"Lacy has no talent whatsoever"
"She is horrible"
"Great family but her no"
-Dustin Rhodes, www.twitter.com/WWEGoldust.
"Lacey Von Erich just needs to stop. She can't wrestle; that's the understatement of the decade. With Lacey Von Erich... there is no hope."
-Noah 'Spoony' Antwiler, www.wrestlewrestle.com.
Once upon a time, I started writing this column because the Knockout division was one of the best things about TNA. In the first year of its existence, it was not uncommon for the Knockouts to have the best matches on any given TNA PPV. Things certainly have changed since then, haven't they?
In previous columns, I examined the appalling devolution the Knockout division has undergone since Hogan & Bischoff joined TNA and this entry is an extension of that. This column was inspired by a Knockout tag team match that I witnessed a few days ago, a match so atrocious that it made me want to stop writing this column altogether out of sheer disgust. Shockingly, this match actually included Hamada & Taylor Wilde, two of the most skilled workers the Knockout roster has to offer. The problem was that on the other side of the ring stood the Beautiful People, one of whom was Lacey Von Erich.
I have always had my share of critics in the IWC, on TNAwrestlingnews as well as on youtube -- people who disagree with me, people who think I don't know what I'm talking about, people who think I'm just plain nuts. But even my most vocal contingent of haters cannot possibly disagree with me when I say that this was the worst women's match in TNA since the now infamous Sharmell vs. Jenna Morasca debacle.
Taylor Wilde is an extremely talented wrestler and the number of bad matches she has had in TNA can be counted on one hand. Hamada is widely considered to be one of the best female competitors in the entire world. When even these two women working together cannot carry Lacey to a watchable performance, that's saying a lot.
And yet for the last several months, this buffoon has been, not only one of the most heavily featured Knockouts in TNA, but to add insult to injury (until she lost it in this match), she was walking around with a championship.
Let's talk about Lacey's background for a minute here.
This is a woman who washed out of WWE developmental. That's right -- the same developmental system where non-talents like Maryse, Alicia Fox and the Bella twins have somehow managed to pass with flying colors. These are women who habitually stink up the ring and make a mockery of professional wrestling on a weekly basis, and yet they not only graduated from said system, but have become mainstays on the main WWE roster.
Let me repeat that so we're all 100% clear on this.
Lacey was cut from the same developmental company that graduated MARYSE, ALICIA FOX AND THE BELLA TWINS.
Just think about that for a minute...
The WWE hasn't taken their women's division even remotely seriously in years. Any feeble, half-assed attempts on their part to make it at least bare some vague resemblance to a legitimate wrestling division ceased the day Trish Stratus left the company. Ever since then, and for a long time before that to a great extent, the WWE Divas have been about one thing and one thing only, and being 'smart' and 'powerful' has nothing to do with it.
The WWE Divas are not meant to be taken seriously as wrestlers. The only reason they're on the show at all is to provide titillation (albeit PG rated now) for the horny male demographic. To be blunt, the Divas are there to stick their tits out. And don't even try to argue this point; anyone who honestly believes otherwise has simply not been paying attention.
The Divas are there for their looks, plain and simple. If they happen to possess some actual wrestling talent, great, but it's hardly a prerequisite for success, and not having any does nothing to prevent them from getting pushed as long as they have the right look.
Alicia Fox is the current Diva's champion even though she ranks among the sloppiest workers on the entire roster (male or female) and has never NOT botched her finishing move. Maryse is a multi-time champion despite the fact that she couldn't wrestle her way out of a paper bag if the fate of the world depended on it. And the fact that the Bella twins are even still employed in the wrestling business at all is a fact so inexplicable to me that it's enough to make my brain collapse in on itself like a dying star.
These women all went through WWE developmental. These women all graduated from WWE developmental. And why? Because they're gorgeous, and that's all WWE management cares about with their female performers.
In the looks category, Lacey Von Erich puts every single one of them to shame. A youtube shooter by the name of Truthslayer put it best when he said that Lacey, "doesn't look like a million dollars; she looks like a billion dollars. BUT..."
Truthslayer was dead right. Lacey is a stunning woman with a body that's as close to physical perfection as human genetics allow. And yet, her total and utter lack of talent, her inability to learn even the most basic of wrestling fundamentals was so extreme, so discouraging, so dangerous, that it was enough for the WWE, a company that hires women for the most superficial reasons imaginable, to think she wasn't worth the time and effort, and they cut her.
Between then and signing with TNA, Lacey decided to forgo further training and instead began to routinely embarrass herself on the independent circuit in a series of matches that some reports say totaled around only 20 over the next 2 years.
This is a woman who had very little formal training and virtually no in-ring experience prior to signing her TNA contract. A woman who possesses super model looks and the body of a greek goddess which WWE officials deemed not enough to compensate for the fact that she has a bottomless, gaping chasm where wrestling talent should be. A woman who was rumored to be signed by Dixie Carter personally simply because Dixie thought she was gorgeous. A woman who reports say is unpopular with TNA road agents because, no matter what, "she just doesn't get it." A woman who Hogan & Bischoff publicly acknowledge as not even knowing how to lock up properly. A woman who has openly admitted that she embarrasses herself in the ring.
All this leads me to one very important question that I want to ask TNA management: If the general consensus is that Lacey is an absolute train wreck as a wrestler, THEN WHY ON EARTH ARE YOU LETTING HER WRESTLE?!
This goes far beyond the simple superficialities of pushing a woman on the basis of her looks, rather than her talent. We're not talking about a woman who was trained to wrestle, but just doesn't have the God-given physical tools to pull it off. If that were the case, she would at least have some idea of what she's doing in the ring and fans wouldn't have to watch her through the cracks between their fingers, constantly terrified that she's going to injure her opponent or break her own neck through sheer incompetence.
This is about a woman who, from all indications, has neither talent nor sufficient training to compensate. This is about a woman who simply does not belong in a wrestling ring and it's incredibly irresponsible of TNA management to put her in one.
Fans have to put up with bad wrestlers all the time, but even bad wrestlers need to know how to bump and execute moves correctly. Even bad wrestlers need to know how to protect themselves and their opponents. Lacey is worse than a bad wrestler. Lacey is a danger to herself and every person she steps in the ring with.
Mark my words. If this company continues to utilize Lacey Von Erich as an in-ring performer, it will only be a matter of time before she hurts herself or someone else.
Maybe then, TNA management will remember something that they used to know in regards to the Knockouts: Looks don't mean squat if you can't wrestle.
I just hope they remember that before Lacey cripples someone...