This past year saw the downing of a record in the WWE. AJ Lee’s record as the longest-reigning Divas champion was wiped out by Nikki Bella. On an episode of WWE Raw, Charlotte supposedly beat Nikki in a singles match, but Brie Bella interfered, so Stephanie McMahon came out and said that Nikki was retaining her championship. It was at that point when WWE fans saw the longest-reigning Divas champion in WWE history.
Despite the endless criticism of Nikki’s in-ring ability and involvement in the “Divas Revolution,” she did improve her wrestling skills and microphone prowess. To be critical, Brie hasn’t improved in the slightest, but Nikki impressed a lot of fans in the WWE Universe with her dedication to getting better. There’s a reason why she was chosen to replace AJ Lee’s record in the history books.
The theory of not wanting Lee in the record because of her affiliation with CM Punk will always remain. Even though Punk isn’t well-liked by management, that seems very immature of them to do so. If they would’ve just erased Lee and Punk, that’d be one thing. However, that isn’t happening or won’t happen in the future.
After dropping the belt to Charlotte, it was clear that Nikki was taking time off with John Cena, her boyfriend, for at least a few months. In fact, Nikki Bella dropped more information on the WWE Universe about her time off and why she’s leaving for a period of time.
A photo posted by Nikki Bella (@thenikkibella) on
— Nikki & Brie (@BellaTwins) November 2, 2015
This does mean that Nikki Bella has worked through injuries during her time as Divas champion. In the last few weeks, injuries that are that serious don’t come up after just one match. According to Cageside Seats and the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Nikki’s ailments were from months of aggravation.
“Regarding the Nikki Bella injury, the Observer notes that she’s taking time away to deal with both her neck and hip issues. There were rumors she was banged up all throughout her record breaking Divas title reign.”
Nikki Bella worked very hard to get to the spot she is today. In the last eight years, women in the WWE weren’t appreciated like they should’ve been. The WWE didn’t help themselves by hiring models. That’s no disrespect to them, but for the era that had Lita, Trish Stratus, Molly Holly, and more, it was a letdown to that division entirely.
Nikki proved that a woman who was brought in to be a model turned out to be a pretty decent professional wrestler. Becky Lynch, Charlotte, Sasha Banks, and Bayley weren’t brought in to be models, and they have WWE NXT to showcase their talents. Aside from AJ Lee, Beth Phoenix, and Natalya, women’s wrestling was at an all-time low over the last several years.
It’s back on the rise and whether the WWE fans like it or not, Nikki had a lot to do with it. Her #FearlessNikki campaign did more than just start a brand. It empowered women to be more than “arm candy,” as Nikki suggested in a recent interview. The aforementioned NXT women had the ability to put their skills on a pedestal that got more publicity.
The WWE women deserve the title as women, instead of divas. Hopefully, Charlotte or Paige trash the butterfly belt for a new women’s championship. Whether the WWE agrees with it or not, women’s wrestling matters now.
[Image via WWE.com]