After a long six week hiatus, TNA has at last returned to our television screens in their brand new home of Destination America. Hola Knockout fans and welcome to the very first Impact Write-Up of 2015. First and foremost, I would like to apologize for the delay of this week’s Write-Up. Being caught up in trying to attend all these TNA New York City shows while also following daily routines can be a real hassle. Nevertheless, here we are to recap this week’s special (semi) live premiere episode of Impact that featured some a Knockouts Championship match along with an AWESOME and AMAZING (puns intended) returns coming from the Knockouts! Let’s get started!
We kick off this Impact show with a new notch added to the opener. The stars of TNA are all seen warming up and preparing themselves as they board their escorting limo buses arriving to the streets of Manhattan. There is some pep talk by some of the leading voices of the TNA locker room: Cowboy James Storm‘s declaring the year 2015 will belong to that of The Revolution, TNA World Heavyweight Champion Bobby Roode recollects his fellow babyfaces to proudly affirm that with the start of a brand new day also comes with new chances to prove why they are the best wrestlers around and good old MVP sticking to his “seek and destroy attitude”, despite being on an all new network. Not exactly a terrible motto to live by if you ask me.
Once outside the venue, the TNA roster (some in wrestling gear despite the frigid temperatures) get off their buses and meet in the middle. Two groups are broken, one side being that of the babyfaces with World Champion Bobby Roode at the front lines and the other side being that of the heels with challenger Bobby Lashley playing top chief. All it takes is one punch to be thrown by the likes of Kenny King before all hell breaks loose!
The all out brawl from the outside eventually makes its way to the inside. In the midst of the chaos at every corner, Madison Rayne and Rebel scuffle from the balcony, while Havok and Taryn Terell do battle from the lower level. Ahead of this commotion getting any more wilder than it already is, TNA Executive Operator Kurt Angle calms things down by giving everyone what they want- a night full of championship matches! Champion Thursdays flashback anyone?
As the Knockouts Champion gets ready for her first official title defense, so do challengers Gail Kim, Havok and Rebel before we go to a quick commercial break. Upon returning from the break, Angelina Love and Velvet Sky make their way to the ring, which is already filled with all of the other challengers for Taryn’s beautifully new designed belt, and they’re being accompanied by their fellow BeautifulBros partners DJ Z and Jessie Godderz. The narcissistic team take this opportunity to give a special home welcome to the now mega reality television star Robbie E, following his stint on The Amazing Race. So I guess there’s no love for Brooke who too was part of The Amazing Race experience?
Robbie grabs the mic from DJ Z and blames his lost on coming short on winning a million dollars on his weak ex-girlfriend of a partner Brooke. Ouch Bro! As Robbie was continuing his returning speech, he is interrupted by Taryn’s music hitting (and a surprising Christy Hemme ring announcing) as she makes her way to the ring so that this match can get started.
The bell rings and the Knockouts waste little time getting started. Gail going after Havok first while everyone else targets the champ. Taryn escapes the four on one assault when Madison seeks on Gail and Havok while The Beautiful People go after Rebel. The double attack onto the rookie Knockout proves to work as Rebel is the first eliminated following a Botox Injection from Angelina Love.
Gail and Taryn each take on a member of The Beautiful People next as Madison Rayne tries to reason with Havok. The defiant Knockout has none of it and eliminates the Queen Bee shortly. Havok then goes back to her original target of Gail, who just delivered an Eat Defeat to Velvet to put her down. On the other side of the ring, Jessie tries smooth talking to Taryn to help his girl Angelina get a sneak elimination on her but Taryn outsmarts them both and eliminates Angelina instead.
Down to the final four and Gail Kim and Taryn Terrell double team against Havok delivering shots and dropkicks whenever possible. Just as Velvet gets back in the match with a double clothesline to Taryn and Gail, from a corner outside the ring is the returning bootyful Brooke who attacks Robbie! We’ve missed you very much Brooke! The distraction is enough for Gail and Taryn to eliminate Velvet, who gets chased down with a fleeing Robbie by a stormy Brooke.
Back in the ring, our final three participants still have a match to finish. Havok coming close to eliminating Gail but gets caught by an attempted hurricanrana to the outside. Trapped already, Taryn uses her inner strength to toss Havok and Gail over the top ropes for the win and a successful title defense.
Before Taryn can even fully celebrate, Havok returns to the ring and begins a full beat down to Taryn. Just as things look like they couldn’t be going any worse for Taryn, the arena goes completely dark and once the lights come back in the ring is the mighty and returning Awesome Kong who is directly in the face of Havok! From the third row front and center in my well suited Rockstar Spud-like suit, I am screaming my head off, as does my fellow New Yorkers who begin a “Holy Shit!” chant. Havok backs down, leaving the ring and referee Brian Stiffler tries to calm the returning Kong but only to be choke slammed for his troubles. Kong’s classic music hits and suddenly I need to sit down and recollect myself after that shocking return!
Thoughts: What a way to kick off the new year for the Knockouts!
I’ll start with the new opening for TNA. I have to say, I really liked this reality tone that was used at the start of the show. It was something fresh and complementary for the new vibe TNA is going for. I’m also glad the beginning brawl featuring the TNA roster also included the Knockouts. It’s always a plus to have the girls be a part of any major storyline that may be happening.
Now for the returns of the nights, when I initially saw that Brooke wasn’t part of the Battle Royal, I was worried as I thought she was not in attendance for these TNA New York City tapings yet again but boy was I wrong. I’m glad there’s a natural story for Brooke to come back to following her absent for most of 2014. I commend her and Robbie (and even Angelina) for acting professional on a topic that may seem more real than art.
The battle royal gives Taryn a successful title defense and still told the story of Havok wanting her rematch but I think we can all agree that the bigger and shocking picture comes from the return of Awesome Kong! Never did I imagine we would see Kong return to TNA given what’s been said and done within the last five years since she’s left the company but I guess as the saying goes, “Time heals all wounds”.
This week really stirred up the pot for the possible Knockout feuds we will in the upcoming weeks. We have a returning Brooke going after her ex beau and his entourage, Kong teasing an immediate feud with Havok and the window that is still open for whomever may feud with Taryn for the title.
A lot of things are brewing for the Knockouts so far and I can’t wait to see where the pieces will leading up in the upcoming weeks and the special Lockdown special to come. Here’s hoping things only get more exciting for the Knockouts. Hasta luego Knockout fans!