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TNA Impact Wrestling Paycheck Troubles and WWE Thoughts

April 16, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

The cracks in the TNA armor are starting to show again.

Even with solid numbers and a fan base that are more cult-like than the rise and fall of fan support for the WWE, TNA’s Impact Wrestling is dealing with its own issues of late. One issue in particular has re-invented itself to a point that the smoke it is causing could lead to a real fire if not put out soon.

Wrestlers aren’t being paid in a timely fashion, according to a story by Mike Johnson of pwinsider.com.

TNA is well behind on pay to their wrestlers, according to many talents who reached out to PWInsider.com under the agreement of anonymity over the past several weeks.  One wrestler claimed the company is behind two pay periods while others have claimed they are still owed money dating back to February.  With no TNA dates scheduled until the live Impact broadcast on 5/8, it has been a growing source of aggravation for TNA wrestlers as they are working the Indy scene to supplement their TNA income.

In asking sources within the TNA office in Nashville, I am told that the pay issues are legitimate and have been a source of great frustration within Nashville over the last several weeks as well.  While one source I spoke to denied talents were behind two pay periods, they did concede they have been behind on checks being cut to talents and that it was something TNA was trying to get a handle on over the last week.

One of the factors involved is that TNA’s checks are not cut in Nashville by the company but are outsourced to Dallas, Texas where TNA’s parent company Panda Energy is headquartered.  This alone adds another step to the process.

TNA had these issues before when it was struggling to stay afloat on Spike TV and the fledgling promotion had to scale back its production of shows, cut back its pay-per-view events and even release talent to remain the niche outfit it has been since its creation by Jeff Jarrett.

For everything TNA is – with better technical wrestlers as a whole (Austin Aries, Bobby Roode, Eric Young) and stronger talent in the Knockouts division and in the tag team scene, these issues should be a constant habit that the talent has to deal with.

The Death of the Divas in WWE

With the sudden retirement of AJ Lee and the need for more talent and promotional angles, have we final witnessed the beginning of the end of the Divas in the WWE?

The current champion, Nikki Bella, who is sided by her sister, Brie, cannot carry a division that has Paige as its main “face” attraction and a couple other stars (Naomi and Natalya) on its current roster. There is not enough interest in the division, which of late has shown more wrestling and less glam. Still, with the loss of its main attraction – the cute girl with the killer abs who just happens to be married to WWE’s biggest enemy in CM Punk – it looks as though not even a shot of epinephrine can save the group that appears to be on life support.

It would be in Stephanie McMahon’s best interest to watch Gail Kim and Awesome Kong go at it and see how women’s wrestling is really done.

Life After Rusev

Now that the table is set for the third installment of Rusev and the current United States Champion, John Cena, what happens to Cena once the dance with the Russian ends? Is there life after defensing America for the 15-time world champion?

I would think, the WWE may take Sheamus and his Red Rooster wannabe look and work a program with these two stars.

The WWE has put Sheamus back in the same position he once was when he came to the WWE – a brutal force with the Irish accent – who runs through his opponents with ease. The only person who should be able to stop the immovable object is the irresistible force that Cena has with the company.

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The Past and the Future of WWE’s Female Performers

February 18, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Think of the best female competitors in WWE history. Names like The Fabulous Moolah, Trish Stratus, Lita, and Beth Phoenix instantly come to mind. Women who were dominant, courageous, and inserted themselves into the men’s storylines, made women only serving as valets for men a thing of the past.

The fearless and unique styles that these women possessed, paired with them having storylines of value, legitimized the WWE Women’s Division and proved that women can be more than eye candy in professional wrestling.

Back then, these women came from places such as the independent wrestling scene and fitness modeling. They were true athletes with a passion for the business, making an entire generation of girls realize that women can be beautiful and strong at the same time. The Women’s Division was once one of the most exciting parts of WWE programming

Somewhere between then and now, a transition happened within WWE. The Women’s Division turned into the Divas Division, and women were no longer viewed as serious competitors. Fans completely overlook the division as a whole now, and jokes are always made at the expense of the female competitors no matter how well they perform in the ring.

Frankly, WWE fans don’t take women seriously as professional wrestlers anymore. What happened?

In today’s WWE, more emphasis is placed on physical appearance than actual wrestling ability. Look at the women currently in the Divas Division; most look like they could be gracing the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.

Gone are the days that women in professional wrestling could be powerful and strong-looking. Women like Chyna, Victoria, and Beth Phoenix are no longer represented in WWE. Now we have women like Nikki and Brie Bella, gorgeous women with even better bodies, who usually fail to deliver in the ring and on the mic.

