Saturday, September 23, 2023

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TNA Impact: New Year’s Knockout Eve Discussion & Results

On the last night of the year and the decade, TNA makes history by giving the TNA Knockouts a show entirely to themselves! Spend your New Year’s Eve with the Knockouts as tonight 8 women battle it out to become the #1 Contender for Tara‘s Knockouts Championship.

Hamada vs Madison Rayne
We kick off New Year’s Knockout Eve with Hamada vs Madison Rayne. Hamada controls much of the match with some beautiful kicks. She picks up the win with the Hamada Driver in about 4-5 mins. Sorry, I didn’t catch all of this match but seemed like a good showing from both girls.
Winner: Hamada

Backstage Christy Hemme is with Tara. She says she is going to hold the Knockouts Title with pride, honour, class and a few other things I didn’t quite catch. She will be presenting the 3 biggest pay per view matches of 2009 during the show.

ODB vs Traci Brooks
ODB is Taz’s pick for the tournament. Right at the bell, she spits her liquid courage in Traci’s face before slamming her down on the canvas. Traci comes back and starts attacking ODB, Mike Tenay brings up Traci’s ‘birth defect’ in her arm. ODB hits a bulldog on Traci and then targets her arm. ODB taunts Traci, Traci takes ODB off her feet and hits her a few times. ODB hits an inverted slam on ODB, Traci then hits a spear on her. Traci hits ODB with Flair chops and hits her with an atomic drop and then slams her down by the hair. Traci gains momentum and rips off her t-shirt ala Hulk Hogan and then hits a knee to the back of ODB’s head, who is hanging on the ropes. ODB comes back with a knee to Traci’s stomach and throws her into the corner. ODB charges at Traci, she counters and gets up on top. ODB grabs Traci’s arm and slams her down from the top rope. ODB hits the TKO and picks up the win. Kind of a boring match, to be honest. Seems like the whole Traci’s arm thing is an angle… creative, I’ll give them that.
Winner: ODB

Christy Hemme is backstage with The Beautiful People. She says all hopes for a title shot rest on Velvet whose match is next. Madison calls Christy a make stand and says she could beat Hamada any day of the week, Christy responds: “Apparently not tonight.” Velvet says that Madison would have to face Velvet if they won their matches. Velvet says Madison was being strategic and Madison plays along. Lacey says Lauren got fired because she tortured her and that’s the only reason Christy is there. Velvet says Lauren slapped Lacey and was being unprofessional. Lacey says she only had to say four words to TNA management: “Unsafe working environment.” Joke being it’s only three words.

Roxxi vs Velvet Sky
We begin with a video package of Roxxi’s win over ODB two weeks ago on Impact. Velvet Sky comes out in a trashy new purple outfit, though the top and pants actually match… progress? Velvet taunts Roxxi, backs her into the corner and shoulders her before choking her with her leg. She throws her into the other corner and hits her with a splash followed by a bulldog. Velvet mounts Roxxi for a pin. She then goes for an octopus stretch while biting Roxxi. Roxxi boots Velvet in the face. Roxxi with forearms on Velvet and throws her into the clothesline for a butt bump and then hits her with a big boot and goes for a pin. Velvet goes for a DDT but Roxxi gets her into the Voo Doo Drop and hits it for the win. Short match. 3 and a half minutes if that. Roxxi’s finisher looked fantastic.
Winner: Roxxi

Jeremy Borash interviews Roxxi at ringside, she says she’s happy to take out ‘that trash’ [Velvet]. She says she can’t wait to get in the ring with Tara and show what she’s got. Just then Lacey attacks Roxxi from behind with the ugly stick and then hits her in the stomach and begins choking her with the ugly stick. Referees break things up and check on Roxxi. Perhaps the first attack/wrestling match Lacey has pulled off competently. She came across aggressive.

