Hey Knockout fans! So, it’s the first week following Knockout champ Gail Kim‘s open challenge on the last edition of Impact. I, for one, am excited at the prospect of a shake up in the Knockouts division, but whether or not this will come sooner rather than later remains to be seen. Gail might just plough her way through her challengers and that will be that. Let’s find out how things went down, shall we?
Brooke graced our screens in the open segment, as she accompanied her beau Bully Ray to the ring for a confrontation with Ken Anderson. She did a little dance on the ramp for her man and the world to see, before Bully took over and took it to Anderson.
Dixie Carter is backstage, going bananas over a vignette that just aired about the TNA Heavyweight Champion, brought to us by the friends of the man himself, Mr. AJ Styles. Dixie is preeeetty stressed out, or so it seems, and she says she has to head out there now. Damn it, production, you had one job!
Dixie is heading out to the ring. Clearly the crowd loves her, and she’s lapping it up. She says it’s hard to be perfect allllll the tiiiiime. I feel you, Dixie. It’s difficult. I kid, I kid. Anywho, she never has to go around proving her perfection, which is nice for her I’m sure, but every once in a while it just feels so good to say… Wait for it…
“Lord, have mercy! How right I am!”
When she kicked AJ off her roster, the class level of Impact went up tenfold. It proved her right. No one, but Dixie herself, obviously, is irreplaceable. The people don’t understand that TNA is a business. It’s about what has AJ Styles done for her lately? Other than irritate her, he’s taken her property – the Heavyweight title belt – and taken it t Mexico, along with the car he stole from her too!
He is not her World Champion. Period. Her lawyers will handle him.
But she wants to talk about the eight man challenge to crown the new champion. My one and only Jeff Hardy was successful last week, and moves up in the tournament. Now I could talk about Jeff all night (seriously, what is even happening here?) but I won’t, because I’m excited to get on to the Knockouts match. There’s still some Dixie goodness to come, though. She calls out Bobby Roode and James Storm, who are set to go one on one in the world title tournament. Next out is Samoa Joe, the Magnus.
Dixie turned the wheel of Dixie to determine their matches. She informs them of their matches. Bobby and James, who were formerly partners, will compete in a bull rope match. (I’m not sure where the coverage of Dixie ends and the coverage of the men begins here.) Storm informs her that he has nothing to prove to her, and then goes off into a monologue about what he’s got, including having the audience behind him. (Does Storm remind anyone else of a male ODB?)
(I’ll stop with the parenthesis soon, I promise.)
Samoe Joe repackages himself as Captain Obvious, and informs Dixie that the only reason she’s put together the tournament is to cover for the fact that she couldn’t cut a deal with AJ Styles.
“You better watch yourself Joe.” Is what Dixie actually said.
“You better check yourself before you wreck yourself.” Is what I heard.
Samoa tells her to realize who needs who. He says they’re all together right there to cover HER bad business. He says that after he becomes the world champion, the first man he defends against will be AJ Styles. Dixie is thrilled. NOT.
“No, no, no!”
An emphatic “no” from Dixie Carter there, folks. She will replace Samoa Joe ‘that fast’ if he tries anything like that. Snap. Magnus interrupts with his confused British accent. He talks about the spirit of competition. Captain America, everybody. Except it’s more like Captain English, with an enhanced sense of righteousness. I love him either way.
Dixie wishes them all the best of luck, before heading on back up the ramp with her dignity and her sass in tact.
Alright ladies and gents, it’s time for the Open Challenge match. Lei’D Tapa‘s music hits, and she’s led out to the ring by Knockouts champion Gail Kim, who looks beautiful in blue. The stipulation is as follows: if the challenger can beat Gail, they will earn a shot at the Knockouts Championship. Simples. Gail grabs a mic and recaps what she said last week. The offer was extended to any female outside of TNA who thinks she’s good enough to step in the ring with Gail. A lot of names were mentioned, with Gail responding to some, but she reminds us that someone actually has to show up.
And tonight, someone actually did.
Awesome! As far as I’m aware, these two have never squared off before. Correct me if I’m wrong! Hannah’s not too unfamiliar with TNA, having been apart of the British Bootcamp a while back. The commentators certainly remember her.
Gail kicks things off – literally and no pun intended – with a big boot to the head of Hannah, who goes down hard. She throws Hannah into the corner, then nails an uppercut, which takes Hannah back to the mat. Gail with a right hand, and Irish whip and a running elbow to the gut. She grabs Hannah by the hair and sends her to the mat once again. Our Knockouts champ is mighty pleased with herself. Her hair looks fabulous tonight, by the way.
Gail’s heads back into the ring and doesn’t waste another moment before going after Hannah. But Hannah fights back with some big right hands, and just when it seems she may get the upper hand, Gail clocks her right on the hamstring and sends her back down again. Some trash talk ensues, followed by a heavy shot to the chest. Hannah is not faring all that well here. Gail lands two kicks to the mid section, then drives Hannah head first into the turnbuckle. Hannah falls to the mat once again, and this time she’s in prime position for a little figure four around the ring post. Gail locks it in.
After doing away with her opponent for the moment, Gail takes a second out and offers Hannah an open shot at her. Trash talk at its best. Great show of ring psychology here from Gail. She goes for her first pin attempt but Hannah kicks out at a count of one. A high five from Lei’D Tapa later, and Gail looks to be lining up Hannah for the Eat Defeat. But Hannah fights back! She lands some shots to the head, then a clothesline and a back elbow! She mounts a defense and unloads on Gail, then hits a great looking suplex. The crowd is starting to get behind her. She lands an elbow for a two count.
Hannah sends Gail to the corner, but Gail comes out of it focused and hits a big clothesline. She catches Hannah and nails the Eat Defeat for the three count.
“Nice try, Hannah Blossom. Not really.”
Gail promises to prove, week after week, that she is the most dominate TNA Knockouts champion of all time. So modest.
Thoughts: I enjoyed that match. It did exactly what was needed, and it was great to have Hannah Blossom on TNA this week. She looked good in the what little offense she managed, but let’s be honest here. There is a big difference in their levels of experience. Hannah put up a good fight, but Gail is champion for a reason. Personally, I see her dominating everyone that comes her way until, surprise surprise, Lei’D Tapa steps up to the plate and completely decimates her, earning herself a title shot. I do think this is culminating to Tapa/Gail, but what direction they decide to go creatively remains to be seen.
Hopefully we’ll get to see more Knockouts next week, though I’m not sure where they’ll fit into the open challenge storyline. Their absence from the ring this week makes sense after Gail and Tapa bulldozed them last week, but I hope to see them back next week and working in their own storylines.
Until then, see ya!