Hola Knockout fans and welcome to this week’s Impact Write-Up. On this week’s show, Awesome Kong cashes in her number one contendership opportunity for a shot at Gail Kim‘s Knockouts Title. Unlike the other fifty times we’ve seen these two go at it, Kong will have her Doll gal pals Jade, Marti Bell and Rebel close at ring side. Will the extra backup be enough for Kong to bring back the gold to The Dollhouse? Let’s find out.
After both the champion and challenger have made their respective entrances, they start the match off by trading a few grunting shoves to one another. Kong wins the mini test of might when she single handily shoves Gail to a turnbuckle and lands in an early set of chops to the chest.
Kong then whips Gail to the other side of the ring, sending the champion to another turnbuckle, where she is hit with a full body splat by a charging Kong. The Dollhouse leader then begins to wear down Gail with a camel clutch hold before tossing her to the turnbuckle for a third time.
Gail manages to dodge Kong’s attack by slipping though the second ring rope but a surprise clothesline from Kong knocks Gail off the ring apron. The champion falls to the outside floor, where she lands just at the feet of the Dollhouse at ringside. From their special assigned first row seats, the dolls mock and insult Ninja Kim as she tries to fight back in this match.
A faint “Kong” chant begins from the Dollhouse corner as the challenger tosses Gail back to the ring, keeping the momentum going with another chop to the chest and adding a body slam to the mix. Kong runs the ropes, looking to squash Gail again with a running splash but Gail manages to roll out the way.
Gail tries to make the most of Kong’s missed attack by applying an arm lock to Kong, a submission hold that brings worry to the Dollhouse at ringside. When Kong doesn’t tap out, Gail rolls over Kong into a pin but only earns a two count.
Looking to regain control, Kong takes Gail back to the turnbuckle but the champion is ready this time around. Gail fights off Kong with a big boot and elbow shot combination before knocking the wind out of Kong with a beautiful tornado DDT from the second rope!
Concerned for their leader, the Dollhouse begin to interfere by pulling Gail out of the ring but Ninja Kim easily fends them off. Gail climbs back to the ring, going to the top rope of a corner where she flies off to hit a crossbody to the outside dolls, taking them all out in a single shot.
Back in the ring, Gail hits a neck breaker to Kong and goes for the pin but the quick thinking Jade jumps onto the apron, distracting the referee before he can make the three count. The distraction allows for Rebel to get her hands on Gail from the ring apron but help is on Gail’s way as Beautiful People members Velvet Sky and Madison Rayne make a run-in rescue.
While The Beautiful People take care of Marti and Rebel on the outside, Jade tries to cause some trouble for Gail in the ring by holding her in one spot so Kong can hit her signature backfists. Kong manages to hit two of them but at the third shot Gail ducks out the way and sneak in an Eat Defeat to Kong. When Gail spots an interfering Jade from the top rope, she tosses Jade right off and onto the laid out Kong. Gail quickly goes for a jackknife pin cover and earns the three count win to retain the Knockouts title.
In other TNA championship updates, Matt Hardy and wife Reby Sky begin preparation for Matt’s big TNA World Heavyweight Title rematch against Ethan Carter III.
They first check on Jeff Hardy, who sustained a leg injury in his match against Ethan’s back up Tyrus.
While Jeff insists on toughening out his injured leg until his brother’s main event match, Matt and Reby propose that he leave to see a doctor. Reby goes as far as playing the family card, telling Jeff that he needs to think of his wife and children who are worried for him. The mention of Jeff’s newborn baby is enough for him to consider his brother’s advice and leave the building. Let the foreshadowing begin…
We then turn to the television debut of TNA’s newest Knockout Raquel, who makes her on-screen debut when she interrupts a backstage interview with Lashley.
She introduces herself in her native language and leaves Lashley with a message that his pain will be her pleasure.
Things take a more miraculous tone during Mike Bennett’s Impact Wrestling debut match.
As always, Maria Kanellis introduces her husband in the most sacred of ways and is by his side as he makes quick work against indie guest star Pepper Parks. Here’s hoping that when Pepper Parks returns to TNA, he’ll bring along his better half Cherry Bomb with him.
While the Knockouts Title may not have changed hands, the TNA World Heavyweight title does with a bit of help from Reby Sky.
In the middle of Matt Hardy’s Last Man Standing match against, Reby pulls out a hammer from her handy bag and hands it to her husband, fully cementing the couple’s heel turn.
Ethan tries to put a fight but the interference from a betraying Tyrus and use of many on hand weapons proves to be too much for him to handle. The undefeated Ethan loses his Last Standing Match and in Matt’s victory speech, he thanks his wife for being his voice of reason as she was the one to tell him to “stop giving and start taking”.
The night ends with the Mr. and Mrs. sharing a celebratory kiss over the broken Ethan Carter but Reby adds her own extra insult when she spits in Ethan’s face! The man is still undefeated in pinfalls and submissions!
Thoughts: At this point, the Gail Kim versus Awesome Kong match up series has run its course.
There is just little excitement in them now and part of the problem comes from how often TNA have put these two in matches within the last year. Unless the end game is to have Kong take off the title from Gail, it’s best for TNA to really move on from having any more matches between these two Knockouts. Yes, the history is there between these two but when you’re only relying on that and not building on any new building blocks, no new chapters are being written.
Having said all that, I still found this match to be a decent one. Gail certainly came across as the fighting champion even with the numbers game being against her. I absolutely loved her pulling out the tornado DDT to Kong as well as the crossbody that took out the Dollhouse on the outside ring. I wish I could say more about Kong’s performance but for the most part, it’s been a lot of what we’ve already seen in her matches.
Gail really held her own against The Dollhouse but I do understand the need to include The Beautiful People towards the end of the match as it in a way furthers TNA’s other go to Knockouts feud, The Dollhouse against The Beautiful People.
Since the start of the year, we’ve seen additional Knockouts added to the roster with the likes of Maria, Reby and Raquel. Each women brings a different character and I think we’ve begun seeing more of that in this week’s show, especially in Reby Sky this week.
The only issue is that these new names seem to be in these manager roles at a time when TNA really could use more active in ring talent. I don’t necessarily mind waiting as this gives TNA a chance to help fans become more familiar and care about these new women before they actually compete in the ring. The only question that remains is if or when that will happen?