Throughout the history of pro wrestling bookers and promoters have always tried to come up with new, creative and innovative ideas to generate interest in their product. Some ideas have not only succeeded…but flourished. Others were DOA from the get go. Then there are those ideas which initially were innovative…but for various reasons….faded away. Those are the focus of this latest series of posts titled ‘Great Ideas That Didn’t Last’.Kia Stevens…who proved her dominance in women’s wrestling in the independents…Japan and TNA (As Awesome Kong) seemed a perfect fit for the WWE. When she signed with the company in 2010….the Divas division was very light on true talented female workers. Sure, there was Beth Phoenix, Natalya and to a lesser degree Michelle McCool, but overall the roster was filled with many women who were green and better off modeling swimsuit calendars with the likes of The Bella Twins (Who were green at the time) Kelly Kelly and Maryse.
A woman with the caliber of talent that Kia Stevens had would certainly raise the game of the entire Divas division. This was a match up made in heaven for a few reasons. First off, Stevens was a beast who could bring instant credibility to the Divas roster. Secondly, this is where Steven always dreamed of ending up once she started her career in wrestling back in 2002.
She even auditioned on the WWE reality show Tough Enough season 2 back in 2002…but didn’t make the final cut. Instead, Kia did it the hard way…by training in various schools and competing all over the world. She became one of the initial cornerstones to the TNA Kockouts division and capturing two Knockouts titles and co held the now defunct TNA Knockouts tag team titles.
So when the WWE finally made the call for her to come in…she was more than ready for the opportunity. A series of creepy, yet intriguing vignettes began airing of a woman ripping off the heads of Barbie dolls and the woman laughing maniacally. The vignettes were extremely symbolic of what her arrival would mean for the very watered down version of the Divas division. Kharma was born and she was coming to destroy everyone in her path.
Kharma made her debut on May 1st, 2011 at the Extreme Rules pay per view by viciously attacking Michelle McCool after her match. That storyline would continue on various WWE programs for weeks where Kharma would attack divas. It seemed to be only a matter of time before the Divas title would be around her waist. That is until an episode of Monday Night Raw on May 23rd, 2011.
Just a little over 3 weeks from her impressive debut…Kharma made her way down to the ring in what looked to be another attack on the Divas division…but instead of destroying anyone…she fell to her knees in tears. The moment was very bizarre considering the female monster she was being portrayed as leading up to this night.
Fans were perplexed and confused to see this once large monster break down and cry for absolutely no reason. Some, including myself assumed it was an angle that would lead the Kharma character to add a bizarre dimension to the gimmick….that wasn’t the case at all.
It turned out, the very next week…Kharma conducted her first WWE promo. Instead of Kharma ripping into the Divas division or challenging for the Divas title…Kharma revealed to the world she was pregnant with her first child. While some thought this was a strange angle being played out for the audience…it was no joke at all…Kia/Kharma was legitimately expecting a baby.
All of a sudden, this once beast was reduced to nothing more than the wishy washy divas she was suppose to destroy. The Bella twins came out and started bullying her and making fun of Kharma killing whatever push she was getting. Suddenly, this monster heel was made into a sympathetic babyface. A gimmick that was never meant to be for the Kharma character.
After that segment, Kia Stevens took an immediate leave of absence to tend to her pregnancy. She wound up getting engaged to the father of her child…also a pro wrestler and got a very cool diamond ring.
Tragically, Kia announced that the baby died while she was still pregnant. Despite the tragedy…the WWE still had plans to utilize Kharma and she was a surprise entrant in the 2012 Royal Rumble eliminating Michael Cole. According to Kia…this was a way to set up a new…revised…long term program with the company. That…however…did not pan out either…because as Kia Stevens put it…’She was still suffering physically and mentally from the loss of her baby.’
Kia was given time by the WWE to get herself right both physically and mentally…but she never made it to the allotted time and she was released from her contract. She has since returned to pro wrestling with TNA as Awesome Kong. Who knows if Kia Stevens will ever get another opportunity with the WWE. She certainly hasn’t ruled it out….but we can’t help and look back at her brief initial run and wonder what might have been.
You can read all previous ‘Great Ideas That Didn’t Last’ pieces here.