Happy New Year Knockout fans! It’s been quite a few weeks since we’ve last had an Impact Write-Up, what with TNA making adjustments to their new television home over at Pop TV and their never ending World Title Series. Thankfully that time consuming tournament comes to an end this week! This week, TNA tries to revamp things up with a semi-live edition of Impact Wrestling that also happens to be outside the Impact Zone. It’s all about making baby steps TNA, baby steps.
As announced, The Beautiful People will take on The Dollhouse in a tag team rematch. However, with the circumstances regarding Taryn Terrell departing from TNA and Angelina Love having to be sidelined due to her real life pregnancy, both teams will have to do battle without their respective leaders. Elsewhere on the show, a “miracle” arrives for TNA, bringing along a familiar lady friend.
Onto our first Knockouts sighting of the night, as Jeremy Borash joins The Beautiful People in a pre-match interview. He states that at this late stage in the game, there are more questions than answers. I was thinking the very same thing JB…
Angelina reaffirms to the viewing audience that she won’t be competing in the ring for this Knockouts tag match as she is seven and half months pregnant with Baby Davey, proudly showing off her baby bump. Angelina is present to support her fellow team members Velvet Sky and Madison Rayne, who despite being at a numbers disadvantage aren’t afraid for this match against these “Beautiful People Wannabes”.
As per TNA officials, The Beautiful People have been granted the right to pick a tag partner to replace Angelina in this match, a certain someone who hates The Dollhouse as much as they do. Hmm, well that certainly narrows it down.
When we return from a quick break, we spy Christy Hemme in the exciting Bethlehem, Pennsylvania audience ready to bring out the strong and beautiful Knockouts! Even in the year 2016, Christy’s ring announcing never fails to amuse me!
As the arena goes dark, The Dollhouse music hits and from the entrance ramp, Rebel, Jade and Marti Bell debut their new choreographed entrance. It may take some time to getting used to it but I like the new little steps added to the entrance.
The Beautiful People team make their entrance next but aren’t as quick to enter the ring as The Dollhouse. Instead, they hang out just outside the six sided ring as they wait for their mystery partner to join them. Surprise, joining Velvet and Madison in the match is none other than the reigning Knockouts Champion Gail Kim. As if there really was any other choice?
Gail and Jade start things off, the Knockouts champion getting in an early takedown attack. Gail then runs to the ropes for a speedy attack but Jade catches her mid-flight to hit a fall way slam.
Velvet tags herself in as The Dollhouse change up their routine as well, sending in Marti in Jade’s place. Marti goes for a clothesline but Velvet ducks out the way. She responds to Marti’s attack with a series of chops to the chest and taking her head on a trip to the turnbuckles.
Velvet goes for the first pin of the match following a triple kick combo and a running neck breaker. When Marti mounts back on her feet, she begins to land pounding fists to Velvet’s face and sends her to the ropes where a blind tag by Madison is made. The skulk tag allows for Madison to deliver a dropkick to the unsuspecting Marti.
Another tag is made on The Dollhouse team and it’s now Rebel’s turn to get in on the action. Rebel charges towards Madison but the Queen Bee blocks the move and counters with an enziguri. When Rebel manages to stay on her feet, Madison runs the ropes to bring her down only to get caught in a hair pulling submission maneuver by Rebel. When the referee becomes distracted, Jade dashes into the ring to hit a nasty looking dropkick to Madison’s head. Just before Rebel can make the most of the small interference, Madison is able to fend off Rebel with a sit out jawbreaker.
Both women rush back to their corners to make another tag, bringing back Jade and Gail to do battle as they did at the start of this match. Gail flies all over the six sided ring and in seconds is able to hit Jade with a shoulder block, flying clothesline and even a running tornado DDT! I swear, this ring was just designed for Gail and her quickness!
When Gail goes for the cover on Jade, it gets broken up by Rebel. Soon after, every Knockout is entering the ring and taking out one another with finishing moves that range from stunners, reverse neck breakers and a super kick!
Attention turns back to the legal Gail and Jade, where Jade nearly knocks off Gail’s head with a high roundhouse kick! Jade goes for the cover but only gets a two count. Gail tries to end the match with an Eat Defeat but Jade counters, going for a second pin after hitting a back suplex to Gail. She earns a two count again.
