Kaitlyn has been improving exponentially in the ring, progress that led her to winning the WWE Divas title from Eve Torres in January.
The Houston native has gone on a journey from bodybuilder to WWE Diva, from awkward, musclebound performer to one of the best female performers on the roster.
Fans have had too few chances to see her growth, but Kaitlyn has become a better mat wrestler, more comfortable in the ring and a better in-ring storyteller.
Kaitlyn's initial work in the ring was awkward.
She seemed unsure of how to approach an opponent and how to best entertain the crowd. It was clear that she came from the world of bodybuilding, as she was plenty powerful and buff, but not smooth enough to pull off quality matches.
Matches like her clash with Maxine in 2011 showed off her personality and energy, but were also proof that much improvement she needed. She still has room to grow, but Kaitlyn has already become a far better wrestler than she was back then.
Her recent match with Natalya Neidhart on NXT is a prime example of how far she's come in terms of being a better wrestler, especially on the technical side of the sport.
In her exchanges with Natalya here, Kaitlyn is far more fluid than in her early work. She slips from move to move in a natural, believable way.
She shows off a nice takedown, a solid jackknife pin and throws in a butt spank for entertainment purposes.
This is far longer than the matches she's asked to wrestle on WWE Raw and Kaitlyn delivered. Working with a talented wrestler like Natalya is sure to make anyone look good, but the Divas champ wasn't just along for the ride here. She came off as a legitimate champion fending off a worthy challenger.
Beyond just smoothing out her movement in the ring and elevating her technical skills, Kaitlyn has also learned how to work a crowd.
Kaitlyn impressed in a recent match with AJ Lee for the Divas title. This isn't Ricky Steamboat and Randy Savage at WrestleMania III by any stretch, but Kaitlyn uses solid ring psychology to pull off an intriguing match.
She sells AJ's offense very well, writhing on the mat in convincing fashion.
There is also a great sense of drama for such a short match. It felt like AJ was the torturer and Kaitlyn the survivor. Some of the credit has to go to AJ, but Kaitlyn is a vital part of the equation.
Her timing in terms of hitting moves, when to climb back into the ring and when to just take a beating is excellent. She makes it easy to get sucked into the match, which in the end is the wrestler’s main job.
Despite some imperfections and lack of precision with some of her moves, she creates excitement with the action and the story of battling her former friend.
Kaitlyn takes on AJ again at WWE Payback and, should WWE allow these women a good amount of time to work with, they will both impress. Going forward with her Divas title reign, WWE needs to showcase Kaitlyn's ever-improving ring skills more often.
Given more exposure and more experience, she will continue to tap into her potential.
Kaitlyn is a warrior who is growing more and more comfortable with swinging her sword. The more fights she's thrown into, the stronger and the better she will become.
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