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The TNA Knockouts: The Women of Impact Wrestling

Sabre100 has an unnatural obsession with Bollywood, martial arts, wrestling, movies, science fiction, comic books, and paranormal things.

Tara vs Taeler Hendrix

Tara vs Taeler Hendrix

The Women of Impact Wrestling: the TNA Knockouts

TNA (or Total Nonstop Action Wrestling) was founded back on May 10th, 2002. When the promotion started, a lot of people hoped it would be competition for the WWE, but that (so far) has not come to pass.

TNA originally started out with a pretty good talent pool, having some performers that while that may not have been as well known as the WWE Superstars, were just as (if not more) skilled.

Although TNA has had female wrestlers since the beginning, the term "TNA Knockouts" wasn't coined until the 2006 DVD "Knockouts: The Ladies of TNA Wrestling, Vol.1".

Some of the talent TNA used before the actual division was created included female wrestlers like Desire (Kim Neilson), Lucy (Better known as Shannon or Daffney or Shannon Claire Spruill), Trinity (Stephanie Finochio), Alexis Laree (known now as Mickie James), Jacqueline (Jacqueline Moore) and Traci Brooks.

After the division actually started after a 10-Knockout gauntlet match on October 14th, 2007 at Bound for Glory (which was won by Gail Kim), I had really high hopes for the TNA Knockout division. But, now it seems as though TNA is "WCW Lite" with not a lot of attention given to the women's division. They have gained talent like Tara (former WWE Diva Victoria) another former WWE Diva Mickie James, and Canadian luchadora Sarah Stock (Sarita). But, they have also lost a lot of talent like Gail Kim, Jacqueline, Raisha Saeed (Cheerleader Melissa) Hamada (Joshi wrestler Ayako Hamada) and Awesome Kong.

Here is the current TNA Knockout roster, but keep watching, it can change any day . . .

Velvet Sky (Jamie Szantyr)

Velvet Sky (Jamie Szantyr)

Velvet Sky (Jamie Szantyr)

Possibly one of the most beautiful women in pro wrestling today, wrestler Jamie Szantyr is better known as Velvet Sky.

Don't think this lovely young lady is just a pretty face.

She was trained by Jason Knight and Kevin Landry at the House of Pain Pro Wrestling Dojo and made her pro wrestling debut in 2003.

Since her debut, she has worked for wrestling promotions like Women's Extreme Wrestling, Lucha Libre Femenil, World Xtreme Wrestling, Defiant Pro Wrestling, TNT Pro Wrestling and many more.

Though she never technically worked for the WWE, she did show up on SmackDown and HEAT in 2005 and 2006.

Velvet started working for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling in 2007 and has been there ever since.

As part of The Beautiful People, she has held the TNA Knockout Tag Team Championship and she has held the TNA Knockouts championship twice.

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In July 2012, just a few days after Angelina's release, Velvet left TNA as well, but on December 6th, 2012 Velvet returned to TNA on an episode of Impact Wrestling, making her appearance during a segment with Mickie James and TNA Women's Knockout Champion Tara.

On April 22, 2016, Velvet Sky left TNA for the third time.
She was written off with a storyline where if she lost a match against Knockout roster member Sienna (Allysin Kay), she would lose her job which she did.
Now is the WWE in her future?

ODB (Jessica Kresa)

ODB (Jessica Kresa)

ODB (Jessica Kresa)

ODB has a background that's a little different than a lot of female wrestlers.

She actually started out in ice hockey and went to pro wrestling.

Although not technically a Diva, ODB did work for the WWE in their development territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling.

She was there from 2006 to 2007, when she left OVW for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.

ODB stayed there from 2007 to 2010, holding the TNA Women's Knockout Championship three times, the Queen of the Cage title in 2009 and she was the winner of the New Year's Knockout Eve Tournament also in 2009.

She left TNA in June of 2010 but has returned as of May 2011.

On August 21st, 2014, she left again.

Brooke Tessmacher (Brooke Adams)

Brooke Tessmacher (Brooke Adams)

Brooke Tessmacher (Brooke Adams)

Another former WWE Diva, Brooke Adams is Ms. Tessmacher on TNA.

Yes, she was named after Lex Luthor's assistant in Superman 1 and 2.

Why?

I guess Eric Bischoff thinks he's Lex.

Anyway, Brooke started out as a model, and was in the 2006 WWE Diva Search, though she didn't make it into the final eight.

She was hired by the WWE anyway but only stayed with the company from 2006 to 2007.

Three years after her release by the WWE, Brooke showed up on TNA as Eric Bischoff's assistant and has slowly made her way into the squared circle.

On June 10th, 2012, Miss Tessmacher won the TNA Knockouts Championship.

On November 15th, 2015, Brooke left TNA.

Angelina Love (Lauren Williams)

Angelina Love (Lauren Williams)

Angelina Love (Lauren Williams)

The original other half of The Beautiful People is Angelina Love or Lauren Williams.

Like Velvet, Angelina has paid her dues.

She was trained by Rob "El Fuego" Etcheverria at Squared Circle Pro Wrestling training gym and Bill DeMott at Deep South Wrestling, and she made her pro wrestling debut in 2000.

Before TNA she worked for Impact Wrestling Federation, Old School Pro Wrestling, Asistencia Asesoria y Administracion (AAA), NWA: Extreme Canadian Championship Wrestling and Full Throttle Wrestling.

Well actually back in 2004 she had a match on TNA Xplosion against Trinity, but she didn't sign with TNA until 2007.

So far at TNA, she has held the TNA Women's Knockout Championship five times and the TNA Knockout Tag Team Championship once, surprisingly not with The Beautiful People, but with Winter.