Backstage Daffney is seen getting ready for her match later tonight against Awesome Kong in the final first round match. Later we see Kong backstage preparing for the match.

Awesome Kong vs Daffney
Mike Tenay points out that both Kong and Daffney are out of control. Daffney raises her arm for a lockup, Kong raises hers to meet Daffney’s. Daffney begins kicking Kong and runs at the ropes and hits a chop block to Kong’s knee. Kong is now on her knees at Daffney’s height, they lock up again and Kong shoves Daffney to the mat. In the corner now, Daffney gets chopped by Kong who then tosses her across the ring. Kong works over Daffney’s leg and hits an elbow drop on her knee joint. Daffney tries to fight back and favours her leg. Kong grabs the leg again and begins kicking at it. She then picks up Daffney and chops her again before picking her up overhead in a torture rack and jerks her a few times before dropping her to the canvas. Daffney favours her lower back. Daffney gets out of the ring and Kong follows her. Kong throws Daffney into the steel steps and Daffney runs back into the ring. Daffney tries to kick Kong as she gets back in the ring and then stomps on Kong in the corner. Daffney tries to drag Kong by her leg but Kong kicks her. She then sets up the Implant Buster with great elevation for a three count. A fun match with them playing up the size disadvantage using Daffney’s kooky/crazy character.
Winner: Awesome Kong

That is the first round down.

Backstage Christy is with Taylor Wilde and Sarita. They say they’ll be in action tonight but can’t defend their belts because Kong and Hamada will challenge them for the Knockouts Tag Team Championship on the live Impact this Monday night.

It’s time for Saritaylor’s match. The British Invasion come to ringside and join commentary. Why? I don’t know.

Saritaylor vs April Hunter & Lorelei Lee
Hunter is in a black top and shorts while Lorelei is in a black mesh top with silver shorts. British Invasion say they’re the male tag champs so they’re scouting the female tag champs, they say they’d be perfect challengers. The bell rings and it’s Sarita vs Lorelei to begin. Sarita takes an early control and tags in Taylor, they hit a double team drop toe hold and low dropkick on Lee. Hunters tags in and hits a slam on Wilde. Hunter applies a submission and Lee comes in and hits a bulldog on Taylor. She tags out to Hunter again, who chops Taylor across the chest and gets in her face. Taylor fights back with forearms and hits a beautiful back-cracker ala Carlito. Taylor tags out to Sarita who charges at Lee and hits her with a hip toss and a side suplex. Hunter launches at Sarita and she throws her out of the ring. Sarita kicks Lee in the stomach and tags in Taylor. Sarita picks up Taylor and springboards her from the rope for a dropkick on Lee. Taylor pins Lee for the win. Not a bad match; Hunter & Lee showed good tag team work. Saritaylor as always were fantastic.
Winners: Saritaylor

Backstage, ODB is with Christy Hemme. ODB says she was ‘Knocked Up Champ’ two weeks ago and now crybaby Tara is the champion. She says no one beats ODB and Tara can walk around thinking she’s the champ. She says she’s going to win the tournament and get her belt back.

