As we head into the summer, WWE diva Kelly Kelly finds her once-promising career in an extremely precarious position.
While the former Divas Champion remains popular with the fans (even ranking highly in this year's Maxim's Hot 100 list), she is often over-looked and marginalized by the booking team, only making sporadic appearances on Raw and pay-per-views.
A potentially-promising storyline with Eve Torres was hinted at a few times on television earlier this year, with an outraged Kelly repeatedly voicing her disgust about her former friend's despicable behavior. Ultimately though, no program ever emerged from this, with the company swiftly moving Eve on to other things.
Indeed, the only time the time two girls came to blows was during a short tag match at WrestleMania 28—and that bout existed mainly to get over celebrity guest Maria Menounos. Eve and Kelly (and Beth Phoenix, who also participated) came off as complete afterthoughts.
The return of Layla El probably hasn't helped Kelly either. After sensationally returning and winning the Divas Championship from Nikki Bella at the Extreme Rules pay-per-view, the former NBA dancer has fitted snugly into the role of Raw's top babyface diva.
Generally there aren't too many available spots for women in the company, and with Layla taking up a great deal of the (paltry) airtime allocated to the divas, it renders Kelly even more insignificant to the product.
With the Eve program shelved and Layla rising to the top of the division, Kelly finds herself at loose ends. At this rate, she'll end up a regular on NXT—a great show, but also one which WWE tends to send the divas they aren't doing anything with.
So, as bleak as her current situation looks, can Kelly return to prominence in WWE? Well, it will be difficult, but it is possible.
First of all: Kelly many have to switch to the blue brand in the near future in a bid to get a fresh start and some proper TV time. As noted, with Layla on Raw and firmly embedded as their top female star, Kelly is extremely limited in how far she can go there.
There's also the fact that, having been on Raw for years, she's faced everyone, and there aren't too many fresh storyline options for her there. Come on, do we need to see yet another Beth Phoenix/Kelly Kelly match?
We really don't.
On SD, however, there are a whole bunch of new people she can face: Natalya, AJ, Tamina and Kaitlyn are the first names that spring to mind. In fact Kelly, who still has her flaws as an in-ring performer, could almost certainly benefit from a lengthy feud with a terrific and experienced wrestler like Natalya.
Another possibility is that Kelly could turn heel.
After spending most of her WWE stint as a babyface, going heel could open up a bunch of whole new possibilities for the star, whose character has grown stale and bland in recent times.
Heck, turning to the dark side certainly revived Eve's flagging career, and it could do the same for Kelly. She may even relish the challenge of playing a drastically different character for once.
Ultimately though, despite our suggestions, it may not make a difference.
The sad fact is that women in the image-obsessed WWE have a notoriously short life. Kelly has been in the company for almost seven years. Maybe the promotion simply sees Kelly as another interchangeable diva, one who can easily be replaced by the next model they bring in. They may see no use to try and revive her career since she won't be around for much longer anyway.
That Kelly has reportedly been looking into options outside of WWE may indicate she sees the writing on the wall. With her looks and bubbly charisma, she could forge out a lucrative career for herself in Hollywood, like Stacy Keibler before her.
Ideally though, WWE will make the effort with her and attempt to return her to prominence. She's come a long way in her seven years—going from inexperienced model to respectable women’s wrestler.
Hopefully she can stick around a little longer and do even more.