Adam wilkinson

The WWE Needs The Beautiful People

They had it all, the sexy outfits, the hairspray, the paper bags. They had vowed to "cleanse the world, one ugly person at a time," and as they ran through nearly every woman in the Knockouts division, it was impossible to not pay attention. As gorgeous as they were confident and vicious, Velvet Sky and Angelina Love revolutionized the concept of the all-female stable, and fans couldn't get enough of them. They captured championships, mercilessly mocked their opponents, and displayed toughness and tenacity in the ring without sacrificing their femininity even for a moment. Women wanted to be like them and men fell in love with them. The fans' infatuation with The Beautiful People displayed itself prominently each week, since their segments achieved the highest ratings over any other segment on Impact. Their mic work was believable, their ring work inspirational. They were everything a female tag team should be, and their popularity and status as "cool heels" helped usher in the era of the dominant Knockouts. When TNA boasted that they exhibited the best womens' division on television, they weren't exaggerating. Angelina and Velvet had firmly established themselves as the most dominant and entertaining female stable in the past 20 years.

Other notable female factions in history have included the Pretty Mean Sisters and LayCool, but neither team ever reached the popularity of The Beautiful People. PMS, though from a different era, was no comparison, since the only member who could actually wrestle was Jacqueline. Terri Runnels may have been beautiful, but she wasn't exactly a championship contender, and Ryan Shamrock was, at best, forgettable. LayCool, who was considered by some fans to be the WWE's answer to the Beautiful People, may have held championships, but they failed to display the "it" factor and the charisma that made Angelina and Velvet so popular. They strutted around the Impact Zone, sprayed hairspray in their opponents' faces, and shaved Roxxi bald. The Beautiful People were largely responsible for The Governor's metamorphosis into Daffney, after they attacked her in the ring and hacked off some of her hair. Even former Knockouts champions like Awesome Kong and Taylor Wilde fell prey to their less-than-honorable tactics and mind games. Although their characters were villainous, it was difficult to cheer against Angelina and Velvet. Whether it was their beauty, their swagger, or their in-ring abilities, they had that certain something that kept fans tuning in week after week.

After a few incarnations and new members, the Beautiful People officially folded in 2011 as a tag team. After the split, Velvet won her first Knockouts championship, and Angelina continued her alliance with Winter. Unfortunately, neither of them saw the amount of television time they had enjoyed as a tag team. At the beginning of July 2012, Angelina Love was granted her release from TNA. Three weeks later, Velvet Sky followed suit. Suddenly, TNA found itself without two of the women who had spearheaded their prominent womens' division. In an interview about a month and a half after her release, Angelina Love stated that there weren't any hard feelings between her and her previous promotion, and that "it was just [her] time to go." It was implied, however, that she had attempted to pitch storyline ideas that never really came to fruition. Velvet has not elaborated on why she asked for her release, but both women have been hinting about a Beautiful People reunion on their respective Twitter accounts. Currently, they are being advertised as a tag team for various independent promotions.

Now is the time for the WWE to make their move, and amend for the costly mistakes they made years ago by passing over both Angelina and Velvet. Though Velvet had made some appearances on WWE television, she was passed over during the 2007 Diva Search. Angelina had actually been signed to a developmental contract, but was released before she could actually appear on TV. After a few more years of experience, and now closely followed by a loyal fanbase, The Beautiful People are exactly what the WWE needs to inject new life into their Divas division. With Kelly Kelly seemingly on her way out, and a Divas champion who hardly defends her title, new competition from women who actually know how to wrestle would be the ideal solution for a way out of the slump the Divas division has been in for the past few years. Numerous reports have stated that the WWE is trying to move away from "models" and if this is the case, hiring Angelina and Velvet within the next few months would help cement this new outlook. There are few fans in the WWE Universe who don't yearn for the glory days of womens' wrestling, where women like Lita, Trish Stratus, Victoria, Molly Holly and Jazz were not only beautiful, but tough as nails, and delivered matches that were satisfying to watch over and over. These women displayed gimmicks that were more developed than being just another pretty face who wins 2-minute matches by rolling up their opponent or pulling their tights. In the past few months, the gimmick of AJ Lee has undergone a serious overhaul, going from the meek little girlfriend of the ever-irritable Daniel Bryan, to a mentally unstable temptress who at one point was toying with the minds of three different men. The reception her transformation received was encouraging, so much so that she, along with Eve, participated in a mixed tag match to main event Raw one night. Though the Kharma experiment failed due to unforeseeable circumstances, the Divas division does have some talented competitors, and the addition of The Beautiful People would only be another step forward.

While the WWE doesn't have a womens' tag team division, Angelina and Velvet can present as a stable who focus primarily on singles competition. Who wouldn't want to see either of these two mix it up with Eve, Natalya, Beth Phoenix, or Layla? The departures of the Bella Twins and Kelly's hiatus from television have presented opportunities to display other Divas such as Kaitlyn. The Beautiful People are certainly attractive enough to be considered "Divas," but are significantly talented enough to evoke memories of past prominent female wrestlers. These are not women who need to be utilized as valets or managers. Given their popularity in TNA, going to the WWE is the next logical step for both of them. The mere thought of a highly competitive championship match between either Velvet or Angelina and someone like Beth Phoenix is enough to arouse excitement for any fan of good womens' wrestling. It is time for the WWE to strike, and make the Divas division relevant again. And the opportunity has presented itself in the form of two striking, strong, hairspray-toting women with swagger, two women who collectively call themselves The Beautiful People. They fight hard, talk smack and back it up, and are no longer as green as they were when they first attempted to break into the WWE. Angelina Love and Velvet Sky are the women who could, and should, be at the forefront of WWE's womens' division for at least the next five years.