In what can only been seen as a big surprise to many, there are reports surfacing that say three TNA Knockouts are going to leave the company and potentially head to the WWE, and two of them are former TNA Knockouts' Champions.
I heard back in December that Taylor Wilde and Sarita would be dropping their Knockout Tag Titles in January simply because Wilde was believed to be leaving for the WWE. The issue was that her deal wasn't going to be up until this month or next. However, both former tag champs' deals are going to be up, which means Sarita is also thought to be leaving as well.
Both of them have been used sparingly on TV since the tag title drop, and Sarita has been working in Mexico while Wilde has been doing indy shows throughout the US. The issue here is that both couldn't leave early, so we couldn't see them in the WWE or anything else until the deals were up.
The WWE has claimed that they have interest in both Wilde and Sarita. Wilde was under a WWE developmental deal back in 2006, and was let go, along with Angelina Love and Lacey Von Erich, in 2007. She didn't return to the indy scene either, like many believed she would have. She actually pursued a college degree instead before being called up by TNA in 2008, where she has been until this day.
Funny thing about WWE's stupidity here, they had her wrestle as a Japanese wrestler with a mask, weird huh? I mean, covering up a beautiful face like that? She even wrestled Jamie Noble and did quite well against him in a dark match in January of '07. She wrestled another SmackDown!/ECW dark match before her release in that year.
It is said that she has been unhappy in TNA, and because she has garnered so much attention in her time with TNA, the WWE has been trying to get her in the company.
Since she is so very unhappy with TNA right now, I say we'll be seeing Shantelle Malawski (Wilde's real name) in the WWE, lets hope the WWE doesn't have another brain fart and put her under a mask again. She'd be a really good replacement for Mickie James if you ask me.
Sarita is another one that the WWE doesn't really want to pass up on, as I mentioned before. She is highly skilled in the ring and could be a huge addition to the international talent they have already. Contrary to popular belief, she is Canadian, not Mexican, but she has become such a staple in Mexico that she has become one of their favorite daughters.
The WWE has been wanting to improve their Divas' Division, but they haven't had the talent to do so. Both Wilde and Sarita could be the people to help that. Sarita would do really well in WWE's eyes because of her in-ring style.
Another Knockout who looks to be out of the company is Tara, formally Victoria in the WWE. She has been unhappy with the way things are going in TNA, and has tried to improve it.
Some say she is trying to turn the Knockouts' locker room into more of a WWE locker room, of which, only people inside that know about. Sadly, I've never been in the Knockouts' or Divas' Locker room. I hope I do one day, but until that time, I'll just have to imagine it's really great. Anyway, this apparently rubbed many women the wrong way, oh to be a fly on the wall.
In any case, Tara has also wanted, what she calls, a minor pay raise. TNA hasn't given her the right contract apparently and she doesn't want to re-sign with them until they do. She said she took a fraction of what she was worth to come to TNA. She feels asking for a raise isn't too much to ask.
And I agree, seeing as she has done a great job since arriving to TNA. Despite getting close to 40, she still feels she could make a WWE run, but I doubt the WWE will take her in and use her the way she is used in TNA right now.
Here is some actual quotes from Tara regarding her and TNA's situation:
"I came to TNA last year because I still had a lot of wrestling left in me. I was paid a fraction of what I thought I deserved. But I wanted to show I was still at the top of my game. Now my contract is up in May. I want a modest pay increase. They don't want to pay me what I think is fair. I have no problem going my own way."
She also stated that when she met with TNA officials about a contract renewal, she heard some terrible things about her:
"About 12 hours after the conversation where we didn't agree on pay, unnamed sources claim that I am hard to work with and that I don't give my best effort. My only response is that TNA made an aggressive effort to re-sign me, among other things, saying that they want to build the women's division around me. And I think wrestling fans see, both on TV and at live events, that I always give 100%. I take pride in that. Smearing me on the way out the door is an act of second rate character." "I take pride in making my best effort to elevate my own wrestling and the entire TNA Women's Division. If people were rubbed the wrong way in the process, I stand behind my work and my positive intentions." "In closing I will say this. In the few weeks that I have left in TNA, I will be the same wrestler that you have seen for the past 10 years. After that, I haven't decided if I will stay in wrestling, or finally make the jump to MMA. I do have a lot of irons in the fire. We'll see where life takes me. But wherever that is, there's gonna be competition, and I'm gonna give it my all."
Strong words being thrown out by both parties. Tara can still work well in the ring, but it's doubtful she can do it another 10 years and both TNA and the WWE know that.
Vince McMahon has never been the type to hire women at her age, even if they are terrific in the ring. She could be huge for the WWE, like she was when she first came in, but, Vinny Mac has a certain look and age he likes and Tara doesn't fit that.
We're not talking about a Mae Young moment, where she'll come in for a few spots here and there. We're talking about a contracted wrestler who would like to be on a show weekly, they had her jobbing to Divas before she left, so it's doubtful she would do any different if brought back.
I think her wrestling days will be done if she doesn't re-sign with TNA Wrestling, but that's just me. I think she'll go more toward MMA, but even then, it's doubtful she'll be going to UFC or Strikeforce. A smaller organization, or maybe one in Japan, might take her though, who knows?
Either way I still see Wilde and Sarita making their way to the WWE, more so Wilde than anyone else.