Random Thoughts from the Office: November 5, 2010

Wait? This isn't a swerve? There actually was a Wrestlecrap Radio this week? Back to back weeks? Well that's just great, I actually didn't mind the two shows I've seen so far this week (Raw and Impact) so how am I supposed to put out a column when I have no material? Well I guess I'm going to have to.......

*Clarence looks in trash can*


Ahhh the old "Break in case of emergency" column, the one I was hoping I never had to use. Regular readers may remember how I thought Mickie James joining TNA was a bad idea, an idea that worsened when Katie Lea Burchill joined. I mean forget pay for a second, as bad as that is it's not the fundamental problem of the Knockouts division. There's a much greater problem that I see with them that disappoints me more than that. That being: The fact that what once was a place where womens' wrestling might have had a chance to thrive is now a cheap WWE ripoff.

Now regular readers also may remember I shelved the column a day before I meant to post it because I watched Victory Road 2009 and decided I needed to go a different direction, but I said then I'm sure I'd have a reason to bring the column back someday. I just never thought "Lack of material" would be my excuse, especially with TNA doing such stupid things on a regular basis and things in the WWE like the NXT wedding, but that was more "funny" stupid than "I can make a column" stupid. Not that I like being negative, hey I liked a lot of Bragging Rights, just like I liked a lot of Bound for Glory. But I find I work better in the negative than the positive.

Which brings me back to the Knockouts Cheap WWE Womens' Division Ripoff. Back in 2007 TNA began the Knockouts division, putting out promos that said they were more about the athleticism of the women rather than them being quote unquote "Barbie Dolls" (Why they centered these around Christy Hemme then is a mystery because when I think athletic womens' wrestling, she's not exactly at the top of anyone's list). They created a title and put it on one of the best female wrestlers going around, Gail Kim, and for a while as they brought in talent like Awesome Kong, Melissa Anderson (Alyssa Flash to the TNA fans) and others they looked for a while like they were going to live up to the hype, and for the first time on a national level womens' wrestling looked like it was going to be something to be respected.

But things change and opinions change, and TNA ended up doing the same thing every national federation has done with womens' wrestling and what every national federation will continue to do in the future. They went back to the lowest common denominator. It all started with the debut of a stable called "The Beautiful People", Angelina Love, Velvet Sky and Madison Raine. Three gorgeously hot women no doubt and athletically they are competent in the ring, but the fact remains, for the first time looks outranked athletic ability. And Angelina, who if I were in a crueler mood I might mention looks like she graduated from the Jillian Hall school of how to get on TV, was pushed to win the Knockouts title.

Not that they're not at least window dressing down the list. Sarita, Taylor Wilde, Hamada, Daffney, they can all wrestle. They recently tried out SHIMMER star Jennifer Blake so perhaps they're aware of it. But the final nail in the coffin for the Knockouts division was the announcement that they had signed a deal to have their wrestlers pose nude in Playboy, just like the WWE did so many years ago. At that point in my opinion the whole circle was complete and athletic ability was pushed aside for looks.

Still TNA fans waited with baited breath to see who would be the first Knockout, as there were a lot of hopeful candidates. Melissa Anderson, manager/interview/part time wrestler. So Cal Val, Christy Hemme (even if she'd done it before in WWE), Angelina Love, Velvet Sky, the list went on and on. Then the big announcement came.

Traci Brooks.

And the whole thing pretty much went downhill from there.

Don't get me wrong. Traci had been the longest serving female in the company to that point, she was one of the better female wrestlers they had but....how do I put this delicately? Traci has two looks....or as I would say, she's an Either/Or. She's EITHER a passably attractive woman OR she looks like what would happen if the late Michael Jackson mated with your Tupperware set, had a child and that child got smashed in the face with a brick. It got so bad for TNA that Brooks wasn't even put in the magazine. Her photos were released in the Playboy Cyber Club, a place that most wrestling fans never even knew existed and even less would sign up to see (They'd wait for the photos to leak like every other wrestler who's ever posed in Playboy).

The current situation both confuses and irritates me. TNA had something going; womens' wrestling CAN be a solid key to a wrestling company, stand alone women's federations like SHIMMER have shown us that. Yet it seems that in the end women wrestlers will forever be disrespected on a national stage unless you have a pretty face, a large set of breasts and a tight ass. Maybe things will change, maybe they won't, but at the moment the only thing TNA is knocking out is the conception that their womens' division is any different to WWE's.

Still things could be worse, I don't see any INS agents on TNA's programming.

Clarence "Showstealer" Mason

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