Nikki Bella has been WWE Divas Champion for 260 days as of me writing this post. She’s close to becoming the longest reigning Divas Champion of all time, surpassing AJ Lee‘s title run of 295 days. WWE have done a great job at constantly reminding us of this as Michael Cole and JBL seem to mention this every time she’s out there on RAW. I have no problem with this as it’s a great way to put over your champion as WWE should. Exploring with idea that Nikki Bella might make history by holding this title longer than anyone makes your top diva look credible and gets fans excited, wondering whether she’ll be able to do it. Then on this week’s RAW, JBL said something which really made me realize something about the Bella Army. JBL (and I think Cole said something like this too) stated that the Bellas were still on top of the divas division as Nikki’s still the Divas Champion.
I had a problem with this statement because usually, I’d support the idea of the champion automatically being the best in a particular division. However, the Bella Army has mostly been decimated on television during this triple threat feud between themselves, Team B.A.D. and the PCB (Good god. Please give Paige, Becky Lynch and Charlotte a better team name WWE!). On the two episodes of RAW prior to this week’s, Nikki Bella lost both her matches on those shows! Granted, the Bellas do have a good record on house shows. However, you can’t claim that the Bella Army are “on top” when the PCB and B.A.D. sharing the spoils in the feud with the Bellas. Now obviously you can argue that JBL was just acting heelish, but Michael Cole said it as well. It’s just not believable.
Furthermore, WWE using Nikki’s title reign in order to establish the Bella Army’s “dominance” has one major flaw. After JBL said what he said, I looked up Nikki Bella’s match records on the Internet Wrestling Database. It’s a website which gives you the details of everyone’s matches, star ratings etc. I’ll put in the link at the bottom of this article. Anyway, I looked it up because I was SURE that Nikki Bella was in violation of the 30 day title defense rule.
For those of you unaware, the 30 day title defense rule requires a champion to defend his/her belt within 30 days of their last defense. If not, then the champion would usually have their title stripped from them for being unable to defend the title. Recent examples include Daniel Bryan and his WWE World Heavyweight and Intercontinental title reigns. Now obviously, WWE have a history with ignoring the rule. Most notably, Brock Lesnar went 127 days without defending the WWE World Heavyweight Championship!
It annoys me to no end to see WWE blatantly ignoring the rule. But I thought that at least Nikki would be defending the title on house show. As it turns out… as I was wrong!
Nikki Bella officially became in violation of the rule on Monday, having last defended the belt on July 12th in a house show. On television (or the WWE Network for that matter) Nikki hasn’t defended the title since July 4th on the Beast in the East special. In case you’re wondering, Intercontinental Champion Ryback is also in violation of the rule. To read more about that, click on this link to read more about that.
So the one factor that the announcers are claiming that are keeping the Bellas on top of the division is really undermined by the fact that she’s not defended the championship since the revolution storyline began. Heck she’s not even defending the belt at Summerslam, the second biggest WWE PPV of the year. The WWE considers Royal Rumble, Summerslam and Wrestlemania as their three biggest PPVs of the year. Guess what? In all of those PPVs this year, Nikki has not defended the Divas Championship in any of them! At Royal Rumble 2015, Nikki was in a tag team match with Brie. At Wrestlemania, she was in another tag team match with her sister. And last night on RAW, it was announced that she and the rest of the “Bella Army” will be in a three team elimination match with the PCB and Team B.A.D at Summerslam!
The point is, you can’t consider the divas championship to be the focal point of the Bella Army’s dominance when it’s rarely even defended. WWE don’t even care enough about the championship to have it defended at their biggest shows of the year. It’s not even been defended in the last month! And that’s largely due to the fact that this new storyline is centered around the idea of alliances and gang warfare. Because of this, Nikki has mostly been used in tag team matches on television and on house shows. It’s hard to consider Nikki’s title reign a credible one when she’s not defending the belt half the time. At least during AJ Lee’s title reign, she defended it nearly every PPV. And even when she did go PPVs without a defense, she at least defended the title on RAWs. Nikki’s not even doing that.
What’s the point in hyping up Nikki’s title reign on TV and social media when she’s not even defending it due to this feud? It hurts the Bella Army’s relevancy in this feud, as Nikki’s title reign has become pointless. That argument of the Bellas winning this feud due to the championship is CRUCIAL to the Bellas’ part in this storyline, and yet WWE have not once backed up this argument with let’s say… A TITLE MATCH.
Trust me, I think this Divas Revolution storyline has been good so far. Other than a few aspects of it being repetitive, it’s given the divas division a push in the right direction. But you know what else will give this division a push… some title matches! What purpose does the division serve if the championship has not even been defended? What motivation do the rest of the divas have if the main title isn’t even being defended? Granted, there’s been talks about introducing new divas tag team titles. However if you’re going to consider new titles, why not have your current top divas title get defended once in a while?
NOTE: I realized after writing this that I got the Bella’s stable name wrong. I think I’ve been putting the “Bella Army” instead of “Team Bella”. Small thing, but I just assumed that’s what they were called considering Nikki sends out Instagram posts with the hashtag #BellaArmy. I personally prefer that to “Team Bella” anyway!