Why hello, kind reader, and welcome to what I am calling my favorite Impact Write-Up to occur in a long, long time. I think even calling last night a great night for the Knockouts would be an understatement because they did such an outstanding job that they deserve their own word… thus I am dubbing their performance as Knockout-ariffic! It’s like they read every complaint I ever had with the division and fixed them all in one magical night! Okay, enough build-up. Let’s go over what took place in the second episode of Impact Wrestling’s live summer.
The main story involved Mickie James, Tara, Velvet Sky, and the unfortunately now renamed Miss Tessmacher in a fatal four-way match to determine the next contender to face Gail Kim (who provided commentary) for her title this Sunday at Slammiversary. On top of that, we also got a really fun backstage segment between the four and Knockouts Executive, Brooke Hogan, as well as added bonus appearances throughout the night by Madison Rayne and Dixie Carter! I can hardly contain myself with the joy that I felt watching this night of greatness, so I’m going to zip it and start the recapping!
We begin the night’s festivities with a beautiful video recap of the actions involving AJ Styles and TNA President, Miss Dixie Carter. Once said soap opera-esque video concludes, we head to footage taken from last week of a RAGING Dixie throwing things, screaming to fine her, and firing people. GOOD GOD! She orders the camera men to get out of her face, before going to the control room and screaming out F-bombs and all this glory that I can’t even put into words. I’m literally still in shock watching this beautiful moment unfold. Nonetheless, Dixie demands to know who the (bleep) put her private business out for the world to hear last week and threatens to fire them all if they don’t discover who it was. Queen Dixie leaves the scene, as we are now taken to the ring with a much calmer Dixie.
She lifts the microphone up just as a Dixie chant breaks out! A tearful Dixie finds this all unimaginable, stating that she has thought long and hard about what to say. No matter what she thinks up, someone will be hurt… and she feels sorry for Daniels and Kaz. She claims they are filled with hate, ego, and insecurity to do such a thing and hurt their innocent families. “They threw a big rock in a serene pond, and the ripple effect is long and wide.” Beautiful… simply beautiful. Dixie believes there is nothing she can do except to tell the truth tonight, but before she can, she is cut off by the music of Daniels and Kaz!
They step into the ring and steal the mic from Dixie. Daniels claims he “understands” her pain. He states that Dixie made a mistake that she was happy to hide until she got found out… Hell no! He tells Dixie to inform the crowd she is a woman (okay?) and she wants what she wants, but that the cold hard truth is she had a hole in her heart that dear Serg just couldn’t fill. He orders Dixie to tell the crowd the truth! Suddenly, Dixie begins hitting him and I begin crying tears of joy. Daniels shoves Dixie back a little, before AJ Styles hits the ring and chases them out. SUDDENLY, MY GOD SERG SALINAS, INFAMOUS SINGER OF HARDDDDCORREEE COUNNTRRYYYYY, WALKS OUT IN A PURPLE SHIRT! He consoles Dixie and lifts her up, before turning around and CLOCKING AJ Styles in the face! By God, Serg then leaves the ring as an irate Dixie Carter stares at the trouble she has caused and our own little love triangle continues on to my applause and admiration.
We head backstage to see our new Knockouts Executive, Brooke Hogan, looking radiant as she stands by with Mickie James, Velvet Sky, Tara, and Miss Tessmacher aka the four women who will be competing in the match later tonight. She compliments their bodies and formally introduces herself to them. Brooke then thanks them for letting her work beside them, wishing them luck in the fatal four-way later tonight. She lets them finish putting on their makeup and gear, but then remembers that she has another little news item to tell them.
Brooke asks them to recall how she said she was going to begin getting the female division out in the media to make them bigger stars, to which the first opportunity has presented itself! She assures them that she loves each and every one of them, but it goes to Velvet Sky who will star in Montgomery Gentry’s new country music video! This doesn’t seem to bode well for our resident singing starlet, Mickie James, who gives us a wonderful look of shock and disgust that she wasn’t chosen. Nonetheless, the women in the room don’t seem to catch it as they are all so excited for Velvet to get the chance! They all engage in a group hug — which Brooke actually has to pull Mickie into to join them. CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT!
