WWE Divas Championship Match
Charlotte (c) vs. Paige
It's hard to know who to root for in this match, as over the past couple of week's Charlotte has treated her best friend Becky Lynch poorly, whilst Paige has continued to be a brash loudmouth with no redeeming features whatsoever. With Becky being so involved in the build, it would have made a lot more sense to make this a Triple Threat match, but I guess that's coming next month at the Royal Rumble.
The Road to TLC
After Paige mocked the death of Charlotte's younger brother Reid Flair on the Nov. 16th Monday Night Raw, the two feisty femmes had a war that didn't settle the score at last month's Survivor Series special. Charlotte got a small measure of revenge by tapping out the Anti-Diva with her patented Figure 8 submission hold, but controversy abounded as one of her arms slipped underneath the bottom rope in executing the move, a mistake which led to Paige branding the Divas Champion a cheater and "a dirty player" just like her Dad was on Raw the next night.
Paige got her rematch later on that show, but this didn't solve anything, as both women got counted out whilst brawling on the outside. Paige got the better of the post-match scrap, executing the PTO on the announcers' table and leaving her battered there.
Paige continued to be a thorn in Charlotte's side, as she cost The Nature Girl a non-title match with Brie Bella on WWE Main Event by walking out and distracting her, allowing Brie to pick up the three count with a schoolgirl from behind, and followed up by piling on even more insult to injury by cheating to defeat Charlotte's best friend Becky Lynch on the Nov. 26th Smackdown.
The storyline took a strange turn on the Nov. 30th Monday Night Raw, as Becky out of nowhere asked her bestie for a match, thinking it would be fun and allow them to show the whole world what they could do, which Charlotte rather reluctantly accepted on the provisions that it wasn't for the Divas Championship and that her father Ric Flair could accompany her to ringside. The end to that bout seemingly proved Paige correct that Charlotte couldn't be trusted, as Miss Flair feigned an ankle injury and then nipped up whilst Lynch wasn't looking and schoolgirled her from behind for a sneaky victory.
Afterwards, a frustrated Becky confronted Charlotte over her "cheating" tactics, which Daddy's Little Nature Girl defended as smart strategy and that she was just trying to teach her friend a valuable lesson that she needed to step up her game in the big leagues and toughen up. A confused and distraught Lass Kicker shook pinkies with Charlotte wanting to believe her words to be true, but Paige then stirred things up further by telling Becky "Sorry about your match, but at least your friendship wasn't affected, right?"
The Dec. 3rd Smackdown saw more friction between the two BFFs, as Charlotte selfishly caused Becky Lynch to lose her match to Brie Bella by disqualification when she attacked Brie whilst Becky had her in the Disarmer. Although Brie's elbow had inadvertently smacked Charlotte at ringside as she escaped from an early Disarmer attempt, there was no need for Charlotte to respond in the way she did.
Charlotte and Ric Flair were the guests on MizTV on the TLC go-home edition of Monday Night Raw, where Ric revealed he would be in his daughter's corner again on Sunday night for her match with Paige. Miz, who pretended that Paige wasn't in attendance, goaded Charlotte into trashing her opponent at TLC, before bringing the Anti-Diva out to confront the Flairs. Ric advised Charlotte that discretion was the better part of valor until Paige slapped him and mocked his strut, which led to a brief cat fight between the two Divas.
Arguably using her best friend once again for her own ends once again, Charlotte got the last laugh heading into TLC by costing Paige her match with Becky Lynch, as she came out and distracted the Anti-Diva, allowing the Lass Kicker to lock in the Disarmer for the tap out victory.
What's at stake?
Well, the WWE Divas Championship belt is on the line, which now feels only ever so slightly more important than it did six months ago, as the momentum of the Divas Revolution has fizzled out. This convoluted storyline hasn't helped the division, that's for sure.
This really feels like a placeholder match, where Ric will likely help his daughter to retain, giving Paige more evidence that Charlotte is the cheating low-life she has made her out to be. The match will probably be given time and be pretty good, but the women will find it difficult to engage the fans, as the past three weeks has made Charlotte less likable and dampened Paige's heat. Hopefully that short-term cost pays off when Charlotte inevitably turns heel on Becky.