Physical appearances aside, some women in the Divas Division today are extremely talented performers. Paige and AJ Lee, for example, have been 2 of the best competitors in the division in recent memory. Their in-ring styles are dynamic and fun to watch and their appearances aren’t that of a “typical” WWE Diva.

These women may have all the talent in the world, but both have fallen victim to a lack of substance in their storylines and matches that simply aren’t long enough to showcase their talent.

In today’s WWE, even the fiercest female competitors will eventually be put into a story where their character has to become a catty, stereotypical girl. The best proof of this is the current feud between Paige and Nikki Bella, where Nikki picks on Paige for being “too pale”, and covers her with spray tanner inside the ring. It seems as though the WWE creative team would rather take the easy route when telling a story between two Divas, rather than actually try to give them something of value to work with.

Some people believe that the beginning of the “model” era in the Divas division began in 2006, when WWE’s Vice President of Talent Relations at the time, John Laurinaitis, made the decision to hire two catalog models that had absolutely no wrestling experience, Kelly Kelly and Alicia Fox. This seemed to start a snowball effect within the company.

The “Diva Search” competitions may also be to blame. WWE began to recruit aspiring models with no wrestling background, and had them compete against each other for a chance to become a WWE Diva. The competition was developed it into a weekly part of WWE programming, complete with stereotypical cat fighting and backstabbing.

The main problem with all of this is that WWE was attempting to turn women who had no passion for professional wrestling into professional wrestlers. The company believed that women who were extremely attractive would make the Divas division more marketable to the mainstream audience, but that plan hurt the division more than it helped the company. In the end, the division that women like Lita and Trish Stratus worked so hard to legitimize during their careers became a laughingstock amongst the fans. No matter how beautiful a woman may be, fans can see right through someone who lacks passion for the business, and will subsequently stop viewing them as serious competitors.

Today, the WWE Universe cares less about the physical appearances of the women in the Divas division, and more about their actual wrestling ability. With a new generation of viewers, come new views on society and how women should be treated in general. WWE is no exception.

In the “TV-14” era, WWE constantly put women in overly-sexual storylines in order to draw viewers. Now that the programming is “TV-PG” and dubbed “Family Friendly”, if a woman is a worthy competitor, looks become secondary to the audience. There are no longer any sexual storylines in WWE that would make sex appeal a vital trait for the women on the roster to possess.

The “model-type” Diva is less in-demand now than it was in the past. The consensus of the WWE Universe is that they want edgier women in the forefront of the company; women who can put on stellar matches night after night that last longer than 5 minutes.

The NXT Women’s division and its format seen to be what the fans want to see on WWE’s main roster. More emphasis is being placed on character development and constant in-ring improvement in NXT, things that can’t necessarily be coached. The women in the developmental system have to a have a passion to succeed in the business. None of them can get by on looks alone, and that is evident when you see the phenomenal matches they have on a weekly basis. The NXT Women’s division has been praised by fans for its depth and in-ring storytelling, something that the WWE Divas division seriously lacks at the moment.

Competitors such as Paige, Charlotte, and Sasha Banks have all broken the mold of what a WWE Diva should be. They aren’t cookie-cutter in appearance or ability. These women are bringing back the powerful female competitor of days gone by.

If NXT is the future of WWE, one can only have high hopes for the WWE Divas division going forward. Hopefully the company can get back to a place where women bring value to the overall product, and impact the company as a whole in a positive and entertaining fashion.

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Is Paige vs. AJ Lee the Next Trish vs. Lita?

July 25, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Where were you when the WWE Divas world stop turning? The night that Paige and AJ Lee witched roles in the company and finally gave us something to talk about other than grown women dancing together in the ring and four-on-one handicapped matches against Nikki Bella?

For a change, a sudden move and flip/flop changed the direction of the sinking division in a good way and gave us, the WWE fans something to look forward to. While this is not a modern day Lita/Trish feud, it could be the closest thing to it since the two were in the WWE wrestling full time and lighting the ring on fire.

The sudden rise of Paige from NXT to the big leagues and then her reign as WWE champion followed by her heel turn could be one of the five best things to happen within the company this year, so far. The fact she turned on the current Diva’s Champion only adds fuel to a feud that had to happen for both women in their ascension in the company. Not only does this make Paige the perfect opponent for the diminutive Lee, it solidified Lee as one of the greatest women to ever get in a WWE ring.

But it is still not Lita and Trish.

