Is WWE attempting to outdo TNA's women's division? Per a recent report, it seems this may indeed be the case.
Earlier this month at TNA's Slammiversary pay-per-view, Taryn Terrell and Gail Kim—both of whom are former Divas—put on a cracking "Last Knockout's Standing" bout. Filled with crazy high-risk spots and great psychology, this was easily the match of the night—no minor thing considering the card also featured stars like Kurt Angle, Austin Aries and A.J. Styles.
The bout, which was surely the best women's bout any big-time U.S. promotion has churned out in years, also garnered the company some mainstream attention when TMZ covered it.
At a time when TNA is besieged by low ratings, stale storylines and some very negative and embarrassing publicity after the Zema Ion/medical bills debacle, Terrell vs.Gail Kim was a much-needed boost for America's No. 2 promotion. It was also yet another glaring reminder of just what the TNA product could be capable of if only it got itself together.
Interestingly, at last Sunday's Payback pay-per-view, A.J. Lee and Kaitlyn fought over the Divas Championship in a very physical and intense match—at least by WWE standards. Per Bryan Alvarez in this week's F4W Newsletter (subscribers only), this was at least partly influenced by the TNA match:
According to one person in WWE, it was "beyond obvious" that Vince wanted AJ and Kaitlyn to try to outshine the Gail Kim vs. Taryn Terrell match that everyone raved about on the last TNA PPV. They didn't, but it was the best women's match in WWE in a long, long time.
Of course, while it is nice to see McMahon finally make the effort with his beleaguered women's division, it's sad that it may have come about simply as a childish way to upstage TNA.
You also have to wonder why the company didn't make the effort with Kim and Terrell while they were under contract to it instead of letting TNA grab them and utilize their talents. Both are obviously capable of brilliance.