As TNA said in a recent promo, this is a new era with new talent arriving in the company. I have to question where exactly the Knockouts Division fits into this.
The Knockouts division was once the jewel in the TNA crown. The one division that was superior to WWE’s, at the time. That was back when Amazing Kong and Gail Kim were creating wrestling magic. When you look at the current product, there is something missing. Credit given to Gail Kim, ODB and the monster Lei’D Tapa who have spearheaded the division since Bound for Glory, but they haven’t been given good storylines to make their mark in this turbulent TNA environment.
There was a welcome return to action for Madison Rayne who has come back to a lot of fanfare, and a welcome return to form as well. The TNA fans also await the return of Taryn Terrell, no one was prepared for what she would bring and her battles with Gail Kim were some of the best matches in TNA last year. I expect nothing less than a Knockouts title run when she returns.
To strengthen the division, the secret is no longer within the company. TNA should start to look outside of their comfort zone, looking at ROH, PWG and perhaps Shimmer to strengthen their talent pool. It has tried in the past to improve the division but they have had limited success.
A few years ago The Gut Check programme began and gave wrestlers a chance to develop their skills. The programme gave us Taeler Hendrix and she had the chance to become a Knockout. Except the development programme wasn’t there to support he or new talent in general, a sentiment shared by many of the TNA staff.
Then thanks to British Boot Camp The Blossom Twins were given their chance, but the same story played out and they too became a missed opportunity. A female tag-team with the drive to develop their craft completely missed and in the long run, a possible feud that could have had fans interested in the division.
We are in a time where TNA is still one of biggest wrestling companies globally and they should really be thinking to the future. We have to remember their financial woes and assume they have realised there are no short cuts anymore. This is why signing new independent stars and investing more money in coaches and trainers would massively help develop new stars for the future of the company. They could even bring back former TNA stars like Mickie James, Tara or Angelina Love to help develop new stars. This would strengthen TNA and send out a message that the company is committed to its future.
You only have to look at WWE a few years ago when the Divas Division wasn’t anywhere near as developed as it is now. Stars who have been trained like AJ Lee and Naomi are on the main stage. AJ Lee in particular is one of the longest reigning Divas Champions of all time. This is just the beginning with stars like Paige, Emma and Sasha Banks on there way as well. This is a testament to the long term planning of WWE and shows why this is the one time that when fans saying TNA copies WWE is a good thing.
– By Craig Hermit | @craighermit
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