Okay, so technically she never left, but it’s still been awhile since we’ve seen her…so I hereby dub this TNA Xplosion write-up as “Return of the Zombie Hot!” Tonight we see one half of the new TNA Knockout tag champions, Hamada taking on the living dead girl Daffney. Can Hamada moonsault her way to victory? Or will Daffney rise again to feast on some delicious, fresh braaaaaaains? (I’m a horror fan, I’ve got a million Zombie references to throw out. Aren’t you all excited!?) Lets find out!
We open with Taylor Wilde and Hamada in the back, holding their tag straps. Taylor expresses how great it is to be a tag team champion again and that it’s even better with her new partner. “If you haven’t noticed, Sarita has lost her mind,” she comments and I can’t help but laugh, she says it in such a straight forward manner! She knows she can count on Hamada and it feels wonderful to be a two-time tag team champion.
We switch to Daffney, who’s just now learning that Taylor and Hamada are tag champs. She wonders where she was when all this happened and concluded she must’ve been, “out there, in la la realm.” There’s a gleam in Daffney’s eye – the kind of gleam that says, “Doesn’t really matter if they’re champions. I just want to hurt someone.” She’ll get her opportunity tonight!
Taz tells JB and us that it’s Zombie Hot time and sure enough, Daffney’s music hits. Out she comes and tonight her outfit and corresponding teeny top hat are black and a beautiful shade of blue! Very nice, I don’t think I’ve seen her in this color before. (And I never noticed before, but tonight I heard her announced as being from Sybil, Texas – LOL! How apropos! If you don’t get the reference, google Sybil.) Sliding onto the ring apron, she removes her teeny top hat and rolls into the ring, letting out a banshee scream. Wild-eyed, she sneers at the camera. This woman is ready to go!
Out second is Ayako Hamada, the KO tag belt around her neck. She removes it as she comes to the ring, holding it up with pride. Entering the ring, we hear JB mention that this is Hamada’s first taste of gold in the US, but that she was one half of the All-Japan Women’s tag team championship previously. However, being KO tag champion is “a different scenario, a much grander scale”…first off, this is Hamada’s second run as a tag champion. Or is TNA trying to retcon her partnership with Amazing Kong? Secondly, I know JB most likely wanted to put over TNA’s KO titles but making her run as a champion in AJW seem like a tawdry thing isn’t the way to do it. To quote John Hyperion, you mention titles in other companies because you want to capitalize on their perceived prestige. To immediately put them down is idiotic. Way to go JB. /endrant. Shall we proceed to the match? Yes we shall.
Daffney’s up to mind games right at the start, seeming to want to try her strength against Hamada. She holds up one hand but every time Hamada goes to take it, she switches to the other. This goes on for a moment or two, as the crowd takes up dueling chants for both women, before Hamada gets fustrated, backing off as Daffney cackles. After re-grouping, Hamada signals for another trial of strength. This time, Daffney accepts, and the two lock hands. It’s evenly matched, both trying to get the upper hand. Hamada curls one of her legs behind Daffney and bends the Goth Goddess backwards over Hamada’s own knee. Her head almost touches the mat! Daffney rallies, however, pushing back up to an upright position, and managing to push Hamada down to the mat, hands still locked, as the referee goes for the count. Only two, but Daffney presses Hamada’s shoulders to the mat again for another two count. Ayako manages to climb back to her feet, hands still locked with Daffney’s, as we hear Daff shrieking in protest.
The two have another test of strength before Ayako tries a new strategy. Using her leg, she breaks the hold, switching to a wrist lock, maneuvering behind Daffney and forcing her down to the mat, stomach first, switching to a front headlock. Not to be outdone, Daffney hooks Hamada’s head, grabbing her wrist and rolls out, getting Hamada in a headlock. Ayako’s not having it, she grabs Daffney’s wrist, rolls out, clamps on a headlock. Daffney reverses again until finally Hamada rolls away and Daffney scoots back a space too. VERY nice spot of chain wrestling between these two! They eye each other warily, with a bit of respect, as the crowd cheers it’s appreciation.