After nearly seven years in the business, Stratus won the WWE Women’s Championship seven times, the most in WWE history. She was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013. She is considered the greatest WWE women’s champion of the modern era, although it is debatable by some. And in a time when women’s wrestling became chic and “sexy,” Stratus, along with her favorite opponent, Lita, made it “hip” to root for women’s wrestling.

After briefly working on the independent circuit and in Extreme Championship Wrestling, Lita signed with World Wrestling Federation in 1999. Originally, she was paired with Essa Rios, but she achieved her greatest push alongside Matt and Jeff Hardy as Team Xtreme.

Throughout her career, she won the WWE Women’s Championship four times. During her tenure with the company she became arguably the most popular Diva in the company’s history. Her high-flying moves were essential in her arsenal as she proved she could pull off moves that men like the Hardy’s were doing with ease.

There is a belief that for every solid wrestler or “great” wrestler (each definition is skewed), there is one opponent who makes them even better. Hulk Hogan had Randy Savage. Ricky Steamboat had Ric Flair. The Fabulous Molar and Judy Grabel and Trish had Lita. The WWE will be hard pressed to find two other women who can revolutionize the division unless Gail Kim makes a return to the company and challenges Lee – which is a match I think we all want to see.

When women got their start in the “business” it was to serve more as a side attraction or valet for the male counterpart. In some cases now, especially in TNA, women’s matches are equally important to the fan base and in most cases, are just as entertaining. Besides AJ and Kaitlyn, tell me the last time we saw a meaningful women’s match that lived up to the hype? This might be the feud of 2014 that lives up to everything it is asked to be.

And all of this while we wait to see if Brie Bella will be re-instated by Stephanie McMahon, leading to a war between the Bella Twins or seeing if the owner of the WWE, Stephanie McMahon gets in the ring to defend her honor.

Paige versus AJ had to happen. The division is dull, stagnant and cannot be built around Natalya or Charlotte (Ashley Flair), who is not ready. Surprisingly, this was the right move by the WWE. One that hopefully leads to a feud that could be the next best thing we see coming from the WWE for some time.

Follow David on Twitter @davidlevin71

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The State Of Women’s Wrestling

July 16, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

I am a firm believer that the women’s division of WWE and to an extent TNA could do with an overhaul.

Lately I am seeing girls who look good in their underwear but don’t look so good when it comes to in-ring work; and the ones who are great in-ring end up as enhancement talent to the ones that aren’t. It’s a shame really and there really is no reason for it considering there is like 25+ women wrestling promotions in the US alone. You can’t tell me that those girls don’t have what it takes to get it done in the ring. Not only that, they’ve had a proving ground; you know they’ll improve. Don’t get me wrong I understand that it’s about sex appeal; but if your roster is mostly blondes with long legs and perky bosoms that all do the same damn thing…well then the women become interchangeable…and not all that memorable.

Currently both rosters are talent heavy (WWE more so than TNA) and most aren’t doing much. They need worthwhile feuds between the women; for a decent amount of time and progression; this is hard to do; but if done right; it could be just as rewarding to watch even without the title on the line…

Speaking of which…

Both the Diva’s of WWE and the Knockout’s of TNA only have one title…just one…where the men in both companies have no less than 4 (including Tag Titles); yes, I know the Diva’s use to have two; and why they got rid of the separate Woman’s title that had more history then the ‘butterfly’ title I’ll never know; regardless;  I truly believe that the ladies need one more title; the logical one being Tag Titles since we do see quite a few ladies tag matches; why not have a tag title – the WWE could even recycle the metal from all the retired belts if they want to save money.

Their matches could be livened up a bit; the ladies don’t seem to have a lot of stipulation matches; and they really could do wonders with that. I’m not talking steel cage matches; but why not an Elimination Chamber match for the title in WWE? More Fatal-Four Ways; Triple Threats and handicap matches (that aren’t Nikki Bella against half the Diva Locker room) wouldn’t go amiss either; it would be a good way to put the locker room to good use. A ladder match could provide some interesting angles; though I doubt this will happen; because its women and the crowd could get squeamish about it.

The Divas and Knockouts of today seem to be little more than window dressing; bookends to the matches by the male wrestlers. There is little representation of high flyers and power houses; as there once was. There is nothing on the books that says the Ladies can’t have exciting matches that ignite the crowd; a great match is a great match regardless of the gender of the competitors in the ring.

