What's Happened to the TNA Knockouts?

Christi LottCorrespondent IDecember 12, 2008

It was not that long ago that TNA was on top of the WWE in at least one aspect of wrestling: the women. TNA Knockouts were being pointed out and appreciated by more than just fans for being better than the Divas. No bikini contests, pillow fights, or bra and panties matches for these girls.

A monster of all heels in Awesome Kong and the fighting face in Gail Kim carried the roster in less than a year to be the most watched parts of TNA Impact. There were rumblings of the Knockouts getting their own one hour show due to the draw they possessed. Even some WWE Divas were vocal in their admiration of the Knockouts.

What a difference a year, or better yet, a few months can make. Who would've thought that the departure of Gail Kim would turn the Knockouts into a sad cookie cutter version of the WWE.

From having a bland face champion (Taylor Wilde=Michelle McCool) to trying to push a weak Diva Search girl as a top contender (Christy Hemme=Maria; funny that they were in the DS in the same year), to having unimportant, sloppy, quick tag matches, the Knockouts seems to be flailing around like chickens with their heads cut off.

When Gail left, the opportunity arose for TNA to "push one of their own", someone not from the WWE, someone who the fans could get behind that was different from the Divas of the WWE. With the failed push of Taylor Wilde while Kim was there, Awesome Kong regained the belt once again.

A crucial moment came for the Knockouts to give the WWE a run for their money and build a top face once again. So who gets the push: Christy Hemme. Huh?? While I won't deny that Hemme has improved in some time, TNA has taken a page out of the WWE play book, even by using a former member of the WWE community; a winner of their Diva Search who managed to do nothing while she was there and has continued that success in TNA.

Thanks to being trained by A.J. Styles, she didn't look like a stumbling idiot, but is far from being considered a contender, and her presence as such makes Kong look weak instead of Hemme looking strong.

If TNA had thought it through, the most obvious choices are Roxxi, ODB or The Beautiful People. These four women are polar opposites of the WWE mold. There was a flash of Roxxi being pushed up against Kong, but that faded into oblivion. ODB has now replaced Karen Angle as an interviewer, and is not doing a good job of it.

The Beautiful People, great heel characters who are great on a mic, have been pushed into a sad storyline involving Governor Sarah Palin. Worse yet, all of these girls have been pushed into wrestling each other in four minute tag team matches, not getting any kind of time that they used to.

In trying to separate from themselves from the WWE Diva Image, the Knockouts have managed to become poor imitations. Instead of doing what the WWE will not and push one of their hardcore, physical girls who just by their looks alone would not be on the WWE's Most Wanted list or one of their girls who are doing what nearly all the Divas can't do in speaking with a mic and selling a great character, they've done what the WWE does.

 TNA wants to have another Gail Kim, a WWE reject (who should've never been let go into the first place) to carry their roster and laugh in the face of the WWE. They have a recognizable reject in Hemme, but TNA has failed to recognize what Kim had that Hemme doesn't: Talent.