So, Kharma’s back.
After all the speculation about when she would give birth after going through a high-risk pregnancy, as well as whether she would choose to leave WWE and concentrate on being a full-time mother, we saw the return of the biggest and most physical woman in the Divas division in the 2012 Royal Rumble match, entering as a surprise at number 21, causing Michael Cole to scamper with fear, then attacking Dolph Ziggler, eliminating Hunico, and being eliminated by Ziggler himself. Sure, it was short, but it was enough to whet the appetite of fans – and let’s face it, what more would you expect from a woman who gave birth less than a month ago?
TMZ reports that Kharma delivered a baby boy on December 31, who has been named Jamie. Four weeks later, she’s putting back on the leather and stepping foot in a WWE ring to reprise the role which was put on hold on May 30 when she announced she was pregnant on Raw, a week after crumbling in the ring in tears. When she left, she was a heel with a heart, as people empathised with her desire to be a Diva and a mother – and she achieved both at the same time – and was then verbally attacked by the Bellas, before promising to get at them when she returned. Throw on top of that the fact that everyone she had a physical interaction with at the Rumble was a heel, and must was now assume that Kharma is a babyface? If also you consider that the current titleholder Beth Phoenix is the top heel who has been steamrollering the rest of the division and Kharma will inevitably be gunning for the belt, that must also position her as the fan favourite, right?
The problem with that is the visual dynamic. Kharma’s size, character and look lend herself to being the heel, and consequently, would make Phoenix the babyface. However, Beth is so far down that road, and Kharma has respect on her side, so it would be hard to flip them, even though a double-turn would be the logical thing to do before any title confrontation, presumably at WrestleMania. Having said that, if you do that, you would logically have to wrap up Kharma killing the Bellas – probably over a few weeks which would see them run until being cornered – and Beth is vehemently against any model-esque Diva, be they face or heel, and you would have to have the champion as a lone wolf, which would mean dumping Natalya as a teammate, too. The match is right, but Kharma and Phoenix are theoretically on the wrong sides of the track.
This could be sorted by making the WrestleMania match a multi-person match – possibly a 4-way with Kelly Kelly and a second person (with Alicia Fox or Eve Torres being the most likely options), but that would dilute the draw of having Kharma steamroll her way to the Divas Title. What we are probably most likely to see is Phoenix (heel) v Kharma (babyface) in a Lumberjill match to get as many women as possible on the card, though this should stem from a match between the two where Beth runs instead of losing, to logically have the women around ringside.
So what is the state of the Divas division that Kharma is returning to, compared as to when she left?
Well, Beth Phoenix is now a heel and the Divas Champion, while Brie Bella held the belt when she left. Apart from that, things are about the same – some of them have flip flopped between babyface and heel or vice versa, but the Divas division is pretty much as she left – dire.
Let’s not lie. Barring Phoenix, is there anybody who is a threat amongst the women in WWE for Kharma? Kelly may be the most over, but she hasn’t improved in the ring, despite being Divas Champion for more than three months, being on TV for most weeks and wrestling many house shows last year, and going months without being defeated, including beating Phoenix twice on the longer PPV matches. Even after all of this time, she still can’t run the ropes.
Eve (despite this teased heel turn) is still bland and forgettable as a character, Natalya is the ultimate losing machine, Alicia Fox is a liability, Tamina hasn’t quite found herself as a babyface yet, the Bellas are better when they’re standing still than wrestling, AJ is involved in the Daniel Bryan heel turn and is wrestling less, while Kaitlyn is nowhere to be seen and despite being a good character and fair wrestling talent, Maxine is queen of NXT, which is like being the ruler of an uninhabited island.
My point is that after demolishing the Divas division (which shouldn’t take long, as they have both been let down by the writers and bookers as well as letting themselves down), what is there left for Kharma? She will need some competition if she is to look dominant, as you are only as strong as the victims you leave lying in a pile behind you. At the moment, those victims look pretty weak, and for Kharma to have to look vulnerable against them will cheapen her aura.
She wasn’t on Raw last night, as she presumably isn’t ready for a full in-ring return – and who can blame her – but by the time she is ready to wrestle on a long term basis again, let’s hope that she has some challenges to go through, as well as some tough opponents to take her on. Given some good booking, Eve could do it, Kelly could offer a spirited fight before falling, Natalya could too – providing this streak of fail ends – and there’s also Beth. The potential for a renaissance in the Divas division is there. It just needs some conviction from both the writers and the women involved. I hope we’re not let down by either side.
