The TNA Knockouts 2
More of the women of Impact Wrestling, the TNA Knockouts
More female wrestlers from the "other" big wrestling promotion in the USA, TNA, the TNA Knockouts.
This time featuring women from the past and present TNA roster (mostly past) like Trinity (Stephanie Finochio), Payton Banks (Rain, Bonnie Maxon), Sarita (Sarah Stock, Dark Angel), ODB (Jessica Kresa), Hamada (Ayako Hamada) and more.
UPDATE: Since I wrote this article back in 2008, only four of these ladies are still in TNA.
Well...I did say PAST and present when I wrote it.
ODB - Jessica Kresa
Jessica Kresa or as she is better known in TNA, ODB not only has a wrestling background before TNA, she is a fighter plain and simple. The lady started out in Ice Hockey (which is skating and fighting). She wanted to be an American Gladiator but wound up getting into wrestling. Jessica tried out for the WWE's reality show, WWE Tough Enough, but missed the final cut, so she wrestled on the Indy circuit for awhile. There she wrestled for Midwest Pro Wrestling, Steel Domain Wrestling and the United States Wrestling Organization among others. She actually appeared on TNA back in 2003 as O.D.B., wrestling Trinity. In 2006, Jessica started working in OVW (WWE's training ground) as a heel. She had a good run there, actually creating the OVW Women's wrestling title, but when TNA contacted her, she became the first wrestler to go from OVW to TNA instead of the WWE. Besides pro wrestling, Jessica had one MMA bout against Kelly Kobold back in 2003 which she lost.
In 2011, Jessica along with wrestlers Kurt Angle, James Storm, Matt Morgan, Terry Gerin (Rhino) and Sid Eudy (Sid Vicious) appeared in the horror film "Death From Above".
And she will be appearing in the comedy "How to Score Your Life" in 2012.
TNA Impact Wrestling 10/18/12 - ODB vs Tara
Roxxi - Nicole Raczynski
Nicole Raczynski (Nikki Roxx, Roxxi) is another female wrestler with a long background before TNA. She was born April 19th, 1980 in Boston, Massachusetts. Roxxi was trained by wrestling legend "Killer" Kowalski. She made her pro wrestling debut in 2001 as Nikki Roxx. She teamed with her friend April Hunter and formed a tag team known as The Killer Babes. With April she wrestled for a ton of Indy promotions such as SHIMMER, Squared Circle Wrestling, Women's Extreme Wrestling, Professional Girl Wrestling Association, New England Championship Wrestling, Defiant Pro Wrestling, World Women's Wrestling, Chaotic Wrestling, Ring of Honor and she toured Mexico wrestling for Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre and Lucha Libre Femenil. She finally debuted for TNA wrestling on July 15, 2007 as "The Voodoo Queen" Roxxi Laveaux.
Roxxi was released by TNA, though on February 24th, 2011, she made a one night return to TNA, when she answered (then)TNA Women's Knockout Champion Madison Rayne's open challenge and lost to her.
Even though Traci Brooks' official title now is executive assistant to Karen Jarrett, this lady has wrestled extensively. She made her pro wrestling debut in January 2001 as Tracy Brooks. She started out in Border City Wrestling and the Apocalypse Wrestling Federation (where she had a feud with the Masked Wrestler La Felina, that Tracy unmasked to reveal Gail Kim). Besides those two, she also wrestled for 3X Wrestling, All Star Championship Wrestling, Coastal Championship Wrestling, Cyberspace Wrestling Federation, Downsouth Championship Wrestling and New Ohio Championship Wrestling.
SoCal Val - Valerie Wyndham
Okay, SoCal Val. I can't really say that this lady is an accomplished wrestler, even though she does know how to wrestle. She made her pro wrestling debut as a manager on March 30, 2002, and has pretty much stayed in that role. By the way, that debut was when she was 16. TNA currently uses her as a ring girl, spokesmodel, merchandise model, interviewer, valet and manager. The list of wrestlers she has managed is very impressive....Jazz, Quicksilver, Francine, Shocker, Super Dragon, The Assassin, Jay Lethal, Sonjay Dutt, Jeff Morrison, Joey Ryan and Roderick Strong among others.
Sharmell Sullivan-Huffman had a long background in wrestling before she hit TNA. Even though most of it wasn't actually "wrestling". Sharmell won the Miss Black America pageant in 1991, after winning the title, she went to the WCW's Nitro Girl dance troupe in December 1998 as Storm, later renamed herself Paisley and started valeting for "The Artist" (Prince Iaukea), made her wrestling debut against Tammy Lynn Sytch on WCW Thunder (defeating her with a DDT), she and Nitro Girl Tygress frequently beat up on Misfits In Action's valet Major Gunns, and she met, and later married Booker Huffman, otherwise known as Booker T. Whew! Of course after WCW and WWE, she went to TNA.
She made her last appearance with TNA at Bound for Glory in 2009.
Gone but far from forgotten, Gail Kim was the first ever TNA Women's Knockout Champion. Of course before TNA she was in the WWE where she also held the WWE Women's Wrestling Championship. At the beginning though, she trained at Ron Hutchinson's "School of Pro Wrestling" and Rob Etchevarria at the "Squared Circle Pro Wrestling Gym". She started wrestling masked as "The Queen of the Cats" La Felina in the Apocalypse Wrestling Federation and was eventually unmasked by another woman that would become a TNA Knockout, Tracy Brooks. She spent two years on the indy circuit before landing in the WWE and finally TNA. But on August 20, 2008, Gail's contract with TNA expired and she left the Octagon. In 2008, Pro Wrestling Illustrated named her the third best female pro wrestler, right behind fellow TNA wrestler Awesome Kong and WWE Champ Beth Phoenix.
