MICK FOLEY, ABYSS, DR. STEVIE, RAVEN & DAFFNEY IN-RING SEGMENT
-Once again, Daffney stands next to Stevie Richards and gets absolutely nothing to do. Why am I not surprised?
HAMADA vs. TAYLOR WILDE ©
-When I saw this match advertised for iMPACT I tried not to get too excited because as awesome as it would surely be, being on iMPACT meant it would not be anywhere near long enough. And lo and behold, it was less than three minutes long. If they’d had ten minutes or more, this could’ve been a contender for Knockout match of the year. Excellent work from both women for the brief time they were given, but… well, you know.
-I’m taking this match as a sign that Sarita & Taylor are finally moving on from the Beautiful People feud. It’s about freaking time. If they’re going to be feuding with Hamada now that’s one hell of an upgrade, even if we don’t know who her partner will be yet.
-The announcers made a point to say that Hamada was looking to move up the ranks on the Knockout roster like they did during her match with Alissa. Looks like they may be gearing up Hamada for a title push. Which title is the question. The tag titles would be the logical answer, but Tara’s going to need an opponent after she wins the title from ODB at Final Resolution (we all know it’s going to happen), and if her feud with Kong is finished for a while, Hamada would be one of the only viable contenders for that spot.
ABYSS vs. DR. STEVIE & RAVEN. DAFFNEY SHOWS UP WITH ELECTRICAL CABLES POST-MATCH
-Well, Daffney’s getting more face time this week anyway. That’s something. I guess…
TRASH TALK WITH ODB: GUEST IS HOMICIDE
-Dear lord… just when I thought we’d seen the last of this awful gimmick. Remember when I said I didn’t have a problem with ODB, but rather with how she’s used a lot of the time? Stuff like this is what I was talking about. I was finally starting to warm up to the idea of ODB as the champion, but segments like this will get me to change my mind in a big hurry.
-I guess Homicide will be feuding with Suicide now. I see nothing wrong with that. They’re continuing the tease that Homicide knows who Suicide really is. It will put a big smile on my face if this leads to the return of Kaz.
BACKSTAGE SEGMENT: THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE ANTAGONIZE LAUREN
-TBP are still on TV, but they appear to be out of the title picture finally and their screen time was limited to one brief segment this week. I can live with that.
“FUTURE LEGEND” ALISSA FLASH vs. SARITA ©. TRACI BROOKS ATTACKS ALISSA POST-MATCH
-Taylor vs. Hamada AND Sarita vs. Alissa in the same week? If I knew what I’d done to deserve this, I’d do it all the time.
-The announcers talk about Alissa’s win-at-all-cost mentality before the match starts, which really doesn’t make a lick of sense seeing as how she loses constantly. I continue to hold out hope that that will change sooner than later.
-This is the second or third week in a row that Alissa has worn long sleeves during her matches. She posted a picture of some nasty looking bruises on her arm via her twitter page the other day -- this could be to cover those up until they heal. Either that or she’s still tweaking her gimmick. She did this thing during the match where she kept unzipping her jacket and then zipping it back up, like she was trying to tease the fans with more skin and then not giving it to them or something like that. The crowd seemed to get into it somewhat toward the end, so I guess it worked.
-During Alissa’s entrance they showed clips of her steamrolling Traci last week and Traci attacked her after the match. Could it be? Does Alissa have an actual feud and not just the tease of a feud? Be still my beating heart. Granted, said feud is only with Traci Brooks, but I’m excited for this -- not because of the matches they’ll have so much as the fact that Traci is someone that the writers will actually let Alissa get wins over. A few squash wins over Traci could help Alissa establish some credibility finally.
-If Hamada is going to challenge for the tag team titles, I wonder if this match could’ve been setting up Alissa as her eventual partner. It’s possible, but I don’t know how the Traci feud would play into that. If not Alissa, then Kong would be the only other likely candidate.
-I still have no idea who is supposed to be the face and heel in this Alissa/Traci program. Last week, Alissa acted heelish during their match and attacked Traci’s handicapped arm to get the win, which the crowd cheered her for. The announcers said that Alissa went too far even though she never technically broke any rules that would’ve gotten her disqualified and then they acted sympathetic to Traci when she attacked Alissa from behind after the match while the crowd booed Traci. This week, despite Alissa acting heelish, the crowd was giving her more face heat than Sarita during their match and then Traci jumped Alissa from behind on the ramp, which is something a heel would do, except Tenay & Taz said they didn’t blame Traci for doing it. I’m officially lost…
-What I think is Alissa is supposed to be the heel and Traci the face. The problem is the fans really dig Alissa and don’t seem to care much about Traci.
-Another problem is that until recently Traci was in the Main Event Mafia and apparently went back to being a babyface off-camera without a word of explanation, so for all we know, we’re still supposed to boo her. The announcers keep telling us to sympathize with Traci even though Alissa hasn’t done anything wrong except take advantage of an opponent’s weakness, which is what you’re supposed to do in wrestling because that’s how you win matches.
