Good day Knockout fans and welcome to this week’s Impact Write-Up. It’s our last night in Pennsylvania, as next week, TNA invade the UK as part of their annual tour overseas. Although we are not treated to a Knockouts match this week, (I for one can use a break from the tedious Beautiful People/Dollhouse feud) we do begin to see the making of a new challenger for Gail Kim‘s Knockouts Title as Maria Kanellis spreads her miraculous message to the Knockouts division.
In what is quickly becoming a TNA trend, Matt Hardy and wife Reby Sky are our opening act for this week’s program:
Mr. and Mrs. Hardy are feeling unsympathetic towards Jeff Hardy‘s woes after he was piledriven through a table during last week’s main event, thanks to Eric Young.
It’s all part of the wrestling business after all, as Matt points out, and sometimes you can’t let family relationships get in the way. Reby tosses another dagger to the mix, suggesting that Jeff brought this all onto himself because of his jealousy that Matt was able to win the TNA Heavyweight World Championship “fair and square”.
Close to retiring star Kurt Angle wraps up this opening segment by challenging Matt for his title later in the evening. You can bet money that this main event will be anything but fair and square.
The Destroyer Lashley gets a surprise visit from the mysterious Raquel during his match against Aiden O’Shea:
The Brazilian Knockout sits at ringside in the middle of Lashley’s match and after he manages to pick up the win with a spear, Raquel joins him in the ring to deliver the same message she did from a few weeks ago.
She offers Lashley either pain or pleasure but before Lashley can get a word in, Raquel makes her exit. What will Lashley choose? Will he even get the chance to make a choice?
Making her way to the six sided ring next is the woman of the hour, Maria Kanellis:
Sticking to her miracle style entrance, Maria enters the arena with the lights dimmed and a mic at hand from the entrance ramp.
The First Lady of Professional Wrestling welcomes us to her place of worship. Unlike normal circumstances where she is standing next to her husband, Mike Bennett, Maria is out alone to talk about something she is very passionate about: women’s wrestling!
While Maria doesn’t necessarily think women’s wrestling needs a miracle, she does believe that there is a need for a leader. A leader to point women’s wrestling in the right direction, almost like a living arrow would.
Maria goes on to say that while many believe the Knockouts division is just fine, it is actually broken and Maria is the only one who can change that. Well, adding new names to the division is indeed one way to change things up.
When Maria drops the “out with the old, in with the new” line, Knockouts champion Gail Kim’s music hits. As Gail begins to make her way to the ring to hear the rest of Maria’s philosophy regarding women’s wrestling, Josh Matthews over at commentary incorrectly refers to Gail as the longest reigning Knockouts Champion. (And will block you on Twitter when you try to politely correct him)
Once face to face with Maria, Gail begins to question some of Maria’s choice of words. Maria fires back, referring to Gail as simply being a “wrestler” unlike the role model businesswoman she is. To help Gail break out of her “wrestling” stage, Maria offers to take the reigning Knockouts champion under her wing to become more mainstream such as herself.
Gail rejects Maria’s humbling offer and counters it with one of her own. If Maria really wants to contribute to the division, then she needs to lace up her wrestling boots and get in the ring.
Maria isn’t too keen on Gail’s offer either and instead points her out as the problem in all of this, calling her a stinker like a fish who rots from the head. The champ has heard enough and challenges Maria to “fix” the problem right then and there but the First Lady backs out and flees back to the backstage. Looks like some seeds have been planted.
We get a Rosemary sighting during the big Hardcore War tag team match this week:
Despite the “no rule” stipulation, Rosemary stands at ringside for almost all of the entire brawl style match, entering the ring only after her Decay team members manage to get the pin over Davey Richards of The Wolves. May The Decay continue to prosper!
Maria’s job as a miracle worker doesn’t just end with Gail Kim. She reappears very shortly afterwards during Drew Galloway‘s match against Hardy’s go-to babysitter Tyrus:
Just as Galloway was going to put Tyrus away, the lights go dark and from the entrance ramp, Maria asks Galloway if he believes in miracles because his miracle has just arrived. When the lights come back on, Mike Bennett strikes Drew in the head with the Feast or Fired briefcase!
The bell rings as a result of the DQ interference but the Bennetts still have more to say to Galloway. Mike continues his message from last week during the Feast or Fired revelation; he IS that TNA need.
And finally, our main event featuring TNA World Champion Matt Hardy and Kurt Angle sees a second showing of Reby Sky doing whatever she can to help her husband retain his title:
She literally pulls Kurt’s leg before he can capitalize on a win over Matt from the top turnbuckle. The distraction allows Matt to hit a sky high Twist of Faith to remain TNA World Heavyweight Champion.
Thoughts: A matchless night is never fun, but on a positive note, it is refreshing to see a woman not named Awesome Kong begin to step up against Gail Kim and make ways for a future title shot.
Aside from her one title defense against Kong a few weeks ago, which ended up being used as another reason to keep the Dollhouse/Beautiful People feud going, Gail has yet to find herself fighting off any other challengers, mainly because there just aren’t any at the moment.
I will say that I did enjoy this little segment with Maria and Gail. It brought out the best of both women’s character and it has potential to bring in a new storyline to the division that we have desperately been craving.
Whilst it’s nice to see that TNA are beginning to let one of the four new women they’ve brought in begin to take on a more ring active role, my fear is that TNA will delay in fully shooting the gun. Maria (along with Raquel, Reby and Rosemary) is in this dual managing role, so it makes me wonder how/when they’ll introduce the rest of the women that have been brought in or if they’ll simply stay in their assigned ringside roles.
Talking a bit on Raquel’s role this week, it’s still a bit unclear as to where she stands with Lashley. She pretty much repeated her actions from the last time we saw her, stating she will deliver either pain or pleasure.
Looking back at her vignette, she talked about getting payback at someone. I feel as though Raquel’s character can go either two ways with Lashley. Maybe she can use him to bring pain towards someone for her/their pleasure or Lashley is her payback target and will lead him to pain down the line. Again, it’s all too early to tell but I do hope TNA can fill in the gaps given that she was brought in and immediately tossed in with someone like Lashley.
As already mentioned, next week is the start of TNA’s annual UK tour! A favorite time of year for me personally, as these shows tend to be packed with lively fans. Let’s just hope that they’ll be up and about during our featured Knockout matches and segments!