Oringially posted on www.TNAwrestlingnews.com on 7/17/09.
the Month in Review
ODB ACCOMPANIES CODY DEANER TO THE RING
-not much to this. ODB did basically nothing. Deaner’s getting over but the heat on ODB seems to be cooling off.
KNOCKOUTS TITLE MATCH: SOJOURNER BOLT vs. ANGELINA LOVE © (w/ VELVET SKY, MADISON RAYNE & KIP JAMES)
-rumor has it that TNA finally released Rhaka Khan last week. That’s great if it’s true, and may I say that it’s about damn time. I knew that story of them wanting her to train and improve her wrestling skills before they brought her back sounded fishy. They knew she was never going to improve -- they were just looking for the most diplomatic way possible to get rid of her so as not to risk upsetting Kurt Angle. Good riddance. Now the only one left that’s dragging the Knockouts division down is Sojourner Bolt. Speaking of whom, we almost made it an entire month without Bolt on our TV screens. Oh well… It was nice while it lasted.
-Bolt doesn't even get an entrance and her previously announced backstage interview never actually took place. Not only that, but according to the spoilers she won’t appear on iMPACT for the rest of the month. Her standing in TNA continues to plummet.
-so... is Bolt a face again? Does anyone know for sure? Does anyone really care? Answer: no. The last time we saw her she was beating Taylor Wilde with brass knuckles and now she's trying to get a babyface reaction? Sorry, Sojo; not gonna happen. TBP are mega heels, but crowd was chanting "An-ge-lina!" at the end of the match and didn't care about Bolt one way or the other.
-at least they got Bolt’s title shot out of the way with this match. The fact that she was still walking around with that championship contract made me nervous. For a while I was terrified that they were saving it for Slammiversary. Looks like I was worried for nothing, thank God.
-Angelina dominates against Bolt for the most part, exactly as she should, but the referee distraction was unnecessary. Angelina just beat Awesome Kong on her own, for crying out loud! She shouldn’t need heel tactics to beat someone like Bolt, who is at the bottom of the ladder right now and doesn’t need to be protected because there’s nothing to protect. Anyway, after this and her win over Kong at Sacrifice Angelina now looks like a credible heel champion. Let’s hope she can stay that way.
-THANK YOU, Angelina, for firing Kip James again and for telling the whole world what I’ve been saying for the longest time: that Kip James is an embarrassment to TNA, an embarrassment to himself and an embarrassment to the pro wrestling industry. Angelina, you are a goddess. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, Kip, and never, ever, EVER come back. As far as I’m concerned, you and Rhaka Khan can both ‘Kip it real’ on the unemployment line.
-well, there’s Victoria showing up to take the spot that should’ve gone to Sarah Stock. I wish I were more excited about this. Victoria is a talented wrestler that WWE dropped the ball with, but the big picture is she’s pushing 40 at this point, and while the smart marks may appreciate her wrestling ability, the casual fans know her as a woman who, for a long time, was enhancement talent for idiots like Maria and Maryse in the WWE.
-the last time we saw Victoria she was jobbing to the Bella twins week after week. To have her come in like this and be portrayed as a top babyface immediately makes the Knockouts division look second rate, IMO. She needed to be rebuilt in the eyes of the fans before she got a push like this. I thought a much better role for her would’ve been that rumored storyline where she would be a patient of Dr. Stevie and get partnered with Daffney against Taylor. It wouldn’t have to be for an extended period of time – just long enough to reeducate the casual fans and get them used to the idea of this woman not being the jobber WWE portrayed her as for the last several years.
-I’m a little disappointed with this, but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. This is just another case of TNA giving an ex-WCWWECW talent priority over everyone else. I’m not saying Victoria won’t help the Knockouts division – she will. All I’m saying is that I’m frustrated by the fact that TNA management seem to think that Victoria is a better choice for this spot than a younger, much more marketable woman who won’t have that WWE stigma attached to her, like Sarah Stock. And I think it’s ridiculous that they debuted Stock in dark matches and have yet to get her on TV while Victoria debuts like this. On the plus side, she got a great reaction from the crowd that management had to be happy about and Angelina vs. Victoria at Slammiversary will be far, FAR better than Angelina vs. Bolt could’ve ever hoped to be, so we have that to be thankful for.