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WrestleMania 30: The Last Chance for the WWE Divas to Mean Something

April 02, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

According to WWE.com, history will be made on Sunday, April 6, when the Vickie Guerrero Divas Championship Invitational debuts at The Show of Shows. AJ Lee — the longest reigning Divas Champion of all time — will put her title on the line against 13 Divas inside the squared circle. SmackDown’s General Manger created the momentous match in response to the boastful Divas Champion opting to take a count-out loss to Naomi on the March 24 Raw.

It’s a brilliant idea that may finally prove that the women who are on display with this company must wrestle to prove they are more than eye candy and something to help promote a reality television show on E! Entertainment Television.

When you think of women in wrestling, you are immediately drawn to the idea of Trish Stratus and Lita beating on each other in the ring or Lillian Ellison (The Fabulous Moolah) and her long title reign or Judy Grabel and other females of the past. For those who are no longer with us, including Mae Young, they must be turning over in their graves knowing what the WWE has done to the women’s ranks while TNA and its niche operation still use the Knockouts as important parts of their programming and scheduling.

Shame on you, WWE.

The championship was created by WWE in 2008, and was introduced in storyline by then-SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero as an alternative to Raw’s Women’s Championship. Michelle McCool became the inaugural champion when she defeated Natalya at The Great American Bash. After former Divas Champion Maryse was drafted to Raw as part of the 2009 WWE Draft, she took the title with her. Michelle McCool won a match to unify the WWE Divas and Women’s titles at the Night of Champions pay-per-view, creating the Unified Divas Championship.

Since then, the belt has been a sham and the wrestling has been worse.

While we know women were first introduced into wrestling circles as side acts, valets and props of sorts, the way the WWE has used the women in suspect matches where they end in five minutes or less is just fodder for viewers to leave the television screen or the seat in the arena for a much-needed relief break.

The idea of a challenge like this may be the thing Natalya, Naomi and Tamina need to make sure the honor of women’s wrestling is still upheld with respect. The last time we saw a “decent” feud AJ and Layla were going at it in the ring. I suspect when it is all said and done, AJ and her former bodyguard Tamina will be the last two standing in the ring, where the daughter of Jimmy Snuka wins and therefore holds the title – to be challenged by Natalya.

Somehow, I think my idea of what will happens makes more sense than what will probably happen. When it comes to Divas in a ring the only thing that you can do is expect the unexpected.

Disclaimer: For the next 30 days, this will be an ongoing series of stories as we move down the Road to WrestleMania. Follow Camel Clutch Blog writer/blogger David M. Levin as he talks about the history, the pageantry and the success and failures of the past when it comes to wrestling’s biggest events. The views of the writer are not necessarily the views of Camel Clutch Blog, and this series is intended to ramp up the excitement that is associated with WrestleMania XXX and the Crescent City of New Orleans. Please enjoy this new feature and any comments are most welcome.

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Booking the WWE Divas for Wrestlemania 30

March 21, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Wrestlemania is less then two weeks away and time is running out when it comes to the Divas here. A lot of people really want to see the Divas be on the whole show and want them to get their Wrestlemania moment. While I am for them getting a match at the biggest show of the year, the question is, how would you book them? Knowing that WWE is going to end up doing some type of tag team match like they did a couple of years ago or a disastrous battle royal where they had Santino Marella, in drag as Santina win the Miss Wrestlemania battle royal which was really stupid.

So now this leads to me as I do like to play the booker when it comes to the Divas here and giving some possible situations of what could happen at Wrestlemania. I hope you enjoy this edition of the blog because it’s about to become really interesting in what I’m about to say here. Sit down, grab some popcorn and a soda because here is how I would book the Divas for Wrestlemania.

First thing is first and that is the Divas Championship. The title has been around for five years now and it hasn’t been defended at this show during it’s time in the Divas Division and currently, AJ is the Divas Champion. A lot of reports were saying that AJ was going to drop the title last week against Natalya and leading to a triple threat match with Nikki and Naomi. Wrestlechat on twitter said AJ should defend the title at Wrestlemania and have her drop it there and not on Main Event, which I agreed with because AJ did work hard and should defend the title at the biggest stage. We’ve seen AJ get pinned by Nikki Bella as Nikki held the title over her head and it should be mentioned that Nikki defeated Tamina. We saw Naomi return on Monday and picked up where she left off and we saw tension with Tamina and AJ with Tamina shoving her to the ground. So here is what I would do with the four of those girls and a Wrestlemania Match.

