The TNA Knockouts: A Division On Life Support?
Who remembers the days when TNA's Knockout Division was a breath of fresh air? Same here.
When the belt was first introduced back in the nether-regions of 2008, I could tell that with some of the talent there, bright things were ahead for TNA and it's women.
And it was. They had some amazing talent up there, they were main eventing Impacts and were, in my opinion, were actually a draw for the company. Gail Kim and Awesome Kong feuding, believe it or not, was one of the main reasons I was getting to TNA around that time as it was.
But in the last year, I've been stunned and slightly horrified as the women's division I used to enjoy has started to crumble.
The most obvious reason for the this is the pool of talent that TNA has. Look at the the women TNA had two years ago:
Gail Kim, Awesome Kong, Melissa Anderson, Angelina Love, ODB, Roxxi...heck even Traci Brooks and Christy Hemme.
Of those, only two of those are with the company, and one of them doesn't even wrestle anymore. I still headdesk at TNA for letting Kong go over Bubba The Love Stooge. Unforgivable.
But that's not the only problem. In my eyes, one of the things that made TNA's Knockout Division better than what the WWE was producing, was that they deliberately booked their women to be different from that cookie cutter style that the WWE had...
...Until TNA brought in the Beautiful People. Now don't get me wrong, I like the idea of a female faction/tag team, but the whole deal with entrances and sexing themselves up, dance routines for entrances? It was quickly resembling the WWE, and I didn't like it at all.
But what I think was the biggest problem with TNA and its knockouts was that they stopped taking it seriously. In 2009, the days of the Knockouts main eventing Impact were gone, and as much as they tried to compensate by bringing in people like Sarita and Tara, they were putting Jenna Morasca (Or as Truthslayer would say, "The Survivor B****) and Sharmell on Pay-Per-View. I think that still stands as the worst match in the history of Pay-Per-View television.
Because you know, apparently, TNA thought paying her half a million bucks to have her on TV over Gail Kim, your company's third or fourth biggest draw. Wonderful idea.
Then TNA decides to have a Knockout's Tag Team Division...WHY?! You have a dozen women with the company, tops. That's just not enough for a division fighting for a Knockout's Championship and a set of Tag Belts. Hence why there was only really ever two teams feuding for it, and they were Serena and Taylor Wilde vs The Beautiful People at No Surrender and Bound for Glory. Both of which were pretty much the exact match. and I know, Hamada and Awesome Kong had a run too, but Kong was gone a week later, making their reign somewhat redundant.
The releases sure as heck haven't helped either. I mean, look at Roxxi. Talented worker, company girl, shows up at Slammiversary, only to find out that her services were no longer required on the night. That's horrible, no matter which way you cut it, and really unfair.
Rosie Lottalove, no disrespect, wasn't the greatest worker either, but they could have easily worked a storyline with her in TNA with The Beautiful People, but she only ever made two appearances with the company, before being released last week. Why bring her in in the first place?
Hamada, is arguably one of the best female wrestlers in the world today, and she's hardly ever on Impact. Same for Taylor Wilde and Sarita. Right now, the whole Knockout's Division is built around Angelina Love, Madison Rayne, Lacey Von Erich (sort of), Velvet Sky and the mystery biker chick we all know is Tara. Now, don't get wrong, that's not horrible, I was a fan of the original Beautiful People too, but none of them are what I call great female workers.
Overall, I feel frustration at the entire division. Because it's a watered down, thin version of the Knockout's Division from 2008. And like most problems in Wrestling, it really wouldn't take much to fix. There's a good dozen fantastic female workers out there wrestling across the seas and on the Independent circuit that could fill the gaps. Then it's up to TNA to build them up and make them seem meaningful, giving them the ball and letting them run with it...
...Unfortunately, that's something TNA doesn't seem to know how to do anymore.
Is there anyone else out there that feels my frustration? Is there aspects I've missed? Could I be exaggerating slightly? In a perfect world, who would you want to see in your female division? Let me know. I've been Andre Harrison, and that was my Analysis. Thank you for reading.
Harrison on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Harrison101 and on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Harrison101
The Harrison Analysis Website: http://www.harrison101.blogspot.com
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