-I don’t want to sound overly negative. This is a good signing and one that I’m happy about. This will definitely help resuscitate interest in the Knockouts division. I may disagree with how they’re using Victoria here, but the audience popped big for her, so what do I know?
-Angelina squashes Bolt and then Victoria shows up and destroys all 3 of TBP. It’s like TNA management took my booking idea for Sarah Stock and just put Victoria in her place instead (re: KNOCKED OUT: Booking Sarah Stock). Seriously, this is almost EXACTLY what I wrote. How about a little credit, TNA, huh?
-why isn’t Sarah Stock on TV yet? What can they possibly be waiting for?
DAFFNEY APPEARS WITH DR. STEVIE & RAVEN
-putting these characters together makes sense, I suppose, but Daffney shouldn't have to play second fiddle to people like this. She should be allowed to shine on her own, but I don't know if that will happen if she's overshadowed by Raven and Stevie Richards.
RAISHA SAEED vs. SOJOURNER BOLT
-Bolt comes out through the heel shoot, but she tries to play the babyface during the match for some reason. Even Bolt herself has no idea what side she’s on anymore. Good lord, this character is absurd. So if she’s a face again that means she has now gone from face to heel to face to heel and now back to face. That’s an entire career’s worth of character changes in 6 months! No wonder the audience refuses to get behind her. Forget about the fact that they’ve never been given a real reason to get behind her; they never have the slightest idea whether they’re supposed to boo or cheer her, so they don’t do either one.
-this was probably Bolt’s first decent in-ring performance since she debuted. Unfortunately for her, it looks like it was too little too late. This was Raisha Saeed’s first ever singles victory and if Bolt is now jobbing to a woman who has been booked as enhancement talent since day one, then it looks like she’s finally hit rock bottom.
-rumors persist about Rhaka Khan being released, and at this rate I have to think that Bolt is next on the chopping block.
-nice to see Saeed finally pick up a win. It would be even nicer it she’d gotten the win as Melissa.
-according to the spoilers, Melissa wrestled Awesome Kong in a dark match that blew the roof off the place. The report said Melissa got a huge ovation and had the crowd 100% behind her. But apparently, TNA management would rather keep her under a burqa than acknowledge what an amazing talent they have with Melissa. Sigh…
-the Knockouts were the highest rated segment of iMPACT last week. Suck it, Main Event Mafia.
-TNA, Christy Hemme has been off TV for 7 months now. You should probably think about replacing that footage of her in the intro video at this point.
-so we’re calling Victoria ‘Tara’ now? Tara? Really? Isn’t there a more menacing sounding name they could’ve come up with? Oh well… It’s better than ‘Sojourner Bolt’ or ‘Rhaka Khan’ anyway. Of course it would almost have to be.
-Tara gets beat down by My Pi Sexy and then turns the tables. They’re making her look really strong, but I can’t believe this brief segment was all they did with Tara this week. She made a big splash in her debut last week and this week she does almost nothing. That’s not a good way to capitalize on her momentum.
-judging from the last 2 weeks, TNA may be going in the wrong direction with pushing Tara like such a serious character. Some of her line readings feel kind of forced. Maybe it’s my imagination, but it’s just really hard for me to buy into her in this type of role after seeing her in a giant banana costume singing, “It’s peanut butter jelly time!” (screw you, WWE), which is exactly why TNA needed to rebuild her character before they gave her a push like this.
DAFFNEY BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW
-strange interview, which is exactly why Daffney made it work. Daffney + weirdness = awesomeness, IMO.
