Hola Knockout fans and welcome to this week’s Impact Write-Up! As we inch closer and closer to Bound for Glory, we see that TNA are slowly putting together their card for this year’s event. For Knockouts fans, we can look forward to seeing the Knockouts Champion Maria Kanellis defend her title against TNA Hall of Fame inductee Gail Kim. Seriously, the build up to this feud has been great and we see more of why this week!
For fans of the Decay and the Hardy Clan, we get an update to the aftermath that was #DeleteOrDecay. Where the hell is everyone’s favorite house keeper Señor Benjamin after being kidnapped by the Death Dealers? Will the Hardy Vanguard be avenged? What is in store next for Rosemary and Reby Hardy? Let’s dive right into it!
Jeremy Borash is standing backstage for an interview with our first Knockouts appearance of the night from the champion herself Maria Kanellis. Step aside JB, as Maria hijacks the entire interview to announce that she has taken it upon herself to induct Gail to the TNA Hall of Fame this week as opposed to having to wait until Bound for Glory weekend.
Maria claims the reason for this short notice of a celebration is to assure that Gail won’t be overshadowed for when Maria defeats her opponent come Bound for Glory; an opponent that would later be determined.
We head out to the ring for Gail’s would-be induction, we spy Allie standing by Maria with a small gift bag in hand that reads “Something for you”. As Maria runs down a list of all her attributions
Maria runs down her list of distinctiveness and claims that despite the champion, everyone seems to want to talk about someone else. The Impact Zone start a chant for Allie but Maria shuts them down by calling Allie “stupid and common” and instead invites Gail Kim to the ring, the woman who she was initially referring to.
Once Gail makes her way to ring, Maria trash talks Gail, telling her that she will never hold the gold one. Instead, Maria treats Gail to a special ”highlight” video package, which really turns out to be short clips of the few times Maria managed to get the upper hand of Gail. To add to the festivities, Maria also went ahead to and wrote a simple Hall of Fame speech for Gail that simply goes: “Hi, my name is Gail Kim. Maria Kanellis-Bennett is better than me”.
And just because we can’t have a TNA Hall of Fame ceremony without gifts, Maria pulls out another mockery deed from her bag of trickery by giving Gail a framed picture of Maria with the championship. Suddenly, Allie speaks out to disclose that she too went to the troubles of getting Gail a gift for being the best female wrestler ever!
Unfortunately, we will never know what was inside Allie’s boxed gift as Maria destroyed it before it could even be opened.
Gail has had enough of this sham ceremony and lashes out at Maria, which brings out TNA Chairman Dixie Carter to try and restore some order. Dixie reminds Maria of their conversation last week, where it was said that so long as Maria is holding the Knockouts championship, she can not to be the Leaders of the Knockouts.
Dixie goes on to say that Gail deserves a rightful TNA Hall of Fame ceremony, with another shot at the Knockouts title. A title shot Gail would earn should she win a Knockouts gauntlet match.
Before we get to that Knockouts gauntlet match, we have some unfinished business to attend to within the TNA Tag Team title picture. After relocating Señor Benjamin, resurrecting both Brother Nero and the Vanguard and taking a trip down memory lane, the Hardys are back at the Impact Zone to declare war against the Decay.
From the crowds, Rosemary speaks on behalf of the group, still aiming to make Maxel her own baby, arguing that he deserves better than being part of a broken family. Rosemary builds her case on the team’s ascendancy by reminding the Hardys of what happened to Bram (remember him anyone?) and momentarily Abyss and Crazzy Steve appear in the Impact Zone.
If you thought the #DecayOrDelete was wild than just wait for Bound for Glory, where these two teams will battle it out in a, what Broken Matt Hardy calls, “Great War” match. We get a preview of what is to come from this match when a brawl breaks out ending with the Hardy clan clearing the ring of the Decay with some helpful Twist of Faiths.
Time for Knockouts match of the night:
Kicking off the gauntlet match are Jade and a debuting Laurel Van Ness, who replaces would-be competitor Allie. As the bell rings, fans from the Impact Zone continue to rally behind Allie with an “Allie is better chant”.
Jade and Laurel trade blows until next entrant Sienna comes on down, quickly targeting Jade. Jade manages to fend off Sienna but she is outnumbered when Laurel comes back on the attack.
