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Potential romance angle for GM Paige?
Now that Paige has asserted her new role as Daniel Bryan's replacement as the SmackDown General Manager, she joins a exclusive class of female authority figures not named Stephanie McMahon in WWE history. From predecessors like Eve Torres to contemporaries like AJ Lee, Paige finds herself in a very special opportunity to use her talking skills and play an even bigger role on the show than she had prior to her in-ring retirement.
However, like peanut butter to jelly, women in authoritative roles in WWE are often synonymous with romantic storylines-- something few and far between in the WWE, outside of incorporation of real-life relationships. From angles such as the McMahon-Helmsey Era, La Familia with Vickie Guerrero and Edge or AJ Lee and John Cena, the power dynamics of the more marginalized of the two sexes are often tantalizing material for the creative team.
Since I'm obviously here for this since I made the thread, here are my picks, based on likelihood.
#5 - Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins is by far one of the most talented male Superstars on the roster; perhaps top five for in-ring performance in the entire WWE. With that said, the newly crowned Intercontinental Champion doesn't really need this storyline to establish himself, but he'd be really fun in it. Like Edge before him, Rollins has experience with manipulating authority to get his way higher up the ranks. And while he's experienced success in capturing the Intercontinental and Tag Team championships, it's been almost two years since he's tasted World championship gold. What better way to get back to the top in the same way that you got there in the first place? With a certain edge being lost in Rollins' character since turning face, a heel Rollins evil laughing his way into vulnerable GM Paige's heart seems like a storyline that could make SmackDown interesting again, but with Seth and Paige not being close outside of the ring and Paige being besties with Seth's ex, it doesn't seem like this one will materialize.
#4 - Dolph Ziggler
I know, I know. Don't flame me. Allow me to explain. Despite Dolph Ziggler's physical, personal and professional heydays being well behind him, WWE, for whatever reason, still gets hot for him. To the point where despite having zero intentions of keeping him in a solid storyline or promoting him over much more promising, younger talents, he does occasionally get a shock win and gets fast-tracked into a match that seems pointless for him to have. While I don't suggest this one out of personal desire to see it myself, my offering of him comes as a way to give said booking a point. Ziggler, being twelve years Paige's elder (blech), has a rather familiar tone to it and would definitely resonate and generate heat with audiences if she were to take into his advances, even if Ziggler's most recent relationship storyline did very little favors for his career.
#3 - Sonya Deville
Oh, y'all wanted a twist, eh?
This one is tricky, but explainable. And feasible! WWE is looking to incorporate an LGBT storyline in the near future. Eyes turn to Finn Balor, who's getting pride merch, but girl... rather than leaping over that hurdle, we could just go with a more easy route and not send a man to do a woman's job. Sonya Deville is, out-of-character, WWE's first openly lesbian performer. And she's developed quickly into a strong standout in the ring. With recent, relevant history with Paige and with all likelihood pointing to her and Mandy Rose going their separate ways for the latter to align with Goldust after the Superstar Shakeup, perhaps this could be their answer. This would in all likelihood, probably be a storyline between two babyfaces rather than the aforementioned suggested heel pairings, and while seemingly a risk doesn't seem too offensive in perspective. Sonya and Paige are great friends out-of-character, Paige is a huge proponent for LGBT rights and this definitely seems like less of an affront to her boyfriend than WWE pairing her with a guy would be.
#2 - Jinder Mahal
This one is... a choice. But one I'll stand by.
Jinder Mahal is one of the few people in WWE that can still draw legitimate heat, so who better to hold the other half of a power couple than him? While he leaves a lot to be desired as an in-ring performer, he's definitely capable of holding his own in a storyline and his more affluent character and persona pursuing a romance with the more down-to-Earth/working class Paige could be an interesting exchange of dynamic on the show that could capture the attention of audiences looking for a more unexpected story arc. Not to mention it'd piss people off.
#1 - Baron Corbin
This one is a no-brainer. Like the aforementioned Ziggler, Corbin has been floating in and out of the upper midcard on SmackDown Live for the better part of a year, going as far as to win the Money in the Bank Ladder Match... only to lose his attempted to cash-in.
With so many opportunities come and gone for him to finally capture the WWE Championship, Corbin needs to get a little bit creative to stand out from the pack amongst accomplished technical wrestlers such Styles, Bryan and Nakamura-- so, how convenient is it that Paige is around? With an obvious aesthetic match and a previously established friendship out-of-character, this feels like the perfect fit for a potential romantic storyline for Paige, especially with Corbin's talking ability. His snark countered against Shane McMahon's casual authority seems like something bound to make Paige swoon, and could definitely lead to some entertaining segments on SmackDown Live.
Though it's still yet to be determined how Paige will fare in her role, with all things going swimmingly in hypothesis, would you like to see Paige in a romantic storyline as the General Manager or not? And with who, if so? What do you think of my picks? Would you suggest someone not listed?