Why hello world, and welcome to this week’s momentous Impact Write Up. Last time we left you, it was announced that this weeks show would feature a fatal four way match to determine the next contender for Brooke Tessmacher‘s Knockouts Championship. The competitors you ask? A vengeful former champion looking to reclaim her spot atop the Knockout throne, Gail Kim; a killer queen who’s not afraid to break your heart and tear it apart just to watch you scream, Madison Rayne; a southern gal who needs no introduction other than the two simple words, Haaaaaardcore Country, Mickie James; and a veteran BFF wanting to show the world that she’s not afraid to take down anyone in her path to the title, Tara. These four have been brought to us from all over the lands to see which is the fairest of them all and next in line for a shot at the Knockouts Championship, so let us sit down and enjoy the match we are about to witness, for anything can happen in the far away place known as Impact Wrestling!
Skip to 5:16
Ahh, backstage we come across Earl Hebner, fresh off his tweeting ways with candies, flowers, AND a teddy bear for Madison. I must say I’m shocked. Normally people only go for two of the three, but as we can see, Earl spares no expense when it comes to someone with such high taste as Madison. (Now someone inform Earl that as seen on Twitter, dear Madison can’t have those chocolates until her next fitness competition is over.) The Queen says she doesn’t need gifts other than his affection, but as Lady Rayne gives her finest Emmy winning performance, she’s cut off by a pink clad Gail Kim!
Gail demands to know what is going on here, as I begin questioning if that teddy bear was won from one of those machines at a local Orlando Wal-Mart… don’t play me, Earl, I notice the tag in it’s ear. Nonetheless, Hebner leaves as Gail questions what these gifts are about?! She then transitions into last week’s match, but Madison informs her that Earl would never screw anyone …in a match that is. (Nice save.) Our Killer Queen says tonight, Hebner’s going to call the match right down the middle, as she wishes Kim good luck and heads off. From there, we spot Mickie and Tara warming up in the back and then head off to a break as I erupt in the Kit Kat theme.
Here we gooooo. Following the pan up shot of Christy Hemme that leaves Tazz stumbling over her name, the Knockouts Champion walks out to join the two on commentary. Brooke steps over to prepare for this big match, and out comes her poops, Tara! I have to say Tara is looking incredible tonight. Up next after Tara comes our Killer Queen and her red teddy bear of doom. Following a recap of last week’s match and some pageant waves, the wonderful theme song of Gail Kim hits. She does not look particularly happy with some Tara fans at ringside, but someone that is happy is our Knockouts Champion who praises the division and what it means for her to be a part of it. Nonetheless, all the happiness is put to a silence through those two simple words we all know and love… Haaarrdccorreeee Counntrryyyyyy! Coming to us all the way from Richmond, Mickie skips out from the back looking insanely great tonight as well. Brooke continues to praise the women since not many commentators in wrestling do these days, but before we kick things off, it’s time for a commercial break which is odd considering we just had one three minutes ago, but as long as it doesn’t invade the match I’m perfectly fine with this!
Back from the break, everything seems to be breaking down as Kim/Tara and Rayne/James each choose a side of the ring to face off. Earl doesn’t seem to even notice that Gail and Tara are wrestling though, with all his focus going towards protecting Madison I guess. It’s hard to tell since he doesn’t really show much emotion. Tara seems to go for a tarantula, but Gail flips her over the ring and James begins going to town on Rayne. Gail scores with a clothesline on Mickie, with Brooke stating that Kim is just pissed and a poor sport! Tara now starts dominating, but that doesn’t last too long as the BFF’s start to team up against the veteran. The crowd gets behind Tara, and Mickie drags Gail outside the ring. She tries to Irish Whip the former champ, but Kim reverses it and sends Mickie flying into the steps!
Back inside the ring, Tara drops Madison with the sidewalk slam, but Gail breaks it up. The BFFs continue working Tara over with submissions, before sending her into the nearby corner. Madison gets thrown into the vet, but as Gail flies forward to attempt her elastic type move, Tara moves out of the way and Kim goes flying! Madison with a running facebuster, but Mickie breaks it up before a pin can occur. James and Rayne not go at it against one another, with Hardcore Country dropping her with a neckbreaker. She goes for a pin, but Gail breaks it up. Tara snaps Gail off the ropes and hits a nice flip legdrop for a two count as Kim kicks out to the dismay of the crowd.
With the fans on her side, Tara bodyslams Gail to the canvas and goes for a top rope moonsault… but Madison Rayne drops her and turns her around to face the ring. She ascends to the second rope, but Mickie pulls her off and fires off against the Killer Queen. Now Gail climbs to the top rope and proceeds to drop a HUGE Superplex! Wow! Gail goes for the pin, but Madison distracts Earl! Gail is NOT happy with her BFF, but she has no time to react as Mickie tosses her to the outside. Now Mickie goes for Madison once again and takes her down on the outside. James now climbing to the top rope, but Gail knocks her off and to the outside! Kim spins around right into the Widows Peak from Tara! Madison goes for the Rayne Drop, but Tara reverses into a roll up for the three count… apparently for Madison?
We spy ODB and Eric Young sitting backstage… with some red belts of some sort being held up in the air. Oh wait, Impact does have Knockouts Tag Team Titles. She tells Eric that Brooke Hogan‘s been on her ass about defending them since it’s been two months with no defense (which is odd since it feels like it’s been much longer than that). She also says Brooke doesn’t like that a man is holding one the titles. Eric cuts her off to hype his own show, which is weird because I thought it debuted last week but he says it debuts Sunday. Eric then hatches a weird plan where they will never be on screen together so that they can’t be defended, which I hope results in Brooke Hogan retiring the belts completely because there aren’t even enough women signed to form teams in the first place. Well there are, but when is the last time we even heard that they existed? (Hey Sarita, Rosita, Winter, and Taeler.)
Also, check out the baby shower for one of my favorite women in the company, Claire Lynch and her screams of horror:
Skip to 1:23
Positive Thoughts: I feel the need to separate my thoughts into good and bad for this because I’ve got so many different feelings towards everything that took place. Let’s start with the match, which I personally felt was one of the best female matches we’ve seen on TV in a long time. They all got entrances, everyone felt like they served a purpose in it, and they all looked to honestly be fighting like their lives depended on it for a shot at the belt. That’s what I enjoy seeing in number one contender’s matches, even if I feel they should only be saved for when a big feud concludes and someone new is needed to start another, rather than just using them to set up a short program with no real story involved. Gail’s superplex definitely stands out as move of the match for me, and I loved the entire segment overall. Plus, they timed the commercial break well and we didn’t miss anything so major props for that!
I think Melanie said it perfectly on her Twitter that with the Divas division pretty much dead right now, this is when the Knockouts need to strike with a big storyline. I’m not sure if Madison/Earl is really the one I’d have gone for, but at least it’s SOMETHING more than just champion vs. challenger. I now can have a reason as to why Brooke and Madison will have beef with one another come Hardcore Justice because Brooke is essentially facing someone who’s using the official to help cheat her way up the ranks to the title. I’m honestly stating it right now that when this feud is over between Brooke and Madison, Earl Hebner is going to be the Knockouts Champion! You heard it here first…
I also love that they finally seem to be going with someone different to fill that top heel position. I enjoy seeing Gail Kim wrestle, and I will admit that during the end of her reign when she started getting to speak a little more, she also entertained me in that department as well. I just feel like it’s time to switch it up a bit. While Madison facing off against Brooke is sort of an odd choice since we just saw them wrestle on Impact I think about a month ago (not sure), at least it’s something different. That match they competed in before was obviously short due to it being on Spike with time constraints, so I really look forward to seeing what Brooke and Madison can do on a grand stage like Hardcore Justice if given enough time to shine together. I just hope the Earl shenanigans don’t overshadow their actual match.
