Most WWE superstars are talented in-ring performers, but don't receive high marks in the acting category. Beth Phoenix proved she's a rare exception by tremendously selling an ankle injury in an angle that comes at the ideal time for the former Divas champion.
Phoenix blurred the lines between reality and storyline during her match against Nikki Bella. It appeared her leg gave out and she couldn't put any pressure on it. The quick finish to give one of the Bella twins the victory helped add to the intrigue.
It turns out the entire thing was a work, according to Richard Gray of Wrestling News World. He reports the angle was run successfully in an attempt to avoid Phoenix from looking weak while dropping the title after a reign of more than 200 days.
Phoenix hadn't been treated like a champion as of late. She got pinned by celebrity Maria Menounos at WrestleMania and has generally taken a backseat to Eve as the main Diva who is featured on the weekly shows.
Dropping the belt without losing her mystique in the process should work out well moving forward, once she “recovers” from the injury.
It also sets the stage for Kharma's return. She made a cameo appearance at the Royal Rumble, leading many fans to believe her return to Raw was imminent. While it hasn't happened to this point, taking the title off Phoenix signals that this may soon change.
Before Kharma left the company due to her pregnancy, the Bella Twins verbally attacked her and she said payback would eventually come. This seems like the perfect opportunity to make that happen, with recent reports suggesting that the Bella's contracts end soon.
Having Kharma make a surprise return at either Extreme Rules or the next night on Raw to write them off television would provide an instant boost to her character after so much time away. It would also set up a potential feud with a returning Phoenix leading to SummerSlam.
The Divas division has really suffered without Kharma's presence. Her original debut made it seem like the division would actually matter for the first time in awhile. Hopefully the time off doesn't cause that to change.
Give credit to Phoenix for her awesome work on Monday night. Her potential feud with Kharma should provide some of the best Divas action since Trish Stratus left, and both are worthy champions, so the storyline could last for quite some time.
That should make the WWE Universe happy.
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