Fatal Four Way for the Divas Championship: AJ Lee vs. Tamina vs. Nikki Bella vs. Naomi for the title. That’s what I would book for Wrestlemania. Have Heel vs. Heel vs. Face vs. Face. Have the Total Divas of Naomi and Nikki in this match due to their wins and their rolls they have been on as of late and have the tension with AJ and Tamina come into play. Maybe tease something with Naomi and Nikki as well and saying that they want the Divas Championship the most and that they deserve it. Maybe have some type of blow up with the both of them (ala Trish and Lita prior to Wrestlemania 18 with them smacking the heck out of each other). That’s what I would do. WWE really needs to hype this up or have stuff done prior before Wrestlemania with some teasing. As for who I would book to win, it’s a toss up with Naomi or Nikki Bella, but I would give Nikki Bella the title. Why? Well last time around, she only held the title for six days before dropping it in 2012 when she and Brie were about to leave the company, but knowing WWE, they might have AJ retain the title. That’s what I would’ve done if I was booking Wrestlemania.

The next thing I would like to talk about is the storyline with Triple H and Daniel Bryan and how Stephanie McMahon is in this as well. We all saw Monday Night on Raw that she was slapping Daniel Bryan while Triple H was holding him up. In the end, Brie Bella was seen going to the hospital with Daniel Bryan. Here is what I think should happen now with Stephanie being in this storyline. I think that Brie should confront Stephanie McMahon about what she’s done to her fiancee. Have the both of them yell back and forth with each other and actually have it become psychical until they have to be broken up in the ring. Stephanie should get on the microphone and tells Brie that she will be paying the price as Brie can go through series of matches as well. At Wrestlemania, Stephanie could get involved in the match, thus having Brie come out of the back and attack Stephanie McMahon and leading to a fight with the both of them. That’s what I would do when it comes to the both of them.

With a little amount of time before Wrestlemania, I think the WWE really needs to step it up with the Divas and how they should be booked here. I will be looking and seeing what match will happen and what actually goes down with Stephanie McMahon. The final weeks should be interesting

Thanks for Reading.

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The Emma WWE Debut Quandary

February 05, 2014 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Monday Night’s Raw saw the first in ring acknowledgement of Emma, a newly called up female wrestler from NXT. From her first glimpse on the show, you might have already dismissed her. If you have, I would implore you not to.

Emma is the first female talent that I think has the potential to not only be a money maker, but the new female face of the company. She’s that good. But you’d never know it by what you saw on Raw last night.

Allow me to start from the beginning.

In the summer of last year, I grew tired of Raw and SmackDown and wanted to shake up my weekly wrestling experience. After hearing endless praise about NXT, I decided to give the show a shot. NXT introduced me to Emma, and at first I didn’t like her.

But, time is a funny thing. As I kept watching NXT, Emma kept getting better and doing amazing things. She wrestled, did backstage promos, got an Austin style stare down with her main rival Paige, and wrestled Paige in one of the top 3 WWE women’s matches that you never saw. Emma has a lengthy history on TV and has consistently held her own as a believable, bankable talent. She should absolutely be where she is now, without question.

But as much as Emma grew on me, deep down inside, I couldn’t shake a feeling of fear.

As a long time wrestling fan, I know what WWE women are. They are (collectively): Hoeskis, mean girls, girls who are jealous, stupid, fat, crazy, and Natalya.

Unlike on Raw, NXT’s women are diverse in personality and provide a large chunk of entertainment, on each week’s show. The differences between Raw and NXT women put a bright spotlight on WWE’s backward mentality toward female characters. Meaning that if used the right way they can be a great asset. But, that’s another rant for another day.

I knew that Emma would have some hurdles to climb once she made the main roster, but I chose to believe that Emma could overcome naysayers with a strong debut.

From the moment we saw shots of Emma in the audience holding signs, I feared trouble. But I still held on to hope. Maybe we could get a backstage segment with Renee allowing her being adorable and that would be enough, right?

That, sadly, is not what happened. WWE did the opposite of that. I’m assuming we all saw the show last night, so I’ll skip a detailed explanation of what happened. All I can say is once I saw the words ‘stupid’ and ‘not another dance off!’ pop up on my Twitter timeline, I just about died.

WWE, I have something to say to you. Emma should not be used only as filler. She’s capable of much greater things than awkwardly dancing after a Great Khali match. If you, WWE, let Emma be Emma, she will be granting wishes and pushing merchandise in no time.

Monday night was not the best start, WWE. She’s not irrevocably broken, but pairing her with Santino is starting down that road. Last night’s introduction to Emma was underwhelming, but it’s not to late to make rectify this error.

