TNA is lucky enough to have some powerful and talented female wrestlers. But this was a year to remember for the TNA Knockouts. With that said, here are the nominees for one of TNA's most illustrious prizes: The 2008 Knockout of the Year.
#1) Awesome Kong (TNA Knockouts Champion)
Like the Big Show & The Great Khali, Awesome Kong is intimidating just from size alone. She is one of the most dangerous women in TNA, and she is the reigning TNA Knockouts Champion. Even after losing the gold earlier this year to the Upset Queen, Taylor Wilde, Kong managed to regain the gold in Las Vegas during the HD Premiere of IMPACT!
If I didn't have girlfriends who were of the same stature as Awesome Kong, I would actually be intimidated at the sight of this beast. But the Knockouts have been thrown around time and time again by the Blackanese Mastodon. And now along with her handler Raisha Saeed and monstrous partner Rhaka Khan, there's no telling how long Awesome Kong will keep a stranglehold on the TNA Knockouts Division. But is that enough for her to garner Knockout of the Year honors?
#2) Gail Kim* (Gets A Pass Since Her Last Match was with TNA)
One thing that Kong will never forget is the first match she had in TNA. The battle royal that introduced the world to Kong also introduced the world to the persistent, high flying Gail Kim. Kim holds a title that neither Kong, Wilde or any other Knockout can have: the first-ever TNA Knockouts Champion!
Kim had her final match a few months ago when she lost a heartbreaker to Kong. Since then, no one has seen hide nor hair of Kim. The rumor is that she is preparing to make her long-awaited return to WWE. But until that is confirmed by the WWE itself, we're just going to let sleeping dogs lie.
But because of her tenacity and will to win even under the most extreme of circumstances, she has garnered a nomination to take one more thing from TNA besides her guts: the Knockout of the Year Award.
#3) Taylor Wilde (The Upset Queen)
Taylor Wilde may not be completely known by everyone in the wrestling community, but she has done enough to be known by the big guys of the wrestling community. Besides being very attractive, Wilde is one talented woman. At the beginning of the year, she got her chance to shine as she accepted the $25,000 Challenge of Awesome Kong.
Wilde proved that she had what it takes to fill Gail Kim's shoes prior to Kim's departure. After almost getting crippled by the Mastodon in their first encounter, Wilde came back and defeated her handler Raisha Saeed to get a chance at the cash and the gold. After blocking the Awesome Bomb, Wilde pinned Kong to win the cash, the title...and a TNA contract.
Since then, Wilde has continued to push herself back into the Knockouts Picture. Anyone that can say that they beat Awesome Kong deserves a nomination. But for the two women who fought the hardest (Kim and Wilde), they earn more than a nomination in my book...they've earned respect. But with respect comes jealousy...
#4) The Beautiful People (Beauty and Brains. Dangerous Combination)
You can look, but you can't touch The Beautiful People. Angelina Love and Velvet Sky started out as two women who were just trying to show their talent and win over TNA Management. The Management saw things differently and not only kept them coming back, they also put the two together. What followed afterwards has become a phenomenon for "Plastics" everywhere.
Both Love and Sky have managed to keep themselves in the spotlight. From the Brown Bag Special to the glamorous lifestyle to the dumb blonde demeanor that they wear with a pride that would make the smartest person laugh, The Beautiful People continue to cross the line and make people want to knock them silly.
Now I'm not a rocket scientist, but if you put these two women and two men from another company side by side, you would have the perfect Hollywood Faction. In other words, you take The Beautiful People and The Dirt Sheet, put them together and what do you get? A great storyline in the making along with a new catchphrase: "Look. Don't Touch. Be Jealous!"
#5) ODB (A Man's Perfect Drinking Partner)
Now what man would not want to take this woman to a bar on a Saturday night? She's brash, loud, feisty and drinks like a fish! The perfect drinking partner. Oh, yeah. She can wrestle too.
The one known as ODB (aka One Dirty Bitch) has no problem speaking her mind and letting her fists (and flasks) do the talking. Though she hasn't won the Knockouts Championship yet, she will in due time. But until then, she can continue to be the reason that most of us enjoy drinking a cold one on a Thursday night.
And have you seen her fight? I think she should align herself with Beer Money in the near future. Can you imagine these four individuals getting together at a bar when a fight breaks out? That would be a fight I wouldn't mind seeing. Lately, she's been hosting her own off the wall talk show on IMPACT! and this past Sunday, she joined forces with Wilde and our final nominee for a victory over The Beautiful People and Sharmell.
#6) Roxxi (The Voodoo/Hardcore Queen)
She was the handler of the Voodoo Kin Mafia. She began becoming a better wrestler than manager. Then she got her head shaved earlier this year. The result: A Hardcore side unleashed that no one ever saw coming...and most likely will never forget.
The Voodoo Queen quickly became known as The Hardcore Queen when she unleashed a new type of match onto the Knockouts Division: The Knockouts Bimbo Brawl. Since then, she has had no problem adding more color to the wrestling mats. Roxxi is one of the toughest women in TNA, and I think she would have had a great run in the old school ECW.
With that said, the toughness and Stone Cold like promos of Roxxi have earned her a spot on the nominations list. As far as Stone Cold like promos, she's not like the other Knockouts. She likes to flip people off, talk trash and drop "F-Bombs" all over the place. And she doesn't care if TNA or Spike has a problem with it. She does what she wants when she wants.
As usual, if you want to add a Knockout to the list, drop a line and we'll see if she qualifies.