Saturday, 21 April 2012

WWE's Aksana - Wasted Talent

I know at this point it's impossible to even mention WWE's women without going into long drawn out discussions about who's being misused, who's underrated, who deserves much better than what they're getting from the big E. There are an incredibly large number of wrestlers that are being misused now and there always has been in the past. After all, not everyone can be used properly. When it comes to WWE's women the obvious names for misuse would be Natalya who suffered a massive losing streak and juvenile farting gimmick until her recent face turn where she now looks to salvage her career. Others would include the Divas' Champion Beth Phoenix who can't seem to find her way to TV tapings despite being the longest reigning champion in WWE right now. Also there's Naomi, who wrestled circles around her fellow NXT rookies and yet was the last of them to be called up to the main roster and has been demoted to dancing for Brodus Clay. And of course Divas like Alicia Fox and Tamina who had their title pushes dropped before they even had time to take form. But there's one woman in WWE now that the majority of people don't realise is being misused. With the above girls, it's a different story because most people see them in the ring and have had chances to see what they can do. Natalya and Beth are recognised for their wrestling so in a sense they know they've "won" with the fans. But with a certain former fitness model from Lithuania, nobody is even aware of the talent that is going to waste.

Aksana is something quite unique amongst the current crop of girls. True she is one of many former models signed by WWE but she comes from a fitness model background, a familiar area for success amongst many female wrestlers such as Trish Stratus, Victoria/Tara, Torrie Wilson and the ever improving Kaitlyn. As such she has a much more muscular frame than a few of the statuesque stunners fans are always complaining about. Haven't you noticed those bulging biceps under all those tight catsuits and flowing dresses? In terms of body size she's actually quite close to Natalya and Tamina's build. She's also the first Caucasian brunette WWE have had since Brooke Adams got released I might add. And of course she's quite fair skinned in comparison to her tanned and tinted co-workers. And that's not forgetting her being the first Eastern European Diva WWE have had in ages (have they ever?). To me, Aksana stands out, and in wrestling that is a major deal. But I'm not here to highlight Aksana's beauty or her natural comedic timing which is fairly obvious to anyone who watches her backstage skits which is pretty much all she has done in front of the mainstream audience, aside from awesome catfights with Vickie Guerrero and Maryse. I'm here to give Aksana the credit for something no one else has yet - her wrestling.

The mainstream audience will naturally disagree and with good reason because of all the matches Aksana has had since getting called up back in August, only one has lasted longer than two minutes and the only one that did took place on the internet and featured her sticking to what she knew from her FCW days and coming off very heelish rather than the beloved babyface she's supposed to be. For those who don't know, when Aksana was in FCW she was a rather badass serious heel that was more aggressive than the cutesy comedic girl we're more used to seeing. Naturally an incredibly idiotic move on WWE's part to have her play a role in developmental that they didn't intend for her to play on TV. Personally I've seen her shine in the face role from her older FCW days before she was turned so I know that flair is in there somewhere and if she ever gets allowed to wrestle a long match again, she'll get to show off her skills. But so far she hasn't got a chance to show off her skills and already people are lumping her among the worst workers on the roster. The reason? One bad elbow drop in a one minute match that also happened to be her first on a live show. I'll admit it was an awful elbow drop but why write her off on one bad match. Here's a list of absolutely amazing wrestlers doing absolutely appalling moves:

Is anyone about to question the wrestling ability of those above? Of course not. Botches happen to everyone. Yet there is a massive double standard at play here. When any of the above workers botch or someone else on their level, the attitude is "oh they just had an off day". But when someone like Aksana botches, she's apparently killing women's wrestling and "this is what happens when you put models in a wrestling ring". But unfortunately, all those people listed above have had the opportunity to put on show stopping matches ten times over. But poor Aksana has had five matches on TV and, as stated above, only one actually showcased her talents. Below is a Superstars match against Maxine where she shows she's gotten the moves down and it's the character she just needs to work on:

You may be wondering how exactly I know Aksana is a talented worker when these are the only matches she's had on TV. For those who don't actually know, FCW has its own TV show and the developmental talent have matches and storylines featured weekly in order to prepare them for the big leagues. Aksana was featured heavily over the past year and showed remarkable improvement from her time on NXT. She was promoted to owning both the FCW Divas' Championship and the crown of Queen of FCW. Below are some matches where she does get to showcase what she's learned.

A much better showing than her matches on the WWE roster no? And also bear in mind that in the latter two matches she is able to lead the match and carry the lesser experienced Audrey Marie and Cameron Lynn through the whole thing. You see in the first match she demonstrates a good showing in the face role so all she needs is to get a chance to show it off. She hasn't wrestled since February which is a real shame because she could have a lot to offer the women's division. She's an absolute powerhouse and could have great matches with the likes of Beth, Natalya and the recently heeled Eve. With the Bellas seemingly on their way out perhaps Aksana can finally get a spot wrestling regularly on TV every week. It's doubtful she will get to show off much of her skills if she's stuck in 2 minute matches on Raw so NXT and Superstars is the place she wants to end up. I enjoyed her part in the Teddy Long angle going into WrestleMania but I think it's time for her to become a proper part of the women's division. To those who would call her the worst wrestler ever based on that one awful elbow drop watch all the above matches which took place BEFORE that incident. She ain't Manami Toyota but she ain't Rosa Mendes neither.

Big thanks to for all the images.

No comments:

Post a Comment