WWE Superstar Eva Marie hasn’t been seen in a WWE ring since she was suspended last August for violating the company’s wellness policy. WWE Superstar Paige has been on hiatus with an injury since being drafted to RAW in July, and was also suspended while on hiatus twice, once in August and once in October, for violating the wellness policy. Both women are still featured on WWE Total Divas, the E! Network reality show was was filmed before either wrestler had an apparent falling out with the company.
But things get stranger.
One of the featured storylines on Total Divas has been Paige’s relationship with former WWE Superstar Alberto Del Rio, who departed the company on what appear to be unfavorable terms in September. Dirt sheet rumors have long reported that WWE is unhappy with the pair dating, even before it became an on-screen storyline on Total Divas. Del Rio is vocally critical of WWE, especially after Paige was the victim of the hacking and release of multiple sex tapes and photos, as evidenced in several videos and social media messages he’s posted. Current WWE Superstar Xavier Woods, who was also featured in one of the hacked sex tapes, continues to wrestle for the company and does not appear to have been punished.
Back in February, rumors started to surface claiming Eva Marie could be done with WWE, having deleted all mention of working for the company from her social media accounts, dyed her trademark red hair black, and accepted offers to work on movies and other projects outside of WWE. Eva Marie has also, for the most part, stopped tweeting about wrestling during wrestling events, though she continues to promote Total Divas, which she still appears on.
But here’s where things get really strange.
WWE continues to acknowledge the existence of Eva Marie, who seems to be done with the company and probably won’t renew her contract, in the course of their promotion for Total Divas. But though E! Network commercials do mention them, WWE has done their best to avoid mentioning Paige and Alberto Del Rio’s storyline on the show. In a recap of last week’s episode, Eva Marie’s story is mentioned, but not Paige’s, even though it was an important subplot in the episode, which focused on the WWE Draft and the concerns of the various couples as to whether they’ll be split up on different shows. Paige ends up split from Del Rio, with Del Rio drafted to Smackdown and Paige drafted to RAW, but in WWE’s recap, not only is that not mentioned, but it’s directly contradicted, with the recap claiming Lana is the only person “burnt” by the brand split:
In more overarching news, the WWE Draft has come at last, and two ladies in particular — Naomi and Renee Young — are spitting nails over the possibility that they’ll be separated from their significant others. They don’t seem to be getting a lot of sympathy from the higher-ups they plead their case to, so both women quietly ponder the ideas of working somewhere else if their lives are upended by the Draft. It all ends up working out fine, as Renee, Dean Ambrose, Naomi and Jimmy Uso all end up on SmackDown LIVE. Eva Marie even ends up getting drafted after an episode’s worth of suspense, though that gets goofy for a minute when she mistakenly thinks she’s been called to Raw instead of SmackDown LIVE. The only one who really ends up getting burnt here is Lana, who’s drafted to Raw away from all of her friends and has to try to scrounge up new relationships with Alicia Fox and Nia Jax. Crushin’ it.
Paige and Del Rio are also reportedly not featured in WWE’s advertising for the show, and Paige isn’t being featured in photo galleries this season. And that’s not an oversight. Paige is not featured at all in this 58-photo gallery of last week’s episode 11.
But wait! It gets even weirder still!
Paige is currently the subject of a biopic about her life, being produced by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in conjunction with WWE, with some scenes even being filmed at a WWE live event recently, and more rumors say that WWE expects Paige back in the ring by the Summer. So if Paige is still in the company’s good graces, while Eva Marie is on her way out, why talk about Eva Marie and not Paige? Is WWE just trying to ride this whole Alberto Del Rio thing out, hoping that when Paige comes back on the road, distance will cause the pair to grow apart?
That might prove difficult if Paige and Del Rio get married, as they recently said they’re planning in June, though they originally said they would wed in March. And what will WWE do if Del Rio decides to come along for the ride, and meets up with the “big-nosed” WWE exec who he has been calling a p**** on social media?
In pro wrestling, the backstage drama is often more exciting than the action taking place inside the ring. In this particular case, it isn’t even close.
Paige, at least, seems to be aware of the situation:
Total Divas airs tonight at 9PM on the E! Network.