Allysin Kay suffered a broken nose in her match with Mia Yim at AIW’s Girls Night Out 5 on Sunday. On that show, Yim became the number one contender to the Women’s Title after substituting for Cherry Bomb, who had issues at the Canada/US border. Kay had beaten up Yim after she had lost the opening bout to Marti Belle. Also on the card, Mickie Knuckles defeated Sara Del Rey to retain the championship.
The victory by Yim has created something of a bottleneck at the top of AIW’s women’s division. Knuckles is the champion, but former champion Jessicka Havok is probably expected to have a rematch at some point, while Mia is the number one contender. On top of that, Yim was beaten earlier on in the evening by Marti Belle, so she may have a claim at being a contender for the title too. Whatever goes down, it looks like a number of fresh matches and opportunities are on the horizon.
However, one of those matches will not be a Kay v Yim rematch, as AIW ruled that out earlier today.
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The best of the rest
Don’t be confused – Cheerleader Melissa is using her Alissa Flash character in Ring Ka King, not Raisha Saeed… LuFisto is turning her hand to bodybuilding… Neko Nitta regained the Ice Ribbon Triangle Ribbon title on Wednesday… Michelle McCool said in a vlog on Wednesday that she doesn’t plan on coming back to wrestling any time soon… Melanie Cruise will defend the Resistance Pro Women’s Championship against Sassy Stephie on February 17 in Chicago… Courtney Rush is out of the 2CW Girls Grand Prix next month. She’s been replaced by Allysin Kay… Bad luck comes in threes. Madison Eagles has a bad shoulder, a bad knee, & now she’s had her appendix removed… Jessie McKay will make her Canadian debut at Femmes Fatales VIII when she faces Angie Skye… CHIKARA rookie Saturyne will face Sara Del Rey on February 26… Tara will face Gail Kim for the Knockouts Title at Against All Odds after winning a triple threat match on Impact… Allison Danger and her daughter and are taking part in the March For Babies walk in Las Vegas in April (click here to donate). In her blog, Danger talked openly about how her daughter almost didn’t survive the birth… A year ago, Dorami Nagano and Kurumi were wrestling 5 minute exhibition matches in Ice Ribbon. Now, they are both pretty damn good – Nagano especially, as she has really found her groove in the last 3 months… Superstar Bill Graham accompanied Sassy Stephie to the ring for her win over Davina Rose as part of the WrestleReunion show on Friday… Angelina Love tweeted that she is dating Crimson… Pre-orders for SHIMMER volumes 41 and 42 are underway. It has also been announced that six SHIMMER competitors will appear on the AAW card the night before the next tapings in March. Sara Del Rey has already been announced as one of them… The SHIMMER Tag Team Championship will be defended in Japan on February 22. Ayumi Kurihara and Ayako Hamada will defend against 3S (Hiroyo Matsumoto & Misaki Ohata) on the next Joshi4Hope card… Kalamity’s next Femmes Fatales International Championship defence will be against Sweet Cherrie on February 4… While still waiting to be given the all-clear by the doctors, Layla has been promoting WrestleMania XXVIII around Miami, and appeared at a Miami Heat game on Friday. She used to be a cheerleader for the team. Layla also said in a radio interview that she hopes to be back for WM… Melina is booked along with John Morrison at Northeast Wrestling in Waterbury, CT on March 23-24. A photo or autograph will cost $20 each – a combo deal will be $35. To put it into perspective, Brooke Tessmacher was booked for the promotion on Sunday, and charged $10 for an autograph or photo… Congratulations to April Davids, who won the FutureShock Women’s Championship on Sunday. She will challenge Jenny Sjodin for the Pro Wrestling: EVE title this weekend… Speaking of EVE, Alpha Female, Erin Angel & Kay Lee Ray were featured in Fabulous Magazine at the weekend, which is a Saturday supplement in The Sun newspaper.
