Paige not returning on the go-home RAW show to Survivor Series may have been a blessing in disguise.
This week’s Raw saw a big return, but it wasn’t the one the WWE Universe had been expecting. The anticipated arrival of the original Anti-Diva, Paige, never came. We were served up instead with the King of Kings, Triple H.
Paige not coming back on this week’s RAW was a move that could help her in the long run.
Reason 1: SmackDown needs her more
Originally, reports suggested that Paige would be headed to SmackDown when she returned, even though she’d originally been assigned to RAW before her lengthy absence. Only in the past 72 hours or so has there been a fever pitch of speculation that she’d return to Monday nights. That hasn’t happened thus far. It would be better for now if it ultimately doesn’t.
With RAW getting Asuka, Paige’s presence would be very welcome on SmackDown, whose women’s division is in sore need of a fresh face. Paige has a better chance of standing out there than she does on RAW at the moment, where Asuka is set to have a titanic showdown with Alexa Bliss sooner or later, leaving Paige without much to do.
If the purported Horsewomen match happens at WrestleMania, that would surely put Paige in a place to carry the blue brand’s women’s title program into the Show of Shows.
Additionally, putting her on RAW’s Survivor Series team would have made for a less entertaining match, as with Asuka and Nia Jax fighting in the red corner, the teams are already lopsided. Paige would have made it even more so, with Charlotte now the SmackDown Women’s Champion.
Speaking of Survivor Series, Paige lucked out in another way by not being on RAW’s side…
Reason 2: She’d be overshadowed on team red at Survivor Series
Should Paige have joined RAW’s team at Survivor Series, what then? She’d likely have just been in the match and gotten eliminated.
With the spotlight likely going to Asuka and Nia Jax, there wouldn’t be a lot for Paige to do on RAW’s side. She’d feel more like a third wheel than a huge part of the team.
Conversely, if she were to go to SmackDown and finds herself on their team in lieu of Charlotte, she’d have a bigger spotlight on her. She’d instantly be one of its strongest players that would make the contest less unequal and could well be the star of team blue. In turn, it would boost her standing more going forward.
Reason 3: It was too late
Survivor Series has had a big number of late card changes, most of them for the better, but Paige returning just in time for the show would likely have felt a bit hollow in the end.
Instead of saving her return for an angle which she could have been a star in, it would have been lessened by putting her into a multi-woman match she was unlikely to shine brightly in any way (at least should she have returned to RAW instead of SmackDown).
A meaningful singles program waiting for her after her big return would be more compelling to watch over the long term, whether she ultimately winds up on RAW or SmackDown. She’s been away for so long that there are a number of opponents she’s never faced before waiting for her.
A return against one of them would make more of an impact than being randomly inserted into a Survivor Series team with little time left to build her up.
Perhaps that could have happened had she returned a month ago, but there’s too little time left to make the most of her comeback now. She’s not on the level of a Triple H where a return makes an immediate seismic impact regardless of the circumstances.
Let’s see what happens after Survivor Series.