It’s always a shame when you see a wrestler depart the industry before their possible potential is realised. Those who go tend to have their reasons but it still leaves fans wondering what could have been. As a result, we’ve looked at five names who could have gone further in the wrestling business but chose to move on for one reason or another. They range from names you have seen on TV on a regular basis to some who showed promise but didn’t work out. So, let’s start with a recent departee which disappointed us greatly at Ringbelles HQ…
Yes, we’ve spoken about how Kaitlyn was marginalised and pushed into the shadows to make way for AJ Lee and was left on the sidelines after she dropped the WWE Divas Championship, but she’s a real example of someone with great desire and potential to offer something interesting and different to the product and becoming so disillusioned that she elects to move on to pastures new instead. She later discussed about how her decision to go may have been a little hasty but she hasn’t done too badly since leaving, having gotten married and her Celestial Bodiez business seemingly doing well. However, had she stayed in WWE a little longer she may have been a big part of the revival of the Divas division, with her kooky personality and desire to excel driving her forward. She may still return, but I wouldn’t put too much money on it – we’ll just have to wonder what might have been.
Nobody really knows the reasons for Kalamity‘s decision to step away from wrestling 15 months ago, but nothing has been heard from her since. While fans understood that made the choice to back away for personal reasons, there were many who felt disappointed at how she was on the verge of being something really special, having main-evented SHIMMER Volume 56 two months before electing to bow out. Many also had her pegged as being LuFisto‘s successor for Montreal wrestling, but that hasn’t panned out in the way it would have been expected – though because there has been no word of her officially retiring, she may still return in the future to continue her ascent. There would be many fans who would be happy to see her come back, though most would be satisfied to know that she’s comfortable in her life.
Rayna Von Tosh
This one is a little different as we’re not generally talking about wrestling quality but has an initial focus on aesthetics. Yes, Rayna Von Tosh had completed the Ring of Honor training academy after a year or so wrestling as Rayna Fyre and was working the lower undercard of SHIMMER, but her real appeal is in her appearance. With flame-red hair, a beaming smile and a burlesque look, Von Tosh was bite-the-back-of-your-hand attractive. Her in-ring work wasn’t brilliant but she was a new face who was very beautiful and could improve, given the right training and guidance. TNA was reportedly interested in taking a look at her before she made the decision to bow out, leaving us with assumptions of what could have been. Rayna is currently a member of the singing troupe American Bombshells, which performs for the armed forces and veterans.
A sad tale, this. Candice Michelle came through the original Diva Search in 2004 and was considered a bit-part player until she was given a push in 2007 – and she really made the most of it, plugging away and working hard to contribute before winning the Divas Championship that summer. She lost the belt to Beth Phoenix as part of a feud which was on fire and was getting over well with fans, which was to culminate with a two out of three falls match on Raw that October. It was during that match that Michelle fell from the top rope, breaking her clavicle and knocking her unconscious. She returned after three months but re-injured herself when the scar tissue over her clavicle tore apart, shattering the bone in four places and putting her out for another six months. Following a brief return in late 2008, she was released from her contract in June 2009. Had she remained in shape, she could have been a much bigger star – she was easy to get behind, had charisma and possessed a real desire to work at her wrestling.
I’ll be honest – compared to the others I don’t particularly miss Eve Torres, who left WWE after dropping the Divas Championship to Kaitlyn in January last year. However, the 2007 Diva Search winner had found a niche as a heel and was the most dependable female wrestler in the company at that point, though her zenith in the division also coincided with her love life reaching its happy peak, as she was on the verge of getting married to Rener Gracie. Since leaving, she has taken to acting and is also a spokeswoman and head instructor for the Gracie Women Empowered Self-defense programme, which is something that could have worked into a gimmick, as explained by Stew in this article a couple of years ago. Had she been able to work an MMA gimmick, she would have likely separated herself from the big hair and shiny outfits which are synonymous with Divas. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be.
So what do you think – did you think these five had more to offer the wrestling industry, or are there others who you feel disappeared too soon? Let us know in the comments.
Photos by WWE (2,5,6)