January 25: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Hamuko Hoshi b Maeri Naito; Leon & Ray b Sakaya Obihiro & Tsukasa Fujimoto; Neko Nitta b Ribbon Takahashi & Miyako Matsumoto to win the Triangle Ribbon Championship; Hikaru Shida & Maki Narumiya b Hailey Hatred & Dorami Nagano
January 26: WWE Superstars (Tuscon, AZ) – Beth Phoenix b Brie Bella
January 26: TNA (Nottingham, England) – Gail Kim b Madison Rayne, Mickie James & Tara in a 4-way
January 26: Impact Wrestling (Orlando, FL) – Eric Young & ODB b Winter & Angelina Love; Tara b Velvet Sky & Mickie James in a 3-way
January 27: WWE SmackDown (Tuscon, AZ) – Aksana b Natalya
January 27: 3X Wrestling (Des Moines, IA) – Miss Natural b Stacy O’Brien
January 27: TNA (Manchester, England) – Tara & Mickie James b Gail Kim & Madison Rayne
January 27: 19 Pro (Saitama, Japan) – Tsukushi & Sayaka Obihiro b Kurumi & Dorami Nagano; Maki Narumiya b Hamako Hoshi
January 27: ArenaChicks (Los Angeles, CA) – Sassy Stephie b Davina Rose; Fantasia b Buggy Nova; Angel Orsini & Amber O’Neal b Shelly Martinez & Becky Bayless
January 27: IWC (Orlando, FL) – Christina Von Eerie b Santana Garrett
January 28: Mega Championship Wrestling (Elyria, OH) – Jessicka Havok b Angel Dust
January 28: ZERO 1 (Osaka, Japan) – Hiroyo Matsumoto & Daichi Hashimoto b Kellie Skater & Craig Classic
January 28: Melbourne City Wrestling (Thornbury, Australia) – Eliza Sway b Shazza McKenzie & Savannah Summers in a 3-way
January 28: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Dorami Nagano v Hamuko Hoshi went to a time limit draw; Hailey Hatred b Miyako Matsumoto; Kayoko Haruyama b Sayaka Obihiro; Ray, Tsukushi & Kurumi b Hikaru Shida, Maki Narumiya & Hikari Minami
January 28: TNA (London, England) – Tara b Gail Kim; Velvet Sky b Mickie James
January 28: Osaka Pro Wrestling (Osaka, Japan) – Tadasuke b Sawako Shimono
January 28: Ring Wars Carolina (Lumberton, NC) – Mia Svensson b Anubis Mathayus
January 28: Pro Wrestling Xtreme (Orlando, FL) – Jillian Hall b Leva Bates
January 29: FutureShock (Stockport, England) – April Davids b The Artiste Formerly Known As Becky James to win the FutureShock Women’s Championship
January 29: Absolute Intense Wrestling Girls Night Out 5 (Cleveland, OH) – Marti Belle b Mia Yim; KC b Luscious Latasha; Crazy Mary Dobson b Miss Heidi; Gabby Gilbert b Angel Dust; Veda Scott b Kimber Lee; Mia Yim b Allysin Kay; Mickie Knuckles b Sara Del Rey
January 29: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Hikari Minami b Sayaka Obihiro; Dorami Nagano, Hamuko Hoshi, Mochi Miyagi & Kurumi b Miyako Matsumoto; Tsukasa Fujimoto b Maki Narumiya; Hikaru Shida b Tsukushi
January 29: WWE Royal Rumble (St Louis, MO) – Beth Phoenix, Natalya and Nikki & Brie Bella b Kelly Kelly, Eve Torres, Tamina & Alicia Fox
January 29: WAVE (Nagano, Japan) – Cherry, Misaki Ohata & Yumi Ohka b Mika Iida, Nao Komatsu & Sawako Shimono; Ayako Hamada b Shuu Shibutani; Ran YuYu & Toshie Uematsu b GAMI & Tomoka Nakagawa; Ayumi Kurihara & Kana b Aya Mizunami & Aya Yuki
January 30: WWE Raw (Kansas City, MO) – Beth Phoenix b Eve Torres
February 1: WAVE (Tokyo, Japan) – Toshie Uematsu v Tsukasa Fujimoto; Kellie Skater & Tomoka Nakagawa v Ayumi Kurihara & Sakura Hirota
February 3: New Scene Wrestling (Birmingham, England) – Holly Rocamora v Shanna
February 3: 19 Pro (Saitama, Japan) – Dorami Nagano v Lady Afrodita
February 4: World Wrestling Fan Xperience (Quezon City, Manila) – April Hunter v Jillian Hall
February 4: XWA (Morcambe, England) – Jenny Sjodin v April Davids
