Originally posted on www.TNAwrestlingnews.com on 4/21/09.
The Month in Review
TAYLOR WILDE & ODB vs. AWESOME KONG (C) & RAISHA SAEED
-Don West went out of his way to mention that Sojourner Bolt really had no chance at all against Awesome Kong at Destination-X. Is this just them reinforcing Kong’s dominance or is TNA management acknowledging their mistake in putting Bolt in that spot in the first place when she obviously wasn’t ready for it? Hopefully the latter.
-a lot of the Knockout matches have been subpar lately but that was mostly because of them being too short and focusing too much on the women who are just not that good. But look what happened here – 4 good to great wrestlers in a match that wasn’t rushed or overbooked with tons of interference and it was very good. A nice reminder of what the Knockouts division is really capable of when it’s not presented in a totally counterproductive way.
-oh look, it’s Cody Deaner again and he wants to fight Kong. They really need to stop teasing male/female violence on iMPACT because SpikeTV will never let them follow through on it.
-the announcers were really singing Taylor’s praises here and with her pinning Kong it looks like Taylor vs. Kong for the title at Lockdown. That means we’ll get a very good Knockouts title match at the PPV, which we really need to help erase the memory of what happened at Destination-X. However, it really should be Roxxi getting the title shot at Lockdown. Roxxi won the Queen of the Cage match at Lockdown last year and to have her in that match again (if they bring it back) would just be pointless. Plus, they could use her being in the title match to put over the QofC match as something that creates future stars, saying Roxxi was QofC last year and this year she’s fighting for the title. If they wanted to insert her into the title match and make it Roxxi vs. Taylor vs. Kong in a Bound for Glory rematch, that would be what I’d do.
BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW
-earlier today the news came out that Kip James had been phased out as an on-air performer. Happy days are here again! The skies are gonna clear again! So let’s sing a song of cheer again! Happy days are here again! Altogether shout it out now!
-Velvet & Angelina explain in no uncertain terms that Kip James has been suspended indefinitely from their group and every word is like beautiful, glorious music in my ears.
-they mention hazing Madison Rayne before allowing her into the group officially. I like that idea. It could be a nice introductory angle for Rayne to have her prove herself before the other two let her in the club.
DAFFNEY vs. MADISON RAYNE
-this was the match I was waiting for -- our first opportunity to get a real good look at these two. The crowd was dead at first but they got into it as the match went on. That’s a good sign.
-once again, too much interference and too short. Couldn’t they have just had a clean match? If Velvet & Angelina are testing and hazing Rayne doesn’t cheating to help her win kind of defeat the purpose? Wouldn’t forcing her to try to win the match on her own make more sense?
-V & A interfered on behalf of Rayne no less than THREE times and she still lost. They’re really going to make it hard for Rayne to get over if they keep this up. It makes her look incredibly weak and the win isn’t going to do much for Daffney as long as she’s saddled with the ridiculous Governor gimmick. However, ditch that gimmick and Daffney will get over easily. She has all the tools.
-why has Daffney been wrestling barefoot? Isn’t that kind of dangerous?
-the Beautiful People triple teamed Daffney post-match and a “Roxxi!” chant broke out. Moments later they started cutting off Daffney’s hair and a “We want Roxxi!” chant broke out. So of course, Roxxi wasn’t flown in for the TV tapings this week. I swear TNA management really must be deaf.
-I wonder if the cutting of the hair is a tease for the return of the Makeover Battle Royal match. Sacrifice is right after Lockdown after all. I wouldn’t be against them doing that match again (even though I’m sick of ladder matches). The first one was better than it had any right to be.
TAYLOR WILDE vs. MADISON RAYNE
-very refreshing to see one of the Beautiful People come out to the ring alone for a change. It means we actually get a clean match with no interference, which is a rarity with TBP. It’s a shame it couldn’t have happened on iMPACT.
-I like that they have Rayne coming out to her own music with Velvet & Angelina’s video playing. It shows that she hasn’t earned her spot in the group yet. The hazing continues…
-lately it seems like Taylor is starting to win over the fans who didn’t take to her during her title run. Maybe you can chalk it up to the hot crowd but this is the most over I can remember Taylor ever being. It looks as if being scaled back for a while did her some good.
-as a general observation, the WWE crowds are NEVER this hot during the Diva matches. Most of the time in WWE when the Divas are in the ring the audience sits on their hands. Aside from a few isolated incidents, the Knockouts have never had that problem.
-I’m starting to warm up to Rayne. Her heel mannerisms are coming along nicely. I’d still trade her for Jennifer Blake if I got the chance, but I think she’s going to work out fine.
-good match. Too bad it couldn’t have gone longer.
BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW
-I’m not sure why Velvet & Angelina were so confident about their match tonight with Kong & Saeed. Their win/loss record really doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence, but if these girls are going to be rebuilt then this how they should be acting.
-they said that Madison Rayne passed their first test last week. How exactly did she pass their test by losing her match with Daffney? That makes no sense.
-they said they want the Knockouts title. They’re going to need a lot more credibility before they could pull that off, but if Kong is going on the shelf to get knee surgery sooner than later, then TBP are the only real option to replace her as top heel(s) right now. Melissa could do it if they gave her a chance, but apparently TNA management just doesn’t want to give her a chance… not that I’m still angry about that or anything.
AWESOME KONG (C) & RAISHA SAEED vs. THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE (w/ MADISON RAYNE)
-a Beautiful People match that actually had a clean finish. I’m absolutely astounded. In a good way.
-easily the biggest win ever for the Beautiful People. But after the way they’ve been booked for the last year and a half, I’m kind of skeptical that it’s going to go anywhere.
-if the writers aren’t careful they’re going to end up turning Awesome Kong babyface whether they intend to or not. Having Kong fend off a 3-on-1 beatdown by My Pi Sexy makes people cheer for her, not boo her, and I could’ve told you that last week.
-the announcers point out that after the last 2 weeks, chinks look to be developing in Awesome Kong’s armor. They seem to be hinting at a shift in the balance of power in the KO division. That could be interesting with TBP seemingly on the rise and Kong possibly taking time off soon. A new top heel faction might be just what the doctor ordered to shake up the status quo. And Kong returning from surgery as a babyface would be a great way to refresh her character as it’s been quite stale for months now.
-after the commercial, they air a brief shoot interview with Angelina from the webography series TNA debuted on their youtube page a few months ago. I have no idea why they put this on iMPACT. Angelina seems quite nice and personable, a very likeable gal, which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever seeing as how she appears to be on the cusp of a big heel push. What on earth were the writers thinking putting this on TV?
ODB vs. SOJOURNER BOLT
-this was the first time we’ve seen Bolt since her abominable performance at Destination-X. If I were her I’d be working my ass off to prove to people that that match was just a fluke.
-this ODB/Cody Deaner pairing could be entertaining as long as they don’t go overboard with it, which probably means that they’ll be going overboard with it. I’m really not looking forward to that upcoming video footage of their “date” but I’ll reserve judgment until I see it.
-wow, ODB is OVER. If these writers want Bolt to be a babyface now then having her face off against ODB is not going to help at all.
-the match was okay, but nothing out of the ordinary. ODB kept the crowd entertained throughout. Bolt wasn’t particularly bad, but she wasn’t particularly good either and that’s the problem. She’s got the attitude down, but she needs to take her workrate up a notch, because right now the audience just doesn’t care about her one way or the other.
THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE INTERRUPT TENAY & WEST AT THE BROADCAST BOOTH
-they’re teasing the hair cutting thing again. I’m still not sure where this is all going.
DAFFNEY ON DR. STEVIE'S COUCH
-YES! The Governor gimmick is gone! It looks like the writers finally came to their senses, thank God. It was almost worth sitting through these awful Dr. Stevie segments just to see this.
-it looks like they’ve brought back Daffney’s psycho goth gimmick, probably because she used that gimmick when Russo was writing for her in WCW. I’m definitely not complaining about this. That gimmick has served her well for years and she can be damn entertaining with it.
TAYLOR WILDE vs. MADISON RAYNE (w/ VELVET SKY & ANGELINA LOVE)
-why did Rayne come out to the Beautiful People’s music? Is she not being hazed anymore? She still is according to Tenay and West.
-a ridiculously short match that, coincidently, was on a show full of ridiculously short matches. It wasn’t very good either. Their webmatch earlier this month was miles better than this because Taylor controlled the action. Taylor works a fast paced style so when she’s allowed to set the pace her matches are much more exciting, but that was not the case here.
-V & A get pissed at Rayne and send her after Taylor with scissors when she escapes them. So the hazing isn’t over then?
-why was Taylor in a bathrobe? Did she not notice Rayne hot on her heels before the commercial break?
-the use of Rayne for stuff like this just proves my point about how utterly useless Kip James always was to the Beautiful People. Rayne can do everything he did, plus a lot more because she’s not handcuffed by SpikeTV’s sexual politics.
-where were Roxxi & Daffney when Taylor was getting her hair cut off? If anyone would have reason to be pissed off about the Beautiful People doing this it’s Roxxi & Daffney. Not to mention the fact that they’re both supposed to be good friends with Taylor in this storyline. To have them not even show up makes no sense.