Take it from me. Emma has a bright future in this company. She’s unique, beautiful and completely original. Letting her be herself will take her far.

But, WWE, if you continue cutting out Emma’s legs from under her, she’ll be predictable, stereotypical, and tea partying with Santino in no time.

Shanna Harris has been watching wrestling for over 10 years. She loves women’s wrestling, NXT, and live tweeting wrestling shows. Her many wrestling commentaries can be found at Absolutesmark.wordpress.com, and her 140 character rants can be read at @AbsoluteSmark

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AJ Lee’s WWE Divas Championship Run vs. Maryse’s WWE Divas Championship run

January 16, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

This Saturday marks a milestone for AJ Lee and her being the Divas Champion and that is her tying Maryse for the longest reign as Divas Champion with Sunday being the day she become the all time longest reigning Divas Champion to hold that title.

Sure records may become broken at some points in sports, but this one, I’m not really feeling at all here because during AJ’s title run, nothing really memorable has happened besides the epic promo she cut on the total divas back in the Summer of last year and also, there is a debate on twitter on who had the better run of Maryse and AJ Lee. While looking at this and looking at what fans of Maryse have been saying and fans of AJ Lee have been saying, I have come to the conclusion about both of those reigns.

My verdict: Neither of them had the better reign over each other.

Reason being of that is, I found both of those title runs to be unmemorable regarding the Divas Championship. Maryse won the title back in 2008 on a episode of SmackDown where she defeated Michelle McCool for it. She was improving in the ring, but I felt like it was not the right time to put the title on Maryse. I predicted that she was going to win the title in January of the new year, but it seemed like the focus on the Royal Rumble Pay Per View with Melina going after Beth Phoenix for the Women’s Championship. Maryse would go on to win the title, but only to become injured at a house show. It was a disappointing start to her title run as she was slidelined for a bit only until returning back in the ring. Her challengers along the way were Michelle McCool and Gail Kim before being drafted to Raw that year and defending the title against Kelly Kelly before finally dropping it to Mickie James. To me, her run is not really that memorable. The only good matches that I can recall was her against Michelle McCool for the title before Gail Kim would come in and attack both and against Gail Kim on her last match for SmackDown.

Now for AJ’s reason, it was all about having the title on their over diva back last year. We all know that AJ Lee was Diva of the year in 2012, turning heel to align with Dolph Ziggler and at the side of him when he won the World Heavyweight Championship. She would then move on to win a number one contenders battle royal to get a shot at Kaitlyn’s title. However, during the time, there was no progression with the feud for the title and the go home show before Payback was the final straw with Big E being the secret lover of Kaitlyn before AJ revealed it was a hoax. At Payback, AJ Lee would win the title from her former best friend and tag team partner. While the both of them did feud over the summer with the first ever contract signing with the both of them, their rematch at Money In the Bank and their last match at Summerslam with Kaitlyn and Dolph Ziggler getting the win over AJ and Big E. From there, AJ would have contenders left and right for the title, but her only feud right after was with Brie Bella, in which she would retain the title against her a couple of times, but from there, AJ had people challenging her for the title and not a real feud. While AJ fans are saying that AJ’s run is a good one and that it’s something to remember, to me, I feel like it was nothing, but a bust. The only time I remember when a over diva had the title and a actual feud for the title was Kelly Kelly. Remember Beth Phoenix? That was Kelly’s real feud for the title before Kelly would drop it to Beth Phoenix at Hell in a Cell in 2011. Kelly’s run was memorable in a way, but her feud with Beth Phoenix was one of them.

Unless someone defeats AJ for the title during the SmackDown tapings which will air on Friday, AJ will not reach that record as she will just miss it by four days (In SmackDown terms, 1 day), but unless something happens and they give AJ a decent feud, I don’t see her run as champion as memorable. So I’m going to ask this question for everyone that reads the Camel Clutch Blog, do you honestly think that AJ is having a good run as champion? If she passes Maryse’s record, what would you like to see? If she drops the title, did you see it as a good and memorable run?

Thanks for reading

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5 WWE Diva and TNA Knockout Things I want to see in 2014

January 03, 2014 By: Category: lists, WWE | Pro Wrestling

2013 was a up and down year when it came to wrestling for the Divas and the Knockouts. As I look back at that year, I’ve saw Divas like Eve Torres retire, Total Divas became a popular show and the popularity of the NXT girls bloom. I saw Knockouts like Tara, Mickie James and SoCal Val leave the company, Taryn Terrell, who was on the rise, became MIA due to pregnancy and Madison Rayne who was pregnant, leave the company only to come back right after she had her child, we got another Gail Kim run as champion as well as having Lei’d Tapa join the roster. So with 2013 done and over with, here are five things I want to see in the year 2014 when it comes to the Knockouts and the WWE Divas. Here we go.

