Hello ladies and gentlemen! Welcome to the first British Boot Camp Write-Up of the season where we will reap and follow TNA’s overseas reality television series in search of the next TNA Superstar… or preferably to us women’s wrestling fans: a new Knockout!
We open the season premiere episode with an opening from the first winner of British Boot Camp season one, Rockstar Spud! He recollects his experience from within the last two years and how he went from working in a bank in Birmingham, England to becoming a breakout star on TNA, all thanks to the opportunity opened to British Boot Camp. It’s hard not to see the sensation Rockstar Spud has become. Those who regularly follow Impact Wrestling know the kind of character and entertainment he has contributed (#ImWithSpud) through being Dixie Carter’s Chief of Staff to his very trendy suits! All in all, it’s time to see if TNA can recapture that same fire through a brand new talent from the UK.
This season, we have a panel of judges that include TNA Superstar Samoa Joe, TNA Knockout Gail Kim and talent agent Al Snow. Participants will have to make an impression to these three judges through their personalities, charisma and ring skills if they want to get through the first round. In round two, participants will have the chance to show their ring skills to the judges and if they can pass that they will move on to the semifinals.
Our first set of auditions is taking place in Glasgow, Scotland, where our first contestant is a native of, Kay Lee Ray! The fiery dare devil introduces us to her fearless and energetic wrestling style; much like her one of her wrestling influence Jeff Hardy! A bit cautious and hesitant in front of the judges, Kay Lee Ray talks of her passion for the wrestling business, already having a few years under her belt and taking on all sorts of challenges against men and women; though Gail informs her that should join TNA, she would, for the most part, be working with the other Knockouts instead (Is there still any chance we can see a Bram and Kay Lee Ray pairing?) Kay Lee Ray says she’d be honored to be part of the Knockouts division if given the opportunity and with that the judges give Kay Lee Ray the first pass onto the next round.
Our second female contestant, who also happens to be the greatest female wrestler in the galaxy, is Nikki Storm! Nikki’s video package revealed that one of her wrestling influences happens to be Gail Kim herself! She is extremely confident she will make it the finals as she is the most talented, most charismatic and most traveled wrestler the UK has to offer! Once in front of the judges, Nikki wastes little time in cutting a (beautiful) promo, calling out Gail Kim herself! Suggesting the only reason Gail is able to claim she is the greatest Knockout and greatest female wrestler is because she has yet to face Nikki Storm herself! She knows we can talk about Gail’s accomplishments all day and night but suggests that the judges talk out a pen and a piece of paper and take notes of who Nikki Storm really is! She acknowledges her competition which she considers are all fives, maybe even a few sixes but there is only ONE ten and that is Nikki herself! (Bless this woman!) A bit uncertain of her physic (really?), Samoa Joe wants to see what else Nikki can offer to which Nikki responds by carrying Al Snow over the ring giving Nikki the natural flag to move on to the next round.
Our final female participant comes from a talent by the name of Viper. She introduces herself by relating how much wrestling means to her; how it’s been able to always be there for her through tough times such as the loss of a loved one and the loss of a business. Speaking through raw emotions, Viper recalls damaging moment that have left her with broken bodies, broken hearts and broken faces but it’s only made her a survivor and a stronger person. The judges see this and Viper is given the final pass onto the next round.
Round two takes us to the ring where all our passing participants from round one have the chance to showcase their in rings skills. Not a whole lot if highlighted moments as things turn dramatic (I mean what’s a reality show without one of those) when one participant by name of Grado shows up late due to running late from having lunch at a buffet. His tardiness costs him to be eliminated early on though he vows it wouldn’t be the last time we see him.
Finally after seeing what everyone brought to the table, the judges gather to discuss what they saw in everyone during the long day of auditions. Though there was high praise for Nikki Storm’s swagger coming in to the competition and Kay Lee Ray’s unique look and style of wrestling, one of the criticisms from our judges (looking at you Al Snow) that came to our female talent was in regards to their appearances and the feeling of needing to “glam” them up. *Sigh* Along with that, the was concern of Viper who’s ring work was a bit sluggish when compared to the rest of the contestants.
After some deliberation, it was decided that moving on to the semifinals would be Nikki Storm, Kay Lee Ray and Noam Dar leaving behind Viper, Pricilla and Simon Lancaster.
Watch Christy Hemme break down the episode with Gail below:
So concludes the first week of auditions in Glasgow and next week we head over to Manchester for the second week of auditions. Will we see any more female talent move on the the semifinals? Stay tuned!