Welcome everyone to the holy grail of both wrestling and Jerry Springer… your Impact Write-Up! This week, we get another SHOCKING revelation in my new pitch for a Lifetime original movie, “Addicted & Abandoned: The Claire Lynch Story”. Last week, Claire shocked the world with her debut on the scene of Impact Wrestling, and if you thought that was something, just wait to see how tonight’s show ends. Alongside the Claire saga, which also involves Dixie Carter, we get a multitude of Knockout related features again this week, as Gail Kim, Miss Tessmacher, and Brooke Hogan engage in a war of words, Madison Rayne continues the hunt for her crush, and my new wrestling crush, Taeler Hendrix finds out if she will be the next addition to the Knockout roster. I have a lawn that needs mowing as soon as this is written, so let’s get started!
Story One – “Give Me My Chance” – Taeler Hendrix Fights For Survival
Skip to 01:22
We get a brief video recap of Taeler Hendrix’s better moments in her tryout against Tara last week until she was ultimately put away with the Widow’s Peak. From there, we head to a backstage chat between Gut Check judges Taz, Bruce Pritchard, and Al Snow. They believe Tara was trying to send Taeler a message last week, as Taz sings her praises a little. Bruce questions if she’s too inexperienced for Impact, and Taz wants to know if he wants someone who is already game ready, or someone who has the potential to be. (I feel like this comment will get split views from fans, but I agree with Taz. In the case of Madison Rayne, it took time for her to become the role she shined in and it’s more fun seeing someone rise to the occasion instead of being there from the get go.)
Taz really seems to like Taeler, and feels she is humble, yet hungry. They remind themselves of Joey Ryan feeling like he had a sense of entitlement, and agree that Taeler is the exact opposite of that and they respect her for it. Al Snow feels they have to earn respect, not feel they should have it from the start. Bruce Pritchard wants to know if people would buy a pay per view to see Taeler, and Taz believes maybe not at first, but eventually if she rises up the ranks of Impact, then yes. Al Snow is skeptic, wondering if she would become difficult to deal with should she become a draw for the company. That does it until later when we find out Taeler’s ultimate fate!
We head to the ring where Jeremy Borash stands alongside Bruce, Al, and Taz. They are ready to decide the fate of Taeler Hendrix, as they introduce her out to the ring. Hendrix walks out as a “Taeler” chant breaks out right from the start. JB asks Taz if he’s seen enough to render a decision, to which he says they are ready to go. Taeler feels the judges have seen her at her best. She’s here to shine and hungry for success. We head to Taz first while the crowd chants “YES! YES! YES!”, to which Taz agrees with the people and votes yes to Taeler! She only needs one of the following two judges now. Al Snow begins to give his answer, but they are interrupted by Joey Ryan in the crowd who failed to receive a contract at the last Gut Check.
Security escorts Joey out of the building as Taeler stands in the ring awaiting her decision. The judges return to the ring and we return to Al Snow. Snow claims he knows she has talent and potential, but he doesn’t feel she’s ready yet for a roster spot. Boo-urns… he says no. We head to the final judge, Bruce Pritchard, but before he decides, Jeremy is going to give her thirty seconds to prove why she deserves a shot. Taeler states that someone, somewhere gave all three of them a chance and that this is hers and she wants it badly. She fought to get here and she wants to fight to stay here.
Taeler claims she will earn every step it took her to get from the entrance ramp to the ring, and she will fight to prove that she can shine amongst the Knockouts. (Side ote: Have I mentioned I love her?) The crowd continues to chant yes, which sparks Bruce Pritchard to state that while she’s inexperienced and might not be ready for prime time yet, she has heart, desire, and class… so for that, he says YES! Taeler Hendrix officially joins the Knockouts roster! Taeler celebrates her victory and thanks the three gentlemen, as well as all the fans for helping her get to this spot.
