After taking a coincidental Thanksgiving break last week, the Knockouts return to action on Impact this week, as we have now reached the Round of 16 in the TNA World Title Series. Speaking of Thanksgiving, allow me to take a moment to give thanks that we are just that much closer to ending this never ending tournament.
Taking part in these single elimination style matches are our qualifying ladies from Group Knockouts, Awesome Kong and Gail Kim. The Knockouts will now have to compete against their male counterparts should they want to advance to the quarter finals. How will these TNA intergender matches play out? Let’s find out!
Our first intergender match of the night is a clash of the champions, as the current reigning Knockouts champion Gail Kim takes on the current X-Division Champion Tigre Uno! Before these two title holders can square off in the ring, we head backstage to get some of Gail’s thoughts on making it this far in the World Title Series:
Gail admits to being very vocal when it comes to talking about the Knockouts division and their place in the wrestling industry. She says that this entire World Title Series is just another example of TNA allowing the Knockouts to be themselves.
While Gail says that she respects Tigre as an athlete, she is on a mission to prove that she is more than a pretty face. Her agenda is to get this win over Tigre to be one step closer to taking it all in the World Title Series. On that note we head to a quick commercial break.
When we return back from the break, Gail and Tigre have made their way to the ring sans any entrances. Not that it would really have mattered since neither champion would have come down with their respective title belts anyway.
Right from the start, there is much hesitation on Tigre’s part for this match against Gail. He withdraws any kind of attacks early on but Gail isn’t one to hold back. She tries to score a pin fall twice by rolling up Tigre when his back is turned but Tigre kicks out at two.
It takes a side kick from Gail for Tigre to wake up his competitive side and he brings Gail down with a takedown. When Gail gets back on her feet, she tunes in to her lucha libre persona to match the speed and style of Tigre’s, hitting him with a monkey flip and a crossbody from the top rope. Gail then looks to put Tigre away with an Eat Defeat but the X-Division champion is able to counter this into an inverted submission hold. Gail reverses this via sunset flip to earn a count of one over Tigre.
When the pin attempt fails, Gail tries a Flying Dragon submission to wear Tigre down but the hold isn’t applied for long as Tigre is able to shrug Gail off of his shoulders by tossing her over the top rope. With Gail now on the outside of the ring, Tigre reluctantly runs the ropes to hit an over the top rope crossbody onto Gail!
Following the high flying move, Tigre tosses Gail back to the ring and decides to go the top rope of a turnbuckle. The trip to the top rope backfires on Tigre when Gail is able hit him with a top rope hurricanrana! Gail pulls out all the stops onto Tigre, hitting him with a missile dropkick, a corner crossbody and even locking in a ring post figure four leg lock! Gail’s last trick is an Eat Defeat but Tigre is able to counter this finisher yet again.
He places the Knockouts champion over his shoulders but Gail wiggles her way out of Tigre’s clutches. She tries to sneak Tigre into a roll up pin but the jokes on her as Tigre manages to be the one to trap Gail into a roll up pin, earning the three count and eliminating one of the two Knockouts left in the World Title Series. Womp Womp…
In our second intergender match of the night, Awesome Kong takes on reality television star turned wrestler Jessie Godderz. When our two heavyweights find their way to the six sided ring, Jessie takes a mic to deliver an opening message to his female opponent.
Jessie starts off by stating that while Awesome Kong may be out here to wrestle him, he knows that the real reason she’s in the ring with him is to have a chance to touch his Adonis body by “wrestling” him. Ugh, must we actually go this route for this match up?
While there are some screaming fan girls for Jessie within the Impact Zone, Kong isn’t at all amused by Jessie’s affectionate suggestion. If touching isn’t really Kong’s cup of PDA tea, then perhaps a kiss is. Jessie tells Kong to pucker up but instead of locking lips, Kong throws a right forearm to Jessie’s face and the bell sounds off!
Kong keeps the offense coming with chops to Jessie’s chest, throwing in a few shoulder blocks in between. Kong is all smiles so far while frustration begins to brew within Jessie. He tries to redeem himself by lunging after Kong while she rests at a turnbuckle but Kong moves out the way and hits a running corner splash.
Kong follows up by using her strength to deliver not one, not two but three body slams to #TheMan, causing him to roll out of the ring to re-strategize things. And just what are Jessie’s new plans? To just walk out of this match all together!
Just as Jessie begins to make his way to the back, Kong trails right behind him to prevent any kind of escape, grabbing a hold of Jessie’s tights. Suddenly Jessie isn’t to fond of having Kong touch him and he decides to land a back elbow but misses when Kong ducks out the way. Instead, Jessie hits the ring post, giving Kong an open window to land more right forearm shots.
Pulling out a classic from the Heel rule book, Jessie pokes the eye of Kong to temporarily restrain her. He lunges after Kong for the second time in this match but misses once again, this time landing on hard floor of the outside.Kong tosses Jessie back into the ring and tries to inflict some damage with a running splash.
Jessie moves out the way and manages to roll up Kong into a pin with a handful of tights for the three count, abruptly ending the match in similar fashion as our first intergender match. Being as far as we are in this tournament, was it too much to ask that these matches not end via deadly roll up pins?
Thoughts: It’s the end of the road for the Knockouts in the World Title Series.
In addition, this (most likely) appears to be the last time we’ll see the Knockouts in the year 2015, as the remaining weeks of the year will continue to be dedicated to the World Title Series…. which by the way has yet to be fully taped.
From the beginning, I was never a fan of the World Title Series. The entire tournament has just felt half ass to me with no real excitement or unpredictability. While I am all for the “equality” message behind the Knockouts taking part in this tournament, their participation just leaves a sour taste for me since it was pretty clear from the start that there was never any intention of having the women go far.
Of the two intergender matches, I will say that I did enjoy the Gail/Tigre match aside from the lame roll up pin. It wasn’t perfect but it was a fun match to witness. This isn’t the first time the two have met in the ring (flashback to Joker’s Wild Card 3) and I think this match shows that, if TNA ever allow it, there is a place for Gail in the X-Division. She’s fast, a high flyer and has already accomplished everything there is for a Knockout. A switch over to the X-Division full time would add another dimension to Gail and may even inject some new life to the X-Division which has felt stale for some time now.
Sadly I don’t have a lot of positive things to say about the Kong/Jessie match, if we even want to call it an actual match. The opening promo was a turn off and very cliché to an intergender match being set up on national television. Sure Kong was able to stand up to Jessie’s alpha male mentality but it was really only through one or two power moves. It was pretty disappointed that nothing from this match was very exciting at all. Come 2016, even if she doesn’t officially retire from the ring, I just don’t see Kong sticking with TNA but only time will tell if that turns out to be true.
I understand from a business perspective the need to have ended these matches with a roll up but it still feels pretty lame and takes away from some of the intergender feel.
That’s it for this week’s program Knockouts fans. The next time we meet, TNA will be in their new home of Pop TV leaving behind their home of one year Destination America. Here’s hoping that Dixie Carter’s New Year Resolution is to keep TNA afloat on this new network for more than a year’s period.
So until next then, hasta mucho mas luego Knockout fans! Enjoy the all upcoming holiday festivities!