Thursday, September 24, 2020

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Impact Write-Up (March 22nd, 2016): Doll Friends No More


Hola Knockout fans and welcome to this week’s day late Impact Write-Up. After scoring a huge over the Knockouts Champion last week, Maria Kanellis has, somehow, become the unofficial number one contender to Gail Kim‘s title. While most women would be thrilled to have this kind of opportunity, Maria has other motives in mind and plans to roll out her grand scheme with the help of The Dollhouse.

Newly crowned TNA World Heavyweight champion Drew Galloway opens this week’s show, but his celebratory speech is cut short when a number of fellow TNA stars all interrupt Drew to challenge him for his world title. This causes our darling TNA President Dixie Carter to come out and restore some order by announcing that the new number one contender would be determine in a gauntlet match:

Not for nothing Dixie, but isn’t Matt Hardy technically due a rematch clause?

We get a second dose of Dixie when she meets Lashley backstage, who demands to he be inserted to the gauntlet match Dixie has booked:

So, has the pairing of Raquel and Lashley been quietly dropped?

Before we head out to our scheduled title match of the evening, Maria has a message for the reigning Knockouts Champion:

Maria celebrates her victory over Gail from last week’s match, using the win as a point to prove that she is indeed a woman of action.

Maria continues by stating that Gail has been the face for the Knockouts division for so long now, that her holding the Knockouts Championship means nothing now. Being this new woman of action, Maria hints that she will take action again this week, by doing something that will change up the Knockouts division forever.

We head to our Knockouts match of the evening, where Gail Kim is all set to defend her title against the woman who she so badly wants to get her hands on!

Maria makes her entrance to the six-sided ring but calls for a mic before any punches can be thrown.

Maria claims to have a love for professional wrestling, hence why she refers herself as the First Lady of the sport. Though Maria is confident she can pin Gail for a second week in a row, she asked herself, what would that really accomplish? Nothing!

With that in mind, Maria went over to TNA management with a request to help shake up the Knockouts division. Before revealing what this mysterious proposition is, Maria invites the Dollhouse to join her in the ring. The lights in the Impact Zone dim as Rebel, Marti Bell and Jade make their routine entrance for their encounter with the First Lady of Professional Wrestling.

Once Maria comes face to face with The Dollhouse, she compliments them on being beautiful and strong women, despite the group having a rotating door in leaders. Unlike their former head mistresses, Maria wants these Dolls to leave behind their childish ways in order to become unique and individual women.

Maria reveals that during her meeting with TNA management, her request to transfer her Knockouts title shot to just one member of The Dollhouse was granted. Not only that but Maria also sweetens the deal by promising that the winner of this “Death of The Dollhouse” match will also be under her leadership and on their way to become future stars.

With no title match happening, Gail opts to leave the arena while Maria calls for the bell to ring and makes herself comfortable by joining Josh Matthews and The Pope over at the commentary table. Anyone remember the last time we heard a female voice over at said table?

After a short break, our Triple Threat match is underway and starts off with a few bickering among the Dolls. Meanwhile, a listen over at the commentary table has Maria explaining that her reasoning in creating this Triple Threat match was to help breed some competition within the Knockouts division. Can’t argue that statement.

Turning back to the match at hand, Rebel is the first to make a move against both Jade and Marti but the original Dolls stick together to counter Rebel’s incoming offense. They kick Rebel down to mat and transfer her to turnbuckle where Jade lands a double knee shot. Both Jade and Marti go for a cover on Rebel and suddenly friction begins to arise between the one time DFF’s.

Rebel tries fighting back against Jade and Marti but once again, finds herself outnumbered. Both Jade and Marti apply a single leg Boston Crab hold to Rebel but then argue as to hold who should let go of their hold first. “Back off Jade!” yells Marti but the small exchange of words serves as window for Rebel to hit a double clothesline to Jade and Marti. She follows up by climbing to the top rope of a turnbukle and lands a cross body that takes down her two competitors. Pin cover only earns a two count.

Still maintaining some control of the match, Rebel scoops up Marti to apply a back breaker and fends off Jade with a high roundhouse kick. Rebel then goes for a split leg drop onto Marti but misses when Marti rolls right under Rebel. Marti turns the table and whips Rebel to a corner, looking to connect a running big boot. Though Rebel manages to dodge Marti’s boot, as it would play out in a Triple Threat contest, she ends up getting hit in the face anyway by a charging Jade from a different corner.

Cameras turn back to the commentary table as Josh Matthews asks Maria to elaborate what kind of leader she’ll be to Knockouts division. Maria states that she wants to take the division to a mainstream level and The Pope is quick to remind Matthews that Maria is a former Playboy center fold. How much more mainstream can you get?

After a gut wrench suplex fails to get the three count onto Rebel, Jade decides to go high flying by climbing the top rope of a turnbuckle. Jade doesn’t get far, as Rebel quickly climbs the turnbuckle to fight her off. This causes Marti to get in on the action, sneaking under her fellow Knockouts for the classic Tower of Doom spot found in Triple Threat matches. All three Dolls are done, much to the enlightenment of Maria, who takes full credit in bringing out this competitive side from these three Knockouts.

Once the Knockouts get back on their feet, Marti is the first to land a strike, hitting Jade with a spinning clothesline that was intended for Rebel. This infuriates Jade, who goes on a rampage by hitting a spinning kick to Rebel when she tries to roll up Marti from behind. Jade follows with a dropkick to each of her opponents and completely puts them away with a mat slam stacked onto with another. Jade goes for a double pin and scores a three count, earning a future Knockouts title shot in the process and the label of being Maria’s “protégée”.

Thoughts: Can’t say I was a fan of this Triple Threat match. It felt as though things were going at a slower than usual pace and that cues on spots were being missed. Not exactly what I was expecting for the eventual Dollhouse breakup match. Still, the match did what it was suppose to do: break up group with Jade coming out on top.

While I’ve grown to love the Dollhouse stable when the group was first formed under Taryn Terrell‘s wing, the group lost a lot of steam over the course of a handful of losses. The band-aid leadership under Awesome Kong‘s began to refresh the group (and show a real fun side of Kong) but it never fully flourished beyond an already stale feud with The Beautiful People. This split was much needed, more so if TNA are planning to polish Jade as the breakout star.

Maria’s continues to shine with her Heel promos and her ongoing message against Gail Kim. It was also such a nice relief to hear another voice on the commentary table beyond the usual Pope/Matthews duo.

Although I do question how scoring a pin fall in a mixed tag team match leads to a number contendership for a title shot, I can understand how it is being used as another tactic for Maria to continue to taunt Gail and stir things up among the other Knockouts. TNA seem pretty set on keeping this feud between Maria and Gail alive so here’s hoping that things can stay interesting and fresh enough until their eventual one-on-one match down the line.

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