I think everyone can agree that it’s been pretty exciting to see some new blood in the RAW women’s division. I’ve personally enjoyed much of what that crew has produced over the last few months but even I have no issue conceding that some fresh faces were needed as frankly, the matchups had become repetitive and at times even tiresome. The reality is that if Asuka wasn't going to be winning the title anytime soon, Alexa Bliss was out of challengers and moreover her contemporaries were lacking fresh programmes. Fortunately, there was a solution and it came in a returning Paige, flanked by NXT talents Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville.
The initial angle was solid with Paige’s personality and presence proving to be stronger than ever as the new faction took out RAW’s resident babyfaces Sasha Banks, Bayley and Mickie James. Arguably most interesting of all though was the group’s following attack on champion Alexa Bliss as the trio was established as a threat to the whole division, hero or villain. In the weeks since ‘Absolution’ have continued to stand tall, dominating babyfaces, staring down Asuka and making Bliss frantically run for her life at the first sight of danger. Overall, it’s been pretty good stuff.
It’s been refreshing to watch an angle that feels somewhat unique and I appreciate the almost cautious pacing too as its allowing the audience to understand the story and its characters without moving too chaotically. However, I do believe that angles such as this one require drama sooner rather than later as otherwise, it runs the risk of becoming formulaic. Three heels getting the better of three opposing babyfaces is fun for a while and I’m sure the eventual six-woman tag will be good but that structure can be limiting. Thankfully, there’s a couple of pieces of this puzzle that can potentially add the spice and suspense it requires.
Those pieces sit in the middle of the 3 vs. 3 dynamic and come in the form of the undefeated Asuka and brand champion Alexa Bliss. Though Absolution have already attacked the latter, Bliss is yet to side with Banks and co, which leaves possibilities open and can potentially create some tremendous TV as she seems almost required to join forces with her biggest rivals since joining RAW. Asuka on the other hand is completely alone. She hasn't helped out her Team RAW Survivor Series friends but also is yet to take any damage from the stalking stable.
That makes one ponder her position in the battle but you get the feeling that she isn’t the character to fight with numbers on her side and so once again, it makes her eventual place in all of this rather intriguing. To me though, when I look at all the players involved there’s one name that seems most suited to adding a special extra layer to the new dynamic in RAW’s women’s division. Sasha’s best friend and perennial victim: Bayley. I want to make it clear that I don’t see Bayley as some waste or flop but I do feel a change of direction would be helpful and to me this is that opportunity.
Now don’t get me wrong, I understand that Bayley has already fell victim to Absolution’s attacks but there’s something awfully gripping about the idea of Paige swaying her view on things and convincing her to stab Banks in the back when she needs her help most. Since their famous NXT programme, Bayley and Sasha’s inevitable main roster feud has been highly discussed and it’s usually with Banks reprising her role as the villainous ‘BOSS’ against the beloved hugger. To me that only makes a potential Bayley turn all the more interesting and best of all, Absolution offers a chance for her to be protected.
Bayley is an asset in her current role but I’m personally interested to see how she’d fare on the other side of things and with Paige by her side, she wouldn't have much pressure on her as far as lengthy promos, an area she’s not always thrived in. It’s a chance to test the waters with Bayley as a villain, all with the individual pressure somewhat muted but still at the center of a hot angle. If it doesn't work out, it wouldn't be hard to have Bayley right her wrongs and move away from the dark side as she fights back against Paige’s command.
This is an angle that shows great promise but for it to really shake things up to their core, it needs to break up the formula in my view. Some twists and turns would do just that and Bayley being one of them seems like a possibility that helps all involved. Bayley has a new coat of paint, Absolution has a great worker in its line-up and RAW’s babyfaces have a new foe with a reason to resent them. Overall though, I don’t really mind where this whole thing goes as long as it’s somewhere meaningful. This has potential to be more than just another flash in the pan female faction made only to fill some TV time.