Circling the ring, they hook up into a collar and elbow tie up until Hamada hooks in a front headlock that she switches into an armbar, then into a full nelson. Daffney twists out of it but Hamada’s there to snapmare her onto the mat. Before she can react, Hamada deftly moves Daffney’s hands onto the mat behind her….and literally STEPS on them! Daffney’s shrieking in pain as Hamada…well, she looks amused! She pulls up on Daffney’s hair, causing the referee to start the count – she counts along, waiting until the last moment to release her hair. Suddenly she jumps and slams both feet onto Daffney’s hands! OW! My own fingers are throbbing with sympathy pain! As Daff tries to shake life into her digits, Hamada whips herself off the ropes and lands a stiff but dead-on dropkick into the back of Daffney’s head! Our poor Gothic Princess sags forward, holding her head, bent almost totally in half. Hamada takes a moment (looking pretty pleased with herself!) before going back in on the offense, scooping up Daffney her hair, pressing her into one corner before whipping her into the opposite one. As Daffney flies towards the corner, Hamada’s right behind her but Daffney’s quick – she grabs the ropes and as Ayako comes running in, lands a beautiful spin kick to her head, sending Hamada flying backwards!
Getting her up, Daffney takes Hamada by the hair and sends her across the mat where she lands hard, winding up sitting in a corner. Zombie Hot puts a boot to Ayako’s face until the ref’s count forces her to break it. A hard stomp to the tag champ’s gut before Daffney pulls her to her feet, hooking her head in place. Instead of going for a suplex, she nails Hamada’s ribs with hard knees, grabbing her head and slamming it down onto her knee. Hamada’s dazed enough for Daff to go for a cover. She only gets two, prompting her to screech, “WHAT??” at the ref. Slick Johnson (that’s got to be a stage name. Seriously? Slick Johnson? Why not just call him D. Nutz and be done with it?) backs up, stammering some excuse why it wasn’t a three count.
Daffney turns her attention back to the still-woozy Hamada, who’s staggered back to her feet. She gets a stiff kick to Ayako’s ribs before coming off the ropes and landing her knee to Hamada’s face, which takes her back down to the mat. Another cover gets another two count. Gathering her up by her hair, Daffney goes for a European uppercut, followed by a chop. As Xplosion goes into a commercial break, Daffney repeats the pattern two more times.
Fading back in from commercial, Hamada’s on the attack with a vicious chop to the chest, then a headbutt, then two more chops, the latter of which sends Daffney down hard. Taz informs us that during the commercial break, these two women have been “going to town on each other’s upper pectorial region – that’s the chest – and, uh, they’re really going to town on each other’s chests.” Thank you Dr. Henry Gray. Hamada backs Daffney up against the ropes, looking to whip her off them, but she blocks. In turn, Ayako kicks her in the gut then manages to whip her to the opposite side of the ring. Daff hooks the ropes, stopping her momentum, so Hamada improvises. She rushes at Daff, who ducks and looks to try and lift her opponent up and over the top rope. But she can’t quite lift her, and in the process Hamada delivers a couple of headbutts. She then steps through the ropes to stand on the apron, looking as if she’s going for another headbutt. Daff blocks, however, and nails Hamada with a hard right hand that sends her off the apron to the floor!
Stepping through the ropes, Daffney pauses on the apron before emitting a short shriek and delivering a double axehandle to Hamada’s back. Another club before Daffney realizes the referee’s counting. In a clever move, she shoves Hamada herself into the ring then pulls her back out to inflict more punishment on the tag champ. In the midst of all this, Taz has coined a new phrase for Daffney: Psycho Hot. Meh. I think I’ll stick to Zombie Hot thankyouverymuch. Meanwhile, Daff whips Ayako into the steel guardrail, then slams her head into the edge of the ring. Our Goth Goddess rolls into the ring, pacing as she looks to get the win by countout. Unfortunately Hamada’s not waiting for the ref’s count – she pulls herself onto the apron, only to be kicked back off by Daff. Things don’t seem to be going Hamada’s way…
After taking a moment to regroup, Hamada gets back onto the apron but is seized by Daffney and rushed over to the corner. Daffney looks to hit Ayako’s head on the steel post but Hamada blocks and instead slams Daff’s head into the turnbuckle! Down goes Daffney and Hamada’s finally able to enter the ring. She scoops up Daffney and slams her back down, positioning her just right. A jerk of her thumb signals that she’s looking to end this bout. Ayako goes up on the turnbuckle and executes a picture perfect moonsault! (Seriously, she has the smoothest, cleanest moonsault ever.)….Only Daffney’s rolled out the way, leaving Hamada to eat canvas.
