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: —
2010 was the culmination of a dream for Natalya. Having worked her way through the independents, it’s been a long road to the top for the first ever third generation Diva. Her family lineage has long been touted, she of course is the daughter Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart and niece of Bret Hart. But it was in 2010 that Natalya began creating her own legacy as the first lady of the Hart wrestling dynasty.
Though it was in the last quarter of 2010 that Natalya came to prominence in the Divas division, she has been in the thick of things since the start of the year. With her uncle returning to WWE television for the first time in over a decade, Natalya and the Hart Dynasty (DH Smith and Tyson Kidd) found themselves caught up in an epic WrestleMania-sized storyline as the feud between Bret and WWE Chairman, Vince McMahon unfolded on Monday nights. It all culminated at ‘Mania 26 when Bret scored a sweet victory over Vince. Natalya perhaps scored the best spot of the night for any Diva (and yes, we’re aware there was a Divas match!) as she delivered an almighty slap to the man that writes her checks.
With the Hart Dynasty now babyfaces, the next stop was guiding her team to tag team gold. In April, the Dynasty scored the Unified Tag Team Championships and though Smith and Kidd were the ones technically involved in the matches, Natalya was as much part of the team & as much a champion as her boys. This was never more evident than when we saw the debuts of the Uso brothers and Tamina to Monday nights.
The feud between the Usos & Tamina and the Dynasty spilled over several months and featured six-person tag team matches, including one at Fatal 4-Way in June. Natalya owned the night by scoring the pinfall with her powerful discus clothesline to Tamina.
By September, the Dynasty had lost their Tag Team Championships, causing friction between Smith and Kidd. Meanwhile, Natalya found herself moving on too — she won a Divas battle royal to become the #1 Contender to Lay-Cool’s Divas Championship.
In a feud that spanned four months, Natalya proved unsuccessful against Michelle at Hell in a Cell, and then again against Layla at Bragging Rights. In her final shot at the title, the odds were stacked against the Hart Dynasty Diva as she faced both members of Lay-Cool at Survivor Series. Instead of succumbing to Lay-Cool’s antics, which including making fun of her for having a beard like her legendary father, Natalya overcame her obstacles and realised her dream.
The new Divas Champion added an exclamation point to her golden year, leaping off the turnbuckle and crashing through Lay-Cool and a table to win the first ever Divas Tag Team Tables Match at TLC in December.
After working hard for years and waiting patiently on the sidelines for her turn, Natalya goes into 2011 as the reigning Divas Champion and adds a new chapter to the already legendary Hart family lineage.
Check back later for #5