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Extreme Rules 2014 match card preview: Paige vs. Tamina

The new champ has brought a bigger spotlight to the Divas division. To keep it there, she and a fellow legacy wrestler will have to deliver on the big stage of WWE's first special event.

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Divas Championship

Tamina vs. Paige (c)

The new Divas champ (and former NXT Women's champ) has been on a tear since her shocking debut and title win the night after WrestleMania 30.  Now, she steps into the biggest spotlight of her career when she defends the butterfly belt against the former champ's enforcer.

The Road to Extreme Rules

Tamina has been close to the top prize for females in WWE for a long time.  She served as muscle for AJ Lee while the pint-sized powder keg was entering the record books with the longest Divas title reign in history.  But she was helpless to stop her cocky boss from losing the belt when, riding high from a win over every other Diva on the roster on The Grandest Stage of All, AJ put her precious championship on the line against a woman who had never wrestled on the main WWE shows before.  A scream and a finishing move later, Paige was the champion and Lee was gone from the scene.

AJ's absence opened the door for Tamina, who won a battle royal on the next Main Event to claim the right to be The Anti-Diva's first challenger.  It's been a long-time coming for the wrestling legacy, as Jimmy Snuka's daughter has been in WWE since 2010 without ever holding championship gold.  And despite WWE's best efforts to paint her a "dominant" force in the women's division, she really has never been that close.

So we have two women from wrestling families (both veterans of the European scene, Paige's father, Ricky Knight, still trains in England while her mother, Saraya, still works all over, including in North American independents) but one rose to the top of the world's largest wrestling company immediately upon arrival, while the other has toiled for years without reaching the peak.

Both women have been doing impressive work in the weeks leading up to Extreme Rules, especially the champ who has been showing a wider array of moves than we saw from her in NXT (or that WWE fans have seen from a female worker in quite some time).

Can Tamina live up to her reputation, or is the reign of The Anti-Diva just getting started?

What's at Stake?

It would be pretty shocking if we got a title change here, but this is a match that people are looking forward to...if for no other reason than that the 21 year Norwich, England native has really captured people's imaginations.

So while it's important for each woman's individual career for them to put on a solid showing here, it's also important to the growth of women's wrestling in WWE.  A solid five-to-ten minute affair will help to dispell the "bathroom break" reputation that Divas matches have among a lot of fans, and give the players backstage politicking for more time and focus on females some ammunition the next time the old guard tells them there's no benefit to having women for anything more that eye candy.

Can Paige continue her meteoric climb, or will Tamina slam her back down to earth?

Find out Sunday, May 4th at 8PM Eastern on WWE Network, and right here at Cageside Seats!

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