Firmly entrenched on Raw from the off with her new ‘Allegiance’ group made up of Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville, how will WWE book their beloved returnee now she’s surprisingly stepped back into battle?
10. Raw Rage
Riding the wave of an explosive comeback pop, Paige was in fine form as she walked the Raw ramp milking the response from the Houston Crowd. The cheers didn’t particularly dissolve when she set her new accomplices on Mickie James, Sasha Banks and Bayley as their Number One Contender’s Fatal Four-way alongside Alicia Fox completely collapsed.
The three in the ring may technically be babyfaces, but the booking of the league on Monday Nights this year has been so pitiful that most have been reduced to shadows of their former selves, with any significant traction disappearing alongside title aspirations.
Less than a year earlier, and Bayley and Banks especially taking such a brutal beating would have been loathed by the live crowds, but the Toyota Center attendees were far too entranced by Paige’s arrival to care.
Over the upcoming weeks, the trio need to mercilessly continue their assaults until they are firmly established as a vile threat to the very fabric of Monday Night Raw. WWE established a temporary ‘Welcoming Committee’ stable on SmackDown Live! as a vehicle to establish new arrival Charlotte Flair as a blue brand babyface. They’re capable of resetting the character moulds with similar beatdowns.
As part of her renewed reign of terror on Raw, Paige will see Sasha Banks as an old rival and brand new threat.
Though it’s hard to champion her victories over the past year without acknowledging her instantaneous failures, ‘The Boss’ should be the first to highlight her contrasting life as a WWE Superstar since the 2016 Brand Split. She’ll note that while Paige disappeared almost entirely from view, she went on to win multiple Women’s Titles and make history alongside Charlotte and others on the flagship show.
Realising the need to topple her to reassert her authority, Paige will utilise Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose to deliver beatings to ‘The Boss’ as a precursory weakening ahead of a major Raw main event.
Noting that Sasha has only been in this position before due to piggy-backing her successes, Paige will defeat the depleted Banks in Raw’s final topliner of 2017, before again setting Deville and Rose on her after the match. Making the save for her friend, Bayley will try and fail to the even the odds as the last image fans see this year is of The Allegiance standing tall over the fallen prodigious pair.
8. Divide And Conquer
Setting her sights on permanently removing Bayley and Banks from the Raw Roster, Paige outlines her intent to rid she show and main roster of both. She notes how she kicked the door down for all the women of NXT to receive such opportunities, but Banks and Bayley have stolen credit for changing perceptions with their TakeOver: Brooklyn classic.
Nostalgically sharing warm memories of their legendary wars, ‘The Hugger’ and ‘The Boss’ seem temporarily back on track in their efforts to take down The Allegiance after a challenging 2017 saw both suffer significant setbacks.
The pair combine to hand Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville their first defeats in singles and tag team matches, but are less successful in a handicap match when Paige targets the injured shoulder of Bayley throughout. The game former Women’s Champion attempts to fight through the pain despite a relentless beating, but a referee stoppage awards the contest to the heels when she passes out in the deadly Scorpion Crosslock.
Whilst Bayley recovers the following week, Paige, Rose and Deville beat down Sasha again, leading her to the conclusion that perhaps an amicable separation is needed when her former NXT rival returns the following week. Their relationship status remains set to ‘Complicated’ ahead of the first ever Women’s Royal Rumble.
7. Top Of The Pile
Recent additions to the roster as well as the inclusion of NXT one-night deals and an open invitation to any former performer allows the company to present the first ever Women’s Royal Rumble at the January pay-per-view. As with their male counterparts, 30 superstars compete to become Number One contender to a Women’s Title of their choosing.
Entering at #21 (the age she was when she made her main roster debut), Paige outlasts every other star with help along the way from The Allegiance. After several weeks of dissension driven by the beatings they’ve received, Bayley and Banks come together to eliminate Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose leaving them in final four alongside Paige and Asuka.
Ostensibly terrified of a potential fight against the ‘Empress Of Tomorrow’, Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss leaves her spot at the commentary table to distract the former NXT icon, allowing the other three to hoist her out. In the skirmish, a flailing Bayley forearm accidentally bashes Banks, dazing her enough for Paige to tip her over the top too.
As Banks looks infuriated with the forlorn ‘Hugger’, Paige again takes advantage, eliminating Bayley to win the match outright and become the first ever female Royal Rumble winner.
6. Title Tease
After much sign-pointing at the pay-per-view itself, Paige keeps her cards close to her chest in a promo on the following night’s edition of Monday Night Raw. She makes sure to note Alexa Bliss’ cowardice regarding Asuka’s Rumble elimination, but comments that it was her she needed to be afraid of.
The following evening on SmackDown Live!, Charlotte is just about to complete a routine title defence against Tamina when both are rushed by The Allegiance. Spurred on by Paige, Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose beat down Charlotte, Tamina and associate Lana as the ‘Anti-Diva’ struts atop the blue brand stage.
Asked repeatedly over the following weeks which championship she’ll fight for at the pay-per-view, Paige refuses to answer, instead enjoying the results of her actions speaking louder than words on the telecasts as the three beat down both rosters.
Using and abusing their strength in numbers, the trio aim to finish off the fragile friendship of Bayley and Sasha Banks on a February edition of Monday Night Raw, but the ‘Hugger’ and ‘The Boss’ are unexpectedly saved by SmackDown Live! Women’s Champion Charlotte and fellow Allegiance victim Becky Lynch.
Annoyed herself with the group, Alexa Bliss joins the fray, but turns on Charlotte immediately, standing nervously alongside Paige, Deville and Rose. An eight-woman tag match is booked for February’s pay-per-view.
