Total Divas returned this week as part of it's third season and we saw Paige make her debut this week on the show, revealing a different side to WWE's Anti-Diva. Reality shows like Total Divas can be interesting for the fans to get a behind the scenes look at the lives of WWE Superstars and Divas, but it can also reveal perhaps a little more about the talent on the company and what happens in their lives outside the ring. It breaks down that fourth wall of perception and reality. But after her appearance on the show and us seeing a different side to her it has to be asked is Paige the Anti-Diva any more?
Paige was actually shown being a fun, excited Diva who likes to have fun in the opening part of the show. I'm not trying to say she isn't like that in real life but the perception you get from her character is it's like she is a completely different person. Her introduction showed she has a unique personality and perhaps may have taken some fans by surprise. I'll admit no one has ever made a yellow fire hat look so good either and her rolling around the floor while wearing it is the kind of thing I'd probably want to do too. But the fact is many fans will have seen the show and instantly the character has lost it's believability in terms of her being the Anti-Diva, especially with fans seeing her hanging out backstage with the other Divas. I know it's not the 1980's anymore and kayfabe is dead and gone but you'd think WWE would want to keep some mysteries and illusions alive.
So we saw the real side of Paige come out and while I may sound like I'm against having seen it I'm actually all for it because she seems like she would be a riot to spend some time with. While the prank on Natalya could be seen as immature by many in telling her the brownie she ate contained cannabis, I see it she was trying to have some fun and fit in with the crowd. It should have clicked she was kidding because there is no way WWE would let E! broadcast footage of one of it's Divas willingly let another Diva take a drug. And to her credit Paige tried to make up for it by going to Natalya's house and apologising but I guess if any of us were in Natalya's position we would probably be somewhat angry initially too. But again this is another example of the Paige character losing the Anti-Diva image given to her on television.
Does her exposure to the show hurt the gimmick? You can't deny that it does and fans are already seeing a more fun side to her but there is an element of danger that this could ruin Paige. We've seen already on TV that she has adapted her character the last few months to show an alternative side to her and I guess that is in preparation for what was due to be revealed on Total Divas. But there is an argument of course that it doesn't hurt Paige at all and it could actually be really beneficial to her. The majority of fans watching the show are going to be adults or teenagers, who most likely know wrestling has pre-determined outcomes and the characters are just that and not a true portrayal of the real person. If anything it can actually be said that it shows Paige has an amazing ability to portray a range of different characters which will give her an advantage going into the future in that she can adapt her character and personality to match certain situations and more importantly will be able to change with the times as the WWE product caters to different audiences and age ranges over time.
WWE and Paige need to make sure above all Paige has her character protected if they are going to make the Anti-Diva stuff believable. Total Divas will expose more about Paige as a person and there is a danger this could ruin the Anti-Diva image she has so excellently built up since joining the company all the way through NXT. While it's great to see Paige getting more and more exposure and shows the companies belief in her I think they need to seriously think about the portrayal of her character going forward. The worst thing the company could do is keep referring to her on screen as the Anti-Diva, as suddenly that has become very much unbelievable image now within one show. They can certainly keep Paige's image the same as that doesn't need altering as that is really working well for her, and perhaps this is maybe WWE's way of character progression for Paige, which if it is I'm all in favour of using it in that way as Paige has one hell of a big future in the WWE, and the whole wrestling industry.
There will only be more to Paige's real life persona and personality revealed on the show across the series and I am looking forward to learning more about her over time. I hope Paige featuring in Total Divas only helps her in her WWE career and that it remains a positive experience for the young Diva from Norwich, England. Has her featuring in the show harmed her character? It has in a way, but do I think that it's a bad thing overall? Absolutely not. If anything it allows the audience to connect more and more with her character and certainly gives her character more dimension and depth. Total Divas may have been the transitional end of the Anti-Diva gimmick for Paige, but it's the start of a whole new journey that can only lead to bigger and better things for the talented British Diva.