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Impact Write-Up (November 11th, 2015): One Step Closer

The Final 16 of the World Title Series is beginning to take form as we enter the final rounds of Group Play. With all of our participating Knockouts of this World Title Series now tied up three points apiece, these final two matches are crucial!

This week, the first “do or die” Knockouts match will pit five time Knockouts Champions Gail Kim and Madison Rayne against each other, where only one of them will move on and the other will essentially go home.

Before we get started on this week’s featured match, the Queen Bee takes it upon herself to introduce a new training format she has been taking in preparation for this match. After all, she is going after Ninja Kim and has traded in her crown and sash for a ninja mask and a samurai sword… or at least that’s what it appears through a poorly designed animation. Seriously, whose idea was this?

Going by the new name of Ninja Queen, part of this new training includes climbing on top of high furniture and discreetly hiding behind plants, Scooby-Doo style. Eh, not sure how all of this will help in a match against the likes of Gail Kim but do your thing Ninja Queen!

The Knockouts start things off with a tie up that makes its way to a corner. Madison throws a punch to the backed Gail but Gail dodges this, going for a quick strike of her own. Likewise, Madison dodges Gail’s move and things restart back at the center of the ring.

In take two of this match, Gail sneaks up behind Madison, scoops her up and slams her face first on to the mat. Gail tries to keep Madison grounded but the acting Ninja Queen escapes through Gail’s grip, slipping behind her to apply a headlock.

Madison is committed to applying this headlock maneuver, never letting go of her hold even when Gail looks for an escape with a grapple from behind. Eventually, Gail finds a way out by rolling her opponent over on the mat but Madison is quick on her feet, surprising Gail with a crucifix pin. Gail reverses this before three count is made and soon a sequence of pin exchanges would take place yet, neither woman is able to pick up the three count. The desire to win this match is at an all time high!

A fired up Madison charges straight to Gail, only to be taken down with a drop toe hold. Gail tries to capitalize on this by positioning Madison into a sleeper hold but the Ninja Queen counters, sending Gail straight to a turnbuckle instead. From there, Madison hits a running elbow drop, as well as a dropkick to Gail when she tries to take a breather at the second rope. Madison goes for the pin but only earns a two count.

When Gail gets back on her feet, she begins to build momentum by chopping down Madison with kicks to the lower body and climbing to the top rope for a cross body. Gail goes for the cover, picking up a two count as we fade away for a break.

When cameras return, we spy Madison putting the brakes to an oncoming Gail by raising her boot up before Gail’s attack can connect. Madison goes for a clothesline but Ninja Kim dodges right under her attack and sends her back to the turnbuckle with a handstand swing. A corner crossbody is on Gail’s mind next but instead of hitting her target, Gail flies all the way out of the ring, nearly taking out a camera man on the outside ring!

Gail’s landing was a hard one, as evident by the referee reaching a count out of nine! Before a count out of ten can be reached, Madison takes it upon herself to break the referee’s count (why!?) to meet Gail on the outside of the ring. Madison’s mistake costs her when Gail pulls her leg, causing her arm to land on the steel steps!

The referee begins to count out Madison, as she stumbles to return the ring. Upon reentering the ring, Gail goes for a pin but Madison still has enough fight in her to kick out. Still in control of the match, Gail applies a rest hold in an attempt to fade Madison but Ninja Queen counters with a big time Rayne Check!

When Gail kicks out from Madison’s finisher, the Ninja Queen tries her luck at putting Gail away with a second Rayne Check but Gail counters this into a roll up pin, keeping Madison’s shoulders down for three count to pick up the win! With the three points now added to her score, Gail has earned the right to advance to the single elimination rounds! Madison, however, will now disappear (along with the rest of the roster not involved in the tournament) for the remainder of the year.

Thoughts: It should really come as no surprise as to who came out victorious in this match; even if you did happen to forget from the spoilers when they first came out four months ago. Between these two women, Gail is the only one to really have participated in an intergender style match, thus being a better candidate in putting on a believable kind of match.

I wasn’t too crazy about this Ninja Queen persona (thankfully it appears that this was just a onetime thing) that was trying to be sold for Madison going into this match. The execution for it just stunk with its poor taste in animation and music. With the stakes being dubbed as a “must win” situation for both women, I would’ve preferred to have seen a small promo from both Knockouts as to why the desire to win is so high.

Despite my continuous dislike for these back to back matches, I will say that I did enjoy this Knockouts match. While it was decent, I think both women did a good job of telling that story of wanting to advance to the final sixteen. There were those sequences of pinfalls as well as those crashing and falling to the outside of the ring. Madison is a hard worker and I think she goes under appreciated for her ring work

As already announced, our final Group Knockouts match will take place as Brooke and Awesome Kong battle it out. After that, we will, at last, move on to the only unique attribute of this World Title Series which would be those rare intergender matches we see in TNA!

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