As of October 20th, 2011, Gail is back in TNA after leaving the WWE again.
Payton Banks - Bonnie Maxon
Bonnie Maxon is her real name, Payton Banks was her name on TNA, but if you follow the women's independent wrestling circuit, you know her better as Rain. Rain was pretty much wasted on TNA. She was pretty much just enhancement for a storyline with Traci Brooks and Robert Roode. She did get some ringtime in, but this was pretty much a waste for a lady has worked for Combat Zone Wrestling, Steel Domain Wrestling, IWA, PWA, Ring of Honor, SHIMMER, Women Extreme Wrestling and various other independents. To paraphrase Marlon Brando....she coulda been a contender!
Trinity - Stephanie Finochio
One of my favorite TNA Knockouts, Stephanie Finochio was better known as Trinity. Trinity wasn't afraid to mix it up with men or women, and her stuntwoman background helped her out a lot in her high flying Lucha Libre style dives. She left TNA to go to the WWE, then was cut there Trinity hasn't wrestled since, preferring to focus on her stunt work.
She's done stunts in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, The Bourne Ultimatum, Spider-Man 2 and Daredevil among others.
Madison Rayne - Ashley Cabot
Madison Rayne was just signed to a TNA contract, and as with most of the TNA Knockouts, she already has a wrestling background. She wrestles on the Indy circuit as Lexi Lane and for SHIMMER as Ashley Lane.
She's already held the Ohio Championship Women's Wrestling Championship twice and the SHIMMER Tag Team Wrestling Championship with Nevaeh.
Since this was written, Madison has gone on to hold the TNA Knockouts Tag Team Championship twice (with Lacey Von Erich and Velvet Sky as part of The Beautiful People and Gail Kim) and the TNA Women's Knockout Championship three times.
Sarita - Sarah Stock
Sarah Stock (Sarita)
TNA's latest addition to the Knockout roster is Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) star Sarah Stock, also known as Dark Angel.
Sarah is a Canadian that wrestlers in Mexican Lucha Libre. Not as rare as you might think. Her fellow Knockouts Angelina Love (also Canadian) and Roxxi have both wrestled in as Luchadoras. Rumor is that Sarah was brought in to fill the void left by the departing Gail Kim. Of course Sarah is no novice having made her pro wrestling debut on February 2, 2002.
2-2-02? Hmmmm....Anyway Sarah has held the Can-Am Wrestling Women's Championship, the Federación Internacional de Lucha Libre (FILL) Women's Championship and the Lucha Libre Feminil (LLF) Juvenil Championship.
And now we have another international addition to the TNA Knockouts.
TNA has signed joshi puroresu and lucha libre star Ayako Hamada.
Ayako has been wrestling since 1998 and was trained by her father, another Japanese and Mexican wrestling star, Gran Hamada.
Her sister Xochitl also wrestles.
Ayako was released from her TNA contract on December 6th, 2010.
Daffney - Shannon Claire Spruill
One of my favorite "Psycho" wrestlers (along with Mickie James, Victoria and MsChif) is Daffney (Shannon Spruill).
Daffney of course had a long wrestling career before joining TNA wrestling for promotions like World Championship Wrestling (WCW), Ring of Honor (ROH), Women's Extreme Wrestling (WEW) and Shimmer Women Athletes.
Daffney held the WCW Cruiserweight Championship twice (once jointly with Crowbar).
Besides being a wrestler, Daffney holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Film and Video production, with minors in Acting and Music.
On March 15, 2011, Daffney's contract with TNA expired.
Allie aka Cherry Bomb (Laura Dennis)
TNA Knockout Allie is also known as Cherry Bomb.
As Cherry Bomb, she has been wrestling since 2005 (she started training when she was 18).
Allie has worked for wrestling promotions like Shimmer Women Athletes, Shine Wrestling, Women Superstars Uncensored (WSU) and Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW).
She came to TNA on March 23, 2016.
Jade aka Stephanie Bell aka Mia Yim
Jade aka Stephanie Bell aka Mia Yim was born on April 16, 1989 in Fontana, California, United States.
I really felt good about her landing in TNA since I have been following her career since she debuted in 2009.
Before coming to TNA, she worked for wrestling promotions like Jersey All Pro Wrestling (JAPW), Ring of Honor (ROH) Wrestling Academy, Maryland Championship Wrestling (MCW), Universal Woman's Pro Wrestling Reina in Japan, Combat Zone Wrestling and Shine Wrestling.
Jade has been the TNA Knockouts Champion, Queen of the Knockouts and won the 2016 TNA World Cup of Wrestling as part of Team Hardy with Jeff Hardy, Eddie Edwards, Jessie Godderz, and Robbie E.
Laurel Van Ness (Chelsea Green)
Laurel Van Ness was born Chelsea Anne Green on April 4, 1991 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
She is a stunt woman and TNA Knockout.
Before TNA though she was a contestant on WWE Tough Enough.
Laurel was trained by Lance Storm and made her pro wrestling debut in May 31, 2014.