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Impact Write-Up (February 23rd, 2017): The bells are ringing

Holy matrimony Knockout fans! After some blackmail, heartache and an accidental engagement, the twisted wrestling wedding of Braxton Sutter and Laurel Van Ness takes place on this week’s Impact. Be sure to have those Kleenex tissues on hand for when this unlikely pair share their “I do” vows.

Speaking of wrestling couples and wedding, this week also sees Brandi Rhodes reunited onscreen with her husband Cody as well as a disclosed ‘red wedding’ between Jade and the Knockouts Champion Rosemary.

Mr. and Mrs. Rhodes are up first – Cody being greeted to a warm welcome back from the Impact Zone. Cody begins his return speech by going down the list of all the venues he’s been to thus far: AT&T Stadium, Hammerstein Ballroom and the Toyoko Dome.

If you recall, the last time we saw Cody on Impact, he was being blindly attacked by Lashley. Despite that brutal attack, Cody says tonight isn’t about Lashley and turns the spotlight to his lovely wife Brandi.

Cody has a bit of fun by calling his wife “Mini-Moose”, a reference to Brandi’s mixed tag match win with Moose over The Decay last week, but says he is proud of her. Brandi thanks her husband for his kind words, adding that she is grateful for Impact in allowing her to live her dream of being able to wrestle.

Brandi continues by saying that she is improving everyday and that she was able to overcome The Decay last week thanks to her cool partner Moose. While improvement is a nice trait, Cody thinks his wife is already perfect. Awww! With all this talk of the big guy, Cody invites Moose to the ring so that he can properly thank him for having his wife’s back during his absence.

When Moose joins the Rhodes in the six sided ring, Cody, on behalf of the entire Rhodes family, thanks Moose. In response, Moose tells Cody the same thing he told Brandi last week – should either of them ever need anything, just give him a call. A look of distraught reads over Cody’s face when he realizes that his wife has Moose’s number while he was away. Cody lashes out at his wife, asking if she is going to sleep with Moose after teaming and training with him! Drama, drama, drama!

Moose steps in to try and set the record straight: he was just helping a friend in need. Cody claps back and calls Moose a “perfidious slut”, triggering Brandi to intervene and talk some sense to her husband. No way would Cody try to embarrass Brandi in her new workplace. This has to be a joke, right?

Well it appeared to be a joke of “poor taste” until Cody went to low blow and attack Moose! Brandi tries to reason with Cody one more time but he ignores her cries, taking out Moose with the Cross Rhodes. With the damage done, Cody grabs Brandi’s arm and signals for them to head to the back.

Cameras backstage try to gather a comment from Cody but instead are shoved off for trying to approach his wife. So much for that good feel moment.

In preparation for Laurel’s wedding, The Lady Squad are busy getting their hair and makeup done. Ms. Maria tells Sienna that she expects her to make sure everything goes well for Laurel’s special day. The bride-to-be had her dress shipped from Italy via her father’s private yacht, of course. Laurel then shows off said wedding dress and Maria sings nothing but praises for her friend.

Hmm, someone seems to be missing in this picture. Ah yes, that would be Allie, who reluctantly will serve as the ring bearer tonight. Sienna makes arrangements to assure Allie shows up in time. We’ll catch up with this story later…

In the meantime, let’s welcome back Jade, who has been MIA since her Monster Ball match against Rosemary from a few weeks ago.

Making her way to the ring, Jade cuts right to the chase and says her war with Rosemary is far from over!

Despite their previous battle, Jade is still standing and demands that Rosemary come on down! Never one to backdown from anyone, Rosemary accepts Jade’s invitation and comes face-to-face with the “valued little warrior of light of the Knockouts division”.

Rosemary tells Jade that she should try and save herself as there is a locker room of other Knockouts waiting for their own decay. Although Rosemary may be “done” with Jade, the War Queen reminds the Knockouts Champion that she is still standing even after her leap of faith from their six sides of steel cage match and accepting Rosemary’s Monster Ball challenge.

