The Women of the Year 2011: Winter (#12)

A la TIME’s Person of the Year list, Diva Dirt has compiled a countdown of the women we feel have best embodied the zeitgeist of the year in women’s wrestling. To compile this list, the Diva Dirt team have tracked the headlines here at Diva Dirt over the past 12 months, followed the lively fan debate on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, considered the impact that the women have made within the industry, and taken into account personal achievements as well. More information on the Women of the Year list here.

The Late Bloomer

The former Katie Lea finally blossomed into the star we always knew she could be this year as Winter in Impact Wrestling, and it’s about time too!

Following her WWE release in April 2010, in all honesty, most fans felt sorry for the former Diva. Like others, she never realized her true potential in the company and wasn’t given as many opportunities to break out as the likes of Mickie James or Beth Phoenix. Fast forward to later that year when she emerged in Impact Wrestling with a whole new gimmick which seemed to be a much better fit.

After an adjustment period, Winter definitely came into her own in 2011, becoming accustomed to her new skin, as it were, as she perfected all the little nuances for her mysterious, and slightly creepy, new character. Winter, the slowly talking, blood-lusting, Angelina Love-drugging Knockout, added a new dimension to the Knockouts division.

This year, we saw Winter complete her mission of turning Angelina Love into her personal play thing, and feuding with Love’s former tag team partner, Velvet Sky. The pair eventually turned their attention to then Knockouts Champion Mickie James, and Winter would finally win the Knockouts Title. For many fans, this was vindication for not holding WWE’s Women’s Championship.

Though fans celebrated Winter’s title win, she would lose it just two weeks later — and then regain it a further two weeks after that. Winter’s second run as champion, though a little longer, didn’t amount to much as she dropped the belt to Velvet Sky in October and has been seldom seen since.

While her Knockouts Title reigns left a lot to be desired, seeing Winter finally reach champion status, and so comfortable in her character, was a welcome relief for those who had been waiting for this Kat to finally land on her feet.

Though not necessarily her year alone, Winter was one of several Knockouts who made an impression in the division, and we hope to see her make another one in 2012.

The Women of the Year 2011: Michelle McCool (#13)

Click here for the full Women of the Year countdown

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  • Melina&Mickie4ever!

    Winter! Been a fan since her OVW days. :) I was so excited when she was called up in the wwe and fueded with Mickie. I was hoping she would win the womens title then fued with Beth like in ovw….but wwe wasted her talent like they did many others. She would have made a hell of a heel champion… But im still a fan and happy she”s in tna!

  • adifferentsame

    I love this girl. I really wanted to see a true culmination of the Winterlina story; perhaps they will be phased heavily into the tag team division next year.

  • Williambitious

    Of course Winter would be so high up…. I’m surprised she wasn’t number 1.

    • Williambitious

      I’m also guessing Kelly, Layla & Alicia are going to be extremely high as well. This site worships those women for some reason.

      • bromero329

        When it comes to divas and knockouts . They’ve picked good spots. Winter had a good enough year. Two time champ, and a tag team champ. If you don’t like the choices deal with it.

        • Williambitious

          All these choices are opinion-based, so it doesn’t matter. I think Winter is a mediocre wrestler & is extremely awkward in the ring. She doesn’t play a good heel and I doubt she would be better as a face. The Knockout’s Championship doesn’t mean anything anymore, you know, since its been passed around 1,000 times in the past year. The other girls I mentioned are improving and I commend them for making an effort.

          Let’s put it this way, Kharma has made a bigger impact on women’s wrestling in a day than Winter has her entire career. That’s what I think and if you don’t like my opinion, you can just deal with it.

        • Marlon Eric

          I’d have to agree with Williambitious latest comment (I couldn’t find the reply button, so I just clicked on this one.) Winter is mediocre in the ring. I won’t say she’s a bad heel or face, as I think she’s a good personality or character to begin with, as both Katie Lea and Winter. But to me it always seems as if she’s stringing along. Her title reigns were a joke and her ringwork in TNA is only slightly above her ringwork in WWE. It always seems as if I’m waiting for her to show us what she’s got.

  • shameronstar

    My highlight of Winter’s 2011 year will always be when she choked Rosita out with blinds!

  • Ryan

    Winter rocks! And she looks like Bones haha

    And shes gotten better in the ring too! Love her One Sided conversations too. Plus that whole drugged up lesbian storyline with Angelina was weird yet cool..but didnt go anywhere lol

    So Kelly and Alicia Fox are for number one? =D

  • Future-Knockout/Diva

    Winter has had a wonderful year from being a tag team champ to a knockout champ 3 titles in a year, pretty impressive, i really hope next year her and angelina will be in the tag title hunt, or even after the knockout championship, theres so much more to expect from Winter.

  • wl75

    I’m a bit worried that Winter’s going to be a bit lost in the shuffle next year with Gail (and possibly Melina) coming in- and she should have had at least one Non-PPV title defense.

    and my guess for #1? If they go with a major, probably Kelly. If they go in the indy direction, Cheerleader Melissa…

  • adifferentsame

    In no particular order… Eve Torres, Beth Phoenix & Natalya, Mickie James, Kelly Kelly, Alicia Fox, Madison Rayne, Cheerleader Melissa, Sara Del Rey, Gail Kim, Manami Toyota and Mercedes Martinez?

    • G32106

      I think you might be spot on with those picks!

  • EveTorres95

    I thought Winter would make it into the Top 10…Nevertheless number 12 isn’t bad.She and Angelina should go for the KO tag titles
    Wonder who’ll be number 1!!!

  • wl75

    And after some thought, I’m sorry that she and McCool weren’t in swapped places…Winter just would have been perfect for the #13 spot…

  • dah-dah-dah-diva

    I’m sorry guys but Winter was one of the biggest disappointments for me this year. She had such an amazing, amazing opportunity this year but her in-ring work to me was such a disaster and I so did not expect that. She was hands down the best female wrestler in the WWE when she was actually there. I had not seen a female in the WWE jump off the top rope and onto some guys abdomen who was in like a submission hold. She was very great. Her matches with Mickie James and that neckbreaker thing she did in-between the second ropes was so fantastic and devastating too.

    When she went to TNA she was EXTREMELY sloppy and slow in the ring. Her matches with Mickie were nothing like the one’s they had in the WWE and Winter could barely hit her finisher right throughout the entire feud. I would have MUCH rather seen Angelina Love turn on Velvet and then go for Mickie’s title. It would have been so much better. Angelina always delivers on the mic and in the ring, let’s face it. Mickie and Angelina feuding would have been incredible. Add Madison Rayne into the mix and then you definitely have gold.

    • Ryan

      She was rusty as hell comming into TNA she did improve a lot! She also lost LOT of weight comming into TNA. A lot of muscle mass. And actually her match with Mickie at Night of Champions was perfection! But she still is incredibly aggressive! I love how good she mixes it up with Mickie! But yeah she seems to be a bit off sometimes. Its all good she still rocks

  • Jillfan1

    WINTAH ?