Impact 05/17/18: Let it burn

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Hola Knockout fans and welcome to this week’s Impact Write-Up! After weeks of tension between Knockout newcomers Kiera Hogan and Tessa Blanchard, the two will finally be able to do battle in a one-on-one match. Elsewhere, Su Yung continues to make her presence felt by hosting what has been referred to as a “funeral” for Rosemary. How will all of this playout? Let’s dive right in!

One week after the return of former Knockouts Champion Winter Katarina Leigh, another Knockouts Champion returns this week – welcome back Madison Rayne. The former five-time Knockouts Champion will join her husband Josh Matthews on commentary for this week’s Knockouts match. Welcome back Madison!

The Knockouts make their entrance and a listen from the commentary team praises the excitement of having Blanchard within the Impact Wrestling roster. As Blanchard makes her entrance, Kiera takes aim and takes Blanchard down as soon as the ring bell sounds off.

Kiera lands in a fury of right arms and continues to work at a corner, where she connects a running boot to Blanchard. Kiera charges after Blanchard but the third generation Knockout uses the top ring rope to stun Kiera and take control.

Blanchard begins to build momentum with a with DDT from the second rope, knee shot to the midsection and running dropkick to the back. A confident Blanchard begins to add insults to injury when she taunts Kiera but the Girl on Fire fights back with a slap to face! Kiera adds in forearms, a snap mare, a boot to the head and leg drop for a two count.

Things come to a halt for Kiera when Blanchard takes back control with a stunner and puts her away with a Hammerlock DDT – which Kiera sold beautifully! Blanchard dusts off her shoulders and takes in her big win on her Impact debut match but that isn’t enough.

She begins to attack Kiera post-match but out Madison Rayne to make the save!
Blanchard shouts at Rayne but quickly decides to retreat to the back when Rayne approaches her for a fight. Again I say, welcome back Madison!

After last week’s attack on Joseph Parks by a mysterious attacker, Grado and his new girlfriend Katarina Leigh are on the case! Their first suspects are Jimmy Jacobs and Kongo Kong but the duo insist they are innocent “good guys”. Jacobs explains that his issue was with Abyss but with the monster away, Grado’s accusations are not fondly.

Instead, Jacobs warns Grado to stop with these accusations or else his body will be the next one found laid out backstage with no questions of who do it. Leigh interjects and speaks on behalf of Grado, saying that her man isn’t afraid of Jacobs or Kong. Name the time and place and Grado will take them on!

Jacobs takes Leigh on this challenge and a match is set between Grado and Kong! Unfortunately for Grado, Kong picks up the victory with a top rope cross body. An unimpressed Leigh decides to walk out on and leaves Grado to another beat down. Before Kong could inflict some serious damage with the steel steps, Moose makes the save for Grado.

And finally, for Su Yung’s funeral for the fallen Rosemary, we head over to Finney Point Cemetery. There we spy Yung and her army of Undead Brides walk across the cemetery carrying a wooden coffin as flashbacks of Yung putting Rosemary through a casket plays. The wooden casket is dropped and Yung places dead flowers over… before setting it on fire by misting over it!

In two weeks, Su Yung will challenge Allie for the Knockouts Championship as part of Impact’s Under Pressure television special. In addition, Madison Rayne will square off with Tessa Blanchard.

Thoughts: This week’s Impact certainly was a step up to last week’s show – which granted, almost anything would’ve felt like an improvement. Now I’m not saying it was a perfect episode but we had storyline progression and an actual build to some ongoing feuds.

While I wish the Knockouts were given more than five minutes of in-ring time, I think this week’s match was all right. A much better showing of Kiera compared to her Redemption match against Taya Valkyrie and even better first win for Blanchard. I think Blanchard is a solid in-ring worker, has the attitude and so far has cut very confident promos on Impact so far. I’d love to see her and Madison Rayne in some kind of backstage promo next week to further set up for Under Pressure.

Last week, I did complain of how it felt like a waste bringing in a former Knockouts Champion in Winter but not use her in the division, more so when we currently have women on the sideline **ahem, Rosemary** but bringing back Madison Rayne makes up for it for now. Madison is just one of those women who I feel is an overall performer, whether a face or a heel. While her Heel Queen Bee persona was fun, I found her babyface in-ring work better and she’s only gotten better with time. I’m looking forward to see how the Rayne/Blanchard match plays out at Under Pressure. Just please Impact, give it some reasonable time!

While it was nice to see Katarina Leigh build some character to this new persona but I still think pairing with Grado is a joke. His whole fiasco this week was used as a way to further the Kongo Kong/Moose feud and I’m still holding out to my theory that she’ll be the revealed as this mastermind behind these backstage attacks on Impact. Could her walking out on Grado be a clue of that!? Surprise me Impact!

I honestly thought this Rosemary funeral segment conducted by Su Yung was going to play out in a similar fashion to the funeral for the Aces and Eights from a few years ago. I’m still in favor of the improvement in production and presentation Impact has given with these segments but I was expecting more. Where was Allie this week? Will Rosemary just be in hiding until her return? Will there build up to this Knockouts Title match? What other dark tactics will Su Yung try to pull? Let’s hope we get some answers next week.

What did you think of this week’s Impact? Did you enjoy Su Yung’s funeral for Rosemary? Are you excited to see Madison Rayne make her Impact return? Let us know in the comments below!