Former five-time Knockouts Champion has parted ways with TNA. In a statement posted on her Twitter last night, the 30-year old said:

To all my wonderful fans, just want to let you know I have been granted my release from TNA. It was completely amicable parting of ways and I want to thank TNA and all of its employees for the wonderful journey I’ve had there over the years. Now I’m on to the next amazing chapter of my life! If you are looking to book me please contact John at Thank you so much!

One would say that Love has been seldom used of TNA TV this year – which is true, as her appearances on Impact Wrestling have considerably dropped in 2012 – but the 30-year old has been keeping busy on the promotion’s house show circuit, where she has wrestled semi-regularly, although very seldom has her hand raised in victory. It was a different story in TNA Indian off-shoot Ring Ka King where she won most of her matches, though it did not translate to a push back in North America. It is a crushing shame for the Toronto, Ontario, Canada native, who has had more Knockout title reigns than any other woman, and at one point was part of the most over act in the company…

Much like with the New World Order, the strongest incarnation of the Beautiful People was the original line-up with Love and Velvet Sky, who formed a babyface tandem soon after the pair debuted in TNA in late 2007 – though Angelina wrestled briefly in the promotion in 2004 under her original wrestling moniker of Angel Williams – but turned heel after abusing Roxxi Leveaux (later Roxxi) and making sure the Voodoo Queen ended up getting her head shaved at Sacrifice 2008. From there, the Beautiful People evolved into TNA’s most interesting, over and hated act, despite their looks lending themselves to being babyfaces. However, despite the reactions they received, Love’s first Knockouts Championship win didn’t come until the following April at Lockdown, when Angelina won the title from Awesome Kong in a 3-way match by pinning Taylor Wilde in a hastily constructed ending after Love was knocked out and suffered a concussion during the contest.

Love would lose the belt to Tara two months later but soon regain the belt for a short reign before dropping to to ODB, which is when her status as a Canadian citizen bit her square in the bum, as her US working visa had expired, forcing her to leave TNA – right in the middle of the crowning of the first ever Knockouts Tag Team Champions, meaning she had to miss the final. She ended up returning in January 2010 following a 5-month absence as a babyface, taking on the new Beautiful People of Sky, Madison Rayne and Lacey Von Erich, and picking up three more reigns as Knockouts Champion – though one of them came in the infamous Lockbox elimination match.

A reuniting with Sky as babyfaces was nice, but lacked the vicious side of the heel BP incarnation, and then things went pear-shaped when the Winter storyline began in October 2010.

Figments of imagination made real, drugging, glazed expressions, and all unexplained, the storyline was a total failure that never made any sense – like when Love said that she was clear and could see the big picture, choosing to side with Winter without any coercion – it did untold damage to her credibility. That bombing storyline, coupled with accusations that her shrinking frame was down to an eating disorder – something that she attempted to debunk with the photo you see to your left – her role in TNA was reduced, and never recovered.

In addition, it may not be a coincidence that Love has left less than a week after Taeler Hendrix was given a TNA contract. Young, eager, untarnished by bad booking and able to be moulded into what TNA may be looking for, Hendrix is a contrast to Love, who – while not old in any way – has seen her star slip over time. As other new women get recruited, we may see more of a one-in, one-out system…

So what’s next for Angelina Love? Well, her work visa is still fine, and she lives in Florida, so she is in the perfect place to work at SHINE, and to work custom shoots with Lexie Fyfe’s Slammin’ Ladies group. She has also worked for Women Superstars Uncensored, and her name value as a former five-time Knockouts Champion may help to sell more tickets. Love has options available to her, so she won’t be short of options, but one of them is unlikely to be WWE. She had a developmental contract between 2005-07 and didn’t get called up to TV, and that was at least five years ago. Since then, her look has changed, she has added more tattoos – and is eager to get more – and even though WWE’s hiring policy has become more liberal, she is less likely to have the Diva look that the company is after than when she was on contract before. However as mentioned, she is unlikely to be without bookings.

It is a sad end for Angelina Love’s run in TNA. After being the Knockouts division’s most decorated singles champion, to go out with a whimper is a disappointment.

– Lee Burton