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The Women of the Year 2011: AJ and Rosita (#19)

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.

Small But Mighty

Both WWE and TNA added pint-sized additions to their respective Divas and Knockouts divisions this year, but don’t let their sizes fool you — AJ and Rosita may be small, but more than make up for it with their endearing stories of success, great personalities and of course, their in-ring work.

Both AJ and Rosita have similar stories: One is from New York, one is from New Jersey, both dreamed of being wrestling superstars, both cut their teeth through independent circles — particularly WSU — and both finally managed to achieve success.

While we saw AJ on NXT in 2010, the young Geek Goddess finally made it to the main roster in 2011, joining her BFF Kaitlyn as one half of the Chickbusters on SmackDown. As we know through her run on NXT, AJ has been a lifelong WWE fan, hoping to one day make it into the company. Well, persistence and hard work pay off, and AJ now shares a lockerroom with the likes of Beth Phoenix and Natalya.

As for Rosita, her story has been well documented. Being inspired to wrestle as a young girl by her father, an amateur wrestler himself, Rosita kept her father’s dream alive after his passing in the 9/11 tragedies. In 2011, she marked the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and her father’s passing by becoming a star in Impact Wrestling, holding the Knockouts Tag Team Championships with her on-screen cousin, the much respected veteran Sarita, and most recently winning Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s Inspirational Wrestler of the Year award.

With their dynamic personalities — AJ with her adorkableness and Rosita with her Scrappy Doo-esque earrings-off explosiveness — they’ve won over their brand’s respective fans. AJ, in particular, has quickly become of the most popular Divas in WWE.

They’ve overcome obstacles such as being told “no” or being told they couldn’t make it because of their size, and in 2011, they proved that dreams can come true.

AJ and Rosita represent the potential future of their respective divisions. How will they shine in the year ahead?

The Women of the Year 2011: Karen Jarrett (#20)

Click here for the full Women of the Year countdown

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