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Impact Write-Up: (April 12th, 2016): Dare to Lead

Hola Knockout fans and welcome to this week’s Impact Write-Up. As we all witnessed last week, Jade was crowned the new Knockouts champion and has been booked in her first title defense on this week’s show against Madison Rayne. As if that weren’t enough for the new champion, she also has to wrangle with a power hungry Maria Kanellis, who is still on a mission for a leadership role within the division. As you can imagine, not everyone is on board with this idea but more on that later.

As with most episodes of Impact Wrestling, Matt Hardy and clan open the show. It is during this said segment that we spy our first female sighting, Reby Sky. She continues to get herself involved in her husband’s feud with Jeff Hardy. The evil sister-in-law gets in the face of the fan favorite Hardy and runs a laundry list as to why her husband is the “bigger” star of the two. Jeff responds by stating that his anger stems from knowing Reby’s genes are part of his family tree. Reby will remember these harsh words…

The First Lady of Professional Wrestling is next in our Knockouts tour:

We first find Maria in front of a mirror; making sure that her makeup is on point. She turns around to face the camera and says that last week Gail Kim got exactly what she deserved. This week, it will be all about the First Lady of Professional Wrestling’s getting what she deserves and with that, she heads out to the ring.

After a quick break, we return to find Maria making her entrance. She speaks of a new genesis that is coming to the Knockouts division and calls for the Knockouts champion Jade to join her. Unfortunately, Jade is still holding on to her Dollhouse “Doll Parts” theme song when she makes her entrance. I do hope TNA drop this theme song for this newly renovated Jade in the future.

Once Jade joins Maria in the ring, Maria begins to take full credit for getting Jade’s name “noticed” and states that Jade can repay her back by handing over the Knockouts title. Jade snatches the mic from Maria to correct Maria’s statement. It was Jade herself who pinned Gail for the title, not Maria, and if Maria really wanted to work for the title, she wouldn’t be so afraid to get in the ring to work for it.

When it comes to being in charge, Jade lets Maria know that it is the champion who gets to call the shots! Suddenly, the former champion music hits and out comes Gail Kim, mic in hand. While Gail is still eyeing a rematch for the Knockouts title, her main focus is Maria and disparaging her campaign of wanting to make the Knockouts Division great again.

Maria laughs off Gail’s naming calling and does some of her own, referring to the entire Knockouts division as being “sheep”. This, for some reason, brings out Marti Bell and Rebel to join their fellow Knockouts in the ring. Marti accuses Maria of being the reason as to why the Dollhouse familia broke up. Marti quickly glances at her former partner Jade and reminds her that she wouldn’t be where she is had it not been for The Dollhouse. Marti still believes that The Dollhouse are running things within the division.

The final Knockouts to come on out to the ring are Velvet Sky and Madison Rayne, who lay claim to being the “OG Knockouts”. Madison signals out Maria and says she isn’t the leader of any of them; if anything the Queen Bee should be named the leader. With all the Knockouts now assembled in the ring, still trying to figure out whom between them is the true leader of the division, out comes ill-fitted-suit-sneaker-wearing Billy Corgan. Fun fact: Maria has a brother name Bill.

Billy “The Law” Corgan settles this little leader fiasco by announcing that next week, all of these Knockouts will compete in a match to determine who will be the new leader of the Knockouts division. (As if we really needed one to begin with) He also adds that Jade will defend her title against Madison Rayne; an odd choice given that Gail had just previously mentioned her rematch clause. An all out brawl breaks to end the segment.

When Maria isn’t stirring things up in the Knockouts division, she’s at ringside helping husband Mike Bennett avoid a defeat at the hands of Ethan Carter III. Maria pulls all the stops: distracting the referee, placing Mike’s hand to cause a rope break . Ethan loses it after the constant interference and ends the match by disqualifying himself when he attacks Mike with a chair!

After the ring has cleared of the brawling Knockouts and some time has passed, we move on to our Knockouts title match of the night. After both competitors make their way to the ring, that match gets underway! Madison quickly rolls Jade up after dodging a roundhouse kick but only scores a two count. Madison goes for a crucifix style pin but Jade counters this with a Samoan drop and follows up with a kick to the shoulder.

Jade keeps in control of the match with the use of her feet: landing a big boot to Madison’s face, stomping over her when she’s flat on the mat and landing a swift kick to the midsection. The champion then applies a dragon sleeper hold but Madison refuses to tap out. Jade switches gears and lands a T-bone suplex to Madison, hoping to put Madison down for the three count but the challenger kicks out in time.

Jade then sets up Madison for her, newly assumed, STO finisher but Madison holds on to the nearby ropes. An argument between Jade and the official occurs, allowing Madison to bide some time to regroup herself enough to hit an enziguri to Jade. Madison adds several forearms, chops and even a spinning clothesline to her newly found momentum! The Queen wraps this all together with a beautiful Northern Lights suplex pin but the champ manages to kick out at two.

When Madison climbs the top rope, her risk of a high flying maneuver backfires, as Jade dodges out the way. The champion follows up with a running dropkick before putting Madison away with an STO for the win and successful title defense.

And finally, Reby Sky closes our night with some classic payback to Jeff Hardy. She runs to the ring in the midst of show’s main event to hand Matt a hammer she insists on keeping in her bag. The trick proves to favor the Heel Hardy yet again, as Matt picks up the win to earn the right of picking next week’s Hardy vs. Hardy main event. Geez, even when this guy doesn’t have the World Title, he is still being put on the main event slot.

Thoughts: I’m amazed to have seen nearly all the Knockouts being used on this week’s show; the exception being Raquel who is still MIA and the unofficially departed Christy Hemme.

Still, it doesn’t mean that I was an entire fan of how they were all being used. Aside from my belief that the Knockouts don’t really need this “leadership” role for the division at this moment, there were also some flaws in the writing that I couldn’t get passed by. Both Madison and Velvet never had that leader position given that Angelina Love was always the Alpha Female of The Beautiful People. Meanwhile, Rebel, Marti and Jade all followed orders from Taryn Terrell and Awesome Kong, respectively.

Maria hasn’t done much to prove why she should be a leader aside from stating that she should and Gail has, pretty much always, been the unofficial leader for the division. It also didn’t help that Jade isn’t the strongest on the mic when trying to affirm herself as this leading champion. I will say I did enjoy Maria’s mic delivery the most of the group and it’s pretty clear that this whole bit was meant for her bidding. I also feel as though this would’ve been a great opportunity to introduce Rosemary to the division. Granted, she was accompanying The Decay earlier in the evening but she could play on the fact the she “leads” the Decay as a reason as to why she can do the same for the division.

On to the more positive, I did enjoy the little match-up between Jade and Madison. Although I still believe that this could have been used as Gail Kim’s rematch clause, I think that will be saved down the line for when Gail is fully recovered. Billy choosing Madison as Jade’s challenger was a bit random but given how little she was involved in last week’s triple threat, I am glad to see that she was able to make the most of her time this time about. I mean, how sweet was that Northern Lights suplex? It was a nice start to Jade’s reign but I do hope that TNA give Jade a full fledge feud during her time as champion. All I ask is that TNA change up Jade’s theme song and maybe let her bring back that packaged pile driver finisher, as it came across as a more efficient style of finisher.

Next week, the power for leadership is up for grabs as the Knockouts will do battle in a ladder match! Let’s hope the stipulation helps lessen the cluster that can come with so many women competing in one match.

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