-I like that they had Daffney remind people that Taylor didn’t help her when TBP cut her hair off, but it kind of makes me wonder who’s supposed to be the face and who’s supposed to be the heel in this feud. I know Russo loves to blur the lines between face/heel, but it should never get to the point where people have no idea who to boo and who to cheer.
-Daffney’s anger about losing her hair would make more sense if TBP had cut more of it off. They gave her a little trim, but she’s still got a full head of hair. It’s not like they shaved her bald or anything.
-why is Daffney angry at Taylor and not TBP?
TAYLOR WILDE vs. DAFFNEY
-that’s it? That’s how they put Daffney over Taylor? Are you kidding me? That match was less than 2 minutes long! What a waste! The win won’t do a thing for Daffney when the match is barely longer than the video package promoting it. If you combine the time this match got with the time their Sacrifice match got the match would STILL have been too short. Nobody will even remember this happened next week.
-the video package that preceded this match had a lot of footage of Roxxi in it. Sigh… I miss Roxxi.
ODB TRAINS CODY DEANER
-I’m sorry, but this is just way too cartoonish for my tastes. Some people may like this stuff; I don’t. A video like this would feel more appropriate airing on the TVPG rated WWE Raw, and I mean that in a bad way.
-reports say that Sarah Stock was backstage at the last TV tapings filming vignettes for her eventual debut. That must mean her debut can’t be far off. Hot damn! Unfortunately, the same report said that her debut has been delayed because the top babyface role originally intended for her has now been given to Victoria/Tara. Sigh…
-once again -- disappointing, but not surprising. TNA will go with an ex-WWE talent over an exciting independent talent any day, even if she is arguably the best independent female talent in the entire industry. I don’t mean this as a criticism of Victoria/Tara, but TNA have a chance to create a big new home-grown star and instead they decided not to so they could go the safe route with a ‘name’ talent who probably has a fairly limited shelf life at this point. But this isn’t really news -- TNA’s difficulty with creating and marketing their own stars is one of this company’s biggest problems.
-of course, Victoria/Tara’s debut was the highest rated segment of iMPACT that week, so it would be a little naïve of me to criticize this decision too much before we see how it plays out just because I prefer one woman over another. It just really irritates me. Sarah Stock should be on my TV right now, damn it!
ODB (w/ CODY DEANER) vs. VELVET SKY
-didn’t we see these 2 in a webmatch a few weeks ago? I’m just saying.
-not a lot of heat for this match, or for ODB strangely enough. Only one “ODB” chant which is less than what she usually gets. She hasn’t had much screen time in the last few months and that doesn’t seem to be doing her character any good.
-okay match, but nothing special. Velvet and ODB’s characters are entertaining in the way they play off each other, but there’s nothing really intriguing about this matchup.
-the end of the Taylor/Daffney match was the highest rated segment of the show last week. Too bad the match was so damn short.
DAFFNEY BEATS UP LAUREN IN THE BATHROOM
-that was actually kind of disturbing. The thing that made it work was that the camera stayed outside the bathroom and left the beating to the viewer’s imagination. Lauren and Daffney’s screaming was more unnerving than seeing the actual beatdown would’ve been. Lauren continues to prove her acting ability and justify her spot in this storyline.
BACKSTAGE BEATDOWN: DAFFNEY CHOKES OUT TAYLOR
-wow, they’re really putting Daffney over like a dangerous lunatic here. She’s going to get over huge if they can keep this up.
BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW
-yes! The thrones are gone. It makes sense that TBP would like them, but those things always looked really stupid and they don’t need them.
-I like the Diva cracks that they made. It would’ve been a wasted opportunity if they hadn’t mentioned that given how the Knockouts have always used the term ‘Diva’ as an insult, which I love, by the way.
-it’s nice that they let Madison talk for a change. I doubt she’s as good on the mic as Angelina & Velvet, but they’ll never find out if they don’t give her a chance.
