In an escalating and high-stakes game of retaliation, Divas Champion AJ Lee will defend her title against Paige at WWE Battleground. Though Paige has appeared humbled, if not wholly respectful toward AJ, since losing the butterfly-emblazoned championship, the short history of this rivalry suggests serious tension is brewing just below the surface.
The Diva of Tomorrow stole AJ’s spotlight, and her title, the night after WrestleMania in an impromptu match that began with Paige congratulating The Black Widow on being the longest-reigning Divas Champion in history. After the victory, the 21-year-old strung together a series of wins against top competition, despite other Divas’ claims that Paige was in over her head and simply enjoying a lucky streak.
Her luck ran out on June 30 when AJ returned unannounced and, in a scene oddly reminiscent of the night after WrestleMania, offered her congratulations to the champion. Skeptical, Paige insisted she wouldn’t be goaded into a title match, only to do just that and, within moments, lose the title.
Whether she was a victim of AJ’s manipulation or her own hubris, Paige will have a dangerous and determined champion standing across the ring from her on July 20. Will the battle be won through strategy, with victory belonging to the woman who’s best able to navigate her opponent’s subterfuge, or will the match be just plain vicious? And how will it end, with a fast rollup or surprise attack, as both previous AJ-Paige encounters have ended so far, or will either AJ or Paige be forced to submit to the other’s painful maneuvers?
Watch this highly anticipated Divas Championship Match when it airs live on WWE Battleground, available on WWE Network and pay-per-view Sunday, July 20, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT!