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Impact Write-Up (April 19th, 2016): Maria Takes Control, The Decay Take Gail

Hola Knockouts fan and welcome to this week’s Impact Write-Up. The power for control of the Knockouts division is up for grabs this week, as seven Knockouts compete in a ladder match to reach for a contract that hangs above the six sided ring.

Competing in this match are Gail Kim, Madison Rayne, Velvet Sky, Rebel, Marti Bell, Maria Kanellis and the Knockouts champion Jade. Left out in this all out Knockouts match is Rosemary but The Decay manager certainly makes her presence felt through out the night.

The Knockouts have the honor of being the opening match for this week’s episode of Impact. Beautiful People members Madison Rayne and Velvet Sky share their entrance, as do sill together? Dollhouse members Marti Bell and Rebel. Huh, I thought this was an every woman for herself style of match? Gail, Maria and Jade come out to their own individual entrances, although Jade still carries her Dollhouse theme song. Please change that theme up for Jade TNA, it feels outdated now.

With the entrances out the way, the bell sounds off and Maria becomes the target of every Knockout in the ring. They surround the First Lady of Professional Wrestling and Jade goes for the first strike to Maria. Jade misses her roundhouse kick meant for Maria and hits Madison instead, causing a brawl to break out between the Knockouts. Maria ducks and covers from the action, opting to hide behind the steel steps from the outside ring.

The action continues to spill out between the rest of the Knockouts; Jade and Gail taking their fight to the outside floor, while Rebel and Marti take care of Velvet and Madison inside the ring. The Dollhouse are the first women to introduce a ladder to this match. Together, they carry a ladder to the ring but get attacked by it when The Beautiful People hit a baseball slide before the ladder can physically be brought inside the ring.

Maria sees this as a chance to steal the win and quickly sets up a ladder to climb. She begins to climb the ladder but stops after only two steps when Gail reenters the ring, leading to a merry-go-round chase. Thankfully for Maria, Jade halts Gail with a kick to the face and then begins an attack on the rest of her opponents by using the ladder as a weapon.

Gail begins to mount a comeback when she kicks Jade in the middle of her ladder rampage, briefly stunning the Knockouts champion. Gail picks up the ladder and places it at the center of the ring, climbing it and nearly reaching the top until Maria stops her. Maria pulls Gail off the ladder and slaps Gail across the face, leading to another chase between these feuding Knockouts.

This time, the chase scrambles to the outside of the ring and reaches the entrance ramp. Gail is able to get her hands on Maria but before any real harm can be done, out comes Rosemary with Crazzy Steve and Abyss? *Giga gasp*

Rosemary attacks Gail from behind with a kindo stick and takes her hostage to the backstage, thus removing Gail for the remainder of this match. Back in the ring, The Beautiful People manage to take control of the match. They stack Marti and Rebel to a corner, placing a ladder on top of their bodies and swing former Doll Jade in their direction. That’s one way to kill three birds with one stone!

Maria returns to the ring to take out The Beautiful People but flees back to the outside at the sight of a recomposed Jade. Instead of going after Maria, Jade resets the ladder at the center of the ring and climbs for the prize. She falls short of becoming the new leader of the Knockouts thanks to a powerbomb from Marti Bell.

It is now Velvet who takes a try at climbing the ladder but a watchful Maria attacks Velvet with the gift kindo stick Rosemary provided. With every other Knockout out of her way, Maria climbs the ladder, captures the contract at hand and officially wins the right of being in charge of the Knockouts division; a role that she has been campaigning for since her arrival at TNA. Hubby Mike Bennett joins his beaming wife Maria, the two celebrating with their hands high in the air.

Post ladder match, a very proud Maria Kanellis is seen backstage with her husband gloating over her win. She promises to bring her changes to the division starting next week.

If you’re wondering what happen to Gail, she was knocked unconscious by The Decay and taken to a disclosed area:

Mastermind Rosemary speaks to the out cold Gail and calls her a pawn, quoting Napoleon‘s “We are either kings or pawns of men” quote. They want to use Gail as bait to get what they want.

When Gail finally does wake up, she is bound with both Crazzy Steve and Abyss standing close to her face. She cries for help but the only person to answer her is Rosemary. Rosemary continues to taunt Gail and says that insanity will stop once The Decay get what they want: attention, chaos and gold. Hooray for more wittiness from Rosemary and actually interacting with another Knockout!

The Decay take their victim back to the ring and use her bait to draw out Beer Money:

Abyss threatens to “snap Gail Kim’s neck” if Beer Money don’t agree to a tag team title match next week. That’s a bit of an extreme proposition but nevertheless, TNA Tag Team Champions James Storm and the already departed Bobby Roode agree to the tag team title match; a match that has been dubbed a “Valley of Shadows” match.

As promised, The Decay let Gail Kim go but Rosemary has some words to her babyface opponents. She promises that her team will be the last ones standing during next week’s tag team title match.

Thoughts: TNA has never been shy from allowing their women compete in stipulated matches. It’s one of the things that I’ve applaud them for doing since the early days of the Knockouts division.

Still, I can’t say this was one of my favorite Knockouts ladder match. It was a fairly short given the amount of women involved and really only had about two memorable spots. I also think the predictable outcome took away from any excitement that could have come from this match.

This match was meant for Maria to win by playing possum until the very end. It adds to her Prima Donna character and gives her more reason to carry on this feud with Gail Kim. I still see no reason to have a leader for the division other than to have Maria involved in the division as an authorized character, but I won’t completely throw out the idea until seeing how it plays out in the long run.

Moving on to what I found to be the much more interesting part of Impact, Rosemary! At first, I was disappointed to have seen Rosemary left out of this ladder match but the payoff of seeing her so heavily featured throughout the rest of the show was worth it.

The Decay have been one of the more interesting acts going on TNA and that’s mostly thanks to Rosemary. She’s been the cemented leader of the group and has really nailed her character/gimmick. Of all new female names to come to TNA this year so far, Rosemary is the most ring ready, so I’m glad to see her finally being introduced to the Knockouts division.

The whole hostage of Gail felt a bit over-the-top and there was a lack of explanation as to the connection between Gail/Beer Money, unless we go by the “babyfaces-must-stick-together” mentality. Still, the angle was different and refreshing, which is something that we’ve been missing in TNA for some time now.

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