Jade proposes an idea to Rosemary, that they go to war one last time to prove who is indeed the better Knockout in a Last Knockout Standing match! The Impact Zone rally behind Jade as Rosemary accepts to the match; noting it will be one more dance with a demon. Jade has the final word here and vows to win back the Knockouts Title! Anyone else feel as though the Knockouts Title has been elevated again?

Okay, with that Knockouts Title match set, let’s check back with our Lady Squad shall we? Allie has now arrived but gets a heaping of Maria’s fury for her tardiness. Laurel chimes in on the bullying and taunts Allie by asking Allie if she was upset that Braxton “chose” Laurel over her.

Well whether Allie is heartbroken or not, Maria demands that Allie follow through with her ring bearing duties. Oh and more thing Allie, be sure to book that hotel room for Laurel. She has a marriage to consummate… Ugh, please pour a glass for me too Sienna….

As Allie steps out of the awkward room, she runs into another awkward moment when she bumps into Braxton and flat out asks him if this is really what he wants? Does he really love and want to marry Laurel? All Braxton can say is that he is really sorry and with that, Allie runs off heartbroken. Poor Allie…. making me pull out these tissues before the wedding even starts.

A frustrated Braxton is kicking himself after what transpired with his encounter with Allie but Maria checks in on him to assure he doesn’t come down with a case of cold feet. Maria plays her blackmailing card one more time over Braxton as the wedding ceremony takes place next. Well, it’s about damn time!

Take your seats Knockout fans, the Impact Zone has been transformed to a small wedding scene! Braxton and his drunken “best man” Mike Bennett come down the ramp first. Out next are the REXcellent duo known as Rockstar Spud and Aron Rex, serving as the Flower Boys? (I still can’t believe this is really happening…) Last but not least, we have bridesmaids Maria and Sienna come out and with everyone now in place, we bring down the blushing bride.

Laurel makes her entrance and though she stumbles a bit on the steel steps, blaming her flower boy Spud, she makes it to the ring in one piece. Maria takes to the mic and declares this will be the second greatest wedding of all time; her’s being the first greatest. Maria then yells out for the ring bearer to come with the rings.

The ring bearer gets her own theme song and WOW does she look stunning! In fact, so stunning that Braxton’s jaw drops and he just can’t lose sight of Allie. Seeing Braxton’s reaction to Allie, Maria coordinates everyone’s position by having Braxton stand next to Laurel and Allie staying far away but still in eye’s view of what is about to happen. The Impact Zone let loose and chant for Allie like crazy!

The marriage officiant begins the ceremony, despite some nay-say from the audience in the Impact Zone. Blah, blah, blah, blah says an interrupting Maria who wants to just skip to the “I do” part. Before we can even get to that part, let’s hear the wedding vows these two have prepared for one another.

Laurel says she has been dreaming of this day since she was a little girl with a truck fund and closet full of designer dress up clothes. So what if Braxton doesn’t have as much money as Laurel’s family does, the important thing is that one of them has a lot of zeros in their bank account.

These past weeks have been just magical for Laurel and she promise to love, honor and buy Braxton a completely new wardrobe. Well then, let’s hear what Braxton has to say…or not since he didn’t exactly write anything down.

With the vows done, we move on to my favorite part of any soap opera wedding: the objections! The Impact Zone erupts and says they (along with me at home) object but Maria states that no objections will happen at this wedding. She blames Allie for not passing that memo along and orders Allie to do her job of passing along those sparkly rings.

We get to the “I do” part of this already crazed wedding and things get crazier when Braxton obeys to the VERY vocal audience to say “I’m really sorry but I don’t”. The Impact Zone cheer, Allie is relieved, Aron is shocked and Laurel is angry!

