Following 12 months of title changes, backstabbing, romantic entanglements, weddings and dancing, we finally come to the end of 2012 for the WWE Divas and TNA Knockouts. And, as is annual tradition, the Diva Dirt team take a look back at the year for the women who have entertained us during the course of the year, grading them A-F in our report card.
This year, the report card comes to you in text form, but you can catch up on past report card podcasts below:
Knockouts Report Card 2012
Brooke Tessmacher | Her battles with Gail Kim and her rivalry with former BFF Tara helped put her on the map in TNA this past year. Now officially one of the top Knockouts in the division, she’s already a two-time Knockouts Champion and has worked hard to continue to learn her craft, hence why she was voted Most Improved two years in a row by Team DD. B+
Gail Kim | She made history by becoming the longest reigning Knockouts Champion in history, dominating the division for half the year and topping the likes of Mickie James, Tara, Madison Rayne and Brooke Tessmacher to retain the title before losing to the latter in June. Now that’s what we call a comeback! A
Madison Rayne | Her bizarre love affair with referee Earl Hebner left fans puzzled, but there’s no denying Madison delivered some of the most entertaining segments and promos during her storyline with the TNA head official. Then there’s her rivalry with tag team partner Gail Kim, which culminated in a pay per view match, and her brief Knockouts Title reign after defeating Brooke Tessmacher. Madison may not have been seen all year long, but when she was in the spotlight, all eyes were on her. C+
Mickie James | While 2011 was a strong year for Mickie James, capturing the Knockouts Championship twice, 2012 was a less glamorous year for Mickie James, who started out the year in a feud with Madison Rayne and Gail Kim over the Knockouts Title. Failing to capture the belt from Gail, she did, however, defeat Madison in a cage match. From there, Mickie made sporadic appearances mainly in number one contenders’ matches until re-emerging from injury in November and becoming the challenger to Tara’s Knockouts Title. Starting and ending 2012 in the same way, Mickie couldn’t regain the gold. C-
ODB | Although she’s held the Knockouts Tag Team Championships for nearly eight months, like the titles, ODB has largely been an afterthought this past year. Highlights included a cage wedding to Eric Young on Impact and a mixed tag match in November. C-
Tara | She started out the year in a rivalry with Gail Kim, delivering one heck of a match at Against All Odds in February, but it wasn’t until her BFF Brooke Tessmacher won the Knockouts Title in June that Tara’s year really began. After picking up a victory over Brooke in a non-title match, the pair battled for the title at September’s No Surrender. After losing to Brooke, Tara turned heel and at 40, began an unprecedented run as the top Knockout once more — winning the title, introducing her Hollywood boyfriend, Jesse, and beating the likes of Mickie James and ODB. She’s still got it! B-
Taryn Terrell | Joining TNA as the official in charge of Knockouts matches, Taryn has been a nice touch to the Knockouts division. Giving the Knockouts their own referee adds an extra importance to their matches. C-
Velvet Sky | She left, she returned, and she vowed that 2013 would be her year. As for 2012, Velvet wasn’t in the spotlight too much, save for a title match against Gail Kim at LockDown in April, and some matches on Impact. But considering her popularity, it was surprising to see her underutilized for much of the year. Perhaps her departure mid-year was a shake up, as TNA clamored to sign her to a new contract and Velvet returned to TV in December. C-
How would you grade each of the Knockouts? Tell us your grades in the comments!
Stay tuned for the Divas edition of the report card tomorrow.