In a final attempt, Jade scoops up Gail but find gets caught up in a roll up pin when Gail counters for the three count and win for her team. No post celebration takes place as the Dollhouse begin an all attack to Gail, Velvet and Madison.
The attacks come to a stop when Awesome Kong’s music hits. The powerful Knockout and rocking new hairdo makes her way to the ring with revenge on her mind. Only, instead of clearing the ring of her former Dollhouse tormentors, Kong turns and attacks the Beautiful People as well as Gail Kim, taking out the champion with an Implant Buster!
As if that swerve wasn’t enough, Awesome Kong then strikes a pose with The Dollhouse, fully cementing her as not only the newest member of the Dollhouse but also as their new leader! Well, I certainly can’t say I saw that one coming.
In our final Knockouts related segment of the night, the miracle finally happens in TNA! No, it isn’t Taryn Terrell returning to grace the Knockouts division again; which truly would be my kind of miracle. After days of mysterious vignettes airing via TNA’s YouTube channel, we find out the identity, or rather identities, as to who is coming to TNA.
Sacred-like music plays in the darken area and from a single light from the entrance ramp, we see a debuting Maria Kanellis, who dressed up for the occasion in a sequin dress! She introduces herself as the First Lady of Professional Wrestling and welcoming us to her place of worship. Maria states that she is all aware of how fans have been hoping and praying for many wishes. Some of us praying that we will get a call for that dream job (guilty) or hoping to lose those five to seventy five pounds. But most importantly, hoping and praying someone will save professional wrestling.
Well this is our most blessed day as our miracle has arrived in the form of her husband and former ROH star Mike Bennett. The newest TNA couple find their way to the ring, where Bennett claims that he will be the one who will save TNA. After all, he is an international superstar, a real life hero and “wrestling Jesus”. Hmm, those are some heavy words but I have to think it’ll take more than this kind of miracle to save TNA. Nevertheless, new and fresh stars, male and female, are one way to rebuild the company. So welcome to TNA Mr. and Mrs. Bennett!
Thoughts: The one thing that I really enjoyed about this new episode of Impact episode was how fresh, bright and bigger the presentation felt. The audience was alive throughout the night, the giant entrance tron looked great and even there was just a more vivid vibe to the show. It’s these small elements that made watching Impact more enjoyable this week, all the things that were really lacking in the last months of 2015. I do hope that TNA can keep this momentum going for them.
I have to admit that I was disappointed with how things played out for the Knockouts in this first night back on the air. The match itself wasn’t bad; if anything, I enjoyed it more than the last encounter between these feuding factions. Sure, the match was terribly short but the small interaction between Gail and Jade has me wanting to see more between these two in a full length single feud! Here’s hoping that Friday’s number one contender match will kick start this potential feud.
My real issue with this whole angle was how things came together and how they ended. It just feels like a missed opportunity for TNA to debut a new female talent to replace Angelina for this match. Granted, there was probably no one in the works for it but the tease of it felt anticlimactic since it was almost a given that it would be Gail stepping in to fight off The Dollhouse.
The post match Kong attack and aligning with The Dollhouse was the real head scratch for me. As in the case with Rebel, TNA have given the fans no explanation or reason as to why Kong has decided to team up with a stable that she feuded with before and was even attacked by. An explanation is kind of needed, when it is now being suggested that Kong is taking over as the leader of the group!
By the looks of it, Kong has her eyes on Gail Kim once again and will likely feud with her for the title, despite the fact that we’ve seen plenty of encounters between these two rivals in the last year. I would just like to see TNA try and move on from the Kong/Kim saga as it’s grown tiring overtime although I can understand this being a band-aid for the Knockouts given how small the current Knockouts division appears.This gives Gail a person to feud with while also somewhat having a feud between The Beautiful People and The Dollhouse.
Still, it is too early to completely throw out this alliance and see where it can go. Perhaps The Dollhouse can enter a new dynamic under Kong’s leadership. Perhaps this will give Kong a chance to develop some character or even get another title with the help of her dolls in command. There’s potential to make this work!
Maria’s debut was better than I expected. I found her promo introduction to be good and she sounded very confident in the natural role of being a supportive wife. For now, it seems that Maria’s role will solely be of a manager but it’ll be interesting to see how it’ll evolve overtime and if she’ll ever interact with any of the other Knockouts.
That’s it for this week Knockout fans. Hasta luego!