When I heard that she’d been released from her WWE contract, I wasn’t that bothered, until I realised that in the past year or so, the Divas Division have lost Kharma, Maxine, Sofia Cortez, Raquel Diaz, the Bellas, Melina, Gail Kim, Michelle McCool, and are apparently about to lose Beth Phoenix too.
Reports are suggesting that WWE weren’t happy with K2 posing for “risque lingerie shots” for her own personal calendar (merchandise she’s apparently contractually obliged to produce and sell).
Of course, it would be disingenuous to point out that Kelly Kelly made her mark in WWE by performing stripteases on ECW (when she was only 19 – not old enough to drink in many US states), because lots of things happened in WWE in 2006-2007 that would never be contemplated now.
But although I appreciate that WWE is working in a TV-PG Era, they are still only too happy to have Kelly Kelly and her colleagues pose in bikinis for their own merchandise range. More than that, they were very pleased indeed to have her feature on the front of Maxim magazine last year – reclining, eyes half-shut, legs apart. (Still, I suppose it’s better than the previous Playboy adulation WWE displayed, when they encouraged their Divas to pose for them – which, let me remind you, was still happening in 2008.)
If it’s true that WWE were not happy about K2 pursuing these outside business interests, that seems rather unfair. WWE are adamant that their wrestlers should remain independent contractors, removing from them any responsibility to offer them the same benefits as employees. Though, yes, I hate the fact that WWE focus so much on their female talent’s looks rather than their abilities, 25-year-old Kelly Kelly has to be free to capitalise on her popularity and her physical assets while she still can – after all, the injuries she’s incurred in-ring are rumoured to have given her a long-standing neck issue.
The images for her calendar might be revealing, but don’t seem to me to be any more risque than her WWE photo-shoots in bikinis, or her ring gear, or certainly her photo-shoot for Maxim last year.
She may well be happier and healthier outside WWE – I hope so.
In the meantime, we’re left with 13 women listed as “Divas” on the WWE website – one of whom is reportedly leaving shortly, one of whom is a ring announcer, one of whom is a general manager, two of whom are dancers for a Funkasaurus, one of whom is a valet for a pair in the Tag-Team Division Formerly Known As Racist Before Hell No And Rhodes Scholars Fixed It, and one of whom is Alicia Fox. That leaves us with six active wrestlers – Eve, Layla, Kaitlyn, Natalya, Tamina and Aksana (at a push).
We’re basically now pinning our hopes on the promotion of Paige and the arrival of Sara Del Rey.