On last Monday’s Raw, former WWE Divas champion Beth Phoenix officially parted ways with the company after nearly 10 years.
Her on-screen exit was carried out by new Raw Managing Supervisor Vickie Guerrero, who fired Phoenix after she defeated AJ in their matchup earlier in the show. Yes, you read that right, Beth was victorious and Vickie still got rid of her.
Even in the storylines, this was treated as nonsensical. “But why?" a shocked Beth spluttered after Vickie delivered the terrible news. “I won the match!” Hey, Beth, welcome to WWE in 2012. The booking doesn’t have to make sense anymore.
The real-life story is a lot less dramatic. Beth’s contract ran out and she decided to take some time out from the business. She also noted in a recent Twitter post she was looking forward to spending some time with her family.
Reports also indicated she was less than pleased with WWE’s largely indifferent attitude toward its women’s division. Beth, like so many other talented women in the company, was woefully under-used during much of her tenure, often only being allowed to do short two-minute matches on Raw or relegated the C shows like Superstars. It wouldn’t be surprising if she got fed up and left at least partly due to this.
So, what next?
Well, a return to the company at some point isn’t entirely out of the question. PWInsider (via Wrestlinginc) reported recently that Beth was leaving the company on good terms, so a return is possible. Certainly, we’ve seen other well-known Divas, like Trish Stratus and Lita, come back to the company that made them famous time and time again.
As for Beth’s near future? Per reports, “The Glamazon” is looking to potentially get into acting. Free of her WWE commitments, she’ll now have more time to pursue a Hollywood career, finding an agent, going to acting classes, auditions, etc.
It will be interesting to see how this works out for her. She’s hardly the first wrestler to try her hand at a Hollywood acting career, as many performers have attempted to get into show business in recent times, likely trying to emulate the astronomical success of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
The results have been a mixed bag.
Steve Austin and Kevin Nash have had a fair amount of success, with each picking up numerous parts (Austin even managed a decent-sized supporting role in blockbuster hit The Expendables). Former WWE star Adam “Edge” Copeland has a supporting role on hit Syfy show Haven.
On the other hand, the big-screen careers of Joanie “Chyna” Laurer and Rena “Sable” Mero never quite panned out. Fellow Diva Stacy Keibler gained more fame from dating mega-star George Clooney than she ever did for her acting parts. Despite his fame in wrestling, Chris Jericho only ever managed to get small supporting roles in Z sci-fi movies like Albino Farm and Android Apocalypse.
How will Beth do? It is difficult to tell.
With her physique, she has a unique look, as well as a bold, charismatic on-screen presence. This could help her snag action girl-type roles.
Of course, her promo skills were never anything amazing and she’s not that convincing at portraying emotions (her “surprised” reaction when Vickie fired her was pretty awful), which may hinder her.
No doubt she will be up for the challenge, though. As we've seen in WWE, whenever "The Glamazon" puts her mind to something, she can usually do it.