If her recent Twitter handle change back to her former wrestling ring name and latest postings are any indication, it appears that former TNA/IMPACT Knockouts Champion and 2x TNA/IMPACT Women’s Tag Team Champion Taylor Wilde is gearing up for a return to the ring. She had previously retired in 2011 after a near ten-year career. Due to her early start in the industry at 17, she was only 25 years old when she retired.
Stay tuned…… pic.twitter.com/qW5isIyHgi
— The Real Taylor Wilde (@RealTaylorWilde) June 10, 2020
From Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Taylor Wilde began her career in 2003 as Shantelle Taylor, trained by El Fuego. She worked around the Southern Ontario indie scene before heading to Monterrey, Mexico in 2005 to study lucha libre, where she competed alongside the likes of Princess Sugehit and Diana La Cazadora. In November of 2005, she joined SHIMMER, appearing on their two first shows ever, in a tag match at SHIMMER 1 and in singles action against Tiana Ringer at SHIMMER 2. The following March of 2006, she worked a dark match for Ring of Honor, teaming with Allison Danger in a tag-team match.
In May of 2006, she was signed to a developmental deal with WWE and assigned to Deep South Wrestling (DSW), where she would compete against future Knockout Angelina Love and routinely tag with Natalya in The Pink & Black Attack. When WWE transferred all their developmental to Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) in 2007, Shantelle made the move to Florida, this time now feuding with Natalya. That August, she was released by WWE, but opted to return to school instead of continuing to pursue wrestling on the indie circuit again.
In March of 2008, she was contacted by Total Nonstop Action (TNA) about a position in their upstart Knockouts Division, that was headed by Scott D’Amore, a staple of the Southern Ontario indie scene with his own Border City Wrestling (BCW) – where Shantelle competed earlier in her career. She joined TNA quietly and initially worked as a plant in the audience of trying to answer Awesome Kong‘s $25,000 challenge to any woman in the crowd to beat her. After weeks of being passed over in the crowd by Kong and Kong’s “handler” Raisha Saeed (played by Cheerleader Melissa), she was finally selected on June 19, where her new name was revealed as Taylor Wilde. While she didn’t beat Kong, she had the best show of the previous challengers, and on July 3, she faced and defeated Raisha Saeed, earning another shot at Kong, this time with Kong’s TNA Knockouts title on the line. On July 10, Taylor Wilde defeated Kong for the Knockouts title, and followed it up by defeating Kong in the rematch at TNA Victory Road.
Taylor Wilde would go on to feud with The Beautiful People (Velvet Sky and her old DSW running mate Angelina Love), and later formed a tag team alongside Sarita (another fellow Canadian in Sarah Stock). Together, Taylor and Sarita won the tournament to crown the inaugural TNA Women’s Tag Team Champions. In August of 2010, she would pair with Mexican star Ayoko Hamada to capture her second tag team titles in TNA, before leaving the company in December of that year when her contract expired. She would retire from pro wrestling in January of 2011 and focus on finishing her schooling once again.
She held her retirement match with ChickFight in early 2011, facing off against Alissa Flash (another persona of Cheerleader Melissa). Since her departure from pro wrestling, she completed her schooling and became a firefighter in 2015.
With so many options and possibilities for women in pro wrestling in 2020, it will be interesting to see if Taylor Wilde’s comeback reaches national television levels again, either returning to IMPACT or with NXT or All Elite Wrestling (AEW) or if she’ll just be doing a return to independent wrestling alongside her job as a firefighter.
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world. We provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can watch most of Taylor Wilde’s career with IMPACT Wrestling on IMPACT+.