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).
LAST YEAR: — 2008: –
No Diva has seen her stock rise quite in a 12 month period quite like Layla. The rise and rise of the London-born Diva has to be considered perhaps one of the greatest success stories of the year. While Divas like Eve and Alicia were touted ‘the next big thing’ in the Divas division, it was Layla who truly proved to be the next top Diva in WWE, joining the ranks of Michelle McCool, Melina and Beth Phoenix. By associating herself with McCool last year, Layla shot to the top of the Divas division and became one half of the duo that defined 2010 in female wrestling: Lay-Cool. She now defines herself not as ‘former Diva Search winner’ but as ‘former Women’s Champion’.
Beginning the year by continuing her feud along with Michelle against Mickie James, Layla memorably donned a fatsuit on an episode of SmackDown, mocking James. At January’s Royal Rumble, again she donned the fatsuit but this time she was attacked by Mickie, who then went onto defeat Michelle for the Women’s Title and dumped a cake on both members of Lay-Cool just as they had done to her some weeks prior.
Despite being humiliated, the year would get a lot better as Michelle regained the Women’s Championship just a month later and the duo of Lay-Cool turned their attention to the Glamazon, Beth Phoenix. Mocking her for her lack of femininity, Lay-Cool dubbed her the ‘Manazon’ and ‘Glama-man’. After Beth defeated McCool in an Extreme Makeover match in April, Lay-Cool would then team up in a two-on-one handicap match on SmackDown against the injured Beth who had torn her ACL just a week prior. In the match, Beth dropped the belt to Lay-Cool and much to the surprise of fans, it was Layla who picked up the pin and officially won the Women’s Championship, making her the first Diva Search winner to do so.
A first in Diva history, Lay-Cool declared themselves co-Women’s Champions, first holding a title each and then sharing half of a belt. Over the summer, the duo feuded with Kelly Kelly (who they dubbed ‘Smelly Kelly’) and Tiffany (‘Skirt Tiffany’). Layla found herself in the mix of things in this feud, defending the Women’s Championship on behalf of Lay-Cool at Money in the Bank in July. The flawless one was victorious in retaining the belt.
Following Melina’s return to Raw in August, the two SmackDown Divas made their presence felt following a Raw Divas Championship match at SummerSlam, laying out Melina. Lay-Cool then challenged Melina to a title unification match at Night of Champions. Tension soon arose in the Lay-Cool camp as they tried to decide who should face Melina: it ended up being Michelle McCool, despite Layla being the official champion. Though she teased that she wasn’t in Michelle’s corner at the pay per view, at the end of the match Layla distracted Melina, allowing Michelle to pick up the win. The duo then declared themselves co-Divas Champions as Layla defended the belt the next night on Raw successfully against Melina.
The co-Divas Champs then found themselves with a new challenger: Natalya. Having won a battle royal to become #1 Contender, Natalya was unperturbed by Lay-Cool’s antics including mocking her for looking like her father (saying she had a beard) and even dressing up as her. Layla defeated Natalya, successfully defending the Divas Championship at October’s Bragging Rights, but the duo eventually lost the belt to Nattie at Survivor Series.
In November, the Diva duo were memorably humiliated by Mae Young who defeated them in a match at 87-years-old. That moment won Lay-Cool a Slammy for ‘Knucklehead Moment of the Year’.
In December, Lay-Cool made history by being two of four Divas involved in the first ever Divas Tag Team Tables Match which was won by Natalya and Beth Phoenix, who finally gave Lay-Cool their comeuppance.
It’s safe to say that no two Divas have had quite the visibility of Lay-Cool in the past 12 months. Layla has risen within the Divas division, showing much improvement in the ring and perhaps showing that she is the most charismatic Diva on the entire roster. Her comedic ability second to none, Layla is often the life of Lay-Cool segments. Picking up the Women’s Championship and being considered the last ever Women’s Champ etches Layla’s name in WWE history.
Many have called for Lay-Cool to take a backseat in 2011 and now out of the title picture, perhaps they will. But with no gold in sight, could Lay-Cool implode in the coming year? And if so, can Layla continue to sustain herself as one of the top Divas in the division with her flawless BFF?
Check back later for #2