ODB TRAINS CODY DEANER
-ugh… this is WWE style comedy: idiotic and juvenile. It was meant to be funny, but this type of humor is something you’re either going to love or hate. There’s not much middle ground for stuff like this.
-Deaner trying to catch a duck trains him to be a wrestler how exactly?
TARA vs. MADISON RAYNE (w/ ANGELINA LOVE & VELVET SKY)
-nice match, but probably not as exciting as it should’ve been. Tara’s work was pretty crisp considering she hasn’t wrestled in 5 months. She didn’t show any ring rust that I could see. The match was mostly one-sided, but Rayne got in more offense than I expected so it didn’t look like she got buried. The lack of outside interference from Angelina & Velvet definitely helped this match.
-the crowd counted and popped for the finish but they weren’t into the match as much as you’d think, which is odd seeing as how they popped big for Tara when she debuted 2 weeks ago. This was a pretty decent in-ring debut for her, though I was hoping for something faster paced. I’m eager to see what she can do against Kong and Taylor.
-it might be my imagination, but it seems like TNA’s production staff put a lot more effort into a wrestler’s entrance music if that person is a WWE import. On second thought, no, I don’t think it’s my imagination.
DAFFNEY & RAVEN BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW
-Abyss & Taylor Wilde vs. Raven & Daffney in a mixed tag Monster’s Ball at Slammiversary? Why? Do these writers not remember that we just had a Monster’s Ball with women at the last PPV that wasn’t well received? Why was that match a Monster’s Ball if they were just going to have another one at Slammiversary?
-if Taylor & Daffney had started their feud with a regular wrestling match like I suggested then there might be more interest in this match. Now the fans have seen them in this type of match and know it didn’t turn out that well so they’ll be less inclined to order Slammiversary to see it again. At least this match will have some actual hardcore wrestlers involved in Abyss & Raven. Still, I can’t say I’m looking forward to this much.
-really good interview though. Daffney is every bit as good on the mic as the Beautiful People and she’s got a ton of range. She can do over-the-top and crazy, but she can also do quiet and creepy like she did here. I’m loving Daffney’s character right now.
TAYLOR WILDE, AWESOME KONG & RAISHA SAEED BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW
-not a bad interview from Taylor here. She’s never been amazing on the mic, but this was one of her better promos. It’s good that they finally gave her some excuse for not helping Daffney that time -- she wasn’t there when it happened; simple enough. Now we know who the babyface is in this feud.
-woah, Kong speaks again. She spoke more than Saeed this time. I repeat what I said before -- if Kong is going to start talking for herself, then she doesn’t need a mouthpiece, which means there is no longer any need for this Raisha Saeed character. Ditch the Muslim gimmick and give us Melissa, TNA!
TAYLOR WILDE & AWESOME KONG (w/ RAISHA SAEED) vs. DAFFNEY & ANGELINA LOVE (w/ VELVET SKY & MADISON RAYNE)
-damn, this is screwy booking. Daffney is now teaming up with the women who cut her hair off to fight the woman who she blames for her getting her hair cut off. They really need to explain why Daffney isn’t angry at TBP about that.
-too short, but good while it lasted. Daffney should not have been pinned though. Her character was getting some good momentum going over the last few weeks and this loss just derailed her. She got her heat back afterward, but this wasn’t a great use of her here. Then again, Angelina really shouldn’t have been pinned either. Would it have been so hard to let Daffney pin Taylor clean? Taylor’s probably going over at the PPV, so why not make Daffney look strong beforehand?
-right now Daffney is being booked like the TBP used to get booked (and still are a lot of the time) – she gets pushed as a character, but not necessarily as a wrestler, which is too bad because Daffney can certainly wrestle.
-not much of a reaction to Tara making the save. Of course she hasn’t been featured that much yet, which is kind of a problem since she’s got a high profile title match this Sunday at one of TNA’s biggest PPVs. TNA need to do some work to refamiliarize the fans with her before too long -- Rough Cut videos, promo time, etc. They really haven’t made that big a deal out of her yet. Strange, since they want her to be their top female babyface.