Story Two – “It’s About Class, Not Ass” – Gail Kim & Miss Tessmacher Prepare For Next Week
In our next installment to tonight’s Knockouts action, we trollop to the back where Knockouts Executive, Brooke Hogan stands by with our champ, Miss Tessmacher. She lets Tessmacher know that she got her a campaign with Direct Auto Insurance that will highlight her image on plaques around the world! Tessmacher is shocked and overjoyed, as Brooke Hogan runs down the list of things she’s been trying to do for the females. Suddenly, in pops Gail Kim and she is not happy with the two Brookes. Kim correlates the choice of Tessmacher to their slogan of “cheap rates” because she is a “cheap girl”… Oh, snap. Tessmacher gets in Gail’s face, but Kim turns her attention to Brooke Hogan. Miss Tessmacher interrupts her mid way through though and cites her as simply jealous that she’s not the one getting attention anymore, but Gail tells her to shut her mouth!
Brooke Hogan tells the two to calm down and let her handle this. Gail, however, claims that all the Knockouts are just a cheap imitation of her and Brooke needs to realize where her bread is buttered! Following a short pause while I went to get some toast, we return and see Gail asking about her rematch. Tessmacher wants the rematch too because she wants to whoop dat ass! Gail doesn’t listen to her comments, disregarding her and stating that the division is about class not ass! (Brilliant!) Brooke Hogan butts in (no pun intended) let’s Gail know that she doesn’t want Kim’s butter anywhere near her bread. She then orders Kim to not tell her how to do her job! Brooke adds that she was actually on her list of people to talk to, but the champ comes first. She then lets Gail know that she will get her rematch next week, and she had better take it seriously before Brooke Squared heads off.
Story Three – “One Step Closer to the Truth” – Madison Rayne and the Crush
Backstage, we spy Garrett Bischoff texting on some sort of mobile phone device, when Madison Rayne approaches him. All eyes now point to the Killer Queen’s crush indeed being Garrett himself, as Madison informs him about said crush on a male wrestler. She then asks him… what her crush is like! So Garrett Bischoff, you are NOT the crush. Madison whispers the name of who she admires in Garrett’s ear, as he wishes her good luck with that and simply heads off to the disappointment of our fitness competing Queen Bee.
Story Four – “Drama Not Even Maury Can Handle” – Claire Lynch’s Baby Daddy Revealed
Following a video package on the recent actions of AJ Styles, Dixie Carter, and my idol, Claire Lynch, we take it backstage to see Dixie and AJ conversing amongst themselves. Dixie is NOT happy with how things went down last week, and after that performance, who can blame her? (Note: I still love you Claire, don’t worry!) Our President of the company lets AJ know that while it didn’t go down the way they planned, she’s elated that it’s finally over with and the public knows their secret. AJ claims he’s moving on from it, and will go down to the ring and beat the piss out of Daniels and Kaz. Oh, my. AJ wants revenge like he’s some sort of muscled up male Emily Thorne, stating he will put the nail in their coffin for not only him and Dixie, but Queen Claire as well.
Skip to 07:42
We get a VERY brief recap of the interesting segment to close Impact last week between AJ Styles, Dixie Carter, and Claire Lynch. From there, we go backstage where Claire and Dixie are seen being interviewed by an unidentified man. He asks Claire how she met AJ and Dixie, to which she explains her mother has been friends with Dixie for a long time and she met AJ at a party Dixie threw. He wants to know where the wheels fell off this whole thing, as Claire states the second Daniels and Kaz began blackmailing them. She has never met them, maybe only seen them in passing once or twice. Claire just can’t believe someone would take this information and use it against nice people like Dixie and AJ.
Skip to 05:40
Claire and Dixie appear later on in another pre-taped segment, with the male asking what was up with the picture of AJ and Dixie. Dixie claims it’s the moment AJ told her what was wrong with Claire, to which Miss Carter became an emotional basket case! Claire feels they took something so “pure and innocent” and made it out to be an affair, which is just sickening. The male asks about the hotel room incident, as Dixie clears that up as well. Proud Papa AJ was bringing Dixie to the hotel to see Claire when she completed rehab. Ridiculous! The phone conversation between Dixie and AJ was actually for Serg’s birthday! I knew it! She was calling AJ to see if he could bring his wife, Wendy, and their children to the party. Claire depicts Daniels and Kaz as “crafty”, before stating she was not at the party because she was having some trouble at the time.