Braxton explains in simple terms, he just can’t stand Laurel. Besides, his love is already set for someone else, someone has always had his love ALLIE!!! Maria steps up and threatens Braxton once more but he isn’t having it this time. He lets the cat of the bag and reveals that Maria would fire Allie if he didn’t go through with dating/marrying Laurel. He loves Allie and there is nothing Maria can do about that!

Maria tries to take back control of the playing field by firing Allie! Not so fast Ms. Maria, Allie is DONE working for a MONSTER and QUITS on the spot. It’s all chaotic from here, as Sienna grabs Allie to allow Maria to attack but Braxton blocks this. He then takes out his best man while Allie takes down her former boss with a spear. When Sienna tries to get involved again, in comes Brooke to help even up the numbers!

When things eventually calm down, Braxton and Allie lock eyes, share a passionate kiss while Laurel crimes and drowns in a champagne bottle. Guess that old saying is true, love does conquer all!

Thoughts: With Cody seemingly back in Impact, I’m expecting for Brandi to pretty much take on the role of being his managing wife. Right now Brandi lacks a solid character and isn’t fully ring ready for a full time run in the Knockouts division, so being packaged with her husband is probably for the best. From what took place this week, Brandi’s partnership with Moose and and their win over Decay was merely just a way to set-up for Cody’s heel turn; which felt a bit unnatural and lazy for me.

Brandi and Moose’s friendship/interaction wasn’t that deep to go for the jealous husband scenario. On top of that, I’d like to think Cody would rather focus on his attacker Lashley, who also happens to be the World Champion, than someone who did helped his wife. It’s still too early to see where this storyline will go but at least, for now, it gives Brandi something to do until she makes more improvement. With Brandi still a babyface here, it’ll be interesting to where she goes from here and if she will also turn heel down the line with Cody.

On a bit more positive note, I really loved the Jade/Rosemary showdown and I’m looking forward to their Last Knockout Standing match next week! Where Jade lacks on the mic, she makes up for in the ring and we’ve seen that already in the previous #RedVsBlue matches the two have pulled off in the last few months.

My only concern here, no matter who wins next week, is who else can step up as a value contender for the Knockouts Title? Impact has been doing great in giving their women plenty of time in different storylines these past few weeks but they’ve sort of been outside the title picture. Well, with Dutch Mantel announcing his return to Impact’s creative team, I’m a bit more at ease for will take place at the next set of Impact tapings.

Finally let’s talk about this wedding! So if you guys have been reading my Write-Ups leading up to this wedding, you’d know I’ve been pretty vocal about my distaste of wrestling weddings. For me, it’s just an outdated concept and maybe it was Dawn Marie and Al Wilson‘s wedding that completely turned me off from them but I would be a damn liar if I said I did not enjoy this segment!

Maybe it was just the energy from the Impact Zone throughout this ENTIRE segment (which almost never happens), or me being a softy for happy endings or just seeing Allie finally standing up for herself from this long storyline of being Maria’s doormat and getting Braxton. No matter what it was, it just worked and I’m glad that the payoff from this storyline had a big feel to it.

I’m not sure where I read the comparison but I recall when the spoilers came out for this, there was a mention of how this would play out like a Cinderella story and that’s exactly what it was! Allie being Cinderella, Maria being the evil stepmother, Sienna/Laurel (who was hilarious at keeping her spoiled gimmick with a touch of drunken rejection) as the evil stepsisters and Braxton as the prince. Everyone played their part and this was certainly far more entertaining than… ahemother Impact Wrestling weddings we’ve seen.

So the only question now is where does everyone go from here? Does Allie manage Braxton now? Does she suddenly “learn” how to wrestle and compete in the Knockouts division for good? What’s next for Laurel? Is Brooke going to continue her ongoing feud with Maria and/or Sienna?  It’s going to be an interesting to see what happens in the next few months.

What did you think of this week’s episode of Impact? Looking forward to next week’s Last Knockout Standing match? Do you still enjoy wrestling wedding segments? Let us know in the comments below!

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