The double team strategy on Jade continues until fourth entrant Gail runs down the ramp, climbs to the top turnbuckle and takes down Laurel with a flying forearm! All the Knockouts remain in the match, fighting off against each other to avoid any over the top eliminations.
Another minutes passes and out next is Marti Bell who nearly eliminates Gail after connecting a Russian Leg Sweep and tossing her to the ropes.
A surprise entrant from Raquel is next and the Brazilian Knockout takes out the in-ring Heels; landing a shoulder block to both Marti and Laurel relying on a headscissors to take down Sienna.
The clock counts down to our final entrant Madison Rayne, who joins in on the action with remaining Knockouts in the ring as we head to a quick break.
When we return from the break, a chain of finishers lead to the first over the rope elimination, as Laurel gets the better of Madison.
It isn’t long before the second elimination is made, as Marti pushes off Jade from a turnbuckle and kicks her off ring apron. The feisty Marti taunts Jade but then finds herself eliminated as well when Laurel attacks from behind. As if that wasn’t enough, Jade gets some redemption when she lifts Marti up and shoves her back to a ring pole.
Four remaining Knockouts in the ring turn to three remaining Knockouts when Sienna hoists Raquel over her shoulders and tosses her over the top rope for an easy elimination. Sienna wants to eliminate Laurel next but acting ringside manager orders Sienna to stop.
As a prep talk between Sienna and Maria commences, Allie unintentionally eliminates Laurel when she lowers the ring ropes, allowing Gail toss Maria’s newest recruitee away. It comes down to Sienna and Gail, where the winner must be determined by pinfall or submission.
Sienna goes for her AK-47 finisher but Gail reverses it to a sunset flip pin, which Sienna manages to kick out of. When the AK-47 doesn’t work, Sienna tries her Silencer finisher but Gail escapes this too, countering it with an Eat Defeat that puts Sienna away for the three count!
Gail and Maria will meet at Bound for Glory!
Thoughts: After weeks of shorten matches for the Knockouts, it was finally great to see the women get a reasonable amount of time! Granted, the time may not have been given had the stipulation not been a gauntlet match with many participants but it was still a relief to that time was dedicated to the Knockouts this week.
The gauntlet match itself was all right and perhaps better than previous gauntlet matches we’ve come across from. We all knew Gail was going to win this match, regardless if you read the spoilers or not, but the thing I take most from this match were the additions of Raquel and debut of Laurel.
Raquel entrant may have seemed random, since she has pretty much been inactive when it comes to the Knockouts division, but this was a nice way to at least get her feet wet. She certainly impressed me upon her entrance to this match but with a bit more practice/comfort, I think that potential in Raquel can grow.
Laurel acting as Allie’s “replacement” for Maria was one way to introduce this newest Knockout signee, while also gaining some sympathy points for Allie. I was impressed with Laurel’s Xplosion match under her Chelsea and babyface persona, I think working alongside Maria gives Laurel a chance to build more character for fans to become more familiar with her. Let’s just hope we see more one-on-one matches for Laurel to compete in, as opposed to these multi-women matches where she can get lost in the shuffle.
The prior match TNA Hall of Fame ceremony was just great! TNA have been doing a well job in building this feud with Maria and Gail since the start of the year and this was another way to add to it! Maria is exceeding in her Heel character to the point where fans are ready to see Gail finally get her hands on her.
While I still stand by my belief that this feud has enough investment to carry on without the title, I’m still looking forward to seeing how this awaited match will playoff come Bound for Glory.
Speaking of well built up feuds, I’m loving that TNA are allowing both Rosemary and Reby to be involved in this feud. Both teams just compliment one another and are treating fans to something we don’t normally see with these over the top segments.
My only real question to this is what exactly does a “Great War” match mean? Will this be a match that is pre-taped then aired come Bound for Glory; much like the #DeleteOrDecay match? Will it be an actual live no DQ style match? How involved will Rosemary and Reby be? How will the winner be determined? Give us some answers TNA!
What did you think of the Knockouts gauntlet match? Are you excited for Bound for Glory? What do you think the “Great War” will consist of? Let us know in the comments below!