Even before the start of TNA’s annual UK Tour, the Knockouts were making headlines and shaking things up! Of course, as we would find out, it wasn’t for all the right reasons. In a public announcement, it was revealed that Awesome Kong was released by TNA, leaving The Dollhouse, yet again, without a leader to guide them. So how would this sudden departure affect the group? Let’s find out.
Trouble, trouble, trouble waits for the Hardy clan, as there is much anticipation for the inevitable return of Ethan Carter III this week. TNA resident babysitter Tyrus assures the Manchester fans in attendance that Ethan won’t show up as he is a coward, who hid behind him through all of his undefeated matches. Wife Reby Sky calls these same fans losers for cheering on for Ethan, citing that they are just jealous of not having a trendsetting husband like she does. I can assure everyone that a trend such as Matt Hardy‘s hairstyle will NOT catch on.
Being the proactive champion that he is, Matt Hardy begins to call out TNA President Dixie Carter, informing her that if she wants to keep her TNA World Heavyweight Champion happy, then she’ll give in to his demands and fire her darling nephew. We get Aunt D’s answer later in the evening.
One of the highlights of this year’s TNA UK tour is seeing Kurt Angle put on the final matches of his career before hanging up the wrestling boots all together. While he begins to touch on how much this farewell tour means to him, he is interrupted by Mike Bennett and Maria Kanellis.
The Miracle Mike shares his memories of seeing Kurt growing up and wanting to one day step in the ring with him. Mike goes on to say that while “normal” wrestlers may never have the chance at a legendary career like the one Kurt has had, a “miracle” wrestler such as himself may just surprise him.
He ultimately asks to be added with the likes of Lashley, Bobby Roode and Drew Galloway as part of Kurt’s Farewell Tour but Kurt declines the idea. Instead, Kurt strikes Mike and scares him and Maria away, stating that he won’t participate in a match with a wrestler who he doesn’t respect.
Rosemary is the next Knockout we spy in our first night in Manchester. Along with her fellow Decay members Crazzy Steve and Abyss, they answer Beer Money’s challenge to a tag team match.
Prior to this tag match, she works as a messenger, reflecting on the idea of how so many are obsessed with the pretty TNA Tag Team titles they stole from The Wolves. Post-match, which The Decay lost via DQ, Rosemary puts on her safeguard hat and acts as a human shield against The Wolves when they try to go after Steve and Abyss with chairs. Let’s see how far Rosemary will go to protect her guys during next week’s Monster Ball Tag Team title match!
Before Dixie Carter can meet with Matt Hardy to address his proposal on firing Ethan, Reby Sky catches her backstage for a woman-to-woman talk.
In a final attempt to swerve Dixie’s decision, Reby begins to butter up Madam Carter, calling her a woman she can look up to. At the end of the day, it’s about family for both of them which is why the Hardys insist that Dixie fire Ethan, so that he doesn’t snap the same way he did to her. Dixie promises she’ll take all of this into consideration.
It’s time for our Knockouts match and sadly both of our participants are left without any entrances. I blame UK fan favorite Grado for taking up airtime to veto TNA’s call on being “fired”.
At the start of the bell, Madison Rayne takes down Jade with a shoulder block. She keeps the momentum going with several clotheslines and a spear so hard that it cause Jade to slide to the outside ring to catch her breath.
Lucky for Jade, her DFF’s Marti Bell and Rebel are at ringside to give her some quick pep talk when need be. The lonely Madison Rayne doesn’t wait for Jade to re-enter the ring to continue her offense; she flies from the ring apron to hit a crossbody that takes out the entire Dollhouse.
Madison tosses Jade back into the ring but is hit in the back with an axe kick when she follows behind Jade. After landing a few kicks to Madison’s chest, Jade whips Madison to the ropes but the Queen Bee manages to reverse this into a pin cover, only to earn a two count.
Jade goes for an inverted surfboard submission hold but Madison manages to turns it around into a pin cover. Jade kicks out at two and responds to Madison’s back to back pin cover with a dropkick. She sets Madison up for a packaged piledriver but Madison counters with an enziguri. She follows up with a running elbow drop and then climbs the top of the turnbuckle to hit a flying crossbody. Madison goes for her third cover in this match but still only gets a two count.
The outside Dolls jump to the ring apron upon seeing Jade in danger but Madison quickly knocks them off. Jade tries to take advantage of the small distraction by rolling up Madison into a roll up pin but only gets a two count. Jade recovers with a knee shot to Madison’s head, which leads to an opening for a packaged piledriver that earns Jade the victory.
The Dollhouse celebrate the win by continuing a beat down to Madison. They stomp on The Beautiful People representative and bring in a steel chair to the ring with intentions of doing further harm. Suddenly Gail Kim‘s music hits and in comes the Knockouts Champion who makes the save by clearing the ring of The Dollhouse.
Our night ends with Dixie Carter meeting with Matt Hardy to give her decision as to whether firing EC3 was the right thing to do.
When Matt doesn’t hear the answer he was looking for, he bullies poor Madam Carter to a corner until Ethan’s music hits. The former TNA World Heavyweight Champion fights through all of Matt’s security guards while Dixie finds some sort of safety in the arms of her one time Chief of Staff Rockstar Spud.
Thoughts: From my understanding, this Jade versus Madison Rayne match was supposed to have been an Awesome Kong versus Madison Rayne match. As we know, those plans were scrapped last minute but it does make me wonder what where TNA would have gone had their plans had actually followed through. Not just for this night but for throughout the entire UK Tour.
Looking more at the positive side of things, I will say that I am glad to see Jade being the one to get more of a push now. This match was solid given how short it was and I think she has some great chemistry with Madison Rayne. I also have to give credit to Madison Rayne, who I always felt was a better ring competitor when she was a Face. I loved the addition of the enziguri, crossbody and running elbow drop to Madison’s moveset.
With The Dollhouse down one member and Gail seemingly teaming up with The Beautiful People, the playing field is looking a lot more even as opposed to before when The Dollhouse had the numbers game on their side. It makes things less “predictable” as to who be the ones winning these back and forth matches. My only concern is that Gail will kill any momentum The Dollhouse may gain; given how easily she cleared the ring of the three Dollhouse members. It also begs the question as to how they’ll go about in trying to build a new contender for Gail’s title during this continued feud between these two factions, as it is something that has really been missing since Gail won back the title last year.
That’s it for this week’s Knockouts fans, hasta luego!