This past Sunday’s No Surrender pay per view saw yet another Knockouts Championship switch, the third in the past month to be precise.
To recap this epic saga so far: Mickie James lost the Knockouts Title to Winter at Hardcore Justice last month, but regained it just two weeks ago on the September 1st episode of Impact. Then, this Sunday, it would be the rubber match — Mickie vs Winter once again for the belt. Let’s watch…
Say what you will about TNA, and I for one am not impressed with the way the Knockouts Title has been flip-flopped over the past month, but the video packages that they create for the Knockouts matches are great. We don’t see those ‘big match’-feel video packages for the Divas, sadly, but I think TNA impresses in that department. Another good video package to kick off this segment.
The challenger is out first with a determined look on her face, and as April calls her, she’s also brought along her ‘lady love’ Angelina Love. However, because I am not April, I will call Angelina Winter’s ‘main squeeze’.
Next out is the champion doing her patriotic duty — or is she? Mickie is out in a Wonder Woman outfit and I guess the colors correlate to the colors of the USA flag too being 9/11 and all. It’s Halloween and July the 4th rolled into one!
Winter wastes little time to get her licks in as she interrupts Mickie’s signature top rope pose. However, Mickie manages to fend her off with a kick as the bell officially rings. Mickie follows through with a dropkick that just connects. However, before she can follow through on her momentum, Winter manages to flee her from the ring, right in the line of fire from her main squeeze, A-Love. The current and former champion exchange blows on the outside and it is Mickie who gets the better of the exchange but Winter isn’t far behind, attacking her. Winter tries to whip James into the steps but Mickie reverses, leading to Winter eating steel. What Winter doesn’t realise is that this meal is a buy one get one free, as she then eats the steel guardrail. Enjoy your twofer, Winty!
James rolls Winter back into the ring where the challenger rakes her eyes out of desperation. Winter now has the upper-hand over the champion, but Mickie eventually mounts a comeback with an elbow shot and her patented headscissors out of the corner. Mickie hits the ropes but Angelina trips her up — that wench! — but she gets her just desserts, as Mickie hits a nice dropkick-type move through the ropes.
However, with James distracted by Love, Winter seizes her opportunity with a kick across the back which sends Mickie to the mat as Winter taunts her. Nice snap suplex to follow up. Pin attempt but no three.
Winter with a submission move which Mickie slowly works her way out of, however she gets taken right back down to the mat by a clothesline. Winter in control again, choking her over the middle rope. The referee breaks up the hold at a five count which leads to Winter distracting the referee with an argument as Love chokes her some more. Winter goes for another pin attempt but James kicks out.
Winter with a backbreaker over the knee, and then holds the position, applying pressure to Mickie’s back. Mickie breaks out of the move with a knee to the head.
Winter picks up Mickie again for another backbreaker, this time of the spinning variation. Mickie tries to fight out of it with elbows but Winter manages to hit the move. Winter follows up with a sleeper hold but MJ reaches the ropes. Winter argues with the referee which allows Mickie to regain composure and blindside her with a jackknife pin, but the challenger manages to kick out.
Mickie then executes a neckbreaker, sending Winter down to the mat. James, still worn down from the earlier attacks, is unable to make the cover and both women lay on the mat. The referee begins a double countout as both women rise to their feet. An exchange of forearm shots ensues. Mickie begins building momentum, taking down Winter with axehandles and a flapjack before showing off her athleticism with a kip up. Angelina tries to interfere from the outside causing Mickie to turn her back to Winter who is creeping up on her. However, the champion has her opponent well scouted and hits her with a nice spin kick. Mickie goes for the pin but Winter manages to grab the ropes.
Mickie grabs the challenger by her hair, but Winter breaks free of the champ’s clutches and goes for an enzugiri but James dodges the bullet. Mickie with a single-leg Boston crab now, but Winter reaches the ropes.
As we draw nearer to the end, there’s a whole lotta sh*t going on. (This is TNA, after all.) First, Angelina tries to hand Winter the Knockouts Title to use as a weapon and steal the victory. That fails. Mickie ducks and the referee discovers what Winter is up to and takes the belt from her.
Mickie then rolls up Winter with a bridging pin, but just when you thought it was over — Winter kicks out!
The two Knockouts continue fighting and end up backed into the corner where Mickie goes for the Tornado DDT, but Angelina pulls Winter out of the ring. Mickie is having none of this f**kery as she goes up top and hits a Thesz Press to the outside on Winter.
Mickie now turns her attention to Angelina, chasing her up the ramp to the back. However, inside the ring, Earl Hebner begins a 10 count which would disqualify the champion. James heads back into the ring but Angelina has reappeared right behind her. Angelina pins arms back allowing Winter to spit her blood/mist cocktail in the champ’s eyes but not so fast! Mickie moves out of the way and Angelina gets a face full of red!
Normally, that sort of backfire would lead to the babyface taking advantage of the distraction and winning the match. Except this is TNA. Welcome to Swervesville.
Mickie seemingly has the match won, as she stands poised and ready to hit her finisher as soon as Winter turns around but boy, is she in for a surprise! Winter, as if by magic, has coughed up more of her red concoction (and probably some phlegm, I would assume) and spits it into Mickie’s face to steal the victory!
Winter is once again the Knockouts Champion. That means both she and Mickie are tied with two Knockouts Title reigns. It’s like the last few weeks didn’t happen, right?
I’m not sure if TNA is trying to pad the stats, or what their logic is with having the title switched twice in as many weeks. I would try to think of a reason but I honestly wouldn’t care to delve into the creative process of the people who brought us a ‘lockbox showdown’.
I’m happy to see Winter as champion, but I don’t think she should have lost the belt in the first place. And if she did have to lose it, it should’ve stayed on Mickie at this pay per view.
Despite all the distractions thrown to the wall at the end — an attempt to hit Mickie with the title, Angelina interfering and two mist shots — I thought the match was really well performed by both Knockouts. I’ve been very impressed with their past two matches and I think this was a nice third match in the series. I don’t think it was as good as the first two bouts, but it definitely wasn’t a letdown either. The match was technically sound, had plenty of time and had a good rhythm. I enjoyed watching it.
Match Rating: 4/5
What did you think of this match?