While Alexa Bliss‘ ascension to the top of the ladder in the Smackdown Women’s Division in a heating feud with former Women’s Champion Becky Lynch is clearly the main event story, there’s a slow burning mystery unravelling in the secondary story, currently involving former Divas Champion Nikki Bella and her recent rival Carmella, with veteran Natalya in the middle.
Back at Survivor Series ’16, Smackdown Women’s Team Captain Nikki Bella was taken out backstage and ruled unable to compete in the evening’s elimination match. The team’s coach Natalya – who incidentally lost a match to Nikki Bella previously to Captain the team – was inserted into the match in her place. At the end of Nikki’s feud with Carmella, Carmella confessed she knew who had taken Nikki out at Survivor Series. It was Natalya.
This past week, we saw Natalya attempt to confront Nikki Bella to convince her friend that Carmella is lying and that Carmella is just trying to destroy their friendship as revenge for losing to her recently. Carmella denies this saying that Natalya is jealous of being in the WWE so long and not having the same mainstream success Nikki has had with Total Divas and Total Bellas. Nikki isn’t sure which one to believe, but so far seems to be leaning towards the decision that Natalya is guilty.
But who could it be? How long will this mystery play out? What routes could it go?
Here’s three very possible scenarios on how this could play out…and one that will almost certainly not.
Obviously, Natalya luring Nikki into a false sense of safety early on would be a great way to soften the Bella before viciously attacking her again. Natalya has been quiet since her post-Wrestlemania 32 feud with Women’s Champion Charlotte, she’s about due something with some meat. A heel Natalya doesn’t always work, but she could get some good heat against someone like Nikki, who the casual fans still adore. It could even end up with Carmella being revealed as Natalya’s new protege. Natalya had Carmella play devil’s spoiler to throw Nikki off to help bring Nikki closer to Natalya. Why not pair the Queen of Harts with the Princess of Staten Island. Knowing the WWE, they’ll name them the Royal Bitches.
There’s always a very good chance that Carmella is flat out lying and Natalya is the victim here. If she can turn Nikki against Natalya, then Nikki will trust Carmella abit and create another opening to take down her new rival once and for all. Natalya would get some good sympathy as a face (where she works best) and maybe face someone like Naomi in a little friendly feud to showcase Naomi’s stuff before moving Naomi to face Alexa Bliss. Or maybe even have Natalya take on the returning Mickie James.
#3. MICKIE JAMES
Speaking of Mickie James. Think about it. It’s been revealed that former WWE Women’s and Divas Champion Mickie James is returning to the company in January – which is only a few weeks away – and is heading to Smackdown Live. Why not bring her back as a heel? Or at worst, one of those tweeners that the internet will love but the casual fans will hate (like AJ Styles vs John Cena). James has a legitimate gripe against Nikki Bella and her “ilk”. She was practically ran out of the WWE, the last of the wrestling women from the Ruthless Aggression Era, by the incoming Divasion of Kelly Kelly, LayCool and the Bella Twins. Her last run ended with the horrible “Piggie James” storyline. But she’s back and just had a phenomenal match versus Asuka last month at NXT Takeover: Toronto – which would place her at the scene of the crime in the narrative. Suppose Carmella and Natalya are swerves, red herrings in the story. Suppose Mickie James return is to reveal herself as Nikki Bella’s mystery attacker.
Back in 1999, the WWE’s biggest Superstar, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, was the victim of a hit and run at Survivor Series ’99, and missed some substantial time away from the ring. During that time, both Triple H and The Rock made use of Austin’s absence to enter the Main Event picture. Fingers were pointed, witnesses were questioned, but no one knew who took out the Rattlesnake. In early 2000, it was finally revealed to be Rikishi. The former fan favourite had done it to help out his family. He did it to help his cousin, The Rock, get ahead faster in the WWE. Now fast forward to 2016. Rikishi is the father of current Smackdown Superstar Jimmy Uso, who is married to Smackdown Superstar Naomi. The past week, Naomi has voiced a little frustration with her position in the company on Twitter:
The hell if I know but I'm about over all the bs im giving my all n have since day 1 https://t.co/Jg0k1gNCfD
— Trinity Fatu (@NaomiWWE) December 7, 2016
— Trinity Fatu (@NaomiWWE) December 7, 2016
If Rikishi will take out “Stone Cold” Steve Austin for a cousin, what do you think he would do for his own son’s wife, his daughter-in-law? Taking out one of the marquee names is a page out of the old Rikishi Fatu playbook.
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