Katz Files: Winter TNA Knockout Report

The Katz Files – Arnie Katz

Winter TNA Knockout Report!:

The Kingfish Arnie Katz evaluates the current strengths and weaknesses of the individual performers of TNA’s Knockout Division

TNA is still pushing the Knockout Division, but it’s no secret to fans that women’s wrestling in the promotion is not exactly at an al-time peak. There is undeniable talent among the workers, but a combination of poor match-ups and bad booking have siphoned off a lot of the heat.

Four times a year, I look at the individual wrestlers in the knockout Division and gauge their performance in a variety of areas.

Here’s this quarter’s evaluation:

Awesome Kong

Wrestling. No one questions her ring ability, but it certainly doesn’t show to good advantage in the squash matches she has wrestled for too long. Her recent back woes haven’t made her any more mobile in the ring and there isn’t another woman on the roster who looks creditable in there against her. (B+)

Dramatics. Awesome Kong doesn’t speak and Raisha Saeed has not developed any nuance or sophistication as her mouthpiece. Endless growling about how Kong will crush her next opponent are repetitive and, ultimately, boring. (C)

Charisma. Bad booking is dissipating the aura of specialness Kong had when she first arrived in TNA. The addition of the Kongtourage is a huge negative in this regard. They take the focus off Kong and don’t replace it with anything much. (B-)

Heat. TNA has turned down the thermostat. Why they would want to do things that cause her heat to diminish is something I can’t explain. (That’s an internet first, by the way. No writer has ever admitted there’s something they don’t know.) Heat takes matches. (C)

Taylor Wilde

Wrestling. Taylor doesn’t have a wide repertoire of moves, but she does the ones she knows pretty well. She can work an interesting match, which is the ultimate test in this regard, though she will always look best against smallish, mobile women. (B-)

Dramatics. Her arrival in TNA was certainly dramatic, since she came out of the crowd to defeat Awesome Kong. She hasn’t done much since then and often seems like Roxxi’s assistant. (Or would, if Roxxi didn’t seem like ,I>her assistant the rest of the time.) (C)

Charisma. Some fans call her a Barbie Doll, but she looks fairly capable, though petite. Taylor Wilde lights up the ring for most guys and has a combination of glamour and athleticism that plays very well. (B-)

Heat. Sometimes I feel like a broken record when I have to evaluate the Heat or Star Power of TNA workers. It sometimes seems that no matter how hot the performer is when he or she arrives in the promotion, TNA’s inconsistent writing and booking cuts them down. Taylor Wilde will get heat if they ever find someone to use with her in an extended program. (C)

ODB

Wrestling. ODB has a crowd-pleasing wrestling style that works well with her status as a blue collar girl and larger-than-life character. She combines strength and speed. Her biggest concern should be to resist the temptation to become cartoonish. Her biggest need is someone to fight. (B+)

Dramatics. Sometimes it seems like she is the only Knockout who knows how to deliver an interview. Her interview spot is worth continuing, but they need to get the guests to be as lively as the hostess. (A-)

Charisma. Some men dream of an antiseptic, scrubbed-clean Fairy Princess. For them, there are the Divas and, in TNA, the Beautiful People. Others like things a little funkier, a little less plastic. ODB plays strongly to the “darker side” of the fans’ psycho-sexual imperatives. The announcers are on the wrong track by constantly asserting her unattractiveness. OK, so I’m a mark for ODB. (A-)

Heat. Fans love her. She is Stone Cold with Mammoth Breasts. (B+).

Angelina Love

Wrestling. She isn’t flashy, but her matches are usually fairly crisp and entertaining. Although they sell her looks, she is an experienced worker who knows what to do inside the ropes. (B)

Dramatics. Like the girl with the curl in the middle of her head, when the Beautiful People are very very good when they are good – and very very bad when they are bad. The Governor bit was like an out-take from a failed MTV show. Bad writing can undercut any dramatic performance. (B-)

Charisma. She’s very pretty and sexy, so fans probably like her a little despite her character’s abrasive personality. She has a lot of potential, very little of which is being used in TNA. (B-)

Heat. There’s nothing like a boring, repetitive and un-funny comedy spot to cool off a wrestler. The Beautiful People are on Life Support. Hiring someone who can write for women would be a good move, as would finding another tag team for The Beautiful People to fight. (B-)

Velvet Sky

Wrestling. While not as good as her partner, Velvet is doing better in matches as she gains experience in working at this level. (B-)

Dramatics. She tends to let Angelina Love take the lead in interviews. But she has also displayed some flair for dialogue. (C+)

Charisma. She is not as vivid as her teammate, though she has the right look. Her hair is better than “Love’s. (B-)

Heat. The Beautiful People are the TNA’s only tag team. They can fight Roxxi and Wilde till the end of time, but no one really cares, since there’s nothing at stake for either duo. (B-)

Roxxi

Wrestling. Roxxi is reasonably well trained, but she doesn’t do a lot in the ring. The hardcore idea was ideal for her, except that they have not developed it at all. (C+)

Dramatics. Roxxi seems motivated to improve, but they might want to consider hiring someone who can teach her how to be a more exciting and forceful interview. If TNA is serious about pushing her, she needs to do hardcore interviews, too. (C)

Charisma. Frankly, it’s hard to tell how much natural appeal she has. She wasn’t that compelling as the Voodoo Queen and she is more curious than exciting in her current guise. (C)

Heat. Fans like her, but she is behind Taylor Wilde and ODB in the babyface pecking order. There’s no heat when there are no good matches. (C-)

None of the other women do enough at this point to make it possible to rate them. That’s a statement in itself, I guess. There are too many people just standing around instead of doing something interesting in the show.

That’s it for today. I’ll be back tomorrow with another installment of the Internet’s fastest-rising daily wrestling column. I hope you’ll join me and, please, bring your friends.

— Arnie Katz
[email protected]
(2/23/08)