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Impact Write-Up (February 23rd, 2016): Miracles Come and Go

For the second year in a row, Lockdown is being brought to you for free on television, as part of a special edition of Impact. Surely I can’t be the only one who misses when the flagship show was an actual PPV event.

Last week, a returning Velvet Sky threw down the gauntlet when she challenged The Dollhouse to a Lethal Lockdown match against The Beautiful People and Knockouts Champion Gail Kim. Which team will claim victory in the first ever Knockouts Lethal Lockdown match? Let’s find out!

Before this Lethal Lockdown match can even take place, The Beautiful People find themselves in a bit of a predicament:

In order to gain an early advantage to their match, The Dollhouse attack Madison Rayne backstage by a flight of stairs. Although the attack is never actually seen, (kind of an important detail to just skim over like that) Madison cries out shrieks of pain that stem from her left knee. Backstage officials come to Madison’s aid but the only thing Madison requests is to find Gail Kim.

Shortly afterwards, we spy Gail Kim in the backstage area where she runs into Maria Kanellis:

Gail has no time to hear whatever is running through Maria’s mind but Maria carries on with her message of the need for a new leader for the Knockouts division anyway.

The self-proclaimed First Lady of Professional Wrestling feels sorry for both Madison and Velvet, as they were victims of this ongoing war between The Dollhouse; a war that Gail continues to insert herself in.

Gail has heard enough of Maria and fires back with a critique of her own. If Maria really wants to prove her point, then why not take action by changing to her wrestling gear to team up with Gail and Velvet to take on The Dollhouse in place of Madison Rayne. The Knockouts champion walks away, leaving Maria alone to make a decision on whether or not to take up Gail’s offer.

On the continuity storyline side of things, Rosemary gets another visit from Jimmy Havoc this week:

The Decay manager is sitting alone, singing a “Pop Goes the Weasel” tune, when her former partner drops by. He tells Rosemary that she always made him a better man, one who had an effect on him and his desire is to have those feelings back again.

Jimmy hands Rosemary a bloody mask, a parting gift to remind Rosemary of what they once had. Seconds after Jimmy leaves, current partner Crazzy Steve joins Rosemary. He takes a look at the mask Jimmy handed to his female companion and shakes it. Before any wild behavior can occur, Rosemary calms Steve down with a simple look in the eye. The pair laugh in mischief harmony to end the segment.

Lethal Lockdown time!

Our first entrants to the six sides of steel are Jade and Gail Kim. The bell rings and Jade quickly eyes a weapon that hangs on one of the side walls but Gail trails behind her. She knocks Jade off before the weapon can be reached and hits several right forearms.

Gail follows up with a hurricanrana that sends Jade to a corner to find comfort. Ninja Kim charges toward Jade, looking for a running clothesline but Jade is able to get a boot up in time to negate the attack. Jade hits a hurricanrana of her own that takes Gail down but the Knockouts champion doesn’t stay down for too long as Jade tosses her head first to a steel caged wall.

The two trading kicks with one another, both Knockouts race each other to a wall to retrieve a weapon but crash and burn to the mat instead when they knock each other off with a combination of elbow shots and kicks. Back on the ground, another stalemate occurs when Jade and Gail go for the same running clothesline maneuver, canceling one another out as we head for a commercial break.

When we return from the break, Gail seems to be in control of the match but that changes when the third entrant Marti Bell makes her way to the ring. She goes straight for Gail, attacking her from behind and vigorously stomps her down at a corner turnbuckle.

Just when the numbers advantage begin to favor the dolls, out comes the next entrant Velvet Sky, who wastes no time coming to Gail’s rescue. Velvet throws numerous clothesline and elbow shots to slow down the Dollhouse. The fire inside Velvet continues to grow and she adds more arsenal to her moves, hitting a neckbreaker and bulldog to Marti while Gail refocuses on Jade.

Another minute passes by and the final member of The Dollhouse Rebel makes her run-in entrance. Rebel delivers high round kicks to both Gail and Velvet. After hitting the Knockouts champion with a backbreaker, Rebel climbs the top rope of a turnbuckle and grabs baking sheet, marking it as the first weapon to be used in this Lethal Lockdown match.

After striking the Knockouts champion over the head with the baking sheet, a prideful Rebel takes a bow in the center of the ring to say “You are welcome!”. With one opponent out the way, the dolls turn their attention to Velvet and begin a three-on-one assault. Rebel whips each of her teammates to a cornered Velvet, where they land a back elbow and running big boot respectively. Rebel adds her own backhand spring elbow for a fun touch!

Jade reaches for a kindo stick with the intentions of beating down an outnumbered Gail Kim. Gail manages to dodge the oncoming Jade, who mistakenly strikes herself in the head with her own weapon. Womp womp! A double clothesline from Gail takes out Rebel and Marti but then suddenly a ten second countdown clock appears. It would appear that there would indeed be one more entrant in this Lethal Lockdown match!