Roxxi vs Hamada
Roxxi comes out with her ribs taped after Lacey VE’s ugly stick attack earlier in the evening. Roxxi sells her injury. Hamada and Roxxi lock up, Hamada takes Roxxi down from behind and locks in am arm bar. Roxxi rolls through, Hamada rolls through and drop toe holds Roxxi. She applies an STF on Roxxi. Now on their feet, arm drag by Roxxi on Hamada and they circle the ring. They lock up again and Roxxi and they each try to knock the other down. Hamada gains the momentum and slams Roxxi down. Hamada grabs Roxxi’s knee and tries to twist it and then elbows her in the knee joint. Roxxi then counters into a cross arm breaker and Hamada begins getting on her feet to counter the move. Leg sweep by Hamada, Roxxi ducks as Hamada tries to clothesline. Shoulder block by Hamada and they are in a deadlock. Arm drag by Roxxi and then they both go for a dropkick at the same time. Hamada and Roxxi lock up again and now Hamada kicks Roxxi in her ribs and works her over with an abdominal stretch. Hamada breaks the hold and goes to the top rope and hits a double foot stomp on Roxxi’s back. She then applies a single leg Boston crab. Headbutt and chops by Roxxi, powerslam by Roxxi on Hamada. Hamada in the corner, butt bump by Roxxi followed by a big boot as seen earlier. Near fall by Roxxi. Roxxi now goes up top but Hamada slaps her and goes up top but Roxxi knocks her off. Hamada kicks Roxxi who is still up top. Hamada out on the apron and goes up top and hits a hurricanrana on Roxxi. Roxxi kicks out of a pin. Hamada goes up top and hits a missile dropkick. Unfortunately, I missed some action here but the match ended with Hamada getting a rollup. Very good match here.
Winner: Hamada

ODB is seen getting ready backstage for the next bout.

ODB vs Awesome Kong
ODB runs out to the rampway during Kong’s entrance and attacks her. They trade blows as the match moves into the ring. ODB rolls out again and Kong meets her back outside and begins kicking her and throws her into the steel steps. She begins choking her with her leg. ODB hits Kong in the stomach and clubs her across the back before rolling back into the ring to break the count by the referee. Back outside, she hits Kong’s head onto the steel steps and chops her. The referee tries to take the match into the ring. Kong chops ODB hard, ODB falls to the floor. She then clotheslines ODB whose head hits the concrete. Kong throws ODB into the ring and grabs her by the hair. She picks up ODB for a scoop slam and then goes for a big splash but ODB moves out of the way. ODB goes for a quick rollup but Kong kicks out.

We go to a commercial break mid-match.

As we come back, ODB jumps on Kong’s back and Kong drives her into the corner. Kong goes up top and hits the dirty dozen on Kong. Kong picks up ODB and drops her. ODB goes for shoulder blocks on Kong but can’t knock her down. Kong dazed in the corner and ODB runs at her with a splash. ODB stomps Kong and goes for the bronco buster. ODB grabs Kong by the leg and tries to pull her into the ring for a pin, Kong kicks out. Kong gets on her feet, ODB tries to pick her up for a slam but she buckles and Kong falls on top of her. Kong goes for a chokeslam but ODB blocks her and clotheslines her, Kong doesn’t fall. Kong hits clotheslines of her own and then splashes Kong in the corner. ODB is now sitting in the corner and Kong hits an Umaga-like butt bump. Kong goes for the Awesome Bomb, ODB jumps onto the mat. Kong charges at ODB in the corner, she moves out of the way and Kong hits the referee. ODB grabs a glass bottle, Kong doesn’t see it. Kong goes for another Awesome Bomb but as she lifts ODB up, she smashes the bottle over Kong’s head and pins her for the win. This was a decent match, the finish was nicely done.
Winner: ODB

Hamada vs ODB in the final.

Hamada is shown backstage getting ready for the final match.

It’s time for the match. We see a split screen of the two competitors walking backstage to the entrance area.

Hamada vs ODB
The match begins with ODB disrespectfully bowing to Hamada and then slapping her in the face. Hamada kicks her and hits her with headbutts and then a chop. Hamada with a legscissors on ODB. She uses jumps on the middle rope and then launches at ODB with a neckbreaker. ODB rolls out of the ring and is on the outside talking smack, reluctant to get back in the ring. ODB eventually gets back in the ring and runs at Hamada who throws her into the corner. She throws ODB into the other corner and runs at her, ODB jumps over her. Hamada turns her around and superkicks her to the jaw. A few pin attempts before Hamada hits a scoop slam. She goes up top but ODB cuts her off. Hamada is now in the tree of woe and ODB begins stomping at her.

Commercial break.

We return briefly to the match with ODB going for a pin but Hamada kicks out.