On July 1st, 2012, Angela announced on her Twitter page (which evidently is now the way all official wrestling announcements are made now) that she had been granted her release from TNA.

On March 13, 2014, she returned to TNA.

On March 27, 2016, she left TNA again.

On January 8th, 2017, she came BACK to TNA for the fourth time.

Madison Rayne (Ashley Nichole Simmons)

Madison Rayne (Ashley Nichole Simmons)

Madison Rayne (Ashley Nichole Simmons)

The beautiful Ashley Simmons appears on TNA as Madison Rayne, the Indy circuit as Ashley Lane and Lexi Lane, and showed up on Wrestlicious as Amber Lively.

Ashley was trained by "Big Guns" Jeff Cannon and made her pro wrestling debut in 2004.

She wrestled in the Indys and Shimmer Women Athletes before signing with TNA.

So far in TNA she has held the TNA Knockout Tag Team Championship (with Lacey Von Erich and Velvet Sky, The Beautiful People at the time) twice and the TNA Women's Knockout Championship five times.

Gail Kim

Gail Kim

Gail Kim

And now another WWE Diva turned TNA Knockout . . . Gail Kim.

Yes, Gail Kim has returned to TNA making her the first WWE Diva/TNA Knockout/WWE Diva/TNA Knockout.

Gail had a bit of a stormy breakup with the WWE as she said on her Twitter account she quit the WWE on August 5th, 2011.

BUT, the WWE didn't grant her release and made her stay till her contract ran out.

Then they took down her WWE. com profile, and on October 20th, Gail returned to TNA as a heel and her first act was to attack TNA Women's Knockout Champion Velvet Sky.

I love Gail as a heel.

In 2016, Gail was put in the TNA Hall of Fame. She was the first woman inducted into it.

Dixie Carter - TNA

Dixie Carter - TNA

Dixie Carter

Okay she may not actually be a Knockout . . . or she may be THE Knockout, depends on how you look at it.

Dixie Carter-Salinas was born on October 6th, 1964 in Dallas, Texas and though she has never wrestled in a ring, as the president of Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, she wields a lot of power there.

And you have to admit, she looks a LOT better than Vince McMahon.

Dixie is the daughter of Robert W. Carter, who is the chairman and founder of Panda Energy International, who in turn owns TNA.

Panda saved TNA from bankruptcy in 2002 and afterward, Dixie was named president replacing Jeff Jarrett.

And no this Dixie was never in Designing Women.

Taryn Terrell

Taryn Terrell

Taryn Terrell

Now TNA has added another innovation by getting yet another former WWE Diva, Taryn Terrell (Tiffany), to become their first female Knockouts ref.

Taryn isn't new to this though, she refereed a few matches back when she was in the WWE and FCW (Florida Championship Wrestling).

Of course, she does have ring experience, so I wonder how long it will be before she winds up in a match.

Since I wrote this back in 2011, Taryn has held the TNA Women's Knockout Championship once.

On January 4th, 2016, she left TNA.

Former TNA Knockout Daffney (Shannon Spruill)

Former TNA Knockout Daffney (Shannon Spruill)

Daffney (Shannon Spruill)

She's been known by a lot of names in the wrestling ring.
Lucy, Lucy Furr, Shark Girl, Shannon and of course Daffney.
But when Shannon Claire Spruill was in TNA, she was The Governor (a pretty good Sarah Palin imitation) and her usual crazy Daffney self.
The "Scream Queen" was trained by Crowbar, Shane Helms, Malia Hosaka, Dusty Rhodes, Selena Majors, Leilani Kai, and Madusa, and made her wrestling debut in 1999.
She was with TNA from 2008 to 2011.

Christy Hemme

Christy Hemme

Christy Hemme

Securing TNA's position as the wrestling promotion with the most redheads, we have former WWE Diva and current TNA Knockout Christy Hemme.

I have a whole Lens devoted to Christy so I'm not gonna go into a lot of detail about her here.

On April 1, 2016, Christy left TNA.

Brittany-Santana Garrett

Brittany-Santana Garrett

Brittany (Santana Garrett)

TNA Knockout Brittany (Santana Garrett) made her pro wrestling debut back in 2009.

As Santana Garrett she has wrestled for a lot of Indy promotions and held titles in American Pro Wrestling Alliance, Belleview Pro Wrestling and Coastal Championship Wrestling. She held the Women of Wrestling Tag Team Championship with Amber O'Neal, and as far as I know, still holds it.

Santana worked for TNA before as a valet for Orlando Jordan in 2010, but in 2014 she was signed and appeared as Brittany. Unfortunately, she didn't stay with TNA for long.
She left the company in December of 2015.

Rebel (Tanea Brooks)

Rebel (Tanea Brooks)

Rebel (Tanea Brooks)

The newest TNA Knockout is a member of "The Menagerie".

The Menagerie is supposed to be a group of circus performers/carnival acts, that kind of reminds me of the old WWF "Misfits" gimmick.

"Rebel" is the sister of Knux (Mike Hettinga) aka The Ringmaster and she is a fire-breather in the act.

Rebel is actually Tanea Brooks, an ex-Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, a Lingerie Football player and actress.

As of September 3rd, 2016, Rebel hasn't appeared in over 30 days. But she has been wrestling for AWA and TCW,

TNA Knockout Havok

TNA Knockout Havok

Havok (Jessica Cricks)

I have followed the career of Jessica Cricks aka Jessicka Havok aka TNA Knockout Havok for a long time.
She debuted in 2004 and has had a long colorful career in the Indy wrestling promotions.
I hope they use Havok well in TNA because she is too good of a talent to let go to waste.
At six feet even, 170 pounds, she is a great "Monster Heel".

Havok left TNA in July of 2015.

Jade aka Mia Yim (Stephanie Bell)