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Posted in: The Crow's Nest
The Crow's Nest: Knockouts vs. Divas - The Sexiest Battle Royale In History
By TheCrow
Oct 3, 2011 - 12:44:44 PM



1) Knockouts vs. Divas: The Sexiest Battle Royale In History



If there's one aspect of professional wrestling that regularly goes under-appreciated by the fan base, it's women's wrestling. Some people think it's a waste of time and that if it weren't for that damn thing known as "political correctness" it probably wouldn't exist in North America. Other people appreciate what these women do week in and week out, and while the matches may not be 5-Star Instant Classics, their contribution is still appreciated.

I am definitely a member of the latter group. It has nothing to do with being politically correct and giving them the same chance that the men get though. There is so much talent out there in women's wrestling, and just because some companies like to hire models who pretend to be wrestlers rather than actually look for women who are both hot AND talented does not mean that the entire idea is garbage.

In North America there exists two major wrestling companies that you might have heard of, WWE and TNA, and each of them has their own women's division, the Divas and the Knockouts respectively. I've said it many a time in my columns before that I prefer the Knockouts to the Divas, but in the interest of fairness for today's column I'm coming into this with an objective eye. I want to take a look at both divisions and find out once and for all which company's women's division is superior. So let's just get right to it shall we?

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Before any comparisons begin, I want to list both rosters of female wrestlers so I don't have to do it in each of the categories below. I won't be including women who are strictly ring announcers or backstage personalities, so sorry to anyone that gets cut.

WWE Divas: A.J., Alicia Fox, Beth Phoenix, Brie Bella, Eve, Kaitlyn, Kelly Kelly, Layla, Maryse, Natalya, Nikki Bella, Rosa Mendes, Tamina

TNA Knockouts: Angelina Love, Brooke Tessmacher, Jackie, Madison Rayne, Mickie James, ODB, Rosita, Sarita, Tara, Velvet Sky, Winter



Comparison 1: Hotness of the Women

If you, like me, are a heterosexual red-blooded male, chances are you've noticed that female wrestlers tend to be pretty good looking. Hotness of these female combatants might not seem like an important aspect to even look at here, but allow me to explain. If you have never watched wrestling before (or haven't watched in a while) and happen to tune in to an episode of RAW, Smackdown, or iMPACT and a women's match is going on, chances are your interest level is going to be directly related to how hot the women are. So while it has nothing to do with how talented they might be as a wrestler, it is absolutely an important thing to look at when doing a comparison between the two divisions.

Now the challenge is how to compare them. My list of who I think is hottest could very well be different than yours, especially with the varying types of "looks" on those two rosters. So keep in mind, this is going to be the most opinion-based part of this entire column. For the sake of argument, I'll pick 4 women from each roster who I believe are the hottest and go from there in a comparison.

My picks from WWE are as follows. Maryse, because she just oozes raw sexuality (and the French accent helps. Luckily I speak French, so language barriers are not an issue). AJ, because I've always been partial to cute girls like her, and of course she's a self-proclaimed nerd, which I am as well. Kelly Kelly because, well, I want to see her naked. Also I wonder if she screams as much in bed as she does when she's wrestling, because that would be awesome. And last but not least, Beth Phoenix. Some guys might not be in to the muscular woman thing, but if she's hot AND can kick my ass? Instant love.

My picks from TNA are as follows. Brooke Tessmacher, which shouldn't be a surprise to anyone who reads my iMPACT reviews given how often I drool over her. Madison Rayne, because she reminds me of every bitchy girl from high school that I wanted to do terrible things to and never call again. Velvet Sky, because much like Maryse I think she just oozes raw sexuality that never fails to excite me. And lastly, Winter, because there's something about semi-gothic girls that I just can't get over.

I had to put a lot of thought into finding a winner here, but in the end it comes down to the winner having a bit of diversity. The TNA Knockouts are hot, that's for sure, but the WWE Divas have different kinds of hotness that I like. Considering WWE's reputation for just hiring good-looking women who have little to no actual training or experience in professional wrestling it shouldn't be a surprise that their roster is loaded with hotties. So that being said, the win here goes to the WWE Divas. If I had included non-wrestling personalities this may have been closer as TNA would have also had Christy Hemme, SoCal Val, and Karen Jarrett added to their list. Oh well, I'm over it. Moving on.

Comparison 2: Strength of Characters

As any good wrestling fan knows, one of the most important aspects of a wrestler's success is a strong character. Without developing a persona on TV, how is anyone supposed to get over with the crowd? Some of the greatest legends of all time are known just as much for how they acted as they are for their in-ring skills. Guys like Steve Austin who, while not exactly the greatest technician of all time, are always in the conversation of "greatest of all time". So which company's women's roster has the stronger group of characters? Well, let's follow the example from my previous comparison and pick four from each company that I believe have the strongest characters.

WWE Picks: Beth Phoenix, Natalya, Brie & Nikki Bella

TNA Picks: Madison Rayne, Winter, Mickie James, ODB

My WWE picks are a little lighter than I predicted they would be, but examining the roster it was hard to pick out strong characters if for no other reason than they rarely get a chance to shine on TV. You have Beth Phoenix and Natalya who have definitely established themselves as strong heel characters united under a common cause. Other than that, who does the Divas roster really have? Your standard vanilla faces who have nothing unique about their personas (e.g., Kelly Kelly, Eve) and everyone else is so lacking in exposure that they haven't really had a chance to establish characters. The Bellas made my list because at least they're fairly established as bitches and at least get SOME kind of reaction when they come out. Maryse only failed to make the list because she hasn't exactly been used a lot lately.

The TNA Knockouts on the other hand are a different story. It was hard for me to limit my list to four picks because of the characters that are established on the roster. Madison Rayne is probably one of the strongest characters, male or female, on the TNA roster right now and never fails to get heel heat when she comes out to the ring. She used to be just a somewhat entertaining addition to "The Beautiful People", but once she separated from them she quickly became "The Queen Bee" and established a nice heel persona for herself. On top of that you have ODB, who represents the badass kind of chick that most guys would like to go pound a few beers with. Heel or face she gets a reaction. Mickie James, as much as I like to shit on her for her deteriorating ring skills and physical shape, has a nicely established "country girl" face character. And then there's Winter. Ever since joining the TNA roster and putting Angelina Love "under her spell", Winter has become this mystical and dangerous heel that will do whatever it takes to succeed.

It shouldn't be a surprise here who my pick for the winner is. The WWE Divas roster gets such little time on TV that none of the women really have a chance to ever establish characters for themselves. For every Beth Phoenix, Natalya, or Kharma, you have crap like Kelly Kelly, Eve, Rosa Mendes, etc. On the TNA side of things, even when their Knockouts division is weak (as it is now, compared to how it used to be anyways) it still has many established characters. It's not uncommon for more than one Knockouts feud to be going on at the same time. For instance, we recently had: Angelina Love/Winter feuding with Mickie James, Velvet Sky feuding with ODB/Jackie, and Tara feuding with Madison Rayne. When was the last time WWE gave a Diva a good storyline? Kharma? That didn't exactly work out. "Divas of Doom"? Has potential, but has yet to really impress me. So my pick for the winner of which company has stronger female characters is the TNA Knockouts.

Comparison 3: Strength on the Microphone

This is going to be a short comparison here. I'm not even going to bother picking four women from each roster because really, how many of the WWE Divas can wow me with a promo? Beth Phoenix and Natalya are probably the best talkers on the Divas roster (with Layla getting honourable mention) and none of them are really spectacular. That's not to say the TNA Knockouts are devoid of fail when it comes to the mic, but there is certainly some talent there. You've got Madison Rayne who can ignite the crowd within seconds of picking up the stick (heh…). You've got Winter who, while not the best material-wise, has such a unique delivery that it really sets her apart from the rest. You've got Tara who brings a level of intensity to her promos that few women can match. Hell, you've even got Mickie James who can cut a decent face promo if she really puts her mind to it. It comes down to which company gives more attention to the characters of these women, and as we saw in the last comparison I would argue that TNA does that better.

No contest here. TNA Knockouts win this battle.

Comparison 4: In-Ring Abilities

Finally, perhaps the most important of all the comparisons, we have to look at how competent these women are inside the ring. If you're hot, have a strong character, and are solid on the mic, you'll probably do fairly well for yourself. But because of the unfortunately harsh eye people use to critique a woman's in-ring ability, being able to actually go out there and wrestle is crucial to success. I guess the same could be said about male wrestlers as well, but since they get more attention on TV on a regular basis (and since it's usually the only kind of wrestling that most fans actually consider prestigious) I don't personally believe that the men are held to the same standard. So once again, I'm going to pick the top 4 women that I believe have the best in-ring abilities on their respective rosters.

WWE Picks: Beth Phoenix, Natalya, Maryse, Eve

TNA Picks: Tara, Winter, Madison Rayne, Sarita

Notably absent from the TNA list is Mickie James, but I have my reasons for not picking her. If we were talking about the Mickie James that debuted in WWE a few years back, she would most definitely be up there on my list. But lately she seems to botch multiple moves in the same match on a regular basis and has noticeably lost a couple steps, likely due to her physical conditioning. Luckily for TNA though, there is more than enough talent on the rest of their roster to make up for Mickie's shortcomings. Tara (the former Victoria in WWE) is probably one of the best women's wrestlers in the industry today. On top of that there's also Madison Rayne who improves every week she wrestles, Winter who has been on my radar since debuting as Katie Lea Burchill a few years ago, and Sarita who combines some lucha libre aspects with American style wrestling and is also regularly improving.

On the WWE side of things we have Beth Phoenix and Natalya, two names who also belong in the list of greatest female wrestlers in the industry today. Hell, I'd probably put them on a list of the greatest female wrestlers of all time. Both women have incredible strength, speed, and technical abilities, all crucial aspects to a well-rounded wrestler. Maryse, when she was a regular competitor, was always improving and quickly became one of the top competitors in her division. Eve was a harder pick for me to make, but in the end it was her athleticism and determination that won me over. She never used to be anything special, but she's improved a lot since debuting as an in-ring competitor and it's fairly obvious to even the most casual of fans that she loves what she does. She'll never be confused with legends like Trish Stratus or Lita, but she serves her purpose on the Divas roster.

So who comes out on top here? Well once again it comes down to one thing. When I was picking four competitors from each roster, I once again had a harder time picking names from the WWE roster than I did picking from the TNA roster, and that in itself is fairly indicative of which is better in my mind. If I had to pick which roster had the single greatest female wrestler, WWE would win in a heartbeat. But since we're talking about which one is better overall, one competitor just won't cut it. This might be the closest comparison yet between the four picks that I made, but much like there can only be one Highlander, there can only be one winner here. So once again, the TNA Knockouts take the win.

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The final score after those four comparisons is TNA 3, WWE 1. The overall winner should be pretty obvious, but in case some of you are not so good with numbers, it is my pleasure to announce that the winner is…

The TNA Knockouts



I can already hear some of you haters screaming for my blood out there and accusing me of being biased since I am the self-proclaimed "most loyal TNA fan around these parts". But realistically I don't think I was unfair in any of my judgements. TNA simply pays more attention to their women's division than WWE does, and that really shows in how successful they are. Hell, their division has only officially been around for 4 years now (when the first Knockouts Champion was crowned at Bound For Glory in 2007) and while it's certainly not as strong as it once was, it's simply just better than the WWE Divas division right now.

So what do you guys think? Do you disagree with my picks? Do you agree? Would you have picked different names for the "top 4" lists? Let me know what you think either here in the Facebook feed, through a PM on LoP, or to my email at lopcrowsnest@aol.com.

But that's it for me for now folks, so until next time, take care and for God sakes don't spike that hair, you could put an eye out. You insensitive guido bastards.

******


Soundtrack From the Nest



Far from an original concept, but what the hell. Every column now I'll post a song that I've been listening to a lot lately and give you all an insight into my fairly deep musical tastes. First up is…



I've been listening to these guys since their Myspace days when half of their songs were about how "scene" they were, drinking a lot, and banging hot women. These days they're more about…well, pretty much the same thing to be honest, just in a more polished and more thought out form. This song is from the album American Tragedy and I fully recommend checking out the album. Other songs of note are Comin' In Hot, Apologize, and Hear Me Now. Check it.

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