More commercials. Err, what was the point in going back to the action for 30 seconds?

Back in the ring, ODB has Hamada in a bear hug and Hamada tries elbowing her way out. ODB slams Hamada to the mat by the hair. Pin attempt by ODB but Hamada kicks out. Hamada stomped from behind by ODB followed by a fallaway slam. ODB jumps back to her feet and goes for another pin. She lifts Hamada in another bear hug as Hamada screams in agony. The fans cheer for Hamada trying to get behind her. ODB slams her into the turnbuckles and goes for a running knee but Hamada moves out of the way. Hamada hits an enzugiri. ODB gets back up on her feet and they exchange forearms. Hamada with several headbutts now. Hamada has ODB in the corner and begins chopping her and throws her into the other turnbuckle, ODB reverses, Hamada runs and jumps onto the second turnbuckle and hits a crossbody and near fall. She then hits ODB with a spin kick and goes for another pin. Hamada motions the Hamada Driver but ODB counters with a jawbreaker.

Kong is seen coming down the ramp with a table and sets it up outside the ring. ODB is distracted. Referees eject Kong from ringside.

In the ring, ODB and Hamada exchnage blows and Hamada kicks her again. ODB rolls out of the ring and Hamada from the apron hits a dive. She signals that she is going to use the table set up by Kong. She positions the table near the ring and picks up ODB and headbutts her onto the table. ODB is laying on the table and Hamada goes up to the ring apron and climbs up to the top turnbuckle for the moonsault but ODB slides off the table and Hamada crashes through. ODB rolls her back into the ring and hits a TKO for the pin. Decent match but not as good as Hamada’s matches earlier in the night.
Winner: ODB

ODB wins the #1 Contenders shot for the Knockouts Title.

In the ring, Jeremy Borash joins ODB. Borash says ODB will get her Knockouts Title match this coming Monday night on the live episode of Impact. ODB says Tara may be the Knockouts Champ going in but she’ll be leaving with the title on Monday night. She says she’s proven to everyone that she can wrestle every Knockout in TNA. Borash says Kong may beg to differ and she tells him to zip it. She says Tara needs to go back to where she came from where they prance around and dance. She says ‘we wrestle’ here in TNA and don’t show our skin. She says she guesses no one wanted to see Tara’s skin over there [in WWE].

Tara’s music hits and the Knockouts Champion makes her way to the ring. Tara says was she dancing when she kicked ODB’s fat ass at Final Resolution. She says at least she’s not tattooed like a prisoner and that ODB looks like a truck stop bathroom wall. She says she’s the Knockouts Champ and that’s what she came to TNA for and that’s all ODB should worry about. ODB says she’s a joke as a champion, contender and woman and that she’s a crybaby bitch. Tara slaps ODB and ODB launches at Tara. The pair begin catfighting on the mat as security try to break them apart as the show ends.

The Verdict
Given the four hour time slot it seemed only 30-40% of the time was actually given to the Knockouts with most of the matches exacting the length of matches you’d see on a normal broadcast. Matches worth checking out include: Madison vs Hamada, Kong vs Daffney, Hamada vs Roxxi and Saritaylor vs Hunter/Lee. Not a bad show but I can’t help but feel underwhelmed, perhaps due to the tournament format. If they do this again, they need to find a better format i.e. allow storylines to develop and have them culiminate on the show.

As for ODB winning the tournament, as I’ve already stated I find it illogical that she’d have to win a tournament when she could have pulled the [kayfabe] rematch clause card. The tournament could have been used to bring up and establish a new top Knockout by having them seem like a ‘warrior’ for competing in three matches in one night. Hamada would’ve been perfect for that.

Matches for this coming Monday’s show are:

Knockouts Championship
ODB vs Tara

Knockouts Tag Team Championship
Sarita & Taylor Wilde vs Awesome Kong & Hamada

Discuss the show in the comments.

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