WWE’s storytelling strategy frequently involves pushing angles for too long without much build week to week. Over time, this creates a loss of interest in the feud and the wrestlers involved. The angle between Naomi and Sonya Deville is headed in that direction and it’s time to bring it to an end before both women see a decrease in their stock.
Deville and Naomi have been locked into this angle for months, starting before Survivor Series back in November. Deville continues to stifle Naomi’s desire to compete and get back into the title picture. At first, there was a lot of potential for what could have been a compelling women’s angle; especially at a time when the WWE needs to build more important feuds outside of the title picture.
Naomi remains popular with fans and has a massive following across all social media. Her fanbase has continued to push to see her better utilized and given more time on television. Deville’s return to a consistent wrestling schedule has also been sought after; especially after her surprise return in early 2021. WWE has the opportunity to elevate two women at the same time, as they need more foes that can rival The Four Horsewomen.
As this feud continues, it’s becoming less and less likely the long-term impact will truly benefit either woman. Now, Shayna Baszler is being involved and defeated in matches in less than three minutes. She’s another wrestler that fans want to see pushed as a top contender but is frequently placed in meaningless spots.
WWE’s lack of explanation behind the genesis of this angle is becoming a problem. It’s been months and Deville has yet to say why she’s set her sights on Naomi. Understandably so, some have pointed out this angle is crossing into the space of using race as a low-hanging catalyst. Deville frequently comes off as an angry “Karen” in the workplace, gaslighting her Black female coworker. Can the WWE tell such a story with the nuance it needs? No, as history has shown multiple times, these types of angles aren’t their forte.
At some point Naomi must get the upper hand on Deville, right? WWE consistently books their babyfaces as idiots and after weeks of problems between the two, Naomi should no longer fall for any of Deville’s tricks. But there’s no telling when this feud will end. With WWE Day 1 a few weeks away, the best way to blow this match off would be with a one-on-one contest at the PPV. Naomi should pick up the win and the two ladies go in different directions. But this is WWE Creative at the helm and things are never that simple.
Naomi and Sonya Deville are two women that fans want to see in the main event picture. This feud between them could have been the starting point to a run that saw either of them booked as a top star. Unfortunately, as it continues the desire to see it come to an end grows because there doesn’t seem to be an end game in sight.