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WWE Payback 2014 match card preview: Paige vs. Alicia Fox

When Paige first hit the scene, all the talk was about the new Divas champ. Now, Alicia Fox has stolen the headlines by playing her unpredictable character to the hilt. Can she steal the title on Sunday at Payback?

Divas Championship

Alicia Fox vs. Paige (c)

Paige was only 17 years old when Alicia was the Divas champion, but even then she had been wrestling for four years.  The reign of the the Norwich, England lass who won the butterfly belt on her first night as a WWE Diva seems to have driven Fox off the deep end, and through her unpredictable behavior only one thing is clear - she wants the Divas title again.

The Road to Payback

She was the NXT Women's champion when she walked out to congratulate AJ Lee on defending her Divas title at WrestleMania 30.  That interaction lead to Paige ending the longest run of an holder of the Divas belt, as Lee was done (and on her way out the door from WWE, at least for a little while) after 295 days and reign of The Anti-Diva had begun.

Since then, the wily newcomer has shown that she's got fighting spirit and the guile to pull out a win when you least expect it, either with her Paige Turner, her swinging leg finisher, or the Scorpian Crosslock, her more impressive submission.  She has successfully defended her title at one pay-per-view (PPV) when she defeated Tamina at last month's Extreme Rules.

Her challenger this time has been toiling in WWE for quite some time now.  As mentioned in the open, she is in fact a previous Divas champ herself, having carried the butterfly belt back in 2010.  After a stint in NXT late last year, Fox had stepped up her ring work in a noticable way - for anyone who was watching.  Unfortunately, not too many were.

Finally, after a dominant performance against the champ on the May 12th Raw that ended with one of Paige's out of nowhere victories, Alicia stumbled upon the thing that would make everyone take notice.

Her meltdowns escalated from mere hat theft to involve forced affection and impromper use of soda (as can be seen in the Cageside archives here and here), and even earned her a pinfall victory over the champ in the Brit's home country while Raw was in London:

That marked Paige's only loss since coming up to the main roster and winning the title.  And it earned Alicia a championship match.  Sunday night at Payback, we'll find out if she can replicate the feat, or if she's a little bit too much of a wild card to take out the young queen of the division on PPV.

What's at Stake?

The Diva's title has made it's way onto several PPVs in a row, including both that occurred during Paige's run.  In order to keep that streak alive, as well as the hopes of fans of women's wrestling everywhere, these two will need to deliver again in Chicago.

Paige's time as champ hasn't exactly been dominant, and many fans who watched her come in NXT have been wondering where the mean streak they were accustomed to seeing has gone.  In fact, on a recent return to that program, she got in more offense in a non-title affair that she has across several matches in her bouts on Raw.  Win or lose, this would be a good time for her to step up and show what kind of damage she can give rather than just how much she can take.

A lot of Divas don't get a one shot at the title, let alone a second.  Even bigger for Alicia Fox, she is getting a chance to connect with the audience basen on ring work and character instead of just on looks alone.  Just a month ago, suggesting that she would have a PPV match would have seemed ridiculous.  Now, her fans are hoping that she can make the most of it.

It's youth & lineage against experience & unpredictability for the top prize in women's wrestling...tune in to Payback, and stay with Cageside Seats, to find out who leaves with the Diva's title!

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