Friday, May 17, 2024

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International Impact Write-Up: An International Play Date

Greetings and salutations Knockout fans! Remember back when TNA/Destination America made the decision to take a week off from United States television airwaves in consideration of the Memorial Day weekend? That one weekend where fans within the United States were treated to a replay of Slammiversary 2014 while everyone else in the world received a special “International Impact” of Impact Wrestling? Well thanks to the power of the internet, as well as the good attentive people of Twitter, this lost edition of Impact has finally surfaced online; good news for all you Rebel fans out there. The former Menagerie valet competes in her first official TNA singles match, taking on Marti Bell of the Dollhouse!

Before we kick off our Knockouts match, we are introduced to a short video promo featuring the Dollhouse’s domination over the Knockouts division. From ganging up on Brooke to getting a big win over the unlikely team that was Awesome Kong and Gail Kim, the Dollhouse’s presence has been felt since the start of their formation.

As we move on to our featured Knockouts match, Rebel makes her entrance first, debuting a brand new theme song that separates her from her old Menagerie image. It was only fitting that the fun circus melody we’ve grown accustomed to would stick with the clown of the stable Crazzy Steve.

Marti Bell makes her way to the ring next but she isn’t alone as loyal DFF Jade accompanies her in this match. After a few whispers of secrets and disgust glances to the camera man, the Dollhouse enter the ring and Marti asks for a mic.

She hands her red sucker lollipop to Jade so that she can properly address her rookie of an opponent. She begins by welcoming Rebel to the Dollhouse and assures it can still be playtime despite the presence of their head leader Taryn Terrell.

Instead, Marti has a proposition for Rebel. Should she want to leave this match in one piece, all Rebel has to do is admit that “The Dollhouse are the best!”

In spite of what the Dollhouse may think, Rebel indeed can speak and she takes the mic from Marti’s hand to complete their request in an unenthusiastic tone. The Dollhouse do not approve this attitude of Rebel’s and demand that she say it again.

Rebel takes a deep breath and she speaks again only this time she trades the name of “Dollhouse” for “Skank House” and taking the first strike of the match with a right forearm to both members of the Dollhouse.

As Rebel drops the mic, the bell rings and this match gets underway. Marti goes for a clothesline but Rebel ducks out the way, hits a kick to the midsection and quickly adding an axe kick to Marti’s back.

When Jade tries to interfere, Rebel confronts her from the ring apron. Marti tries to take advantage of the distracted Rebel with a charging attack from behind but Rebel manages to sidestep out the way leaving Marti to crash to the outside.

Luckily for Marti though, Jade catches her from the outside but it doesn’t take long for Rebel to take them out as she runs the ropes to land a dropkick knocking off Jade and Marti from their game.

As Rebel tries to keep control of the match, Marti fights back and looks to cause trouble by pulling out a chair from under the ring. Earl Hebner springs into action, battling with Marti to drop that chair. All while that commotion takes place, Rebel finds herself in a battle against an interfering Jade, who chops Rebel three times on the chest before very innocently finding a seat on the ring apron and giving a high five to Marti for a good team effort.

With Rebel still vulnerable, Marti goes for the cover but Rebel kicks out in time. Before Rebel can fully recompose herself, Marti brings Rebel down to the middle rope and behind choking, applying pressure using her body mass only letting go as the referee’s count near the five second DQ mark.

After being taken down with a mighty clothesline, Rebel surprises Marti with a possum pin but Marti manages to kick out, throwing Rebel off of her and straight to Earl’s direction, nearly taking him out of the equation. Find better spotting there Earl!

When both Knockouts get back to their feet, Rebel regains control of the match hitting Marti with another kick to the midsection using her long legs and then grappling her opponent for full body slam onto the mat.

Rebel has more tricks up her sleeves, as she pulls out a cartwheel next, trapping Marti head with her legs and thrusting it onto her rear end. Marty becomes groggy after such a move thus allowing Rebel to land a high roundhouse kick once she turns around!

Down goes Marti and Rebel goes for the pin but Marti is able to kick out. Jade tries to interfere again but Rebel manages to brush her off the ring apron with a forearm. She refocuses on Marti and goes for a second roundhouse kick but misses this time.

Marti capitalizes and manages to put away Rebel with a reverse neck breaker for the three count and the win.

Thoughts: Based on a few of the reviews/spoilers I came across for this match, I was expecting a lot worse from this Knockouts match but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.

I’m not suggesting that this was a “must-see” match either but keeping in mind that this match was taped for a show that was intentionally meant to be a “throw away” show as well as the fact the Rebel only has a about year worth of in ring experience, I thought the match was okay given how incredibly short it was. It’s never fun when videos packages/promos feel longer than the actual match.

Marti along with Jade continued to play off their characters and it was a nice change of pace to see them sort of step outside Taryn’s aura. Their opening promo to Rebel was all right but much similar to their debut ambush attack to Christy Hemme.

With Rebel still looking for her own identity post Menagerie stage, I think having any chance to get in the ring to improve her skills is essential. Though she lost, I feel like we’ve seen the most out of her in this match than any of her other tag matches she tends to be thrown in. She needs to find a smoother rhythm when she paces herself in the ring but here’s hoping practice makes perfect.

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