Hi, Knockouts fan! Sorry for the lateness of this Write-Up – it’s been a while since we’ve had a Wednesday night show to cover. Flimsy excuse, I know.
On this week’s Hardcore Justice-themed Impact (the first in TNA’s new Hump Day time slot), Gail Kim is defending her Knockouts Title against Angelina Love in a Last Knockout Standing match. This is bound to be a barn burner.
The match was made by Executive Director of Wrestling Operations Kurt Angle in response to Angelina’s attack on Gail last week. Kurt was not pleased about granting Angelina the title shot:
Now, it’s match time:
Angelina is, of course, accompanied by Velvet Sky, stacking the odds against Gail. The champ charges into the ring, chasing both of the Beautiful People out. She doesn’t let Angelina go, though, following her to the outside, and running after her.
Gail soon catches Angelina, slamming her head onto the ring apron. Angelina reverses an Irish whip into the corner, but Gail manages to stop herself from hitting the steel face-first, charging right back at Angelina and laying her out with a clothesline. She warns Velvet to stay away as she waits for Angelina to get up.
When Angelina breaks the referee’s count, Gail sends her back into the ring. The champ follows her right into a corner, stomping on her. She hits Angelina with a clothesline and tries to come back for more, but Angelina catches her, dropping her face-first into the top turnbuckle. She hits Gail with a DDT and buys herself some breathing room.
Gail is quick to get back to her feet, though, and is right back to attacking Angelina. Angelina regains control with a attack right to Gail’s jaw that knocks her down like a ton of bricks. Angelina’s not pleased with Earl Hebner’s count, telling him to go faster. This isn’t Stiffler, Angelina, nor are you Earl’s squeeze Madison Rayne. It ain’t gonna work.
Gail gets back to her feet, but is a bit shaky. Angelina is handed a baking sheet from Velvet, and is poised to use it, but Gail ducks out of the way. She lands some sharp kicks to Angelina’s side before running the ropes, returning with a dropkick that slams the baking sheet right into Angelina’s face and puts an impressive dent in it. Angelina slips to the outside and lays down there. Velvet tries to will her partner to get up as the referee’s count continues.
As Angelina gets to her feet, Gail climbs the turnbuckle. Velvet sneaks up behind her, though, and hits her with the baking sheet right in the small of the back. Gail falls off the turnbuckle and eventually rolls out of the ring. Earl starts the count, but Gail is soon on her feet, ducking an attack from Angelina and sending her face-first into the ring apron. Both Knockouts are down.
The Knockouts get to their feet and trade blows, moving slowly around the ring. Angelina tries to head back to the ring, but Gail stops her on the steps, prepping for another high risk move. Velvet grabs one of her feet, though, pulling it out from under her and dropping her face-first onto the steel steps. Angelina slips back into the ring as Gail tries to regain her wits.
Gail is back on her feet by the eight count, though a bit wobbly. She’s up on the ring apron, and Angelina grabs hold of her, trying to suplex her over the ropes and into the ring. Gail is dead weight, though, and she has to drop her. When she tries to grab Gail again, she gets a boot to the face. Still on the outside, Gail pulls Angelina to a corner and wraps her legs around the turnbuckle, locking in her famous hanging figure four leglock!
Velvet breaks the hold, saving Angelina from some serious damage. When they’re both on the outside, Gail reverses an Irish whip, sending Angelina right into the steel barricade. Even doing that much took the wind out of Gail’s sails, and she’s down as well. The referee begins his count, and Angelina starts to crawl for the exit.
Gail, meanwhile, has found a steel chair, and is on her feet. She wields the chair, but Velvet grabs it, distracting her. Gail fights off Velvet, but turns around just in time for Angelina to hit the Botox Injection, sending the chair right into Gail’s face! Gail is laid out on the entrance ramp!
Velvet helps Angelina re-enter the ring as Gail somehow gets to her feet to a chorus of “Better than Divas!” Velvet tosses her into the ring. Angelina climbs to the top turnbuckle, a steel chair positioned by Velvet right under it. Velvet tries to hit the In Yo Face onto the chair, but Gail miraculously fights back, shoving Velvet right into Angelina’s corner and knocking her off her feet!
Gail tosses Velvet out of the ring and appears to have gotten a second wind, climbing the turnbuckle and fighting for control. She eventually hoists Angelina onto her shoulder and sends her back-first onto the steel chair!
Gail slowly gets to her feet, but Angelina’s down for the count. Earl Hebner counts to ten, and Gail Kim retain the Knockouts Championship!
Later on in the show, we got to get a glimpse at the recovery of Dixie Carter post-table bump:
Dixie was gracious enough to invite Mike Tenay to her home in Nashville for an interview. She seems to be recovering well, promising that “a Carter never forgets” before dismissing Tenay with a whistle. We miss you, Dixie!
Thoughts: What an awesome match. Gail and Angelina put it all out there, making me wish this wasn’t relegated to merely a “Hardcore Justice” edition of Impact. You know, a Fake-Per-View. This could have easily been a real Pay-Per-View match. Then again, Impact has been all about upping the stakes recently, which is great from a viewer’s standpoint. The in-ring work is rarely boring. Still, it begs the question of where you can go when you’re constantly putting the title on the line in big time matches.
Then again, I probably shouldn’t be complaining, when we’re getting matches like this. They got really inventive with the stipulation. Unlike previous Hardcore matches or street fights, this used every bit of the stipulation to its advantage, and in unique ways.
At this point, Gail must be one of the most tested champions around. Not only does she defend the belt constantly, she is able to overcome the odds time and time again. In a match with no DQs, this was basically a two-on-one affair, with Angelina and Velvet ganging up on her. She managed to neutralize Velvet and defeat Angelina, looking as impressive as ever in doing so.
I wasn’t crazy about the idea of Gail turning babyface, but there’s no doubt that her in-ring style lends itself more to a face character, especially with the return of the six sides. Fans will inevitably want to cheer the person flying around the ring, so I’ll admit to being wrong on that one: Gail definitely works better as a face, at least at this stage. I can’t wait to see her get pushed to the limit again – perhaps by a new Knockout? Hm…