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Sacrifice in Review (May 16th, 2010): Down Came the Rayne and Washed the Spider Away

This is a bittersweet day for me and I’m sure a lot of readers will share my sentiments. The Knockouts division is on a decline and last night it lost one of its best performers. We knew it was coming, but that didn’t help dull the sting. Tara put her career on the line against Madison Rayne‘s Knockouts Championship and the champion walked away with the victory. Our last TNA images of Tara will forever be her being escorted from the ring by a security guard but the effect and impression she left on us fans will always be remembered.

The Knockout portion of Sacrifice begins with the Knockouts Tale of the Tape. They have a cute little joke up about how these BP spill gold, not oil. For some reason, I didn’t laugh. Maybe it’s because the oil spill has basically threatened all the businesses in my little town and that indirectly threatens my job, and yeah. Oil spill jokes equal not funny. They also mention that this is Madison’s chance to prove herself and that this could be the last time we ever see Tara. Speaking of, the former Knockouts Champion is the first woman to make her way to the ring. Now in my opinion, she already seemed a little emotional. I don’t know if it’s just me, but she seemed to sense that this was it, basically, and you could tell in her face and in her eyes. She savours her ring entrance and then her music is cut and replaced by that belonging to the Beautiful People.

The lovely trio makes their way to the ring and for once, all three look classy and gorgeous (ignore Velvet’s bra straps showing, plz). Lacey wows me in her maxi dress and I really like Madison’s top. They do their usual shtick must to Tara’s annoyance and once that’s all said and done, Madison decides to send the girls to the back. She wants to go at this alone and Velvet’s unsure. Madison reassures them both that everything is fine and as Lacey and Velvet are trying to leave, Tara attacks Madison from behind and sends her spilling out of the ring. It takes a second for Madison to gather her bearings but she does just in time and bounces up to fight back at Tara. She punches her a few times and then sends her back into the ring. Madison looks fairly confident and takes her time getting back in the ring. Tara greets her, rudely, but Madison is able to get control back and she levels Tara with a vicious kick to the face.

A dueling “Lets Go Tara/Lets Go Madison” chant breaks out while the girls play a cat and mouse game with one another. Tara reaches the ropes, but Madison takes a hold of the ankle and attempts to jerk Tara back into the middle of the ring. Tara has a pretty good grip on the bottom rope and kicks Madison away from her. The champ goes down and Tara rolls out of the ring. Madison staggers back to her feet and goes to the where Tara is resting her hand on the apron. She stomps on it out of spite and gets out of the ring. Tara knocks Madison’s feet out from underneath her, and Madison takes a harsh fall on the edge of the ring. She rolls to the outside and Tara sends her flying into the steel ring post. Tara throws her opponent back into the ring and goes for a pretty nonchalant cover. She only gets a two count and decides to waste a considerable amount of time arguing with the referee over it. Madison has plenty of time to collect herself and backs up into the corner.

Tara finally gets away from the referee and runs at Madison. The crafty, lovely Miss Rayne anticipates this and flips over Tara. She rolls her up for a two count and then the woman start exchanging pinfall attempts. This is pretty sloppy and actually makes me cringe, but kudos to them for trying something rarely seen in women matches on cable television. Madison and Tara finally get to their feet and the blonde is able to reverse Tara into a backslide and gets another near fall. This leads to another pin attempt and good Lord. My head is spinning with all these Madison near falls.

Tara basically begs Madison to stop, but the 23-year old doesn’t fall for the more experienced competitor’s antics. She goes right for Tara, but the Californian is able to lash out at Madison and finally knock her off her feet. Tara seizes the moment and bullies Madison Rayne to the corner. She precedes to driver her shoulder into Madison’s gut a few times before grabbing her by the hair and throwing her down onto the mat. The dueling chants break out again and Tara nails Madison with a suplex and rolls through for a front guillotine choke. Madison does her best to squirm out of the hold but it doesn’t really do her any good. Tara does tire of Madison’s wiggling and clubs her in the back to add insult to injury. Tara gets to her feet and grabs hold of Madison’s leg. Madison tries to kick away with her free foot, but she’s not all there and fails. Finally she’s able to catch Tara in the jaw and sends the ex-Diva reeling. Both girls are down at this point.

The first woman to get to her feet is Tara and she heads towards Madison. The champ is on her knees and she manages to catch Tara in the stomach with several blows and fights her way up to her feet. Madison slams Tara in the chest, and Tara whirls around with a clothesline. Madison ducks and catches Tara, which sends her to the mat. Tara gets back up but Madison knocks her right back down. Madison easily controls the match at this point and is extremely fired up about it. She’s showing a lot of emotion and I’m pretty impressed with how this match is turning out. Madison yells at Tara to get up and when Tara finally obliges, Madison kicks her in the gut and looks to be going for some fancy armbar hold.

