Hola Knockout fans and welcome to this week’s (delayed) Impact Write-Up! As always, I want to apologize for getting this recap up a day late. Summer is slowly winding down as we enter September (my favorite month) but I hope everyone enjoyed their summer season as look ahead to this year’s Bound for Glory in New York! The Knockouts have been on a roll as of late and let’s hope that momentum can continue to carry on.
After capturing the Knockouts Championship at ReDefined last week, Tessa Blanchard is at the top of the Knockouts division. This week, she faces the task of defending her newly won title against Su Yung, who rightfully deserves this title rematch as she wasn’t the one to that was pinned during last week’s Triple Threat match.
Before we get to Knockouts Title rematch, we check in with Grado and Joe Hendry who revealed on last week’s edition of The Smoke Show that they would be teaming up in a match against Desi Hit Squad.
Grado and Hendry (with Katarina Leigh) make their entrance with a new entrance video and debut song by Hendry titled “Platonic Love”. In the catchy song, Hendry takes a shot towards DHS for not having matching gear but the real message is about his new love* for his best friend’s girl, Leigh… *But only as a friend!
Someone book a sing-off between Joe Hendry and Elias!
Grado ends up losing for his team after missing a corner cannonball, which allowed for Raju and Singh to double team against him. Hendry and an upset Leigh enter the ring but Leigh grabs a mic to vent on her so-called boyfriend’s losing streak. She surprises Grado with the news that she doesn’t love him but actually loves his best friend!
Leigh plants a kiss on Hendry but he pushes her away, reminding her that his love his only platonic. Grado is Hendry’s best friend and the real embarrassment of this situation is Leigh. She smacks Hendry and storms out the ring.
While Grado, Hendry, and Leigh may not have had the best experience on The Smoke Show with Scarlett Bordeaux, first-time guests KM and Fallah Bahh certainly did! The pair finds Bordeaux backstage to thank her for all of their recent success as a tag team.
Bordeaux says that’s what happens when you listen to The Smoke Show but then declares that she loves a confident man with power that takes what he wants. While KM and Bahh are sticking their chest out, Bordeaux calls for her lackey Bobo and walks off. Well then.
Time for our Knockouts Title match:
Blanchard ducks a clothesline and rolls Yung for an early pin cover but only scores a count of one. Yung sends Blanchard to the ropes and upon return, sets up for the Panic Switch reverses out of it to land a dropkick from behind. Blanchard takes a moment to taunt but when she turns her attention back to Yung, she has her bloody glove on for the Mandible Claw. This causes Blanchard to quickly slip to the outside to try and regroup.
When Blanchard does get back to the ring, Yung stomps over her and drives her headfirst to a corner turnbuckle. After biting Blanchard at the corner, Yung tosses the champion across the ring to set up for a grounded submission but Blanchard quickly reverses this into an Indian Death Lock. Yung rolls through a butterfly lock to get Blanchard’s shoulder on the mat for a two count.
After some wrist-lock clotheslines, Blanchard takes Yung down with a Saito Suplex and running dropkick to the back for a near fall. The Knockouts battle at a corner that ends with Blanchard connecting a Flatliner from the middle rope. Blanchard heads to outside ring to retrieve a chair but the referee stops her before it can be used or brought to the ring.
The small interaction between the ref and Blanchard allows for Yung to rebound as she knocks Blanchard back to the outside with a dropkick. She sits Blanchard on the chair, lands in some palm strikes and launches a cannonball from the ring apron. When the Knockouts get back to the ring, Yung chokes Blanchard with a boot at a corner and takes her to the top turnbuckle. Blanchard fights out of Yung’s grasp for a top rope Cutter! Yung crawls to Yung for the cover but only gets a two count.
When we return from a break, Blanchard is unloading forearms shots to Yung, which the latter responds with palm strikes. After sending Blanchard headfirst to a top turnbuckle, Yung goes for the Panic Switch but Blanchard counters with Hammer Lock DDT, gets the three count and retains the Knockouts Championship!
During Blanchard’s post-match celebration, Yung’s music hits and out come the Undead Bridesmaids with a coffin. As Blanchard watches on, Yung attacks from behind, hits the Panic Switch and drags the Knockouts Champion to the casket. She places Blanchard inside and just as Yung gets ready to close the coffin, Allie and Kiera Hogan come out to make the big save! The babyfaces help Blanchard out the coffin but an ungrateful Blanchard yells that she doesn’t need their help and walks out to the back.
Thoughts: Even with the heel vs. heel dynamic, I really enjoyed this week’s Knockouts match – I would definitely say that this has been Yung’s best match with Impact so far! There was a great amount of time for the match to play out, great spotlight to showcase both women and storyline progression even after the match.
Despite all of her personal difference with Blanchard, Allie is staying true to her word in wanting to prevent anyone falling victim to Yung’s casket sealing ways. I think this was a great way to keep Allie (the strongest babyface in the Knockouts division) in the title picture. Could we see Blanchard become more a tweener going forward? Will she join Allie and Kiera with the ‘enemy of my enemy is my friend’ mindset to combat Su Yung and her numerous Undead Bridesmaids? How will this storyline play out leading to this year’s Bound for Glory?
I remember reading the spoilers for the direction the Katarina/Grado/Hendry would be heading but I’m still a bit confused as to the end game of it all. When Hendry was first introduced to Impact, I was expecting for him and Katarina to turn Heel together against Grado but it doesn’t look like that will happen, for now at least. I’d like to think, since it was already acknowledged, that this Heel turn from Katarina can be used to bring back her Winter persona.
Or, if we want to add another Knockouts feud to the mix, why not have Katarina confront Scarlett Bordeaux backstage and blame her for the Grado/Hendry fallout? I feel like Scarlett needs something to break away from these comic relief segments (unfortunately The Smoke Show have been falling under these categories) and bring back that strong controversial ‘Diva’ like character that we saw when she first debuted. Maybe some interaction with another Knockout can spark that again.
What did you think of this week’s Impact? What do you think of the Katarina/Grado/Hendry storyline? Would you like to see Tessa Blanchard join a truce against Su Yung? Let us know in the comments below!