AJ Lee (c) vs. Brie Bella
It started as a put down of the cast of Total Divas, as the Divas champ derided the women of the E! reality show for being more interested in fame and fortune than pro wrestling success. Ironic then that a woman who left WWE to pursue mainstream fame has answered the call, and shown remarkable improvement in the ring, to become a legitimate challenger to the title.
The Road to Hell in a Cell
AJ's lifelong dream has been to be the queen of women's pro wrestling, like her idols Lita and Trish Stratus. Her pride at attaining the butterfly belt even lead her to get a tattoo commemorating the date she won it - an act that has earned her some ridicule from old school employees of WWE. The champ herself couldn't abide the disrespect she felt that the stars of Total Divas were evidence of, and she let them have it with her "pipe bombshell".
Perhaps worried that she had made too many enemies, and concerned that her initial alliances with other non-Total Divas roster members wouldn't be enough to keep the title in her possession. Lee recruited the brutal second-generation wrestler Tamina Snuka as her personal bodyguard. The hire proved immediate dividends when a distraction from Snuka helped the Pint-Sized Powderkeg retain despite a game challenge from Brie at Battleground.
Brie has shown flashes of, if not quite brilliance, then something between that and competence in her matches since the last pay-per-view (PPV). In fact, she has defeated Lee twice in the last week, even with Tamina assaulting her and her sister, Nikki, at every opportunity.
But the Bella's focus has not been 100% on the title. She recently became engaged to Daniel Bryan and, in addition to wedding planning, has been used as bait in traps set by Randy Orton during his feud with the future groom. She's also continued to pursue more mainstream gigs, even as a second mini-season of her E! show gets set to air next month.
What's at stake?
Is Brie improved enough to win her second Divas title? Can she stay focused long enough to wrest the belt away from someone who has been focused on it her whole life?
Should she lose the title, AJ should be able to avoid the curse of former champs who have promptly disappeared from television. Whether it be as a girlfriend or General Manager, Lee has proven to be the most interesting woman WWE has had in their employ for quite some time.
As the star of a successful outside venture like Total Divas, and soon to be the wife of one of their biggest stars, Brie's future also seems more secure than most female performers in the Stamford, CT-based corporation. So, what really is at stake?
Maybe the future of women's wrestling in WWE? And having a title for the Divas division that actually means something?
Find out what happens on Sunday night, and what, if anything, it means for the future of women in the pro wrestling, right here at Cageside Seats!