Billed as a match that had it’s roots in the company they both formerly worked for, last night saw a grudge match between Tara and Mickie James.. At first, it felt like Mickie would simply have to go through Tara to get a shot at the Knockouts Championship, but this feud has taken on a life of it’s own. Each woman is eager to get their hands on the other. So who would come out victorious?
Prior to the match, backstage we see Christy Hemme with Mickie James. It’s a short promo but MJ gets straight to the point. She admits there might’ve been mutual dislike between the two in the WWE, but no matter what, she says that Tara “will respect me.” There’s a gleam in her eyes as she glares at the camera before stalking off.
JB announces Tara being accompanied to the ring by Madison Rayne, but as Tara rides out on her bike, she’s going solo. (JB must’ve had a tad bit of the hair o’ the dog…) She’s sporting boots, fishnets, and a ripped t-shirt and frankly I’m hard pressed to make sense out of this outfit. It looks trashy to be honest. However, I adore the red streaks in her hair so I’ll overlook the outfit. Next out is Mickie James and I vastly prefer her new gear over the cut off shorts and tied shirt. Her outfit tonight is a blue top like she used to wear in the WWE, plus pants that have cowboy chaps on them. She should’ve taken the chaps off, but on the whole it’s a big improvement.
The bell has hardly rung before the two are slapping each other, trash talking one another and finally end up out and out brawling on the mat. Tara’s gotten the upper hand and goes for a Widow’s Peak, looking to end it early, but Mickie reverses into a back bodydrop. Mickie hits a clotheline followed by a dropkick. Tara rolls to the outside for a breather but MJ yells at her to get back in the ring, even sitting on the second rope, holding it open for Tara to re-enter. She gets tired of waiting and grabs Tara by the hair, hauling her up onto the apron, but the Spider Queen gets a neckbreaker on MJ onto the top rope. Re-entering the ring, Tara mocks James, getting in a few kicks to the back.
Tara goes for another Widow’s Peak but James again blocks it, reversing into a rollup pin, but she rolls through to latch onto Tara’s right leg, locking in a half Boston crab submission. She might’ve gotten Tara to tap out but she reaches behind and grabs Tara’s hair, causing the referee to break the hold. The two go to the outside, fighting and winding up in a lockup that isn’t broken until the two enter the ring again (still holding onto one another) and manuver into a corner, where the referee separates the two. Tara gets in a cheap kick and tosses James across the ring via her hair. The biker lady hits a snap suplex into a dragon submission but doesn’t hold onto it for long, choosing to pull on Mickie’s hair whilst screaming at her.
MJ manages to fire back with some fists before hitting a headscissors takedown that tosses Tara over the top rope to the outside. The country girl follows up with a top rope Lou Thez press on the outside. The two get back into the ring where James hits a top rope missile dropkick. Sensing a victory, James sets up for a Mick Kick, but Tara grabs her leg and pulls, sending MJ into the splits – ow! James tries for a MickieDDT but Tara grabs and hoists her onto the corner turnbuckle. Somehow the two wind up tangled together on the turnbuckle until they fall over to the outside.
At this point, it breaks down. The referee tries to give them leeway, but they start slamming each other into the set, into the guardrail, OVER the guardrail, into the crowd and into the set that’s out in the crowd. At one point, Mickie accidentally hits the referee, who calls for the bell. The women pay no attention, choosing to brawl back towards the ramp, then over towards the announcers side of the set, Mickie getting hit in the back by a broom handle (which snaps in two), Tara getting clocked by a garbage can. After all this time, security finally comes out to separate the two, but they keep getting away, rushing back towards each other. At some point, Mickie breaks free and heads back to the ring, motioning for Tara to come back so they can finish what they started. Tara gets free and once in the ring, the two fight, throwing fists left and right until security re-enters to break them up. The referee has thrown out the match, calling it a double disqualification, but both women are past the point of caring. Tara is finally ushered out of the ring by security while others keep Mickie James held back.
Later on, during a backstage interview with The Pope and his entourage, they’re interrupted by Mickie James and Tara fighting once more. After watching the two go at it, the entourage pulls them apart, Pope saying, “Now that’s hardcore country!” Once the two are separated, the group departs and we hear a hard SMACK off camera. The view swings back to see Mickie James face down on the set, Madison Rayne standing over her (wearing some wicked heels!), Knockout title in hand. Tara re-enters the view and the two scream at Mickie that she doesn’t belong there before leaving her laying.
Musings: Well, there really wasn’t a match so to speak – this was a brawl for all. So it’s a given we’ll get a rematch, most likely with some sort of stipulation. As for tonight, not bad. I think TNA was trying to channel the passion that was felt between Amazing Kong and Gail Kim a few years ago. If they were, it wasn’t a bad effort. The animosity between the two felt real, felt believable and they were putting everything they had out there tonight. They were really tossing each other around, into walls, into the guardrails, everywhere. These two worked well before and it feels like they’ll continue to have good chemistry going forward. I’m interested to see where this feud will go now and what sort of match they’ll book next. Nice touch having Rayne come from out of nowhere to get a cheap shot on Mickie as a way of keeping her involved.
Match Rating: 3.5/5