February 4: Solent Wrestling Federation (Gosport, England) – Amazon v Erin Angel
February 4: Northern Championship Wrestling (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) – Kalamity v Sweet Cherrie
February 5: Ice Ribbon ‘Yokohama Ribbon’ (Yokohama, Japan) – Aoi Kizuki v Sayaka Obihiro; Kayoko Haruyama v Meari Naito; Hamuko Hoshi & Mochi Miyagi v Dorami Nagano & Kurumi; Hikari Minami & Choun Shiryu v Riho & Ribbon Takanashi; Neko Nitta v Jun Kasai v Miyako Matsumoto; Hikaru Shida & Maki Narumiya v Tsukasa Fujimoto & Tsukushi
February 10: UNION (Tokyo, Japan) – Mio Shirai v Sexxxy Eddy
February 10: 19 Pro (Saitama, Japan) – Kurumi v Sayaka Obihiro
February 11: Newcastle Pro Wrestling (New Lambton, Australia) – Harley Wonderland v Shazza McKenzie
February 12: Lucha POP (Tlalnepantla, Mexico) – LuFisto v TBA
February 12: TNA Against All Odds (Orlando, FL) – Gail Kim v Tara
February 17: 19 Pro (Saitama, Japan) – Tsukasa Fujimoto v Tomoki Yagami
February 17: Resistance Pro (Chicago, IL) – Melanie Cruise v Sassy Stephie
February 18: Pro Wrestling: EVE (Sudbury, England) – Jenny Sjodin v Alpha Female
February 19: Anarchy Championship Wrestling (Live Oak, TX) – Angel Blue v Mia Yim; Davey Vega & Athena v Darin Childs & Angel Blue v Gregory James & Rachel Summerlyn v ACH & Mia Yim
February 19: SMASH 25 (Tokyo, Japan) – Kana v Syuri; Makoto, Lin Bairon & Aki Shizuku v Nanae Takahashi, Tomoka Nakagawa & Kagatsu
February 22: Joshi4Hope (Tokyo, Japan) – Ayako Hamada & Ayumi Kurihara v Hiroyo Matsumoto & Misaki Ohata
February 24: AAW (Merrionette Park, IL) – Mena Libra v MsChif
February 24: Squared Circle Wrestling “Girls Grand Prix” (Binghamton, NY) – Rachel Summerlyn v Veda Scott; Portia Perez v Cherry Bomb; Allysin Kay v Sara Del Rey; Nikki Roxx v Mia Yim
February 25: CHIKARA (Reading, PA) – Sara Del Rey v Archibald Peck
February 25: Family Wrestling Entertainment (New York City, NY) – Tara v Maria Kanellis
February 25: St Louis Anarchy (Granite City, IL) – Serenity v Rachel Summerlyn
February 26: CHIKARA (Long Island, NY) – Sara Del Rey v Saturyne
March 3: Women Superstars Uncensored (Deer Park, NY) – Mercedes Martinez v Jessicka Havok; Sassy Stephie & Allysin Kay v Brittney Savage & Alicia; Annie Social v April Hunter; Leva Bates v Athena; Becky Bayless v Jennifer Cruz; Rick Cataldo & Ezavel Suena v Jessie “Bonesaw” Brooks & Jenny Rose; Rain v Lexxus
March 3: Extreme World Wrestling (Hastings, England) – Skarlett v Exodus
March 3: Southside Wrestling Entertainment (St Neots, England) – Nikki Storm v Erin Angel
March 9: Pro Wrestling Syndicate (Rahway, NJ) – Brittney Savage v Reby Sky v Spyra Andover
March 10: nCw Femmes Fatales (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) – Kalamity v Mercedes Martinez; LuFisto v Jazz
March 10: XWE (Brownsville, PA) – Amber O’Neal v Angel Orsini
March 10: IndyGurlz (Lebanon, PA) – Shazza McKenzie v Simply D’Vyne
March 17-18: SHIMMER Women Athletes (Berwyn, IL)
March 24: World Association of Women’s Wrestling (Norwich, England)
March 24: IndyGurlz (Boonton, NJ) – Simply D’Vyne v Veda Scott
March 30: Stardom (Tokyo, Japan) – Nanae Takahashi v Meiko Satomura
March 31: Adrenaline Unleashed (Las Vegas, NV) – Ny Knockout Nikki v Michelle Morgan; Allison Danger v Davina Rose
April 4: Purely Obsessed Wrestling World (Onley, IL) – Sassy Stephie v Nikki St John
April 6: Dynamo Pro Wrestling (Glen Carbon, IL) – Santana Garrett v Christina Von Eerie
April 29: Apex Pro (Huntington Park, CA) – El Jefe & Terra Calaway v Tyler Bateman & Raze
– Lee Burton