Sonya Deville, except she has years of experience in a WWE ring after working on the Independent Circuit and making a name for herself before she was contacted by WWE about taking part in the historic Women’s Tournament. Mercedes has become a recognizable name and would have been a much better pick that Deville since she has much more experience as a wrestler. Only time will tell as to whether or not WWE made the right picks for Paige’s stable, but it seems that the WWE Universe has already begun sounding off on social media.
5. Candice LeRae
How could someone like Candice LeRae be overlooked in this kind of storyline? If WWE wanted an attractive blonde to be promoted then she would have been a much better choice than Mandy Rose. Candice is the wife of Johnny Gargano and has been wrestling men and women on the Independent Circuit for more than a decade. LeRae has been known to be part of some of the most brutal intergender matches of all time, which could have been the reason WWE finally noticed her.
LeRae is one of the few women who have a level of experience when it comes it Intergender matches and it seems that the company could be looking at bringing these back in the coming years. Candice may have overshadowed Paige if she was made part of her stable, which could be the reason she wasn’t chosen, but she would have been a fantastic addition to the main roster Women’s Division regardless of whether WWE would have accepted her or not.
4. Shayna Baszler
WWE needs to understand that not every member of the WWE Universe watches NXT, which means that both of these women are relatively unknown to many members of their fanbase because they have probably forgotten about their involvement in Tough Enough back in 2015.
Shanya is fresh; she was the runner-up of The Mae Young Classic back in the summer and has recently been training at the Performance Centre before her upcoming debut. Shayna is on a different level to Sonya Deville since they are both former MMA stars, but Shanya has made more of an impact in her short time with the company. Shayna would definitely be the person that Paige needed to make an impact on the main roster, but it seems that Shayna wasn’t ready in time, which could be why Sonya was chosen instead. It will be interesting to see where Shayna fits in on the roster in the coming months.
3. Peyton Royce
Peyton Royce is a female star that has been overlooked by the NXT Women’s Division over the past few months and it was a huge shock on Saturday night when she wasn’t able to lift the NXT Women’s Championship.
Peyton has all of the attributes to be a huge star in WWE, unlike many women who are currently being promoted without sufficient mic and ring skills. Royce has definitely proved herself in the Women’s Division over the past few years and even though NXT needs someone there to allow their Women’s Roster to thrive, Peyton shouldn’t be the one that the company forces to stay just because they have no idea what to do with her. Paige can talk on the mic, but it seems that WWE is quite reluctant for her to do this because she can’t always be controlled, which is why someone like Royce who can talk on the mic would have been a much better choice.
2. Nikki Bella
Nikki Bella has been out recovering from a neck injury over the past few months ever since WrestleMania 33 where she became John Cena‘s fiancée after he proposed to the longest reigning Divas Champion in WWE history. Nikki and Paige were friends while she was part of Total Divas and it seems that this could have been the foundation that WWE needed to set up a new stable.
Nikki chose the SmackDown roster over the Raw one when she returned at SummerSlam back in 2015 but this could have been the perfect time for her to make the switch and have an impact on the Raw division. Nikki was recently eliminated from Dancing With The Stars, so she would be in a position to return to WWE and if it was as part of six-man tag matches, then her teammates could have helped to protect her when putting the match together.
1. AJ Lee
There were a number of people on social media who were hoping that when Paige said that she hadn’t come alone, it was because she had brought her former best friend and the woman she had her first main roster feud with, AJ Lee.
AJ was one of the best Divas Champions of all time and she held the longest reigning record for a while as well, but she later went on to make the decision to retire from WWE following WrestleMania 31 back in 2015. AJ has since become a New York Time best selling author and supports her husband CM Punk in his budding UFC career, but it seems that AJ hasn’t made any moves to return to the wrestling business ever since she walked away. She said she has new dreams and goals now, but if anyone can convince the former Divas Champion to return to WWE, it is Paige.
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