WWE: 10 Independent Female Stars Who Could Change the Divas Division
One thing is for sure: WWE's women's division is in a state of flux right now.
Divas Champion Beth Phoenix hasn't been seen in weeks, her tag partner Natalya has been similarly lost in the shuffle, Eve Torres is stuck in an outrageous romance angle with Zack Ryder (which seems to revolve around whether or not he can change her tires), and former poster girl for the division, Kelly Kelly, has been reduced to appearing in short backstage segments plugging her official website.
The rest of the women in the company are either stuck as managers (AJ Lee, Rosa Mendes) or have been sent to NXT: Redemption (an Internet-only show which nobody watches).
What's worse is that most women's matches and segments in WWE are greeted with complete silence by the apathetic fans in attendance.
Members of the WWE Universe have grown bored of the divas you see, and seem to regard their parts of the show as little more than the opportunity for a bathroom break.
Frankly, it looks like WWE might need some new blood to rejuvenate the stagnant division and this time the latest bikini model or Hooters waitress will not suffice.
At this point, the company needs experienced women who know what they're doing and how to garner a reaction from the fans, not novice girls who are going to need a year or two to even learn the basics of the business.
So , here are a list of 10 independent female stars who we think could turn WWE's struggling divas division around...
Christina Von Eerie
Long-time independent star Christina Von Eerie got her big break last year in TNA as a valet to real-life boyfriend Jesse Neal and Shannon Moore in "Ink Inc."
Going under her new name of "Toxxine" she immediately gained notice for her unique look, charisma and impressive wrestling skills (unlike many of the women that make up TNA's current knockout roster, the experienced Von Eerie generally knows what she's doing in the ring) and many predicted big things for her.
Alas, Neal ran into well-documented problems with TNA over an ordered move to OVW and parted ways with the company soon after. He has since revealed in interviews that that Von Eerie, while on the roster, was never actually officially under contract to TNA.
While it is possible they could work something out with Von Eerie, given some of Neal's extremely frank and candid interviews about his time in TNA (he has openly discussed the company's refusal to pay his medical bills and their reluctance to offer him a living wage), it seems those bridges may have been burned.
In recent weeks, she has been back on the lukewarm Florida indie scene working small shows with her boyfriend. She is also free to accept any offer WWE would make to her.
At a time when WWE divas are often accused of being "generic" and "cookie cutter," WWE would be smart to give the short-lived KO a look. Certainly, with her Mohawk and punk clothes, she's different and would stand out. Which may be just what the promotion's stale women's division needs right now.
During her stint in TNA as Snooki rip-off "Cookie," Becky Bayless gained positive attention and praise for her performances as Robbie E's obnoxious manager, with her enthusiasm at ringside and instincts for the business being praised in her particular (Bayless had been on the indies for years prior to getting her break with TNA).
Indeed, when she was released by America's No. 2 promotion last year, many questioned the decision, feeling she was a big asset to the roster.
Certainly if WWE is looking to bring back female managers they would be astute to give the talented Bayless a shot on the roster. As her TNA run shows, when it comes to managing, few do it better.
Hugely talented Australian women's wrestler Jesse McKay was trained at the Eagles Wrestling Academy (by Shimmer star Madison Eagles) as a teenager and made her official wrestling debut in 2007 at the age of just 18.
Since then the high-flyer has been honing her craft and busily working for numerous indies in the U.S, like Chikara and Shimmer, and has even made an appearance or two for ROH, America's No. 3 promotion.
With her dazzling in-ring talent, charisma and photogenic looks, someone like McKay would surely be a welcome addition to WWE's women's roster.
Certainly the company has struggled to find women that are good all-rounders, like McKay is, usually just settling for girls than have the looks and sex appeal and little else.
After her release in 2010, reportedly due to WWE's unhappiness with her partying lifestyle on the road (ironic because her on-screen character was that of a woman who had sworn off drugs and alcohol and vowed allegiance to the clean-living CM Punk), Serena Deeb has kicked her bad habits and worked extremely hard on the US indie scene in a bid to redeem her reputation.
While Deeb has faced serious concussions recently, hopefully it won't keep out of action long term. If she is able to return, WWE should perhaps consider giving the former Straight Edge Society member a call.
Maybe they can even put her in work/shoot angle with CM Punk again, in which she openly discusses her past problems and berates her former mentor for turning his back on her when she needed him.
While she has never been treated properly by TNA (putting it mildly), during her stint in American's No. 2 promotion Nikki Roxx nonetheless managed to showcase her solid wrestling skills, even managing to carry the hopeless Madison Rayne to some watchable matches in early 2010.
She has also shown some of that skill on various indie promotions, including Women's Wrestling Uncensored and MTV2's Lucha Libre USA, in the period since her release.
If WWE feel the the in-ring quality of their women's division needs work (and believe us, it does) they could do worse than signing this woman, who could help carry the likes of Kelly and Eve to good, competent wrestling matches.
With her stunning good looks, immense talent and athletic skill, this indie star (she has also made appearances for ROH in the past as "Princess Mia," a member of heel stable The Embassy) could be a huge asset to WWE's flagging women's division.
Certainly with the latest round of clueless non-wrestling models signed, the promotion needs a smooth, competent wrestler or two in the mix, just to help carry things in the ring.
Interestingly, indie star Brittney Savage actually made an appearance on WWE television in 2009, losing in a short match to Beth Phoenix on Smackdown during the period in which Beth's gimmick was violently squashing people.
Regrettably, it never led to the company offering the former WSU star a contract, but certainly they'd be wise to give her another look at some point down the road.
Since her debut in 2006, Canadian Nicole Matthews has wrestled for numerous indies, Shimmer and even had a stint in the campy, outrageous short-lived Wrestlicious promotion (something she probably wishes she could erase from her resume, we're sure).
Matthews and her "Canadian Ninjas" tag team partner Portia Perez have often been hailed as one of the best female tag teams ever, and, aside from her solid wrestling skills, the hard-working star has also positively oozed charisma and heel arrogance during her various stints as a bad girl in Shimmer and other places.
She undoubtedly has tons of potential to be a major name in the wrestling industry one day.
Sign her, Vince!
With appearances on TNA, Shimmer and Wrestlicious under her belt, Amber O'Neal has made quite the name for herself in the wrestling industry since she first debuted in 1999.
A hard-working, well-rounded performer, she particularly excels at promos and at playing the bitchy, vain heel (if the timing and circumstances had been right, she would have made a great fit for TNA's Beautiful People stable).
While she may be considerably older than the women WWE usually like to sign (O'Neal is in her late 30s), we reckon Vince should still give her a shot.
Certainly, since Victoria (now Tara in TNA) left, the division needs a more experienced performer to fill a veteran type role and guide the younger women through their matches and angles.
Sara Del Rey
According to Del Rey, despite their reputation for taking women's grappling seriously, TNA strongly hinted to her she was not cosmetically pleasing enough to be on their roster (this is the same company whose slogan in "Wrestling Matters," by the way).
WWE haven't shown much interest either, preferring to sign models and beauty pageant contestants.
Considering Del Ray's immense talent, this is deeply regrettable. Not only for the woman herself, but for wrestling fans, who are missing out on having such a hugely talented wrestler on their screens.
Nonetheless, Del Rey has made it clear in interviews her main goal right now is to gain a contract with America's No. 1 promotion, saying it would be a "new, interesting challenge."
Whether Del Ray will get her wish remains to be seen, but if she were to somehow gain a WWE contract, her unique look, power-based wrestling moves and dazzling athletic skill would undoubtedly make a huge and meaningful impact on the roster almost right away.