Summer Rae shining on her own: Since she’s been on the main roster since April, Summer Rae has been used as a dancer and valet to Fandango. She’s had a couple of matches in the ring as well, one of them being a tag team match with Fandango and them going against Natalya and the Great Khail. Summer Rae would win her first match and from there, she has been in the ring once in a while, but this year, I want to see Summer Rae be on her own. Summer Rae is a excellent worker down NXT and I have a feeling she can surely shine on the roster. I have a feeling 2014 is going to be a break out year here for Summer Rae.

A Madison Rayne Knockouts title run: Madison Rayne is back in the company and it appears that she has a mission to become the top Knockout once again on the roster. I have a feeling that going after her fifth Knockouts Championship run is going to mean something then her last four. I want this because I have a feeling that Madison can shine well as a face. Don’t forget, last year, when Velvet Sky came back, she got that meaningful title run her second time around, but with Madison, this can mean something. A feud with Gail Kim and her seems to be in the works here and many believe that their match at Victory Road 2012 was very good and Madison’s best match to date. These two have history and there is a story going on here. So I want to see Madison get that fifth run as champion.

More Knockouts on the Roster: With Madison Rayne coming back, it gave a huge boast to the Knockouts Division. With Taryn Terrell being the next Knockout to possibly come back this year, I want to see more girls come on this roster. We had Lei’d Tapa in 2013 come up, but it’s girls like The Blossoms Twins, Santana Garrett, Mia Yim, Serena Deeb, Taeler Hendrix, Candice Larae and Laura Dennis that I want to see on the roster especially the ones that have appeared during Gail Kim’s open challenge as well as the Knockouts Pay Per View.

Deserving Divas being in Hall of Fame 2014: I have a strong feeling that this year, Lita will be inducted into the Hall of Fame with the fact that Trish Stratus was inducted the year before. Nothing towards Lita as she is my favorite WWE Diva of all time, but there are women that I believe should be in the hall of fame. From the likes of Sable, Miss Elizabeth and the controversial Chyna, along with other divas as well, I honestly feel that those three I said should be inducted into a hall of fame, but out of those three girls that I do see being in the hall of fame, I honestly believe that Chyna should go into the Hall of Fame despite her controversial antics in the past, but you have to look past that and look at the good. Chyna is a three time Intercontinental Champion and the first women to hold a male title, she is also the first women to be in the Royal Rumble, at number 30 as well as being the first women to take part in a qualifier for the King of the Ring even though she was eliminated by Eddie Guerrero back in 2000. While I’m all in for Lita being in the Hall of Fame, I feel the deserving ones, should go in as well.

Out with the old, in with the new: WWE seemed to drop the ball with a couple of things regarding the Divas such as Layla’s heel turn that got nowhere, I have a feeling WWE needs to start off with new things instead of old things. First thing is first, I would like to see them bring up the girls from NXT like Paige, who everyone wants to see on the roster, Emma, and Sasha Banks, who deserve to be on the roster. Secondly, I would like to see them possibly release Rosa Mendes, who has done nothing in the past couple of years despite being a manager, but what memorable thing has she done? I think Layla would be the next to go because what more can you do with her? She’s accomplished everything since she has been in WWE. Even though I’m not the type of person that wishes people not to have a job, there isn’t much more you can do and finally, I would like to see someone feud with AJ for the title such as Naomi, who I believe SHOULD be going after this title.

So those are what I want to see for 2014. I know I have a lot more of things that I want to see for this year, but those are the ones that come to mind. 2014 is still young and we haven’t reached the first Monday Night Raw of the year where the new wrestling year for WWE starts. Let’s hope these things for 2014 happen.

Thanks for reading.

Follow Meagan at Twitter: @MeaganG1990
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Top 13 WWE Divas and TNA Knockouts of 2013 Part 2

December 26, 2013 By: Category: lists, WWE | Pro Wrestling

A couple of weeks ago, I did my top 13 divas and knockouts of 2013 and said that I will follow up on who will be numbers five through one. I had to think about who would fit in the countdown and making sure that I would not cause a stir here on who would be my number one. I took some time to think about it and now I’m ready to tell you who is my top five of 2013. Get ready because this is about to get very interesting.

