Sunday, October 17, 2021

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The Tiffany Guide to Impact: The Battle Lines Have Been Drawn

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This week on Impact contrived quite a heterogeneous fatal four-way match: Traci Brooks vs. Awesome Kong vs. Christy Hemme vs. Sarita.  As well as some brief singles competition between Angelina Love and Madison Rayne.

Recent tensions among the Beautiful People lead to a contest between Madison Rayne and the former Knockouts Champion Angelina Love. As Madison Rayne makes her solemn way to the ring, she is attacked from behind by Angelina Love.  Madison’s head resonates against the steel steps and the ring apron.  Angelina continues the beat down before rolling Madison into the ring and pinning her. Velvet Sky prances down to the ring and proceeds to place the brown paper bag over Madison’s head.  Victoria and Christy Hemme come out in time to make the save.  I guess it’s back to square one for Madison Rayne.

Backstage, Lauren officially announces the inception of new TNA Knockout tag titles, and Victoria concurs that TNA is making history.  She also boldly mentions that “WWE would never think of this in a million years.”  Awesome!  Even more hilarious, Victoria takes a trip down memory lane, eluding to that infamous bikini contest when she went all psycho bitch on Christy’s ass.  Apparently, all has been forgiven.  Aw, I’m feeling all warm and fuzzy just watching this.  Taylor expresses her excitement as Sarita says something en Español.  I’m pretty sure it was something inspirational.  Three years of Spanish class has done me no justice, but it sure sounds lovely.

Watch the fatal four-way match & more after the cut:

At the sound of the bell, Awesome Kong immediately charges Traci into the corner; she takes Christy out as well.  Kong sets her sights on Sarita who outsmarts her with a series of unique offense and uses Kong’s own momentum to send her to the outside.  Sarita catches Traci in the corner and drops her with a hurricanrana.  We get the typical tandem action between the babyfaces when Sarita and Taylor Wilde dropkick Kong off the apron.  Traci blindsights Sarita with a clothesline and turns her attention to Christy.  In a somewhat awkward transition, Traci leads Christy out of the ring.  Pulling Christy by the hair, Traci sends Christy into the guardrail.  It is then that Kong knocks Traci down the ground.  Sarita lands a senton off the apron and onto Awesome Kong as Impact cuts to commercial.

Back from the break, Christy Hemme seems to gain a bit of offense on Kong.  Setting up for the FFG (Flying Firecrotch Guillotine), Christy is offset by a powerbomb attempt by Kong.  Traci and Sarita pull Kong’s legs out from under her, causing her to collapse under Christy’s weight, initiating the first pinfall count of the match.  Kong kicks out as Sarita and Traci take the fight to her.

In further awkward wrestling instances, this time dished to you Knockout-style… an opportunity for an innovative spot between Sarita and Traci seems to crumble right beneath them.  Sarita uses Kong to launch herself into a spinning arm drag against Traci.  However, Sarita loses her grip, forcing Traci to flip herself over onto Kong.  Oh geez… is this like Diva botch week or something?  Mike Tenay attempts to sell the mishap as Traci and Sarita “working together.”  If only that were the case.

Regardless, the match continues with Christy dropping Traci with a neckbreaker.  She performs the FFG successfully this time, but Kong pries her off before she can score a pinfall.  Kong sets Christy up for the Awesome Bomb, but Christy powers out.  Kong grabs hold of her again and plants her with the Implant Buster.  Kong takes the opportunity to celebrate, but is swiftly taken out with a highly impactful dropkick from Sarita.  Sarita goes for a springboard crossbody, but Kong catches her in mid-air.  Kong tanks her mercilessly and knocks the wind out of her with the Awesome Press.  Kong is the only Knockout standing and takes her initiative to the top turnbuckle.  Stopping Kong right in her tracks, Traci covers Sarita for the 3-count.  Traci wins the match and Kong tosses around a few steel chairs to express her frustration.  Mike Tenay announces the first round in the Knockouts tag team tournament for next week: Awesome Kong and Raisha Saeed vs. Traci Brooks and Sharmell.

It had its downfalls, but overall, this was a pretty decent match.  In an interesting development, Tazz goes as far as to claim, “The TNA Knockout Division is best pure women’s wrestling that I’ve personally ever witnessed.”  Sure, the commentators’ constant appraisal may be just a tad sugar-coated, but it is nice to get some confirmation.  I have every faith that Tazz knows what he’s talking about, and I’d be hard-pressed to find a compliment toward the Knockouts that isn’t well deserved.  Not often do we hear WWE refer to its Divas as the best women’s wrestlers around… at least not with a straight face.

Watch the match below:

I am personally pleased with the confirmation of tag titles for the Knockouts.  It’s clear that TNA’s handling of the Knockouts title was its way of pulling it slightly out of the picture in order to hype up the tag titles for now.  I can only speculate that the spotlight now being set on the tag titles has contributed to ODB‘s absence on last night’s program.  Many people seem to disagree with TNA’s booking of the Knockouts – with situations surrounding the title and bi-weekly feuds.  I have to say, I disagree with the criticism.  I personally think TNA’s handling of the many Knockouts on its roster has been cutting edge thus far and highly effective.  I appreciate TNA’s effort to circulate and change things up each week, as well as spreading out and sustaining feuds and rivalries.  As far as Impact goes, TNA does have its own unique way of managing its massive roster.  Whereas on RAW or Smackdown, I’m basically guaranteed some form of Mickie vs. Gail, Melina vs. Layla/Michelle, or Kelly/Alicia/Rosa in a tag match.  That gets old after awhile.  TNA’s booking may not always be consistent, but it remains ahead of the bipolar tendencies notorious of WWE’s creative.

Another aspect of the match that I appreciated was the multiple dynamics amongst the girls.  It’s apparent that the lines have already been drawn for the tournament, seeing as some of the women have already paired off: Traci/Sharmell, Victoria/Christy, Kong/Raisha, Taylor/Sarita, and perhaps Angelina Love/Velvet Sky.  If these favorable pairings are of any indication, I think we’ll be treated to a hard fought and entertaining tournament to crown the first ever TNA Knockout Tag Team Champions.

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