JENNA MORASCA BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW
-I fail to see why I should care about Kevin Nash trying to seduce Jenna Morasca. Has no one told Morasca that Nash is married? Her falling for this would make her look like an idiot.
-they’ve finally announced the women’s matches for Lockdown. The title match will be Kong vs. Angelina vs. Taylor Wilde. No surprises there, although I still think Roxxi got screwed over by not getting a spot in this match. Angelina’s placement here doesn’t make much sense. Yes, she’s been awfully prominent lately, but the fact remains that the Beautiful People haven’t won a match on PPV since Turning Point 2007. So what exactly has Angelina done to earn a title match? TBP scoring a few rare wins on iMPACT recently doesn’t move them up the ladder that far. Their credibility is still practically zero.
-there’s another problem with the fact the Angelina and Kong don’t have much chemistry. I don’t think they’ve ever had a one on one match on iMPACT, but they have fought in multi-person matches a few times and it never looked very good. Kong/Angelina isn’t a very good match up, which surely explains Taylor’s involvement – Taylor, who can have very good matches with Kong and/or Angelina.
-the second match will be a fatal 4 way with Daffney vs. Madison Rayne vs. Sojourner Bolt (why?) vs. ODB. They’re calling this the Queen of the Cage even though it really isn’t, but I assume the stipulation is still ‘winner gets a title shot.’ There’s a big problem with this. Three of these women have no business fighting for a title shot right now.
-ODB has barely wrestled in the last few months and the last time she was in a high profile spot was at Against All Odds where she lost to Awesome Kong in a pretty short match that wasn’t even that good.
-Rayne has not won a single match yet, so how on earth does she get to fight for a title shot?
-and Bolt? WHY? TNA, do you really want to give this woman another chance to embarrass your company on one of your biggest PPVs? Was her performance at Destination-X not quite agonizing enough to watch? She hasn’t been on TV since then so it’s obvious the writers don’t have a lot of faith in her, so I’m going to assume that SomeJobber Bolt is going to live up to her name and be the designated jobber in this match. Hopefully her role won’t amount to much more than that.
-the only person who SHOULD be in this match is Daffney. Daffney’s team won at the last PPV, she beat Madison Rayne in a match on iMPACT and she & Abyss will beat ODB & Cody Deaner in a mixed tag next week (I read the spoilers. So sue me), so Daffney does at least look somewhat credible. The other three don’t belong in this spot at all.
-if it was just Daffney, Rayne and Bolt then you could bill it as the three new Knockouts getting a chance to make a name for themselves and earn a title shot, but when you throw ODB in there too then it’s just a match with four random people, three of which shouldn’t even be there. Hopefully Daffney will win by pinning Bolt. That’s as much as I can ask for right now.
-the Beautiful People attack Raisha Saeed and cut off some of her hair. My heart leaped for just a moment because they teased unmasking Saeed. That’s something that needs to happen now more than ever if Saeed and Kong are turning babyface, which seems to be where they’re going. There is no way, I repeat, NO WAY that the fans will get behind the Raisha Saeed character as a babyface. But they WILL get behind Melissa if the TNA writers give her half a chance. Have the Beautiful People unmask Melissa, have Melissa come back as herself looking for revenge and you’ve got an instant mega babyface.
FOOTAGE OF ODB & CODY DEANER'S DATE
-goofy, idiotic and pretty damn pointless. Deaner really needs to tone the volume down on his character. He’s starting to annoy me already.
BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW
-a more serious interview from TBP. Angelina says she wants the Knockouts title. She’s said this before and has always come up short, but with Kong teasing a face turn, that makes My Pi Sexy the new top heels in the division. If Angelina is ever going to win the title, it will probably be at Lockdown.
VELVET SKY & MADISON RAYNE (w/ ANGELINA LOVE) vs. AWESOME KONG (C)
-after all Angelina’s tough talk Kong beats her BFFs in about 80 seconds, all three of the heels gang up on Kong and then run away the instant Taylor shows up despite still having the numbers advantage. Suddenly Angelina doesn’t look so tough anymore. So much for making her character look strong.
-I’m not suggesting anything by this necessarily, but when Tenay and West were running down the Lockdown card, they didn’t mention the 4-way women’s match. I’m not saying that downplaying a Sojourner Bolt match isn’t a good idea, but still, this was odd.
BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE VIDEO PACKAGE
-they’re really pushing the Beautiful People hard here. I’m actually thisclose to suspending my disbelief enough to think Angelina might have a shot at winning the title this Sunday. But, again, I’ve had that feeling with TBP before and the result has always been the same.