This is my own selfish personal positive, but I love Claire Lynch. I know I’m one of the only people breathing who does, but she’s just so hilarious to me. I sort of call her my Anti-Maxine as I really was drawn to Maxine because I felt she shined in every aspect it took to be a star, and I’m also drawn to Claire, but because I find her to be, well, not so much skilled in anything. I don’t want that to sound mean, but I honestly do look forward to her segments. I’d rather watch something I at least can laugh at or be interested in than feuds with no storyline. It’s part of this whole “I want stories” movement I’ve been starting this week. I honestly don’t care how bad a storyline is, it’s better than just seeing two people feud for a title and then move on from challenger to challenger (in my opinion) because I at least have some sort of connection to the characters involved. I know everyone has their own prerogative on whether they prefer entertainment to wrestling, and mine is the entertainment factor. I still love the wrestling, but I want to be invested before watching people face off against one another. Bring on the cheesy facial expressions and screeching line delivery!
Negative Thoughts: I was not personally a fan of the finish. I know what they’re trying to portray it as with the king of screwjobs helping Madison get to the top of the division… but I honestly just don’t grasp the way they’re handling it. I like Madison, but I’d rather have it be like her using the ropes or grabbing the tights and having Earl “not see it” or something more believable. He essentially cheats for her to win matches, but I don’t understand how because he sees her shoulders down when counting and awards her the win when the opponent is the one with the pin and shoulders off the canvas. I feel like I’m missing a piece of the puzzle or something? If someone can explain it better then please comment because I feel lost with these matches now in how they end each week.
The ODB and Eric Young segment was one of the most confusing things I may have ever seen in TNA. You have ODB admit that they haven’t defended the titles in two months… and then Eric hatches a plan to continue not defending them? I’d understand if they were heels, but they’re not so it was sort of odd. I feel bad for ODB being stuck in this, and truth be told I don’t even dislike their team anymore, but she has a lot of talent to bring to the division that’s not being utilized. I guess maybe I shouldn’t feel bad because she’s at least getting to do something on TV right now unlike the countless other women they have signed who never appear. I would truthfully rather the belts just be retired because every reign basically emulates the one before it in that TNA show two weeks of giving a care in the world about the tag titles and it’s only when they change hands and the past champs want a rematch. After that, they sit around doing nothing for months until it’s time to change them again. I don’t see the situation improving anytime soon, especially when all the Knockouts you could pair up are leaving or probably about to leave so there’s no need to even have them anymore unfortunately.
I don’t know, I’m just not really a fan of how either division is being portrayed as a whole right now. It’s not to the point where I’m furious or enraged, but it’s frustrating when you see all these talented people not used or stuck in comedy angles that go nowhere. The Knockouts definitely have the edge because their talent, you know, actually get matches on TV, and they’re really good and lengthy ones at that. I just wish TNA would pair their extra females up into teams, and maybe sign some huge name to come in and take their division by storm. They need a fresh face in a title feud that isn’t determined by the “number one contender’s match”. Heck, just go with Tara even. Part of me is happy Tara didn’t win because a feud between TNT has enough story already that a contendership win is not needed for it to have a purpose, but then part of me is also upset because I feel like TNA are never going to truly capitalize on a feud between Tara and Tessmacher in the way they should. It’s kind of like when Gail was champion and she would face someone different every month. You wanted your favorite to win even if the build up was short and lacking because you never knew if they would devote another month of build to the same girl. Sometimes they did (Brooke) and sometimes they didn’t (Velvet).
Of course, the last negative will always be the typical where’s Sarita? Where’s Rosita? Where’s Winter? Where’s Taeler Hendrix? What is the point of Gut Check when none of the winners appear on TV in the first place? Yada yada, but feels like a contractual obligation that I mention it.
There’s flaws in both companies, but as far as the actual Knockouts segments tonight, the match definitely stands out as one of the best TV bouts of the year. Here’s to hoping the momentum continues and gets even better with fun matches and interesting storylines!