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WWE signs Awesome Kong

Awesome Kong is heading to the WWEIt has been confirmed that the WWE has signed former TNA Wrestling Knockouts Champion Awesome Kong. The former TNA star will immediately be the biggest and most intimidating WWE Diva. While most are applauding the move this is one that just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

The stats on the 33 year old 5′ 9” 272 lb. female professional wrestler sound as if she is ready to step into the ring with the Undertaker. The WWE signing really surprises me as the focus on WWE Divas has completely changed under the management of WWE Senior Vice President of Talent Relations John Laurenitus. Laurenitus and the WWE have recruited new Divas from modeling catalogs and bikini magazines. With all due respect to Awesome Kong, I highly doubt that the WWE found her in any of these publications.

In the ring this is a fantastic signing. Most American pro wrestling fans are familiar with Kong from her run in TNA Wrestling from 2007-2010. However, Kong has been wrestling professionally for eight years. Kong under the name Amazing Kong got her start wrestling for All Japan Women’s Pro Wrestling, universally regarded for having the toughest and best female pro wrestlers in the business. Kong will immediately walk into the WWE locker room as one of the most seasoned professionals in the company. In the ring she is bound to be an immediate hit with the WWE universe. In my opinion The WWE just signed the best female pro wrestler in the country.

Out of the ring the signing is a huge risk in my opinion. Kong is reported to have had a hot temper in TNA Wrestling. Kong’s blowup on radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge is well known and whether you agree or disagree with what he said, she shouldn’t have physically attacked him in the locker room. She is also reported to have had harsh words with Lacey Von Erich. To me, it just seems that the woman can be a bit of a bully to people in the wrestling business without the acumen that she has. If she thought watching Lacey Von Erich work was frustrating, she is going to need to be restrained watching some of the WWE Divas wrestle.

The problem with all of this is that WWE is a public company. I can’t see many in that company putting up with that kind of behavior from a fringe performer. JBL may have gotten away with it, but she is no JBL. The WWE actively recruits women with zero pro wrestling backgrounds (some who aren’t even fans) to be pro wrestlers. For one, I just don’t know how many great matches you are going to get out of Kong with performers of that level. Two, for someone with so little patience I have no idea why the WWE would want to take the risk of her hurting one of their Divas. It isn’t going to be pretty if some cute little blonde winds up on MSNBC or Fox News talking about getting beaten up and bullied by a woman twice her size under the WWE watch. A male wrestler is likely not going to do that. A female wrestler with no real passion for the business may not think twice about it.

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The name Awesome Kong is also likely to go. I think it is a great name and it really played to her character in TNA. However, as a public company with sponsors I can see an immediate uproar over a large African American female wrestler being named after King Kong. I am not saying it is right or wrong, it is just the society we live in today. I would be shocked if there wasn’t a name change.

With all of the negatives that come with the signing, there is potential here for some great WWE Divas matches. Maybe the WWE is trying to recreate the Alundra Blayze vs. Bull Nakano series from the 90s that is still remembered as some of the best in the history of the female WWE division. We already know the potential in matches featuring Awesome Kong vs. Gail Kim from their great run in TNA. Melina and Natalya also have the potential to have some really good matches with Kong. Unfortunately after Melina, Natalya, and Kim, the well gets pretty dry.

I’d also like to prepare WWE fans of the worst possible scenario here. Remember this is the WWE, the same company that took a great female talent Rhonda Sing (another AJW alumni) and turned her into a complete joke during her WWE run. There is always the potential that the WWE creative team will write like fifth graders and make jokes and a mockery out of this very talented wrestler. Quite frankly I’d be shocked if it didn’t end up that way at some point.

It is nice in 2011 to see a company that has been more concerned about what their wrestlers look like, think out of the box and sign someone with skill over magazine appeal. When the WWE ran with Umaga a few years back, he turned out to be one of the hottest characters in the company due to the fact that he looked so different from everyone else (and he was a hell of a worker). I don’t know what the shelf life of this signing is, but in the meantime I can’t say I am not looking forward to seeing another Kong vs. Kim series.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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