TAYLOR WILDE, AWESOME KONG (C) & RAISHA SAEED vs. THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE
-I think this match was less than 60 seconds long. Even for a show written by Vince Russo that’s really short.
-Angelina getting pinned that quickly doesn’t exactly make her look strong going into the title match. The post-match beatdown was effective, but the TBP probably would’ve benefited more from winning a longer competitive match than they did from cutting off Kong’s hair.
-Kong goes bat$h!t crazy backstage after the commercial. Geez, that woman is frightening.
ABYSS & DAFFNEY vs. ODB & CODY DEANER
-oh joy. A mixed tag. As I said in a previous column, because of SpikeTV’s sexual politics these things just don’t work, at least not as well as they should. They always have to book around the men attacking the women, which makes the matches not as good as they could be.
-the fans actually cheered for Daffney instead of ODB. Holy crap!
-is Daffney as face or a heel now? As usual, with this creative team, it’s not quite clear. She played it ambiguously during the match, but the fact that she got cheered over ODB who’s more often than not the most over female babyface in the company is enough to prove that she shouldn’t be a heel right now.
-something for future reference: ODB vs. Daffney isn’t a great matchup. ODB can have good matches with certain opponents but Daffney doesn’t appear to be one of them if this match was any indication.
-the match was nothing -- mostly just a showcase for Deaner’s character. On the plus side, he seems to be getting over, but I don’t know why they’re playing it like he’s not a wrestler; he is.
QUEEN OF THE CAGE: DAFFNEY vs. ODB vs. MADISON RAYNE vs. SOJOURNER BOLT
-none of the women got much of a reaction, but that probably wasn’t their fault. This was easily the quietest Philly crowd I’ve ever seen.
-I wasn’t expecting much out of this match and I got what I expected. It was just a bad mix of wrestlers. Rayne and Daffney are pretty decent, but ODB needs an opponent to help bring out the best in her and Bolt is just lousy.
-this match desperately needed a Taylor Wilde or an Awesome Kong – someone to take the lead and carry the action. But it didn’t have anyone like that which is why we got what we got unfortunately.
-the wrong person won. It should’ve been Daffney or even Madison Rayne who went over here. Either one of them would have gotten a nice rub out of winning a match at Lockdown, whereas ODB really won’t get anything out of it.
-at least the right person got pinned. After Destination-X, a month long absence from TV and now this it looks like the writers may be starting to realize that Bolt just isn’t that good.
AWESOME KONG (C) (w/ RAISHA SAEED) vs. TAYLOR WILDE vs. ANGELINA LOVE (w/ VELVET SKY)
-it wasn’t mentioned on the show, but Kong and Taylor were in a car accident the day before. Apparently, they were rear ended by someone going about 50 mph. Big props to them for wrestling after that. Those two are warriors, that’s for sure.
-again, very little crowd reaction, but the same can be said for pretty much anyone on this PPV who wasn’t an ECW original.
-I couldn’t believe Kong’s somersault splash. Seriously, holy crap! Appreciating the effort, the audience finally woke up and gave Kong a much deserved “HOLY $H!T!” chant and the biggest pop of the night thus far. 10 seconds later, they were dead again. Man, this was a tough crowd.
-I didn’t like how they took Kong out of the match. The writers clearly wanted to keep her strong in defeat, but there were other ways to do it. Losing clean in a triple threat match because one of your opponents got pinned doesn’t make you look weak. Plus, it looked strange that it took Saeed so long to help Kong when TBP tied her hair to the cage. Was Saeed distracted by something shiny in the crowd or something? That was weak.
-there was a moment towards the end where Taylor hit a high cross body on Angelina and Angelina hit her head. She looked woozy afterward and Taylor needed to help her with the kick out. This is probably why the finish seemed to come out of nowhere as they most likely had to improvise it. Angelina has a history of concussions, so let’s hope she’s okay.
-Angelina is now the 4th KO champ in TNA history, so congratulations are in order. Hopefully, Kong will take some time off now, get that knee surgery and come back at 100%, possibly as a babyface. In the meantime, Angelina is the best choice to replace her as the new top heel and this opens the door for some fresh matchups. The problem is the writers really didn’t build her up well at all prior to this so she doesn’t look like a credible champion. Hopefully they will work on that.
-the time to push Roxxi as the person to step up and challenge Angelina is now. Sacrifice is the next PPV, which will make it one year since TBP caused her to get her head shaved. It would be perfect to have Roxxi vs. Angelina for the title at Sacrifice after this hair cutting gimmick TBP have been doing for the last month. Unfortunately, it looks like the writers may be going with ODB instead. I hope not. No offence to ODB, but that’s not a great matchup as history has shown us. ODB benefits from having a faster opponent.