Daffney forgoes any subtlety, she clamps her hands over Hamada’s throat in a blatant choke, waiting until the last minute to release the hold. She follows up with two slaps to the chest before pulling Hamada up and whipping her into the corner. She follows with a hard running elbow and Ayako simply wilts onto the mat. Daffney, taking the direct route, simply steps on Hamada on the way to the corner. She climbs the turnbuckle to the second rope and, with a soul-piercing scream, jumps backwards, landing a hard driving elbow in Hamada’s ribs! Surely that’s enough – Daffney goes for a cover. 1 – 2 – KICKOUT! Daffney’s eyes are about to bug out of their sockets! She screeches “WHAT?!” at the referee twice (and although I’ve managed to tune out Taz & JB off and on, Taz’s comments on what it’d be like to bring Daffney “home to mom” are violating my eardrum. “My blushing chick.” I bet it takes a lot of makeup to hide his snout. Personally? I’d be honored to bring Daffney home to meet my folks.).
Fustrated and fed up, Daffney hauls Hamada to her feet and whips her into the corner. She runs after her but Ayako gets her foot up, making Daff run right into a kick. She staggers but recovers enough to rush at Hamada again. This time, Ayako moves and when Daffney turns around, nails her with a STIFF back kick! The crowd winces and so do I as Daff crumbles. Hamada yells for Daffney to get up and as she does so, Hamada gets momentum off the ropes and clobbers Daff with a big boot! It’s not enough for the tag champ however – she hoists Daffney up and lands the Hamada Driver for the 1 – 2 – 3! This one is in the books, a victory for Ayako Hamada!
Daffney lays on the mat, stunned, until she sees Hamada exiting the ring, belt held high. We see a closeup of her face and she looks like what I always imagined a Greek Eumenídes would resemble. Seeking vengeance, she darts out of the ring and up the ramp (“She’s coming for you Hamadaaaa!”), landing blows to Hamada’s back. Down she goes but not for long: our Gothic Gal hauls her up and with a running toss gets her back in the ring. Hamada manages to roll with the landing, winding up in a sitting position. She looks as if she’s going to try to reason with Daffney but Zombie Hot’s not having it. She kicks Ayako in the chest, sending her down on her back. Daffney also sits down, digging into her boot for something. Maybe a drill, so she can dig into a brain dinner? No, just a simple chain is what she draws out from her boot. She loops it around Ayako’s throat and pulls back, choking out the tag champ! The referee’s a smart man, he’s gotten the heck outta dodge and isn’t coming back. Fortunately for Hamada, her new tag team partner Taylor isn’t long in running to the ring to the rescue. She gets Daffney’s attention who attempts to rush at her, but Taylor trips her up and starts landing blows to Daffney’s back. She gets ahold of the chain in the process, wrapping it around her fist, looking to administer some payback. But our Gothic Princess is no fool, she amscrays out of the ring, pausing on the ramp to sneer at Hamaylor.
This is the match that, when first reported on a few weeks ago, was deemed “terrible.” A lot of people questioned that report, saying, “It’s Daffney and Hamada. These two aren’t capable of having bad matches.” And yes, there was a miscommunication or two – but terrible? Hell no! For the most part, this was a smooth match, with some great spots, but mostly just a sound, solid bout. The chain wrestling at the start was particularly impressive to me (not having seen that from Daffney before), the spot where Hamada stepped on Daffney’s hands and then delivered a devistating dropkick to the back of her head was tremendous, and Daffney’s spinkick to Hamada was flawless. They told a story, that’s the important part. It had a beginning, a middle and an end. There was great chemistry. Maybe this will lead to a mini-feud between Daffney and Hamaylor.
To be very honest, I think that those who report on women’s matches (in both companies) are way too harsh. This match was deemed terrible – I don’t see that at all. Hamada and Daffney – my hat’s off to you ladies, excellent match. I hope to see more in the future!