Just days ago, the WWE released Shad Gaspard and several other superstars. While many wrestling fans were not at all shocked by the names, I personally felt even more outraged over the fact that there were two additional individuals released—and they were divas.
Jillian Hall and Tiffany are the latest female casualties of the dreaded "future endeavors" list.
The WWE's women's division is already suffering, so I believe getting rid of two divas who can actually wrestle is a grave mistake.
Earlier this year, things started to fall apart when Mickie James and Katie Lea, two of the most talented women in the company, were let go. James was perhaps the most popular and most over diva since Trish Stratus, and while Katie was never allowed to show her maximum potential and was criminally misused, she was one of the best in the squared circle (anyone ever see her amazing ladder match at OVW with Beth Phoenix?). In addition, we also saw the release of Serena, who had been the female counterpart of CM Punk's Straight Edge Society. It was a shock, and, while she had only competed in one match on TV, I felt it was yet another blow to the women's division.
SmackDown in particular was hit hard, and the WWE tried to make up for the loss of Mickie by drafting Kelly Kelly in her place. The blue brand also got Rosa Mendes, who has more often than not been used for backstage segments, often seen jumping rope or working out. This is most likely due to the fact that Rosa isn't exactly adept in the ring.
Was it a mistake for the WWE to release two divas?
Then, there was the horrible blow of Beth Phoenix suffering a knee injury that further damaged the blue brand. This is not to say that RAW wasn't suffering as well.
The RAW divas are mostly known for two things: One, having super short matches that last around three minutes or less, and two, taking part in pointless backstage segments that usually involve the random guest hosts. That's not exactly exciting, is it?
Jillian was of course part of the red brand since she'd been moved there from SmackDown in 2007. She had many good matches on the show, occasionally in tag teams with Melina and/or Beth Phoenix back then. She also had many hilarious skits in which she partook, mostly with her singing gimmick.
She was always a joy to watch, whether it was in the ring in a match or just standing around and singing. Her talent was very underrated, and sadly, her only championship reign lasted about two minutes. But she always managed to go out there like a true champ and put a smile on this fan's face.
I was so upset when I read about Jillian's release! I know that she has been training new talent over at FCW lately, but somehow, I thought she was supposed to return to the WWE ring at some point. I could have sworn that she mentioned something on Twitter about this being a "break," and nothing permanent. It saddens me to think that she will never again grace us fans with her presence on RAW or SmackDown.
Speaking of the blue brand, this brings me to Tiffany.
The former ECW General Manager made the move to SmackDown after the dissolution of her brand and finally began competing in the ring. I have to say that I was extremely impressed with her abilities. Tiffany had some matches in which she teamed with Kelly Kelly, and the two were known collectively as "Blondetourage."
Typically, their opponents were LayCool. She also saw some solo matches and did quite well in them. I enjoyed her enthusiasm in the ring, and she definitely had a lot of potential. She probably could have gone a lot further had the WWE given her the chance.
I know she reportedly had some domestic issues with real-life husband Drew McIntyre that got her in a lot of hot water back in the summer while on tour, but a recent update stated that she'd been completely cleared of them. Drew had also made a statement defending his wife and declaring that their marriage was just as strong as ever.
I think it's unfair that the WWE never did bring Tiffany back after the smoke cleared. I mean, male superstars have done far, far worse than that, yet they were never sacked! Double standard much?
The two releases were just a very bad move by the company. In my opinion, however, there are ways to fix things. I would move Gail Kim to SmackDown so that Kelly has an ally (as, apparently, Rosa was turned heel again last month, judging by the diva Halloween costume contest). Gail is one of the divas who are currently suffering on RAW by mainly engaging guest hosts in backstage ridiculousness.
Natalya has been the one diva who has steadily been seeing action on both shows. I would actually rather see her on SmackDown now due to the split of the Hart Dynasty, since she probably won't have much to do with them now, anyway.
Another idea would be to split up the Bella Twins once and for all and have Brie come back to the show on which she debuted. Nikki has continuously shown quite the mean streak whenever the twins compete on NXT, so why not allow the rest of the world to see this and go ahead with the split?
Of course, sadly, the WWE would never even entertain these thoughts. My guess is that they would rather have Gail Kim, Melina and the Bellas doing the backstage segments (and, in the twins' case, escorting guest hosts to the ring), Alicia Fox jobbing out in a mere 30 seconds to two minutes, and for Maryse and Eve to continue serving as arm candy for Ted DiBiase and R-Truth, respectively. Meanwhile, LayCool can continue wreaking havoc with the Divas Championship, taunting everyone in their path.
I think it's so sad that Jillian and Tiffany are no longer part of the WWE. Both were talented and could have gone so much farther. What it really all boils down to is that the company just doesn't care about its women's division anymore—and to this fan, that's extremely upsetting and a major fail.