So while the WWE draft was going on the news was announced that a former WWE standout would be making her debut in Impact Wrestling next week.  That woman of course is Trinity, known to all of us as Naomi in WWE.  After almost a year away from the ring she will be back and looks to make a big splash in the Knockouts Division. Now some of you might be questioning why go there instead of just coming back ‘home’, so let me give you some perspective on how she was treated at ‘home’ for over a decade.

Early on, she was one of the standouts in the FCW/pre-Performance Center era NXT, winning the FCW Diva’s Title in June of 2010 and holding it until January 2011.  That performance got her……a gig as one of the Funkadactyls dancing for Broadus Clay, while occasionally getting to wrestle.  That went on almost two years.  Let’s pause there for a minute.  She was good enough in FCW/NXT to hold the Divas Title for six months, and to get called up to the main roster, but not good enough to make a full time wrestler at a time when the Divas division was thinning out fast as many of the stalwarts like Kelly Kelly, Beth Phoenix, the Bellas, and Eve Torres were leaving outright out of frustration or because it was a better career move to go on to other things and some of the remaining Divas were relegated to spot duty because of how little confidence the company had in them.  In 2013 the division was a virtual wasteland and yet they still kept her in a mostly background role.

When that ended in 2014 she became a regular full time wrestler and ran into one glass ceiling after another as she repeatedly topped out with losing to whoever the current Divas champion was (Paige, Nikki Bella, AJ Lee) while never being considered for a run with the belt herself despite being more than able to hang with those ladies (go check her work in 2014 and early 2015 to see for yourself).  Then came the Women’s Revolution where she was reduced to being an also ran in the story rather than a major player even though she showed she could run with the three women who were getting the big pushes (Charlotte, Sasha Banks, and Becky Lynch).  Then came the brand split, and finally a chance to compete for something higher than ‘woman who loses to whoever the boss wants to push’. It was there that she was briefly treated like she should have always been, winning the Smackdown Women’s Title twice in 2017.  But even then, when she finally got to hold a women’s title she gets saddled in a program with…….Lana.  When Charlotte, Becky, Natalya and Carmella were right there  her one successful pay per view title defense was against Lana.  They literally kept every good opponent away from her save for a couple of matches with Charlotte on TV until she lost the belt to Natalya at Summerslam 2017.  And from that day on it’s been mostly:

  • Short lived tag teams, mostly in the run up to a multiwoman tag team match, that would end shortly after that match took place.
  • Feuds with women who weren’t anywhere near as talented, who she usually put over because Vince was trying, or some cases trying again, to get them over.
  • The occasional heat up for a singles title match, which she would lose, that took place on B level Pay Per Views or on television. 
  • Spots in the Royal Rumble and Money in the Bank matches where she would do some cool spots to fire up the crowd, and then lose.

And to give some context to this, when she was Smackdown Women’s Champion she spent her own money to make the glowing title belt she wore to the ring. The same management that made those hideous Fiend title belts and the custom ‘plant based’ title belt for Daniel Bryan, and sold replicas to fans, didn’t have the vision to make the glow belt themselves or to even sell replicas!  You can buy customized title belts that weren’t even the ones worn by the people who held them when they were champions, but they never even once thought to make a replica of Naomi’s belt.  In 2019 after her feud with Mandy Rose ended they put Rose against women’s champion Asuka and the results were so bad an originally planned Mania match was scrapped altogether when they could have just…..had Naomi go against Asuka instead.  When she came back to a rousing response at the 2020 Royal Rumble and her entrance and opening sequence went viral, she lost her first match back on TV and then got a title shot not at the subsequent WrestleMania but at the Super Showdown in February.  In 2022 when they could have had her and Charlotte face each other at the Royal Rumble pay per view they instead put that match on TV and put both women in the Rumble match, which of course neither of them won.  Given how great that TV match was, they really could have put that on the pay per view instead.  Dropped ball after dropped ball after dropped ball, again and again.  Despite showing repeatedly that she can go with the best of them she never got one proper feud with any of the Horsewomen, or anything more than a one off TV match with Asuka. 

