This week on Impact initiated the first week of the Knockouts tag team tournament, as well as the anticipated debut of Hamada.
Traci Brooks and Sharmell, looking pretty snazzy in their matching MEM wear, hype up their impending encounter with Awesome Kong and Raisha Saeed. Sharmell ever-so-graciously describes Awesome Kong as “elephant-like” in her endeavor to talk a big game. Say what you will about Sharmell’s “work-rate,” but she sure makes up in charisma what she lacks in ring ability.
At the start of the competition, Impact makes up for their lack of gratuitous shots of Velvet’s ass this week with some upclose shots of Traci’s… enhancements. Giggidy giggidy goo!
Traci dodges Kong and makes a quick tag to Sharmell. Kong tags out, and Sharmell takes the attitude to Raisha. Raisha pushes Sharmell down, who tags out. Raisha takes the fight to Traci and Irish whips her into the corner and hits her with a flying clothesline. Raisha follows up with a scoop slam and an elbow drop. Traci kicks out at two. Raisha takes Traci down with a suplex. Traci overcomes Raisha and whips her into Sharmell’s corner. Sharmell grabs hold of Raisha, but pays for her over-zealousness. Traci subsidizes on the distraction with a clothesline and a cover. When Raisha kicks out, Traci attempts to strangle her and choke her against the ropes. Traci takes a running start and then lands on Raisha mercilessly agains the ring ropes. Traci quickly goes for the cover, but Raisha kicks out at 2. Traci attempts to drag her opponent to the opposing corner, but Raisha powers out. She then retreats to her own corner and tags in Awesome Kong.
Kong takes Traci down with a series of clotheslines and smashes her in the corner. Kong sets her up for the Awesome Bomb, but Traci manages to scurry away. She runs the ropes, only to be tackled again with full force. Kong drags Traci into position, goes up the second rope, and dive-splashes all near 300 pounds of awesome on top of her with the Awesome Press. What surely would turn into a victory for Kong’s team, is interrupted by Sharmell who would prefer not to see her team lose in vain. While Kong is preoccupied with Sharmell, Raisha makes the blind tag and covers Traci for the 3-count. Once again, there seems to be trouble on the horizon looming between Kong and her sidekick. Looks like Raisha/Melissa won’t be doing double duty for much longer. Nonetheless, Awesome Kong and Raisha Saeed are slotted for the second round of the tag team tournament.
Next up is the long awaited debut of Hamada.
Backstage, Daffney indulges the world on her extra-curricular activities and her inability to plan and follow a gameplan. Sounds oddly enough like my Audio Communication professor… you know, minus the sheep skinning bit (as far as I know.) Tazz apparently digs Daffney’s gothic chick vibes, what he refers to as “Zombie Hot.” A trend that is now slated to sweep over the East Coast.
Hamada makes her illusive entrance. Which, dare I say, is pretty damn badass? Unfortunately, Daffney does not allow us much time to revel in the badassery as she takes an eager shot to her opponent. Daffney flips Hamada over onto the mat and delivers a neck snap. She sits Hamada up and kicks her back down, setting her up with a brutal neck twist. Daffney goes in for an early cover, but Hamada kicks out.
Both ladies try to overpower the other with an exchange of stinging chops to the sternum. Daffney gets the better of Hamada with an uppercut, but Hamada immediately retorts with a boot to the face. Daffney crawls into the corner and Hamada proceeds to stomp a mudhole. Hamada whips to Daffney to the ropes and Daffney then reciprocates a swift kick to the shoulder. She charges toward Hamada, is sent over, and lands on the apron. However, before Daffney can capitalize, Hamada strikes in the head as TNA takes its ever habitual Knockout commercial break.
Back from commercial, Daffney takes out Hamada with a forearm shot into the corner. Hamada drops to the mat, and Daffney lands a diving elbow. She goes for the cover yet again, but Hamada gets the shoulder up. Hamada is led into the corner, but mauls Daffney with yet another mortal kick, followed up by an enzuigiri. Hamada builds up momentum with a chain of back elbow shots. She rocks Daffney with a couple headbutts and a jumping DDT. Hamada goes for her first cover of the match, but Daffney kicks out.
Daffney ducks an attempted roundkick and delivers a Shining Wizard of her own. Vexed by the nearfall, she sends Hamada out to the floor. The match then proceeds outside of the ring. Daffney looks to take advantage of the “no disqualification” aspect of the match but misses a chairshot opportunity. Tazz has a brief Joey Styles moment, there. Hamada rings the steel chair around Daffney’s neck and pushes her into the turnbuckle. Hamada then calls for the table in a far cuter fashion than Brother Ray could ever deliver. She then plants Daffney and delivers a picture perfect moonsault, splitting the table in the process to an array of “TNA” and “This is awesome” chants.
For the finish, Hamada puts Daffney away with the Hamada/Michinoku Driver (sitoutscoop slam piledriver.)
An impressive showing for both Daffney and Hamada, and a great debut for TNA’s “newest” Knockout. Oddly enough, I noticed that Alissa Flash and Hamada now share somewhat of a similar finisher. Alissa Flash took Sarita out with her variation of Great Sasuke’s Michinoku Driver weeks ago, as did Hamada this week against Daffney. Funny how that works. Also, major kudos to “TNA’s Resident Shedevil,” Daffney for putting her body under that amount of continual abuse.
Tazz did his usual job of putting over the Knockouts, this time by somewhat likening Hamada to Sabu. Sabu may be the King of Botches, but his daredevil antics and “never-say-die” mentality are to be admired. So, I’d imagine Hamada would consider that a compliment. One thing’s for certain. The amount of liveliness that has been recently injected into the division now marks the inception of a new Knockout era.
Backstage, Velvet Sky and Angelina Love confront Madison Rayne about her “mystery tag partner.” It is revealed that the Beautiful People have drawn Madison and her partner in the first round. Madison shows some gonash by sticking up to her former mentors. In an attempt to breakup the commotion, Jeremy Borash “accidentally” steps on Madison. Chivalry isn’t dead, folks.
The tournament has begun to a considerably slow start, but I am intrigued by the development between Awesome Kong and Raisha Saeed, as well as the alleged return of Roxxi.