I've been very candid about my appreciation for all the things TNA has done with their Knockouts Division. I ALSO have been very candid about WWE's deterioration of their division over the years. I admit, this may sound like a criticism, but it's simply a statement of fact. That notwithstanding, I have a task to undertake....
Create a 13 Woman Division using a few simple rules....
1. All must come from either WWE or TNA.
2. All must be CURRENTLY employed by one or the other.
3. Choose 3 Divas from 2000-2002
--Choose 3 Divas from 2003-2009
--Choose 2 Divas from the PG Era (2010-present)
--Choose 5 Knockouts
4. ONE from each category MUST be a trainee (in their first year on a major promotion roster)
As a last, but unnumbered rule, I plan on leaving Lita AND Trish Stratus OUT of the selections. Why? Here's a well known fact: Both women were, arguably, the most popular choices by nearly every columnist I have ever read material from. Quite simply put, it would be too easy.
SO...where do I begin? 2000.2001.2002. Looking at the roster, I HAVE to make a decision that is the perfect balance of in ring prowess and beauty. Here's the fact of the matter....WWE had a deep roster to pick from, but in spite of that, I've managed to glean my three.
The thing about this little era is that NONE of the Divas save for Victoria are currently employed by either company, making this little task just a bit harder. SO.....let's alter the rule a bit and add 2 picks divided between any of the remaining eras.....
Moving on.....from 2003 to 2009, WWE FLOODED their roster with Diva Search contestants, making the roster a virtual revolving door of talents. It also made the final count nearly impossible to nail down. Nevertheless, I made my choices here as well....
Brooke Adams (trainee)
The truly sad thing about this time span is that ONLY Layla and Natalya remain on WWE's roster. The rest have either left of their own accord or became involuntary members of the Future Endeavors Club. Some went indy and others like Mickie James and Adams, who now goes by Tessmacher, now work for TNA.
The PG Era is a tough one to call as I see very little actual talent on the roster in the division. I DO, however, see women that, if given the chance to flourish, could make a respectable name form themselves. My two picks are:
TNA's Knockout Division is left and it has some promising talents for me to pick from and, with Gut Check to thank, allows me to complete the task without compromising the rules.....
Taeler Hendrix (trainee)
Looking at this list, it reads like a Who's Who of the CURRENT best in the business today for mainstream talent. I would LOVE to see what some of the members of this list could do under proper tutelage and if given some time to hone their craft. Women like Kaitlyn and Eve would THRIVE under the mentorship of the members of the Knockouts Division....of this I have no doubt.