Welcome one and all to another sensational Impact Wrestling pay per view recap extravaganza! Last night, the company brought forth their finest as Against All Odds came to us from right up the road in Orlando, Florida. It was a tragic night for some (best wishes go out to Jesse Sorenson), but Knockout-wise we had our big grudge match for the championship between Gail Kim and Tara. This feud, while only three weeks old, has provided some fun segments and entertaining matches, but can the two ladies deliver on the big stage?! There’s only one way to find out so why don’t we get to recapping!
Up first, we take a look back at the past few weeks through a video package highlighting Tara’s rise to challenger status. It begins with the triple threat match from a few weeks ago, in which Tara hit a brutal sidewalk slam on Velvet… ONTO Mickie James for the win. Once the video finishes, some snazzy little Las Vegas style music hits as the two queen cards flip over. (Side note: I love the graphics for this, kudos to whoever made them.) Out to the arena we go, as the Knockouts Championship logo flashes across the screen and we go to a tale of the tape on how we got here. Let’s be honest though, much like myself, you’re all grooving to the music as Mike Tenay speaks. Bust a move!
“I have something broken (broken, broken…)” screams out from the sound system and that, ladies and gentlemen, can only mean one thing! Out Tara comes, sans motorcycle tonight, as I just take notice that we have a new resident redhead in town with SoCal Val covering the introductions. Tara hops into the ring as the crowd seems to be solidly behind the challenger with their array of signs in support. Up next comes that (STILL) addicting theme song of Gail Kim, and out the Knockouts Champion walks with her best friend, Madison Rayne, not too far behind. Madison seems to ignore Gail though, which both intrigues me and infuriates Kim. The two don’t seem to be on the same page tonight, but that doesn’t stop Gail from executing her apron pose with the belts that I love. From there, the bell sounds and we get things started!
Madison and Gail continue to argue with one another, and this gives Tara the early advantage to enter attack mode on the champion. She pounds and chops away at her, before hitting some hair snapmares and then uses Gail’s black locks to apply a nice submission. Gail quickly kicks Tara in the head and then legitimately yells the words “SHUT UP” to Madison! Lord have mercy! Kim turns around into a forearm, before Tara snaps off a suplex for a two count. Tara continues to take the advantage until Gail Irish whips her into the corner. Kim goes for her shoulder tackle through the ropes in the corner, but Tara moves out of the way and Gail lands on the ring apron.
As Jeremy Borash claims Gail now travels to the live events with a bad attitude alongside a “celebrity chef guy” she’s been dating, Tara attempts to trap Gail up, but Kim snaps her off with an awesome rope assisted version of her “Happy Ending” neckbreaker finisher. Madison begins to scream at her, as she gets back into the ring and kicks Tara in the face. Mounted punches soon follow, as a large “Tara” chant erupts. Gail proceeds to toss Tara into the corner and drops her with a clothesline. Up to the top rope she goes, and Gail blasts Tara with a nice missile dropkick. Suddenly, Kim turns her attention to Madison and claims, “That’s how you do it”, to which Rayne replies with, “You know what Gail? Screw you!” Madison then walks out on Gail!
As Madison heads up the ramp, while executing her trademarked queen hand wave, mind you, Gail continues to take control of the match. Irish whip into the corner as Kim leaps off with a springboard crossbody for a two count. Gail then locks in her patented leg submission on the torn ACL that Tara has been dealing with for 10 years now. Thankfully for the challenger, she is able to send Gail off and ambushes her with some strikes. Gail gets a moment of opportunity though, and runs forward with her octopus submission! Tara begins to fall to her knees, as she scoots towards the ropes and finally grabs hold them, forcing Gail to break the hold.
Kim continues to mount Tara with some kicks and punches, before lifting her to the top rope and climbing up with a tremendous hurricanrana! Gail takes a moment to taunt the crowd, Madison, and whoever is watching at home with an imitation of the “Queen’s Wave” as I like to call it, but unfortunately for her, she turns right around into a big powerslam from Tara. Both women get to a vertical base, but it’s Tara who takes control with a series of strikes, followed up with a clothesline! She fires the crowd up and drops Gail with the sidewalk slam for a two count, as the champion kicks out and rolls towards the ring apron.
Gail with a head to the abdomen, as she crawls up the ropes. Tara soon follows from inside the ring, and manages to hit a sensational back body drop off the top. Tara climbs up to the top rope and hits a moonsault… however, she seems to have triggered her knee injury and can not go for an immediate cover. She finally makes the pin, but it’s too late and Gail kicks out. She uses the referee as an aid to get up and goes for the Widow’s Peak, but Gail counters out of it and hoists her up with a beautiful knee-breaker. She then concludes the match by nailing Tara with the Eat Defeat, as she hooks the leg and gets the three count! Gail celebrates her victory to a rousing chorus of boos from the crowd, as Tara gets her knee checked out by the referee and a trainer nearby.
Thoughts: Wow, I don’t think words can express how much I loved this match. I sadly didn’t watch the pay per view last night due to the Grammys, so I’m only getting to see it now and I already want to rewatch it five more times. Gail and Tara had so much chemistry together, and honestly this is probably my favorite women’s match that I’ve seen in a long time. I thought the moves were fresh, Tara actually made me believe she was going to win, and FINALLY after months of my pleading, Gail got a clean victory without any help. I know Gail is a controversial champion, but I’m so glad that they finally are leaving the title on someone and making them look strong because it’s so refreshing for the former hot potato belt.
Madison Rayne was very interesting in this match as well. I had no idea she and Gail were even upset with one another, but I really enjoyed their banter back and forth which lead to Madison just saying, “Screw you”, and walking off. The Knockouts division is finally starting to build back up to where it was during Gail’s first run in my opinion, now all we need to fix is finding spots for all of the women who aren’t used as much and defending the Tag Team Titles more often. Baby steps, but it’s in the right direction so far by booking a strong singles champion and giving them actual defenses before they lose it. I would like to see TNT win the tag titles back, feud with Winter & Angelina or Sarita & Rosita, and maybe get Gail vs. Madison vs. Mickie vs. Velvet at LockDown where a new champion is crowned.
As far as tonight goes, major thumbs up from me for both ladies on a job well done.
Match Rating: 4/5