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Gayda latest TNA pick-up
From Diva to Knockout
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling


Charlie Haas and Jackie on the way to the ring in Calgary in September 2004.
-photo by Jason Clevett

TNA has announced its latest acquisition, and the name isn't a surprise to many.

Through its website, the Tennesee-based company announced that it has signed Jackie Gayda.

"It's a very exciting time for me to join TNA Wrestling," Gayda said in a release on tnawrestling.com. "I'm proud to be the newest 'TNA Knockout' and given the opportunity to prove myself again, but let me say this -- this time things are going to be a little different. There's a certain situation going on that I plan to address, one that affects me on so many levels, but I'll leave it at that for now. To all my fans -- see you soon on SpikeTV!"

Gayda was released this past summer during a wave of mass-layoffs by World Wrestling Entertainment, which included her husband Charlie Haas. Gayda was unable to appear with any other wrestling promotion after WWE let her go in July due to a 90-day no-compete clause in her contract. That clause expired in October.

Gayda first came into wrestling via the Tough Enough II series, which she co-won with Linda Miles. Though she had trouble adjusting to life in the ring, Gayda quickly ascended to the top of the Diva ladder, pairing with Rico on Raw. When the two were moved to Smackdown via the Draft Lottery, Gayda and Rico would add Haas to their squad and become a formidable tag team.

Following Rico's dismissal by WWE, Haas spent a short period of time as a singles wrestler before joining with Hardcore Holly. During this period, Gayda slipped into a lesser role in WWE, confined to bikini contests and the like. She had a short storyline run with Dawn Marie, where both women claimed to be dating Haas.

Gayda joins Gail Kim and Traci Books as TNA "Knockouts".

Jon Waldman has been with SLAM! Wrestling since 2000.