The WWE is always looking for its next top star.
On the superstars side, it’s clear that the company is trying to build up Ryback as a big-time babyface who could be a main-event caliber star for years to come. On the Divas side, things are less clear.
The Divas division is currently at an all-time low, with a thin roster and seemingly no real desire from the creative team to make women’s wrestling matter again. At the same time, though, a Diva like AJ has become one of the top stars in the company, male or female.
She has been one of the breakout stars of the WWE this year, and by all accounts, she figures to be the face of the Divas division and its biggest star for the foreseeable future.
Of course, the WWE is going to need more than just AJ to rebuild a Divas division that seems to be dying a slow death.
With the recent departures of top female stars like the Bella Twins, Kharma, Beth Phoenix and the previous face of the division, Kelly Kelly, the WWE has to find its next female star and it has to do it soon.
Many fans just aren’t sure that the next breakout Diva even works for the company. But there’s a certain developmental talent who is quickly making a name for herself down in NXT and just might be the WWE’s next big female star.
You know her as Paige.
Paige, who wrestled on the independent scene as “Britani Knight,” has created quite the buzz in developmental in a very short time there. After making a name for herself competing for promotions like SHIMMER, she signed a developmental contract with the WWE in September 2011 and made her then-FCW (now NXT) debut in January 2012.
It hasn’t taken long for Paige to quickly become an Internet favorite among wrestling fans and rightfully so. She’s still just 20 years old, but has been wrestling since 2006, which makes her somewhat of a veteran even at such a young age.
Of all the Divas currently in NXT, she has stood out from all others. Dubbed “The Anti-Diva,” she has a nontraditional look that is a refreshing change from the cookie-cutter appearance that many Divas have had over the years.
Perhaps more importantly, though, Paige is one of the best in-ring talents currently in NXT, which is why she may be the next Diva to make a big impact on the main roster.
There are rumors floating around right now that the WWE will be calling some NXT Divas up to the main roster soon in order to bolster the depleted division, and Paige figures to be first in line.
While at only 20 years old she has all the time in the world to improve down in NXT, the WWE has had a history of bringing up Divas at a young age and/or before they were ready to be on the main roster. Kelly Kelly debuted at just 19 years old, and even a Diva like Kaitlyn found herself on TV long before she should have been.
While it would be ideal for Paige to get some more seasoning down in NXT, she’s probably the best all-around female talent down there and is better than plenty of Divas—like Rosa Mendes and Aksana—who are currently on the main roster.
There’s no doubt that the WWE needs someone to breathe new life into the Divas division because Eve Torres and AJ can’t run it forever, and that someone might very well turn out to be Paige. There is already a lot of buzz surrounding her, and her debut is about as anticipated as anything Diva-related that’s happened in recent memory.
While there’s always the chance that the WWE flushes Paige’s talents down the drain with bad booking, all early indications are that she has an incredibly bright future and could be just what the struggling Divas division needs to, quite frankly, stop sucking so bad.
With less than a handful of Divas getting any TV time on a consistent basis (and a few of those doing so in non-wrestling roles), there is no better time than now to bring up Paige and see what she can do.
She may be younger than all the Divas currently on the main roster, but aside from maybe AJ, she has the talent to develop into a bigger star than all of them.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!