May 19, 2009
REAL NAME: JAMIE SZANTYR
Jamie Szantyr was always immersed in athletics. She began playing for her city's softball league at age seven, and by high school, she was on the softball, cheerleading, track and cross country teams.
It took some time for her mat addiction to develop, but it came gradually as a result of some prodding from her father, who would cajole her into watching professional wrestling when she was a little girl. In time, she would become hooked, cheering on her favourites, especially "Macho Man" Randy Savage and his valet Miss Elizabeth. After she graduated high school, she wished to pursue a career in athletics and decided to give pro wrestling a shot.
One night at a party, Szantyr met indy wrestler Bull Dredd, asked him how she could get into the business, and he told her about a training school in the area. She began training in November of 2001, driving three or four times a week to nearby Kevin Landry's Chicopee, Massachusetts wrestling school. One day, she trained at Jason Knight's (formerly of ECW) "House of Pain Pro Wrestling Dojo." He saw her work in the ring and invited her to learn under his guidance.
Szantyr debuted in 2003, working the indy circuit and would win World Xtreme Wrestling's Women's title in May 2004. She eventually formed a tag team with April Hunter known as "T & A" (Talia and April). Together they won the Women's Extreme Wrestling Tag Team belts in April 2006. (Szantyr also held the promotion's Women's World Championship, winning it 13 months later.)
She flirted briefly with WWE, appearing as an extra on JBL's "Celebration of Excellence" party on a February 2005 SmackDown, and on a segment on Heat near the start of 2006. Szantyr had a match as well, losing to Victoria on a July 2005 Raw match taped for Heat. As difficult as it may be to believe, she auditioned for WWE's 2007 Diva Search, failed to make the cut, and the WWE let her slip through their fingers.
Not that TNA complained, for they snatched Szantyr up to compete in their new women's division. She debuted as Talia Madison at their Knockouts Gauntlet match at Bound for Glory. Although she didn't win (Gail Kim came out on top), big things still awaited Szantyr, who would soon become "Velvet Sky." Together with Angelina Love, they would combine to form the aptly named "Beautiful People," (they were originally dubbed Velvet Love Entertainment), and make life miserable for their fellow Knockouts, humiliating them by placing paper bags over their heads.
They took their cruelty to a new level by shaving Roxxi Laveaux's head bald at Sacrifice This naturally made them a target for retribution, so they added some masculine muscle when they brought in Kip James as a so-called stylist. Although he was unable to help them secure a title win, he did aid in their ongoing feuds with the likes of Laveaux, (who was now just going by her first name), Taylor Wilde, ODB, and Christy Hemme.
Perhaps over confident, The Beautiful People were fooled into thinking then-vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin had plans to put the duo into her cabinet. They brought it on themselves, inviting the Alaskan Governor to join them at TNA's next pay-per-view. The real Palin obviously didn't appear at Final Resolution, but someone posing as her found the time to make a phone call to Love on the show. Sky and Love met "Palin," (a.k.a. scream queen Daffney), who proceeded to embarrass them in their preparation for office, forcing them to meet "marks" and taking them to a petting zoo for charity work. As the penny dropped and it became clear Palin was just a swerve courtesy of Roxxi and Wilde, The Beautiful People experienced one more indignity, being covered in mud on an episode of Impact. The trio also defeated The Beautiful People and their latest convert, Knockout Madison Rayne, at Destination X.
This seemed to spark something in The Beautiful People, who targetted just about everybody for payback. They cut off some of Daffney and Wilde's hair, and even chopped off a few locks from Champion Awesome Kong. Their gang warfare paid off, as Sky helped Love win the Knockouts Championship at Lockdown. That, however, was just the beginning of a fight that The Beautiful People seemed unable to win.
A furious Kong bent on revenge proceeded to destroy Rayne and Sky in stretcher matches, and even dropped Kip for the 10 count. The situation had gotten decidedly ugly for The Beautiful People.
-- Compiled by Richard Kamchen VELVET SKY LINKS