-normally I don’t like it when the post-match antics are given priority over the match, but this was a good segment.
-wow, they didn’t waste any time with teasing Tara vs. Kong, did they? That will probably be the Knockouts title match at Bound for Glory this year if I had to guess. The BFG build up usually starts around this time.
ODB TRAINS CODY DEANER
-I almost chuckled and then didn’t. That’s progress, I suppose.
-Deaner caught a duck. Apparently, this tells ODB that he’s ready for in-ring competition. What color is the sky in your world, ODB?
-news came out yesterday that not only has Rhaka Khan not been fired, but she’s returned to the ring. WHY? TNA, how do you not understand that the Knockouts division has been better WITHOUT this woman? On the plus side, she lost a match to Jackie Moore at a house show, which is very telling. That’s actually the first match I can recall Jackie winning in TNA and it says a lot about what Khan’s standing in the company is right now.
-hopefully, with the influx of Tara and eventually Sarah Stock & Ayako Hamada as well, we won’t be seeing Khan on TV anytime soon, if ever. At the very least, we shouldn’t have to worry about her getting pushed anymore with all this great new female talent coming in.
KNOCKOUTS TITLE MATCH: TARA vs. ANGELINA LOVE © (w/ VELVET SKY & MADISON RAYNE)
-wow, that was disappointing. This match did not live up to expectations and it wasn’t because of the interference either. The action was slow paced and not exciting at all. TNA clearly had high hopes for Tara, but she did not deliver the goods tonight. Her match with Madison Rayne on iMPACT 2 weeks ago was better than this.
-on a completely unrelated topic, you know who can work great, fast paced, exciting matches? Sarah Stock.
-the crowd was hot for the whole show up to this point but it died down a lot when this match started. That’s not a good sign. It goes back to what I’ve been saying this whole time – it looks like TNA think Tara is a bigger deal than the fans do, and after the way she was booked for the last few legs of her WWE career that’s not surprising. It might have been a different story if TNA had rebuilt Tara’s character before putting her in this spot, but they didn’t bother. They gave her the star treatment without checking first to see if the fans still thought she was a star. Judging from the crowd during this match, it looks like the writers have some work to do.
-I’m glad Angelina retained. It was too soon to take the title off her. She’s been a great champion and deserves to keep the belt for a while.
-the match ended pretty much the way I expected – Tara has Angelina beat, but can’t overcome the interference from Sky & Rayne. With the way this played out, Tara now has the perfect excuse to go out and find some backup to neutralize those 2. If said backup is Sarah Stock, there will be no complaints from me.
DAFFNEY, RAVEN & DR. STEVIE BACKSTAGE PROMO
-this was creepy as hell; the mood lighting, the delivery, Daffney’s facial expressions. I could’ve lived without the laughing and crying at the end, but everything else worked. I didn’t think I was going to like this group, but I’m officially on board with these 3 as a heel faction now. I don’t think Raven has much left in the tank as a wrestler, but as characters these guys are golden.
MIXED TAG MONSTER’S BALL: ABYSS & TAYLOR WILDE vs. DAFFNEY & RAVEN
-this was better than it had any right to be. It wasn’t a 4 star classic, but it didn’t suck.
-I wasn’t expecting much from the women here, but they made believers out of me, big time. Taylor dove off the stage to put Daffney through a table. Daffney took a thumbtack bump and could’ve been seriously injured when she was flipped over the guardrail and the back of her head hit the corner of the steel steps. Seriously, that was nasty looking. Say what you want about this match, but you have to appreciate that effort. I know I say this a lot, but these are things that you NEVER see from the WWE Divas.
-the constant interference hurt the match, especially since it came right after the Knockouts title match, which was also full of interference, but this was still a really enjoyable brawl. Here’s hoping these characters put the hardcore stuff away now and get back to wrestling.