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  3. GUEST COLUMN: ‘How AJ, Kaitlyn, and the fans have brought the WWE Divas division back from the brink’ by Sean Linhares


Editor’s note: The following article was written by Sean Linhares and originally appeared on wrestleenigma.com:

In business, the customer is king. It’s a simple idea of Capitalism, if the customer states that they want something from a business, that business gives it to the consumer.

WWE is, of course, a business, and so it operates under those same rules. While McDonalds may have to give in to their customers’ demands for more French fries, WWE must do the same with their on screen product. If the fans don’t like someone or something in WWE, it is immediately dropped, as it’s simply bad for business to have someone on your program that is universally disliked.

However, if fans do like something, or want someone to get a push from the company, then WWE must again obey their customer. That rule has never been more evident than the recent total revival of the WWE Divas Division, a division that hadn’t drawn fans in for years. The Divas had become somewhat of a running joke among fans, as their short matches and lack of stories became almost sad at points.

Yes, fans joked about the Divas, but at the end of the day, they were severely hurting the overall product of Raw and Smackdown. For several years, viewers of WWE TV could always count on at least five minutes of Divas, which would later be known as “piss break time”. That’s a solid portion of the show that was simply being wasted, and eventually, the fans had enough. It was time for change.

That change was kickstarted last summer, by a 26 year old girl from New Jersey who had always had the dream of making it in the WWE.

That girls name was AJ Lee and while her role in the new Divas Division may have begun last year, its seeds can be traced back to 2009. It would be in that year that she officially started her WWE career, as the company signed her to a developmental contract.

For the next two years, AJ became a staple of then WWE developmental territory, FCW. She would win the territories women’s title once, and was also crowned as “The Queen of FCW”. Her success there would only act as a catapult to Lee’s next challenge, the third season of NXT.

It would be there that AJ truly began to come into her own as a competitor, with fans beginning to take notice of the still young star. While NXT was a great area for AJ to make a name for herself, it would also plant perhaps the biggest seed of all in the revival of the Divas Division, as it was the first place that her and Kaitlyn would form the Chickbusters.

The dynamic duo would become quite a popular tandem on both NXT and Smackdown, where they feuded with the Divas of Doom, Natalya and Beth Phoenix, for several months. Then, it all changed.

As the Chickbusters were receiving moderate success for the Divas at the time, Daniel Bryan was beginning his journey to the top of the WWE.  In November of 2011, AJ would hop on that rocket to the top, as she officially became “involved” with Bryan on Smackdown.

For several months, AJ stood by Bryan’s side, as he won the World Heavyweight Title, but also when he lost it at WrestleMania. The now infamous 18 second loss would signal the death of Bryan and AJ’s relationship, but the birth of a whole new AJ. An AJ that would become one of WWE’s top performers. An AJ that was just a bit off.

It was the birth of AJ’s crazy side.

For months, Lee’s momentum  grew, as she became a star attraction during the summer of 2011 by being immediately involved in a feud with Bryan and CM Punk for the WWE Championship. At one point, it would be her, not either of the two men fighting for the title, that would end Raw standing tall, all alone in the ring. The last women to close Raw out? Lita, years before AJ had even stepped into a wrestling ring.

And while that momentum wavered during her period as Raw GM, it is now back and bigger than ever, as AJ has captured the Divas Title from her former Tag Team partner and ally, Kaitlyn.

You see, during her turbulent relationship with Daniel Bryan, AJ became so involved with the man that she turned her back on Kaitlyn. While the feud was never truly addressed, most knew that it was only a matter of time before the two met again, but this time, it wouldn’t be quite so one sided. The next time they met, Kaitlyn may just get hers.

So that brings us to the present. Two women are taking the WWE by storm and single handedly bringing women’s wrestling back to the company, albeit with a little help from the fans, who have truly gotten invested in the product that the two are putting out.

The two former friends turned total enemies have lit up Raw several times, as well as at Payback, where many stated that the two stole the show. It’s been a long time since a divas match was even remotely decent, so for two women to steal the show, it’s incredible.

Read the rest of the column here: