It’s that time of year once again: the Perfect 10 is back to count down the top 10 Divas and Knockouts of 2010. Based on their year’s successes, we’ve compiled (as best we can) the ten Divas and Knockouts we feel gave us a 2010 to remember in WWE and TNA. Check back over the next five days to see the countdown unfold, with the #1 being revealed on New Year’s Eve (Friday).
#7: MICKIE JAMES
LAST YEAR: #5 – 2008: #4
It’s been a strange year for Mickie James. Beginning the year by winning her fifth Women’s Championship, little did we know that we’d see her as a TNA Knockout by year’s end.
Continuing her feud with Michelle McCool and Layla from the end of 2009, there was heartbreak for Mickie as she had a cake smashed in her face in that infamous ‘Piggie James Going Away Party’ back in January. The powerful segment which aired on SmackDown was without a doubt one of the most compelling Divas segments in quite some time and ran nearly 10 minutes long. James exacted her revenge on McCool at the Royal Rumble, defeating her to win the Women’s Championship and dumped a cake of her own on both members of Lay-Cool.
The Women’s Title reign was cut short, however, after Mickie lost the belt in a rematch thanks to biased special guest referee, Vickie Guerrero.
Mickie briefly disappeared due to a staph infection but that didn’t hold her back as she was part of the 10-Diva tag team match at WrestleMania. Shortly after ‘Mania though, James was shockingly released despite being the most popular Diva in WWE. The move was met with intense backlash, with one fan even calling WWE’s headquarters, threatening to bomb it.
During her downtime, Mickie pursued another passion: singing. Releasing her debut album ‘Strangers & Angels’ earlier this year, Mickie went about establishing herself in a new career-path, while continuing to ply her trade in independent matches with the likes of Mia Yim and Mercedes Martinez.
But the bright lights of national television soon called once again. Mickie James returned to TNA Wrestling in October, making her debut on a live episode of Impact and she hasn’t looked back since.
Getting straight into the thick of things, Mickie has been front-and-center in the Knockouts division since her debut, showing us a new side to her and even helping rejuvenate the division. Her feud with fellow former WWE Diva, Tara, spanned three months and included several knock-down brawls all over the Impact Zone.
In November, James made her pay per view debut in a match with Tara that quickly disseminated into chaos but the kept viewers on the edge of their seats. The following month, it was much of the same as the two brawling Knockouts competed in a Falls Count Anywhere match. After Tara stole the victory with the help of Madison Rayne, there was only one thing for it…
Within the confines of a steel cage, Mickie and Tara headlined Impact in December, putting an end to their extremely physical feud. As James leapt from the top of the cage with a Thesz Press on her rival, it was almost a metaphor for James’ own leap this year. A year of dramatic change, but Mickie certainly landed on her feet and continues to be one of the most popular women in the industry today.
We are guaranteed to see James in the title picture in 2011, as she will cash in her #1 Contendership on the first pay per view of the year in January. It’s almost inevitable that the ‘Hardcore Country’ Knockout will win the gold at some point next year, solidifying her place in history as the first — and only — woman to hold the TNA Knockouts, WWE Divas and WWE Women’s Championships.
Check back tomorrow for #6