Coming in at Number Five is…

Brie Bella: Brie Bella is in my top for a reason. It’s not because she is on total divas, it’s not because she’s engaged to Daniel Bryan, it was her improvements this past year that made her land in the top five. When Nikki Bella was out with a serious injury, Brie stepped up to the plate this year. Brie faced off against Natalya at Summerslam this past year, in which she lost, but a couple of weeks later, she would win against Natalya only to be in a feud with AJ Lee for the Divas Championship. In the Fatal Four Way with Natalya, Naomi and AJ, Brie held out on her own and showed her improvements in the ring, even though Brie did come up short, she was able to have some decent matches against the likes of Alicia Fox and AJ, whom she challenged twice for the title, but came up short. In 2014, I expect Brie Bella to keep on having these improvements in the ring and I hope this can lead to her second Divas Championship.

Number four is Kaitlyn: Now I know that people are going to be asking why am I putting Kaitlyn in the number four spot over Brie Bella? Well if you look back in the beginning of the year, Kaitlyn was feuding with former WWE Diva, Eve Torres over the Divas Championship. Originally, it was reported that Kaitlyn was supposed to win the title at the Royal Rumble, but Eve said that she wanted to drop the title to Kaitlyn in her hometown of Houston, Texas. Kaitlyn would then feud with the likes of Tamina, who she retained over at Elimination Chamber, Natalya, who she defeated at NXT and then her high profiled feud with AJ Lee over the summer where AJ and she had a match to be considered a top 25 match on WWE.com. Kaitlyn would defeat her longtime rival in a tag team match with Dolph Ziggler at Summerslam this year. Even though Kaitlyn was quiet for the time being until the disaster of the RAW goes country show, I expect her next year to come back and do something in the division.

Three goes to NXT Diva, Paige. Paige, along with the divas from the main roster and the NXT Roster faced off in a tournament for the NXT Women’s Championship to determine who will be the first ever champion. Paige along the way defeated the likes of Tamina, Alicia Fox and eventually, Emma to win the NXT Women’s Championship. She also became very popular within the year during her run as champion as well feuding with the likes of Summer Rae and having a really good match with her on an edition of NXT as well as having a match of the year candidate with Natalya. In 2014, I expect Paige to be on the main roster and tearing it up. I would love to see her on the roster and doing that.

Two goes to Gail Kim. In the beginning of the year, I wouldn’t have expected her to have a number one ranking like she did back in 2012 because Gail started the year on a little bit of a losing streak, but it wasn’t till her match with Taryn Terrell in the last knockout standing match that Gail picked up the pace. Gail would lose that match only to rebound in another huge match against Taryn Terrell, this time in the ladder match, in which she won. After really not having that much of a storyline going into Bound For Glory, Gail Kim would win the Knockouts Championship for a third time, thanks to Lei’d Tapa and since then, Gail has been unstoppable with her, but it appears that her next task is feuding against Madison Rayne. In 2014, Gail will enter as champion, but will she make another history breaking record or will Madison Rayne be the one to stop that going into 2014?

And now, for the number one, after thinking about this and thinking who will be my number one for this countdown, the number one Diva or Knockout for 2013 is none other then.

AJ Lee: AJ Lee started 2013 as Dolph Ziggler’s girlfriend. She really didn’t do that much until this summer where AJ Lee started to feud with her former tag team partner, Kaitlyn. It was then at Payback that AJ would finally reach her goal in becoming the WWE Divas Champion and from there, AJ has been unstoppable. She would then retain the championship at Money In the back against Kaitlyn only to lose Dolph Ziggler in the process when she cost him a shot at winning back the World Heavyweight Championship then going on to feud against her former boyfriend and friend, only to lose that match at Summerslam this year. However, it was right after Summerslam, AJ would drop a pipebomb shell against the total divas, in which she would feud with all of them and retain her championship against Naomi, Natalya and Brie Bella. She would win then grab a body guard in Tamina along the way and retain her championship with her help. However, at Survivor Series of this year, AJ would lose for her team and then be eliminated third the following night on raw. However, with a report that was speculated with AJ causing a scene in the back at Tribute to the Troops that she might lose the championship. Turns out AJ would retain her championship and end 2013 with being on top of the divas division. AJ is going into 2014 as the Divas champion, but the question is, who will stop this diva and win the championship from her?

So that ends five through one for my divas and knockouts of 2013. 2014 starts a whole different year for everyone in WWE. Who would shine? Who will stand out? I’m sure that everyone is going to be looking at this year very carefully next season.

Follow Meagan at Twitter: @MeaganG1990
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