So now before you point to some of the things in that list, add in a few that I didn’t mention and say ‘what was the problem?’ let me spell it out for you: she was better than that, and women who couldn’t lace her boots have gotten pushes and rebrands and stoeylines and title shots where they didn’t do as well as she would have in the same space. Failed experiments and some straight up head scratching decisions were made all while she was right there, ready to run farther with the ball than the women they tried with instead.

When she and Sasha left they were the women’s tag team champions, and were both reportedly going to challenge unsuccessfully for the women’s singles titles at the next B level pay per view instead of defending their own titles.  And they were champions in a division in which all the teams but two they’d either already beaten or had already split up, with no signs that any new ones were going to be put together.  Fast forward to April 2023 and the women’s tag team division consisted of the current champs Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez and three slapped together teams of which one is likely to still be together in a month (Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler).  Given the history of how that division has been booked Morgan and Rodriguez are likely to split after they eventually lose the belts, too.    And the women’s singles division isn’t much better as there has been little to nothing done creatively all year outside of a brief half-assed return of Spooky Alexa Bliss and calling Trish and Lita to come back.  When I say nothing done creatively I’m not just talking about quality I’m talking about the mere existence of anything resembling storylines on television.  And that’s with the largest women’s roster they’ve ever had.  So please, tell me what exactly there is waiting for Trinity to come back to? 

(Side note:  yes I know the draft is going on as I write this, and with it the promise of a better day for the women’s division.  One, I’ll give credit when it happens. Two, whatever improvement happens doesn’t absolve anyone from how it was booked for almost a year.  And lastly, no amount of improvement going forward absolves them for how they booked Naomi for over 10 years.)

Yes, a match with Rhea or Bianca would be great, but after she inevitably loses it, then what?  Putting over the next project who HHH or Vince thinks can become a thing?  Another short lived tag team, another Rumble appearance, etc.?  Do you really want her to rinse and repeat the same damn thing over and over, in the name of staying in the biggest wrestling company and nothing else?  Or so you can see her work without having to put in a little more effort on your end?  If you really support her like you say you do then if you have cable you’ll watch Impact on AXS TV.  If you don’t have cable you’ll find whatever other way there is to watch their weekly shows.  And you’ll order their Pay Per Views, at least the ones she’s wrestling on.  If you praise others for leaving the WWE then you should give her the same.  If you think Impact is like going to the gulag, let me tell you that they have consistently booked their women’s division as good or better than WWE has for over 10 years.  They had an all women’s pay per view and had women main event coed pay per views long before WWE did.  They’ve had women main event as many pay per views in 2023 alone than WWE has since 2019.  They’ve had women main event on TV almost as many times this year as RAW and Smackdown have combined. 

If you believe as I do that Trinity is a main event level talent who was constantly shut out then you should be happy for her here.  In Impact she has a real chance to main event a pay per view where she either wins the women’s title or is defending it.  She has a chance to work with some really good women wrestlers in Deonna Purazzo, Jordynn Grace, Mickie James, Killer Kelly, Tasha Steelz, Masha Slamovich, and others.  Working in the Knockouts Division is no step down from WWE and on many nights it’s better.  As someone who has been watching Impact since 2021 I can tell you that outside a handful of matches Impact’s Knockouts Division has been booked better than WWE’s women’s division in 2023 for sure and going back into last year. Getting to see someone get the opportunity you think they deserve should be a cause for celebration and not a head shaking moment.  And let’s be real: she was never going to get booked any different in WWE had she stayed.  A few of the names ahead of her would have changed and that would have been it. Even as you can hear the tepid crowds during many of the women’s matches on TV and pay per views while watching people reach really hard to find good things to say about a lot of the matches that have happened since she and Sasha left, and see just how much they miss having her (and Sasha) there, know that it wouldn’t have changed how they dealt with her had she stayed. After 10 years in the business with the same company what’s the point of continuing on the same treadmill if you get a chance to drive a great car somewhere else?

In closing, congratulations to Trinity and go tear it up in Impact like we know you can!  We’ll be watching!


2 thoughts on “Trinity’s Big Move

  1. Love it
    Great article highlighting Trinity’s talent and the missed opportunities she faced in WWE. It’s exciting to see her debut in Impact Wrestling and have the chance to showcase her skills in a more prominent role.
    Eamon O’Keeffe
    Great DIY Ideas


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