Taking a bite from her husband’s theme song, Maria runs to the six sided cage in her fiery wrestling gear… but only comes down to lock the cage door? She wags her finger to a stunned Gail and teases her safely from the outside. Meanwhile, the dolls make the most of Maria’s fake-out by choking out Velvet and Gail with the use of a kindo stick.

Jade brings Gail back to her feet and hammer whips Gail to a corner where the champion’s head meets a trash can lid! It’s not all fun for Jade as Velvet begins to mount a comeback when she trips Jade to a trash can that is carefully placed in between the ropes of a turnbuckle. Velvet begins to work on Rebel and Marti next, allowing Gail to have some time to get back in this match.

A recovered Gail meets up with Velvet at the top rope of a corner to a deliver a double flapjack to a high flying Jade. A “This is awesome!” chant breaks out from the London crowd! Velvet and Gail keep the double team attacks coming, this time they beat down Rebel with kindo sticks! Ouch. Lucky for Rebel, Marti is close by to stop this beatdown with the same baking sheet from earlier in the match. She strikes both Gail and Velvet in the back with her weapon of choice, causing the two to go down on the mat.

Marti grabs a steel chair next and carefully places it in the center of the ring. She sets Gail for a neckbreaker but Gail manages to reverse. When she turns around, Rebel tries to strike her with a kindo stick but Gail halts Rebel’s with her strength, countering it with an Eat Defeat! Gail goes for the pin but a nearby Jade breaks it up with another kindo stick that was laying around. Jade grabs Gail and hits her with the packaged piledriver over the steel chair Marti had provided, putting away Gail for the three count and win!

Maria wasn’t done for the night. She joins hubby Mike Bennett to deliver a message to his opponent in Drew Galloway next week:

Another Knockout who wasn’t done for the night was Rosemary. She meets up with Jimmy Havoc once again, this time with Abyss and Crazzy Steve by her side, to give back Jimmy’s “gift” and lay down a beating to her once foreign partner:

And lastly, we get an appearance from Reby Sky, who looks to repeat her pull-the-hammer-out-of-the-diaper-bag trick to help her husband Matt Hardy steal the win over Ethan Carter III again:

Ultimate underdog Rockstar Spud snatches the hammer out of Reby’s hand not to save Ethan but so he could personally betray Ethan himself. He slams Ethan’s face with the caged door, allowing Matt to win via escape. Damn it, my defense of ECIII still being unpinned or submitted still applies here, right?

Thoughts: You know, I have to admit, I came into this Lethal Lockdown match with a bit of hesitation. Having read the spoilers, I wasn’t too sure how some of these participants would manage in this style of match but I am glad to say that Knockouts really managed to pull it off! Thank you for at last giving the Knockouts TIME in their matches TNA!

I thoroughly enjoyed the match and have to say I was, surprisingly, most impressed with Rebel’s performance! I think she showed some ring progress in this match, both in her move set and well as in her selling. Of course, I don’t expect these five star matches to come from Rebel but it’s always nice to see when wrestlers show any kind of improvement. I’d like to see her continue to grow alongside Marti, who also had the chance to shine in this match.

I was glad to see Jade pick up the win for the group (the dolls REALLY needed it) by pinning Gail, as it furthers this unofficial initiative that Jade is the new “leader” for the group but I did have a small issue with the booking leading up to this match. In two separate weeks time, we’ve seen both Gail and Velvet clear the ring of all three members of The Dollhouse single handily, so going in, they were made out to be the “stronger” team, with or without Madison’s help. I just would have rather both teams look equal, or close to it, to keep things in balance than lopsided.

Speaking of Madison, I was not a fan of how she was “taken out” of the match. The cries seemed petty and we didn’t even see the actual attack happen! Poorly staged by a flight of stairs. Again, just seemed like an important detail to not feature unless there is another payout brewing that we are unaware of yet. However, I do understand the need of having to stage something to insert Maria’s involvement.

It’s been a few weeks now since we’ve seen Maria involved with any other Knockout, specifically with Gail Kim, so I was glad that things were followed up again. I only hope that it won’t take another three weeks for things to pick up between these two, as a there seems to be some kind of feud building between these two. Perhaps Maria will step in as the new leader of The Dollhouse? Sort of playing it off as the “business woman” persona she wants to be?

Briefly touching on Rosemary again, I liked seeing her interaction with Jimmy but I still feel that there is still some of this story that needs to be peeled. Maybe actually have Rosemary say her side of the story? We do know she can speak after all. Continuity is important for the group right now as they are, in my opinion, one of the more interesting angles in currently in TNA.

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