A-SIDES GETS RAW: TALKING THE RING AND THE ROAD WITH WWE DIVAS CHAMPION PAIGE
Bra and panties matches are all well and good, but arguably many diehard wrestling fanatics might dismiss gimmick matches like that as simply “eye candy” with a chance of a lucky wardrobe malfunction. But, there’s more to the Womens Wrestling Division than a thong, hair toss, and ass slap. While some hardcore fans may not take female wrestling seriously, anyone who followed sports entertainment back in the day and even after know that a Mae Young Bronco Buster was just as entertaining as a Bradshaw clothesline. (By the way, I purposely moved timelines there for effect.)
In any event, the reason I mention this is because World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has had a long line of talented lady grapplers grace their ring-ropes for decade upon decade – but it’s arguably heating up the most it ever has right now. AJ Lee, that sexy, cute, and totally bonkers “diva” has helped lead the way for a few years now, and a few months ago, Paige – a woman who comes from a family of wrestlers and has been training since she was 13 – took the ball and ran with it. Let’s focus on the latter diva, who doesn’t need any bells or whistles to “get over” with the crowd. Her brains, beauty, and ring skills put her at the forefront of er division, which is saying something when you consider she’s just about brand-spanking new.
Like Lorde devoured alt-radio stations out of the blue last year, Paige made her mark and put together what I’d refer to as the single most impressive debut of any woman wrestler in the history of the profession. The raven-haired Brit rose through the ranks quickly on WWE’s NXT, and became the youngest Divas Champion ever (at 21) when she defeated Lee on Monday Night Rawjust one day after WrestleMania XXX. Rather than go over her stats, her sass, her dynamic ring presence and skill set, I’m going to jump right into the video interview I did with her earlier this month at Westchester County Center in White Plains, NY. Why? Because you’d rather look at her than read anything more from me. A-Sides took a different approach than most wrestling interviews in that wrestling actually took a backseat to pop culture and impromptu madness instead. Case in point: look for “run-ins” from Goldust and Dean Malenko mid-interview.
Watch on, and apologies for my skin-tight Threadless T-shirt, which still resonates but shrunk in the wash. I will say this, however, it’s fitting that Paige played soccer throughout her high school education. As you’ll see in the interview, she’s a master at delightfully breaking balls. Oh, and one last thing, the WWE Network is just $9.99 a month.
About A-Sides Music
Jon Chattman’s “A-Sides Music” series was established in August 2011 and usually features artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometimes humorous) way. No bells, no whistles — just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, I’m hoping this is refreshing. Artists have included: fun, Courtney Love, Air Supply, Birdy, Sleigh Bells, MisterWives, Echosmith, Charli XCX, Sharon Jones, Pharrell Williams, Feist, American Authors, Imagine Dragons, Gary Clark Jr., and more! A-Sides theme written and performed by Blondfire.