Monday, April 22, 2024

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Bound for Glory in Review: All hail Gail

At the 2007 Bound for Glory, Gail Kim made history when she won a Gauntlet match to become the inaugural Knockouts Champion. Through the years, the future TNA Hall of Famer referred to that match as one of her most meaningful moments ever. Understandably so, as the moment and introduction of the Knockouts Title would serve as the spark to Impact Wrestling’s official Knockouts division.

A decade after capturing her first Knockouts Championship, Gail would make history one more time at the 2017 Bound for Glory by winning the Knockouts Championship for a record breaking seventh time to cap off her incredible wrestling career.

Before our Knockouts Title match, let’s first check in the Monster’s Ball match between Abyss and Grado. We all remember Grado right? The British Boot Camp contestant who got more a spotlight in Impact Wrestling than actual winner Mark Andrews and most recent storyline involved him try to romance Laurel Van Ness in an attempt to stay in the States?

Not one to take rejection easily, Laurel sees this Monster’s Ball match as the perfect opportunity to get some payback against Grado! Within the last few minutes of the match, Laurel low blows Grado from behind and hits him with an Unprettier!

She proceeds to pummel over Grado and picks up Abyss’ spiky weapon Janice until the lights go out. When the lights come back on Rosemary is inside the six sided ring!

Rosemary blinds Laurel with a mist and then has a brief moment with her former Decay partner Abyss. The two try to double team Grado but it backfires when Rosemary accidentally blinds Abyss and chokeslams Rosemary into a pile of tacks!

Despite the friendly fire and botched bell keeper sound, Abyss managed to pick up the win. Will Laurel and Rosemary pick up a feud until Taya Valkyrie‘s return in January.

Before our Knockouts Title match, McKenzie Mitchell is able to get a quick interview with Gail to ask how she has prepared to compete in her final match at Bound for Glory. Gail says she has played this moment a million times in her mind but there is no way to prepare for something like this. Instead, Gail says she is going to put those nervous feelings to the side and go out there to be the in-ring competitor she was always meant and capture the gold one last time.

Our Triple Threat match start off with Allie and Gail landing in forearms to the Champion. They add in kicks to the midsection and run the ropes to connect a double running forearm that takes Sienna down. Gail knocks Sienna off the ring apron and then turns her attention to Allie, first rolling her up for a two count. Allie slips behind Gail and tries to go for a German Suplex but Sienna finds her way back to the mix to deliver a German Suplex on both Gail and Allie.

Sienna stomps over her fallen opponents and ties them up simultaneously with a submission. Sienna then stacks up Allie and Gail to a corner to hit a running splash. The action spills to the outside ring, where Allie begins to fight back against Sienna. After using the ring post to drop Sienna onto the floor, Allie goes to a corner where she is struck by a flying kick from Gail.

Allie and Gail head back inside the ring where they go back and forth with traded forearms. In the midst of the fist fight between Gail and Allie, Sienna climbs a turnbuckle but the challengers spot this and knock her off of it with a Superkick from Allie and a top rope hurricanrana from Gail!

Gail runs full speed towards Allie for a running strike, taking in some recoil damage. All three Knockouts are down as the referee begins to count them down. Allie and Gail manage to get up before the ten count and do battle. Allie throws Gail face first to a second turnbuckle and follows up with a running dropkick from behind.

Allie begins to hit Gail with sliding elbow shots until Sienna cuts her off with the Silencer! The crowd begins to rally behind Gail as Sienna sets her up for the AK-47. Gail reverse into a Jack knife pin for a two count. Sienna throws Gail in Allie’s direction, cutting her off from the turnbuckle and then scooping her up to hit a Fallaway Slam from the second rope.

Sienna goes for a second AK-47 but Gail escapes once again, this time with a Sunset Flip into a pin cover. Sienna kicks out at two and is able to avoid to an Eat Defeat from Gail my latching onto the ring ropes. Allie sees an opening to hit a Code Breaker on Sienna but she gets with an Eat Defeat from Gail! One, two… Sienna makes the save.

Sienna begins to set Gail onto the turnbuckle. She then targets Allie and struggles to toss over the ropes. Eventually Sienna manages to send Allie to the outside, where she lands by the steel steps. When Sienna turns back, Gail jumps off to connect a top rope Eat Defeat on Sienna. Gail goes for the cover and picks up the win! All negativity to the side: THANK YOU GAIL!!!

Thoughts: I’ve expressed beforehand what little excitement I had going into this match. Because of that, maybe it made this disappoint a little easier to digest. Impact Wrestling’s backstage drama/rumors have always plagued the company at the worse times but as a fan, I always try to maintain a positive outlook on things.

Seeing as this was most likely Gail’s final match with Impact, I can’t help but feel cheated and wonder “What if…?”. The match wasn’t the strongest – it was slow at times and the final sequence just wasn’t that well executed. Sienna’s latest reign dated back to Slammiversary and even then, this match was just missing that important feel to it.

In my predictions, I went with my heart in saying Allie would get the surprise win because I do believe that we need to start preparing for the Knockouts division without Gail as an active competitor. But in my head, I knew Gail would come out onto top given the hype clips we’ve been treated to. I’ve also seen the arguments of why book Gail to win instead of putting over newer talents such as Allie – an argument that has always been associated with Gail.

I’ve wanted to set up a special “To the Point” for Gail in honor of closing out this wrestling chapter in her life but as you can imagine, in between my new job and life outside this site, my time management skills have just been all over the place.

Still I will say that for me, Gail has always been a hard worker, literally since Day One of the Knockouts division. She has been the glue and go-to girl for the Knockouts division that helped made it strong even before WWE (thankfully) caught up with the times with their Women’s Division. She has never been afraid to put her body on the line to create memorable moments and selling the power of her opponents in defeat.

Even as she hangs up the wrestling boots, she will still play a role for future of the Knockouts as an agent. I’m not sure what will happen at these tapings but Gail giving her official retirement speech is a guarantee which can hopefully give us one more thing to look forward to outside this Bound for Glory match.

On one of the more positives, I did like the small interaction between Rosemary and LVN! Both women just needed to be a part of this show given the work they put in throughout this last year. Yeah I would’ve much rather have seen Rosemary compete in that First Blood match but it’s one more thing we can look to from the next generation of the Knockouts division.

What did you think of Bound for Glory? What have been some fo your favorite Gail Kim moments throughout her career? What do think will happen at these next set of Impact Wrestling tapings? Let us know in the comments below!

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