The 2008 election between Barack Obama and John McCain was literally the most important U.S. Presidential election in nearly four years. While Barack Obama won the vote, the campaign saw a new breakout political star by the name of Sarah Palin, who either nearly won or cost the election for McCain, depending on whom you ask. The Alaska governor, who soon became famous for her folksy talk, sharp fashion sense, and significantly-less-than-genius-level intellect, was endlessly parodied in the media. In fact, Tina Fey’s impression of the vice presidential candidate was so spot-on that even Fox News has had trouble distinguishing the actress from the genuine article.
The same cannot be said for TNA’s Knockoff Knockout, The Governor.
Shortly after the election, TNA announced an invitation to Mrs. Palin to appear on Impact and collect a check for a charity of her choice. In a shocking moment rivaled only by George Bush and Al Gore’s rejection of a live debate invitation for Monday Night Raw, Palin did not show up. Instead, a black limousine pulled up to the Impact Zone, where the Beautiful People and their “fashionist” Billy Gunn (then known as “Cute Kip”) greeted an impostor.
See, the Beautiful People, being airheads obsessed with looking good, were huge fans of Palin. Despite worshiping the Alaska executive, neither Angelina Love nor Velvet Sky noticed that “The Governor” did not look all that much like Sarah Palin. In fact, Kip was the only one of the trio to sense that something was amiss.
For the next month and a half, The Governor (played by wrestler Shannon Spruill) would hang around the Beautiful People, spouting off in a cringe-inducing Midwest/Alaska accent and re-hashing other people’s Palin jokes. Even with the bad impersonation, the Beautiful People could not tell the difference, despite wearing the real Palin’s face on their shirts.
The Governor started doing a lot of non-sensical, out-of-character things, like “making over” the Beautiful People with no makeup and ratty, ill-fitting clothes. I would chalk this up to a low budget, but this was a full year before TNA blew all their money on Hulk Hogan and friends.
This baffling makeover was done, we were told, to make the Knockouts seem more “gubernatorial” so that they could become members of Sarah’s cabinet when she got to the White House. This, despite the fact that Palin was only the vice presidential candidate, and she lost. Even when The Governor mentioned Barack Obama, neither Beautiful Person remembered that it was Obama who was going to be inaugurated. The point of all this was, the Beautiful People were really stupid.
The next week, The Governor had The Beautiful People meet and greet their fans (in the same outfits they wore the week before; did they not change in the past seven days?), despite protests by Angelina that the fans were “marks.” Could this have been a ploy to appeal to internet fans by using insider slang? If so, “plants” would have been a more appropriate word.
As their final task, The Governor brought Angelina and Velvet to a “horse farm” full of goats to shovel manure for Greenpeace. I know it sounds like Moppy-era Perry Saturn is writing this stuff, but believe me, this actually happened. She then told the Beautiful People (still in the same outfits) that the following week, they would sign official documents making them part of The Governor’s cabinet. Of course, in wrestling, where there is poop, someone is going to fall in it, so Sky and Love celebrated by jumping up and down until they landed in the dung heap.
In a final plea, Cute Kip begged the girls not to go through with the fake ceremony, but was rebuffed and accused of just being jealous. I think the man who teamed with “The Real Double J” and went blackface as The Godfather and Brother Devon would know a thing or two about impostors.
After nearly two months of mind-numbingly stupid skits, fake accents, and bad acting that destroyed whatever suspension of disbelief fans had on day one of the angle, there was finally a payoff. The Governor came to the ring to some of the most creative music ever composed by Dale Oliver and brought both Knockouts to the ring (finally wearing different, but still Salvation Army-caliber, clothes), where they signed some papers to join her cabinet the following Tuesday at the inauguration. Normally, this requires congressional approval, but I’ve long given up counting every inaccuracy in this storyline, such as the idea that Canadian citizen Angelina Love could be appointed to the Cabinet.
Angelina and Velvet’s celebration was cut short, however, by fellow Knockouts Taylor Wilde and Roxxi (who the year before had been Cute Kip’s mute voodoo-practicing manager), who explained that, surprise, The Governor is not the real Sarah Palin. This was a trick, said Taylor, to pay the Beautiful People back for their making a mockery of the Knockouts division with their fake hair, fake nails, and fake noses. Oh, and of course, their “big fake boobs.” This, as psychology student Wilde should know, is termed “projection.”
Roxxi then took the mic and said that if the prank weren’t enough, the Beautiful People were now about to get “mucked,” at which point an unidentified gray-brown substance fell from the ceiling onto Sky and Love, who happened to be standing dead-center in the ring. How do wrestlers always gain such easy access to the rafters, especially when carrying and suspending buckets of disgusting liquids?
Hey, I never said it was a *good* payoff (I would have settled for stuffing Love and Sky into an actual, wooden cabinet), or even slightly satisfying, seeing as a month and a half of asinine skits was all an excuse to dump some garbage water onto two women. It didn’t even divert attention away from the Beautiful People and toward serious wrestlers, either, as by early 2010, the entire Knockouts division revolved around the two ever-growing factions of Beautiful People and Beautiful People associates.
But wait, there was the one ace-in-the-hole that would redeem this whole angle and give it a logical conclusion! Remember those phony documents that Love and Sky signed? Well, the TNA writers apparently didn’t, as they were never mentioned again. So never mind.
The Governor would continue making appearances for another two months, wrestling a few matches (barefoot) against the Beautiful People until the glamor girls got their revenge by cutting off her hair. Not all of it, mind you, but a few clumps that no would would really notice.
Still, this lamest revenge-hair-cutting in wrestling since Jericho-Nash in 2003 was enough to send The Governor over the edge, putting her on Doctor Stevie’s couch, where she reverted to her old persona, Daffney.
Wait, that was Daffney the whole time? Okay, forget what I said about her being a bad actress. This is the same woman who once pretended she was in love with David Flair!