Since WrestleMania, we’ve had a grand total of ZERO Divas matches on WWE’s flagship Raw Supershow broadcast. In some ways it’s hardly surprising, as the entire Divas division has been in a depressingly shallow holding pattern for months as Eve got to strut her stuff out of the ring and everybody sat and quietly waited for the return of Kharma. Even Beth Phoenix, the Divas Champion, was little more than an afterthought… leaving the talented Phoenix to get involved in twitter wars with the likes of Madusa and Chelsea Handler just to keep her profile up, even as her “Pin Up Strong” partnership with Natalya was quietly dissolved.

So here we are, Monday 23rd April, and Beth is back on Raw – ready to avenge a seemingly pointless loss to Nikki Bella on Smackdown a couple of weeks ago – or so you’d think. First of all, Eve Torres uses her “executive assistant” power to make the match a lumberjill match (which added nothing), and then secondly, Beth Phoenix gets schoolgirled after an apparent ankle injury and Nikki Bella is your NEWWWWW Divas Champion.

Let’s get things straight now, we understand that the injury angle was just that – an angle – and that Beth dropping the title to Nikki has been the plan for several weeks. It was all very convincing, and just underlines the fact that Beth is *very* good at what she does. For her part, Nikki tweeted moments later

Thank you #BellaArmy for your support! Hope I made you proud tonight! I’m DIVAS CHAMPION! Finally! Can’t tell you how I feel right now! #RAW

So why drop off the title from Beth to Nikki – especially with stories of The Bellas WWE deal coming to an end? Well, karma (and Kharma) is a bitch, and it seems very likely that Nikki will end up being the sacrificial lamb for the return of the former Amazing Kong. At present, there is no Divas match scheduled at this weekend’s Extreme Rules PPV, but should Nikki throw out an “Open Challenge” on the show, I guess we have a pretty good idea what is coming.

For her part, Phoenix sees her title reign end at 205 days, just 11 short of the 216 day record of Maryse in 2009 – and seems to telegraph her part in the forthcoming (and inevitable) Phoenix vs Kharma feud as the chaser rather than the champion. I can’t say I’m massively impressed with the idea of transitioning the title from Phoenix to Kharma via Nikki, but I guess we should be thankful that for the first time in a long time, we appear to have a direction.

— Stew Allen