Monday, July 14, 2008
Taylor Wilde retains TNA Knockout Championship
Taylor Wilde retained the TNA Knockout Championship against Awesome Kong on Last night's Victory Road PPV. Of course I have posted the video. But I thought I would talk a bit about Taylor as this is her first national TV exposure and I'm sure many fans aren't familiar with her. Her real name is Shantelle Malawski and like Gail Kim & Angelica Love, she is from Toronto. And like those two, she was trained by Rob Fuego at the Squared Circle Training Center in Toronto. Fans aware of Shantelle probably first saw her as Shantelle Taylor on the early SHIMMER DVDs. Tommy Dreamer spotted her at a Blood, Sweat & Ears show in Mississauga while he was working in WWE talent relations and she signed a WWE developmental contract and went to Deep South. Unfortunately, Dreamer went back to being an active wrestler so there was no one in management to stand up for Shantelle. The WWE didn't know what to to with her. Shantelle does a lot of high flying lucha moves so the WWE tried her out as a masked luchador in dark matches.
Obviously that wasn't going to work so eventually Shantelle was released. After getting new boobs, she went back to working indy feds as Shantelle Taylor. Like a lot of wrestlers, I think she lives in Florida now. TNA is calling her Taylor Wilde so they can merchandise her and she will continue to work elsewhere as Shantelle. I actually liked how they built her up from being a "fan" but now that she is champ, they have to figure out what to do with her. Last night's match was pretty much a repeat of Thursday's Impact match. And the post match nonsense points to a Beauty & The Beast story with Abyss that I'm not looking forward to. Taylor brings a lot of energy and athleticism to the ring and they'd be better off focusing on that. I also watched the Gail Kim/Angelina Love match and it was a standard Impact match and nothing special. TNA seems to be falling into the WWE trap of having RAW Diva matches on PPVs and it's probably the first time the Knockouts matches didn't really belong on a PPV. You can check out the Kim/Love match on Daily Motion and here's the video of the Taylor Wilde/Awesome Kong match. Enjoy!