After Daniels and Kaz defeat Kurt Angle and AJ Styles to win the Tag Team Titles, Christopher Daniels takes the microphone and tells Dixie (who is sitting ringside with Claire) to turn her frown upside down because Claire told the truth… but not the WHOLE truth. Dun dun dun… Daniels states that Claire’s baby daddy is none other than AJ STYLES! Dixie throws a fit at ringside as Claire falls to a squatting position and runs her fingers through her hair in distress. Dixie screams at the camera, while Daniels states this will be a phenomenal baby! He orders Claire to tell the truth, while Dixie tells Daniels he is finished!
Thoughts: I’m extremely happy that Taeler Hendrix got signed to a contract. I only had heard of her a few times before her match on Impact, but after it, I went and watched some more of her OVW stuff and she’s actually pretty fun to watch. I absolutely loved her mic work tonight, and felt she came off extremely passionate and real in the segment. There was even a point where I thought they would say no to her, but thankfully they didn’t. I’ll get more into Taeler in my final paragraph and talk about why I’m not as thrilled as I probably should be (and it’s nothing against her, more so the company), but I will say that if TNA goes the female route with the Gut Check again, it needs to be Athena. She is absolutely perfect for the Knockouts division, especially with that finisher, and I feel she would shine so much if given the chance. I’m not really a big fan of a few other names that have been tossed around as possibilities lately, but Athena is my main hope for the next attempt to find a Knockout.
The segment with Brooke and Gail was definitely needed. Much like the week she did commentary, I’m pretty entertained by Gail Kim as of late in speaking roles. She made me laugh a lot here, especially with the “class not ass” line, and that part about bread and butter. If you know me, you know I love random lines pertaining to food (such as Raquel Diaz’s one about eating cake that I still don’t understand, but love anyways). I’d been saying for weeks Brooke Tessmacher needed to speak a little and I’m glad they finally allowed her to get in some insults to Gail. I do hope to see her continue on with the speaking for weeks to come because I feel her title reign will only get better and better the more she is given to work with and say.
I honestly don’t even know what to say about the whole Claire/Dixie storyline. It’s so random, and as the king of all things random, I feel I should love it. I kind of do because it’s such a mess, but part of me sort of cringes when things happen. I think it’s because it’s not a “fun” type of mess, and they’re trying to portray it as a serious issue so I find it hard to laugh when addiction, pregnancies, etc. is involved. It was wise not to put Claire on a live microphone after last week’s mess, and while tonight was still just as random, I’m going to continue giving the story time to develop. I don’t think I will enjoy it as much as I feel I should, but at least it’s giving me something more to talk about.
If I had to pick one thing I feel is the downfall of Impact right now, though, it’s that they just have too much talent for only having one show a week. This goes for both male and female, but it’s just gotten beyond control in terms of the Knockouts. The reason I can’t celebrate Taeler Hendrix getting a contract as much as I want is because who knows if we will even see her again? Jacqueline Moore got a contract during the reign of Miss Karen and did she even make an appearance after that? Half the roster isn’t being used at all, and there’s weeks like this where you make no mention of Mickie James’ actions as of late to lead to a heel turn. It’s kind of like they are trying to do so much but do not have enough time to do it, and that means things don’t remain ongoing for long periods of time because they want to use someone new who’s been sitting at home instead of just pushing a top face and using everyone else in backup roles. Last week there was no mention of Gail really, and this week Gail is back out of nowhere and gets her rematch with last week’s focus, Mickie James and Velvet Sky, barely being mentioned. It’s kind of flip-flopping, and I don’t think I need to bring up Winter, Angelina, Rosita, or Sarita, for you to get the point I’d make about any of them. I’m still loving the division so much more now than I have before, but they really need to find ways to incorporate the other Knockouts into the program… even if it’s by hooking them up with males or in tag teams amongst themselves. Brooke is busy as Knockouts Champion, so hook Tara and Taeler up in a team and say Tara was impressed with her showing and wants to take her under her wing like she did Brooke. Angelina and Winter, Sarita and Rosita… those are actual teams as well. You have the talent to form a tag team division, but it’s just not happening and I don’t get why. I almost forget we have tag titles half the time.