WWE: Why Is Kelly Kelly Now Just an Afterthought?
With her good looks, mainstream appeal and eagerness to become a better wrestler, Barbara "Kelly Kelly" Blank should have been one of the biggest female stars WWE has ever had.
Indeed, her babyface push on Raw in the summer and autumn of last year gave her fans hope that she should become the breakout star of the division and go on to have the success major female stars Rena "Sable" Mero and Trish Stratus did during their careers.
Certainly, the company seemed to be taking Kelly more seriously.
They pushed her in wrestling matches, heavily promoted her cover shoot for men's magazine Maxim and even appeared to be protecting her at certain points (notably, both her and on-screen friend Eve Torres were absent when the majority of the WWE roster walked out on Triple H back in October, leading most to believe the booking team wanted to shield the two babyface divas from being seeing in a negative light by fans).
Regrettably, this didn't exactly happen and, since she lost her Divas Championship to frequent foe Beth Phoenix at WWE's Hell in a Cell event last year, the former bikini model has struggled greatly to remain relevant in the company, making only sporadic appearances on Raw and pay-per-views.
So, how has this happened?
One reason is, undoubtedly, that they have run out of fresh ideas for her.
Of course the Phoenix/Kelly feud couldn't continue beyond Hell in a Cell. Just how many times have fans had to sit through Kelly vs. Beth Phoenix matches? Too many times to count, for sure. Phoenix desperately needed fresh challengers (which she found in Eve, Alicia Fox and, more recently, Smackdown diva Tamina Snuka).
Therefore, it wasn't surprising Kelly got put on the back burner for a while, there simply wasn't that much for her, as babyface, to do. Even a feud with Natalya would have a seen-it-all-before feel to it—considering the amount of times Kelly and the third-generation diva had faced each in single and tag team matches over the last year on episodes of Raw.
Another factor is that Kelly is just simply not as good a wrestler or personality as some of the other babyface divas. Smackdown diva A.J exudes geeky charm and charisma as Danie Bryan's long-suffering girlfriend. Likewise, former NXT winner Kaitlyn has a unique look and quirky personality that allows her to stand out.
As far as wrestling goes, Tamina Snuka is a natural worker whose ability to pull off good matches and impressive high spots will undoubtedly turn her into a fairly big star in the company at some point down the road.
What does Kelly bring to the table, exactly?
She's put in decent in-ring performances in the past, but still struggles with the basics (like running the ropes). Her mic skills are largely fine, but she doesn't exactly have tons of charisma to endear her to the masses.
One problem is: She's simply far too generic and uninteresting as a character for people to get behind. While fans may relate to AJ's geekiness or Kaitlyn's down-to-earth demeanor, what does Kelly have that makes her stand out as a personality?
The company may also be upset with Kelly pursuing options outside of WWE. Dave Meltzer reported last year that the diva was looking for modelling and acting jobs in Hollywood and had even set up an official website to her publicize herself.
Considering how WWE have frowned upon wrestlers, particularly women, positioning themselves for careers outside of the company, this may have been a big factor in her de-push.
Indeed, the release of popular diva Maria Kanellis in 2010 was widely attributed to her interest in outside projects in acting and music, according to SEScoops. In 2006, Stacy Keibler parted ways with the company mainly due to her successful stint on ABC's Dancing with the Stars and the non-WWE opportunities this was undoubtedly going to open up for her.
If WWE have already made up their minds that Kelly is simply looking at the company as a way to position herself for other, bigger things, this may explain her lack of TV time on Raw and Smackdown lately. The company may be extremely reluctant to waste their time on a girl they expect to up and leave the first chance she gets.
After closely looking at the situation from all angles, it appears that a combination of indifferent booking, her own flaws as a performer and possibly the company's paranoia about Kelly's future ambitions have led to her becoming a complete afterthought on television.
Of course, considering most of the other women in WWE seem to be afterthoughts too, this is probably something she shouldn't take too badly.
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