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).
#4: ANGELINA LOVE
LAST YEAR: #3 – 2008: #10
When Angelina Love was abruptly released last September due to visa issues, she vowed to return and return she did in January. Since making her comeback, Angelina has gone onto become a record 5-time Knockouts Champion, with three runs in the past 12 months and is now one half of the Knockouts Tag Team Champions also.
It all started in January when Love returned, sitting ringside for a match between The Beautiful People and Hamada & Awesome Kong. She was seen hugging her former cohorts as they made their way down to the ring, but after the match it was a completely different story. Turning babyface, Angelina attacked all three members of the group including her ‘replacement’, Lacey Von Erich. This set in motion a running storyline in the Knockouts division that would last nearly an entire year.
As Angelina’s feud with the beautiful ones, particularly her former BFF Velvet Sky, continued over the coming months, Love found herself back in a familiar spot: the Knockouts Championship picture. Having already held the belt twice in 2009, in April she found herself to be the biggest winner in that infamous Lockbox Showdown when she unlocked the box containing the Knockouts Championship. The reign wouldn’t last long however, as just a couple of weeks later she lost the belt in a ‘Winner Take All’ tag teal steel cage match in which the Knockouts Tag Team Championships were also on the line. In the match, Madison Rayne pinned Love’s tag team partner — the former Knockouts Champ, Tara, costing Love the belt. With tensions already high between Love and Tara, the latter attacked Angelina after the match and we saw the start of a feud between the duo. However, before things could escalate, Angelina suffered a bicep tear during a match with Tara and Madison Rayne putting her on the sidelines for six weeks.
Upon her return, Love focused in once again on the Knockouts Championship and her former friend, Madison Rayne. Vowing to pick apart The Beautiful People one by one, she defeated Lacey Von Erich and Velvet Sky before challenging Madison Rayne to a title match at Victory Road in July. With the stipulation that the belt would change hands via disqualification if either Von Erich or Sky interfered, Love won the Knockouts Championship after a mystery figure (believed by the referee to be one of the two) attacked Love. Once again, however, Love’s reign was cut short as the belt was given back to Madison Rayne the following week on Impact as there was no proof the Mystery Biker Chick was either Sky or Von Erich.
Undettered, Angelina went onto win the Knockouts Championship once again just weeks later defeating Rayne on a special episode of Impact in August and this time, would hold onto the belt for three months.
As tensions rose within the beautiful camp due to Rayne’s alignment with the Mystery Biker Chick, Angelina soon found herself reunited with former BFF, Velvet Sky and the original Beautiful People were back together. With Tara unmasked as the Biker Chick, the Beautiful People did battle with Rayne and Tara for the rights to the ‘Beautiful People’ name and music which they won. Love then defended her Knockouts Title in a four-way match involving Rayne, Sky and Tara at Bound for Glory in October, in which Tara picked up the victory.
Over the final few months of 2010, Love has been involved in a mysterious new storyline with newcomer Winter (former WWE Diva, Katie Lea), who appeared to Love in backstage segments — yet no one else could see her. Telling Love what a big fan she is and telling her that they were destined to be together, Winter saved Angelina from a beatdown at the hands of Sarita on the Thanksgiving episode of Impact.
In December, Love and Sky had qualified for the finals of the Knockouts Tag Team Championship tournament but due to an attack from Sarita, Velvet was unable to compete in the match. With Angelina in a two-on-one situation, Winter ran down to the ring mid-match and de facto became Love’s tag team partner, pinning Madison Rayne to win the Knockouts Tag Team Championships for herself and Love.
From start to finish in 2010, Angelina continued to show that she was TNA’s golden girl and showed no signs of letting up following her four month absence last year. With three runs as Knockouts Champ added to her two runs from last year, and now one half of the current Tag Team Champs, Angelina is perhaps the most decorated Knockout in the division. And going into 2011, the Love train is showing no signs of halting anytime soon.
Check back later for #3