Tara puts a stop to that via clothesline and goes for the Widow’s Peak. Madison squirms out of it once, but the second time Tara goes for it, she hits it. Unfortunately, the momentum sends Madison rolling out of the ring and Tara is unable to go for the pin. Tara is pretty frustrated that her golden opportunity has passed her by and she has to follow up on the outside. She gets Madison back inside the ring but now Madison has enough wit to fight back. Tara is unsure of what to do and finally just picks up Madison for a powerslam. Tara looks to follow up with a high risk move and climbs to the top rope. Tara executes a picture perfect moonsault and goes for the cover on Madison. She almost gets a three but Madison is somehow able to get the arm up at the absolute last possible nano-second. Ohmygod.

Tara is horrified that she failed to win and holds her hands to her face in shock. She basically looses it at this point and stomps Madison in the stomach. Then, for some ungodly reason, Tara goes back up for another moonsault. She misses it this time and now Madison feels it. She goes for that weird armbar but it’s not really an armbar. It’s some fancy, smancy little finisher that puts Tara away for good and ends her TNA career once and for all. Madison gets arguably the biggest victory of her and she celebrates in a respectable fashion. Madison gingerly gets out of the ring as Tara tries to digest what’s just happened to her. Like a good heel, Madison smirks and tells Tara “bye bye” before exiting and giving the former champion the chance to say goodbye.

An emotional Tara soaks in the moment and motions for So Cal Val to hand her Poison. Tara opens the little cage. She pulls the creature out and holds it up for the crowd to see. The fans in attendance are very appreciative of Tara and they give her a well deserved round of applause. She seems very grateful to them and unfortunately a security guard comes into the ring and escorts her out. I realize this was probably done for storyline purposes but I thought it was tasteless, but I’m not about to let it ruin how I feel about the match.

And what a match it was.

I simply don’t have the heart to sit here and write about the good, the bad, and the ugly. Everything is emotional and sad, and it’s the end of an era. Knockouts come and go, but this one hurts a bit more than the others because none of us really know when/if we will see Tara again. If she ends up in the WWE for a second run, I’ll rejoice. If she decides to go ahead and pursue MMA, I’ll support her. Whatever Tara’s future hold, I wish her all the best. On a selfish level, I hope she ends up back in the ‘E so we can continue to see her on a weekly basis. I would never consider myself a “Tara mark” or even that much of a fan. It’s nothing personal to her, it’s just that she’s never been given a character that’s I’ve been able to connect with. As a performer she’s exceptionally good in the ring and can work a match with anyone. A lot of people have been quick to criticize her, but no one is perfect in the ring. Everyone is flawed and everyone has the potential to get better if they really put forth the effort. Tara, well Lisa Maria, is someone who always puts in the work and for that, I truly respect her as a person and as a wrestler.

The match wasn’t just about Tara. Madison Rayne finally got a much needed, one on one victory. A lot of people have been questioning why she’s champion and hopefully, Madison was able to shut up some of her critics. She’s consistently been the best performer for the Beautiful People and now that she’s put Tara out of the job, Madison should have something to build on and hopefully TNA pushes her to the moon. This is a huge, huge deal because Tara is one of the most respected female wrestlers of our generation. Madison got a huge rub last night and I absolutely love the fact that this victory was a clean one. It’s exactly what she needed to get herself in the thick of things and if this doesn’t make people take her seriously as a champion, then they’re all just haters. Madison is so talented, gorgeous, and her promos are getting better. I’m not entirely sure what she’s going to do now with Tara gone and Angelina sidelined, but those questions should be answered come Thursday and I’m curious to see where they’re going to go with it.

Overall, I thought this match was beautiful. Madison and Tara worked so well together and it wasn’t littered with storyline stupidity and general TNA fuckery (can I use that word?). Tara went out in a great way and Madison should finally get respect as a champion and the face of the Knockouts. Tara is going to be so, so missed in TNA. The division keeps losing talented women left and right. I hope Tara’s absence makes room for more Sarita, or maybe even some new talent. I don’t know what’s going to happen in TNA now, but I know I’ll miss Tara. Since I began writing these TNA Write-Ups, Tara has been a mainstay in them. I don’t know what I’m going to do without her. I already said I hope she sticks to wrestling. I’m just sad I won’t be able to write about her if she does.

Match Rating: 5/5 *****

PS. Thanks to the fan who’s sign on Sacrifice I ripped the title for this Review from haha

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