Out to the ring we head, as Taz’s money shot of the week featuring our pan up of Christy Hemme greets us in to this Knockouts challenge. Not only that, but the voice of Serg Salinas hits as he chimes in with a HAAAAARDDCORREEEE COUNNNNTREEHHHHHH and out walks Mickie looking absolutely incredible tonight. She poses for the fans, as out next comes the Pigeon Queen, Velvet Sky! Velvet shakes her booty on the ramp, before climbing down and posing with some fan signs. Stepping up onto the ring apron, Velvet then proceeds to let the pigeons loose! Mickie does not seem as impressed as Taz, but really who could be? Following Sky we have the monster of addicting themes belonging to Miss Tessmacher! Tess climbs down in her brand new t-shirt, posing with a big flag before removing her top and throwing it onto the camera lens.
Mickie continues to look displeased with her fellow Knockouts, as rounding out the bunch comes Tara! Tara, also looking stunning tonight, gets a great ovation in this bout of fan favorites, before stepping into the ring and getting ready for this huge match. The bell sounds as the four circle around a bit. Mickie/Tara and Tessmacher/Sky battle it out, as Tara and Velvet take control. TNT Irish whip Sky, but Velvet kicks Brooke in the face as she and Mickie hit a pair of clotheslines. Their attention then turns to the stage as out walks our kiss blowing Knockouts Champion to scout her competition! Mickie proceeds to quickly (and quietly) roll up Velvet, but only gains a two count. Mickie hits a takedown, as we head to a commercial break!
… And we’re back! It seems that Tara had Velvet Sky locked in a tarantula during the break, but Mickie breaks it up with a baseball slide to kick Tara out of the ring. Gail Kim is also now on commentary, with Tessmacher rolling Mickie up for a two count. Gail claims she doesn’t care who she faces since she’s beaten all four of them. Mickie and Tessmacher exchange Irish whips, with Tessmacher going for her running corner facebuster. James shoves her off and scores with a huge enziguiri, but that evil Queen, Gail Kim is too busy promoting herself as the longest Knockouts Champion in history! Mickie gets a two count and begins to argue with the referee, while Tessmacher hits a jawbreaker/neckbreaker combo! A two count is gained, but Velvet breaks it up as Gail amazingly claims it’s a privilege for one of these four women to face such a legend in this company. Good lord, Gail is bringing personality and I absolutely love it.
Taz brings up Tessmacher’s past victories over Gail, but Kim shrugs it off and dubs her a “rookie” who only beat Gail using her (Gail’s) own finisher since it’s all that can topple her. Back in the ring, Sky is sent off the ropes, but holds on and sends Brooke outside. Tara rolls up Velvet Twitter two count, but this amazing new persona of Gail Kim is continuing to kill me on commentary as she claims the fans on twitter just “love” her and believe she’s so accessible! She adds that after the match, she’s having her very own Twitter Q&A, provided the hashtag of “#AskGail” is used. (Note: This actually trended worldwide even before the match concluded!) Inside the ring, Tara has Velvet backed into a corner and begins shoving her head into the abdomen. A suplex follows, with a rolling pin attempt for a two count as Gail claims she has no problems with Brooke Hogan as long as she realizes who the star is.
Kim continues (and yes I will recap her every word because I’m really entertained right now) and states that she built and fought for this division. Tara then locks in a Boston Crab, as Mickie runs in with a dragon sleeper on Tara! Brooke then charges in with a side headlock on Mickie as we have a pretty awesome spot going on! The hold eventually breaks, as Velvet falls into a roll up on Tara for just a near fall. Sky then kicks Tara out of the ring and turns her attention to Mickie. Gail points out the flaws in Velvet, but Sky proves her wrong in the ring by hitting a headscissors takedown on James. She then runs forward, but Mickie scores with the flapjack/kip-up! Mickie accidentally kips up right into Tara who throws her out from the ring and goes for the moonsault!
