Tara Looking to Prove a Point in TNA Wrestling
The action between these women has been very physical and Tara believes that's because they have a lot to prove.
"Backstage, a lot of the wrestlers are predominantly male and we want to be known as just as good as the guys," says Tara, who will face Mickie James Sunday at the TNA "Final Resolution" pay-per-view in a Falls Count Anywhere match. "There are only a few segments with the Knockouts on the show so every segment you catch, we want to be perfection."
Getting more face time on television has been a battle that she -- and so many other females -- has faced during her decade-long career which includes a long and successful run in the WWE where she went by the name Victoria.
"We always were begging for more time and you can compare, the Knockouts get a little more time than the (WWE) Divas which we're very thankful for that. I'm really very pleased with my TNA performance and I'm so happy to be part of the division there. But I think we've proved ourselves with how the ratings are."
Many times, the top rated segments for the weekly TNA television show "Impact" are those featuring the Knockouts. When she first joined the company in May 2009, the division was on a roll with the likes of Awesome Kong, Taylor Wilde and the Beautiful People. But as the year went on, the group as a whole seemed to take a step backwards.
"When I came in, I was really happy where we were," explains Tara. "And then there was a little time when we were not on TV as much, a couple of pay-per-views we weren't on. I don't know what happened, I can't explain it. I don't want to point fingers but now we're back on."
Now, Tara and James in particular have grabbed the reigns in putting the division back on the map and showcasing their skills in the ring. But some people did question TNA's decision to match up the two shortly after James joined the company in October following her release from the WWE. That vocal minority thought that James should have been paired up with a different TNA star and not someone who first made her name in the business from the WWE like Tara did.
"There are very few women in this industry and I think we should all be supportive, regardless of what company we're in. I think Mickie James and I never got to finish a feud we had in the past with the other company. Now it's time to finish it and prove a point here."
Tara also wants to prove that she is still one of the best female wrestlers in the business. While she was a multi-time champion in the WWE, the company made the decision to change her role and not have her as one of the feature Divas, something that didn't sit well with her.
"I was starting to be a trainer for the new girls. 'Hey, you have your first match. Put her with Victoria, she'll make you look good.' That was my label. I was becoming the trainer and I had a lot to prove. It was very frustrating, I'll be honest with you. But in TNA, we can spotlight it here. They give us a lot of time and they don't tell us what to do."
So the decision was made to leave WWE and she moved on to TNA Wrestling. There have plenty of others who have done the same in switching companies including the likes of Ric Flair and Kurt Angle. She believes more will do the same once they are not under contract to Vince McMahon.
"You'll be seeing some names coming over here," says Tara. "It's a much more at ease crew at TNA. I'm so much happier here. We get to showcase what we were prevented up north."
And she doesn't put much into the criticism by some that TNA takes too many people that have a background with the WWE before making the jump.
"I don't like to say we're getting the leftovers of the WWE. There's only two major companies. Where are we going to go? Honestly?"
The Knockouts division recently added Winter, formerly known as Katie Lea with the WWE who Tara recommended. She would also like to see former Diva Jillian Hall get hired following her recent release from the WWE. It's all a part of making the division even better and hoping it can steal the show.
"I'm really happy and pleased with the division right now and I think all of us girls are. We're very proud. It's an honor to be called a Knockout."