5. Glue Factory
An explosive eight-women tag team match ends in carnage as The Four Horsewomen implode and Paige finally makes her WrestleMania intentions clear.
After a spirited brawl spills into four separate fights, a late miscommunication between Bayley and Sasha Banks results in the conclusive collapse of their friendship. ‘The Boss’ snaps following a ringside battle, pushing ‘The Hugger’ hard into the ringpost from behind, before re-breaking her hand on the steel steps and storming off.
Tending to Bayley in the carnage, Becky Lynch leaves Charlotte exposed to a four-on-one assault by the heels. Seeing the trouble, she tries to intervene but is herself decimated by the quartet. Paige pins ‘The Irish Lass Kicker’ to score the victory for her team, but during their collected celebrations, The Allegiance also take out Alexa Bliss.
At long last, Paige announces that ‘The Goddess’ has been her target since the Royal Rumble show of disrespect, and it’ll be the Raw Women’s Title she’ll fight for at WrestleMania.
The three depart amidst a slew of broken bodies, and are passed in the aisle by Carmella, who cashes in immediately on Charlotte to steal the SmackDown Women’s title and dart off into the crowd. As The Horsewomen and Bliss all lay defeated and destroyed, Paige can’t stifle a smirk at the destruction she’s caused.
4. Bliss Off
With her motives finally revealed, Paige kicks off her Road To WrestleMania the night after the February pay-per-view by calling out Alexa Bliss to formally accept her challenge issued the night before. Bliss notes that she has no choice in the matter following Paige’s Royal Rumble win, but reminds the ‘Diva Of Tomorrow’ that it was her that became the beneficiary of the 2016 disappearance, not Banks or Bayley.
Bliss correctly notes her 2017 successes, commenting that she’s since become the longest-reigning Raw Women’s Champion after brushing aside any and all competition on the red brand. Paige retorts, advising that she’s yet to be pinned since returning the night after the Survivor Series. She accuses Bliss of ducking her since then, knowing that her reign was destined to end as soon as they locked horns.
Their match at WrestleMania is one of several all-female clashes on the card, with the New Orleans spectacle setting a company record hosting five separate women’s matches. On the card, Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville defeat Alicia Fox and Nia Jax, but are ran off by the returning Bella Twins in a huge WrestleMania moment.
Undeterred by the new threat to The Allegiance, Paige defeats Alexa Bliss clean at the ‘Show Of Shows’, and again in her mandatory rematch on the post-WrestleMania Raw. However, the Bella threat rapidly emerges as bigger than first thought.
3. Total Divas
Backed by Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville as always, new Raw Women’s Champion Paige gloats at her latest success in the weeks following WrestleMania, but she’s interrupted by Nikki and Brie Bella alongside Alicia Fox and Nia Jax.
The twins formally announce that the group are the new and improved Team Bella, having forged a relationship with Nia Jax after she replaced Paige in a most recent season of Total Divas. Outnumbered and outmuscled as Team Bella charge the ring, The Allegiance escape through the crowd, having been reduced to running for the first time since their November debut.
Over the following weeks, the seven women compete in a variety of tag and singles battles, until Paige agrees to defend the title against the Nia Jax if the rest of the group stay backstage. Jax agrees, but it sets up an Allegiance ambush. With The Bellas and Fox locked in the dressing room, Paige, Rose and Deville Pilmanize Nia’s ankle, ruling her out of action for an undisclosed period.
The three go on to defeat Team Bella in a six-women tag match at the following pay-per-view, sending all of them off to SmackDown Live! as per an agreed stipulation.
2. Tomorrow People
On a high from their latest domination of a once-powerful force, The Allegiance issue an open challenge to the Raw roster that initially goes unchallenged. Lost in the moment, Paige brags about still not being beaten since returning in November and being the greatest women’s champion in wrestling history. Reminding fans that she was once the ‘Diva Of Tomorrow’ before becoming the ‘Woman Of Today, she concludes her spiel simply by inferring that NOBODY is ready for her.
It’s at that point Asuka’s music hits. The crowd explode as she silently stalks the ring whilst Paige readies Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville for her attack. Asuka dives in and floors her fellow NXT graduates with a raft of devastating kicks and strikes. Paige ducks a flying foot and escapes to the safety of the ramp, whilst Rose and Deville are further reduced.
Ahead of SummerSlam, Paige suggests she’ll only bother with Asuka if the ‘Empress Of Tomorrow’ can take out Sonya and Mandy beforehand. Asuka obliges, staving off copious amounts of interference to defeat both in consecutive weeks until only Paige remains. The battle between the two undefeated superstars is finally set for the ‘Biggest Party Of The Summer’.
1. Falling To An Empress
Having managed to last nearly a full year undefeated and several months as the despised Raw Women’s Champion, Paige becomes Asuka’s biggest victim as the ‘Empress Of Tomorrow’ wins her first ever main roster title in the same building she completed her final defence of the NXT one she held so proudly.
The two engage in a bonafide classic, keen to make Brooklyn as synonymous with their match as it is the countless classics that have enthralled audiences during the company’s 2015, 2016 and 2017 residencies.
With Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville completely absent following Asuka’s domination of them in the build-up, Paige no longer has her Allegiance to hide behind, and ultimately can’t compete with the expert striking and submission game of the challenger.
She pushes Asuka close at points, even forcing her to grasp the ropes with her teeth in a breath-taking Scorpion Crosslock submission attempt, but eventually succumbs to the Asuka Lock.
Loss of the title will trigger the gradual collapse of The Allegiance, as a respectful Paige aims to go at things alone as a revived babyface in the aftermath of her significant defeat. She’ll gain redemption as the months pass, leading Raw’s Survivor Series team to victory before staking her claim yet again in the 2019 Women’s Royal Rumble.