Velvet rolls out of the way just in time, with Gail dubbing Tara’s move as “kind of athletic”. Uh oh… we now return to the ring to see TNT in a stare off! Tessmacher challenges Tara to fight her, and Tara brings it with a stiff shot. Tess explodes with some punches of her own and then leaps right onto Tara’s shoulders, where the veteran hits her patented sidewalk slam! She goes for the shimmysault, but Velvet interrupts with a kick to the abdomen and a sick DDT. Velvet then turns around into a Thesz Press from Mickie! Mickie poses a little, before turning around and kicking Velvet square in the jaw with a sharp Mick Kick! This time though, it’s Mickie to feel the pain as Miss Tessmacher hits the Tess Shocker out of nowhere! She covers… one… two… THREE! Tessmacher vs. Kim will happen at Slammiversary in the challenger’s own hometown! She celebrates her win, as Gail doesn’t seem to be too phased right now as shown by her sarcastically applauding Tessmacher’s win!
Also, check out Madison Rayne as she continues to scout her “crush” during a match involving Robbie E (with Robbie T) against Devon (with Garrett Bischoff):
Skip to 5:15
Thoughts: I have no words. This was without a doubt the best night for Knockouts that I’ve seen in years. I literally can’t process it because there was so much right tonight that it reminded me of the division’s rise to prominence in 2007-2008. From Dixie Carter and her husband, to the backstage segment, to the fantastic match, to Gail Kim showing more personality and charisma than she has in her entire career! I may get hate, because most of the time nobody seems to share my opinion, but I thought this week’s Impact Wrestling delivered the most enjoyable night of Knockouts in a looooong time.
The backstage segment was great, and actually gave us character development(!~) in teasing a Mickie James heel turn. She is notorious for country music, and no doubt being in the music video could have done nothing but benefit her own career… so seeing Brooke choose Velvet over her and that priceless reaction was so good. This is exactly why I was happy to see Brooke Hogan join TNA, because while people insult her to no end, she is going to be what finally gets the women actual speaking roles with these backstage segments in the same way Miss Karen did those many months ago.
On to the match, you know a match is good when a commercial in the middle of it doesn’t even bother me. I thought this was one of the best TV matches in some time, and all four girls worked great together. There was fun spots involving all four, and even some involving a combination of the girls. They all got a chance to shine, and we even saw TNT squaring off with one another as Miss Tessmacher looked ready to go and do anything it takes to win. That’s what I love to see. Friendships are out the window when the title is up for grabs and it genuinely felt that they all were giving it everything they had to win the match. On one hand, I’m surprised Tessmacher won considering they seemed to be teasing Mickie/Velvet backstage, but considering Slammiversary is in Texas, I think it would be tremendous for Miss Tessmacher to win the belt in her hometown so it does makes sense. Plus, she’s the most recent of Gail’s feuds and so having her continue on after being cheated out of the belt is excellent.
Speaking of Gail… where the heck did that come from? Throughout pretty much all of her WWE career, and while not as much in TNA, but still some, she’s basically been treated as barely having a voice. Gail did her best vocal work ever this week, and actually had me laughing at a lot of her comments because she would present them in such a humorous way. I honestly don’t have enough good things to say about Gail’s work on commentary and I wish her entire run would have been booked like this. I may not be the biggest fan of her reign only because I felt like we’ve been having the same exact storyline over and over since she won the title with not much to get invested in during each month long feud, but tonight really showed me how much better her reign could have come off if she would’ve gotten more moments like this. I’m still dying at how she mentioned the fans “loving” her on Twitter, and even started the #AskGail hashtag which became a worldwide trending topic of all things.
I can’t even contain my happiness with TNA this week, and not only did they make up for a lack of Knockouts last week, they put on one of my favorite shows since I started recapping back in (I believe) October. Like I said earlier, I’m sure people will probably disagree with my views, but from my standpoint, tonight was the most I have been entertained by a female division in a long time and I really can’t wait for Kim/Tessmacher this Sunday at Slammiversary! Please Mizz Hogan, make every night like this so we can get back to the glory days of the Knockouts.