-The third problem is that Traci, in her efforts to get payback on Alissa, is acting more heelish than Alissa was in the first place. So just because Traci has a handicap and can’t protect herself from a perfectly legal attack, that makes Alissa the bad guy? Sorry, but I don’t buy that at all. Basically, the writers are telling us that we should make special allowances for Traci and her opponents should be vilified if they don’t take it easy on her when the brutal reality is that if Traci can’t protect herself from an opponent who is doing nothing except trying to win the match within the rules then Traci shouldn’t be wrestling. It’s harsh, but true.
DR. STEVIE, RAVEN & DAFFNEY ATTACK MICK FOLEY BACKSTAGE
-Wow, the Knockouts are all over the show this week.
-I’m certainly not going to complain about multiple segments featuring Daffney. It’s just a shame that this whole thing is about the Abyss vs. Dr. Stevie feud, which I honestly don’t give a rat’s ass about anymore, and I don’t think anyone else does either. This feud ran out of gas four months ago and for some reason, no one bothered to tell the TNA writers.
BATTLE ROYALE FOR A KNOCKOUTS TITLE SHOT. SPECIAL REFEREE: ODB
-That’s two battle royales in a row where Daffney was eliminated first. I guess with Sojourner Bolt finally gone that makes Daffney the new bottom of the Knockout food chain unfortunately. Too bad. She could be a star in TNA if they would just use her properly.
-I can tolerate Alissa being eliminated so quickly, for two reasons. 1) She and Traci were eliminated together as they fought on the ring apron, which means that feud is continuing. 2) Sarita & Taylor were the ones who eliminated them, which furthers my theory that Alissa may be Hamada’s tag team partner if and when Hamada gets a tag title shot, and I think she will because…
-Hamada & Taylor eliminated each other with the announcers mentioning their match from last week. Sarita & Taylor vs. Hamada & Alissa seems the most likely eventual match to me. I’ve seen the preliminary card for Final Resolution and right now there is no Knockout tag title defense on it, so maybe that storyline will take a little while to come together. I’m okay with that as long as we get the match at Genesis.
-Of all the women who could’ve made it to the final three with Tara in this match they picked Velvet Sky and Madison Rayne. Why am I not surprised? At least they threw in a little FU to Lacey by having her get eliminated during the commercial break. Take that, Rhaka Blonde.
-The crowd was very much behind Tara in this match. She has a lot of momentum right now after beating Kong at Turning point and I can’t think of any reason why she shouldn’t win the belt at Final Resolution, especially considering how lackluster ODB’s title reign has been. It’s definitely time to push Tara to the top.
-Speaking of Kong, this makes two weeks in a row where she’s been MIA. I think it’s good that they don’t feel the need to keep her on TV if they don’t have anything for her right now. Sometimes a character disappearing for a while can keep them from getting stale. Besides, it’s time to focus on some of the other girls; they deserve a chance to shine too and it’s hard to do that when they’re always standing in the shadow of Kong.
“FUTURE LEGEND” ALISSA FLASH vs. HAMADA
-Solid, competitive match. Good stuff. These two work very well together. It makes me depressed that their feud got cut short after one match for some reason. I can forgive that if my theory about them becoming tag team partners pans out though.
-Alissa is continuing with the gimmick of wearing a jacket during her matches, titillating the crowd with the tease of showing more skin, but not giving it to them, and I’ll be damned if this gimmick isn’t getting really over. She unzips about halfway, the crowd chants, “Take it off!” and when she zips back up they chant, “Tease!” And that’s after just two weeks. Leave it to Alissa to get over with something as simple as a freaking zipper and yet still not get pushed. Sometimes I think these writers really must be blind, deaf and dumb.
-It’s good that it looks like they’ve finally settled on a look for Alissa. She’s ditched the sleeveless leather vest, the colored stripe over the eyes and the big hair. She also seems to have stopped wearing yellow, which is a definite plus. She looks much better now that her ring attire and makeup aren’t so damn weird.
-Hamada still isn’t getting a reaction when she comes out (understandable, since they really haven’t done anything with her yet), but she’s one of the best women on the roster when it comes to getting the crowd into her matches. The fans might not pop for her entrance, but they definitely pop for her wrestling.
BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE & DANIELS BACKSTAGE SEGMENT
-Daniels and TBP? There’s an unlikely combination if ever there was one. Whatever. Anything that keeps TBP out of the title picture is fine with me.
TRASH TALK WITH ODB: GUEST IS TARA
-How is it possible that this talk show segment keeps getting worse? Why does it continue to exist? I really don’t know.
-At first, it was nice to see ODB trying to be serious, even though it’s impossible to take this segment seriously. However, then Tara started trying to cry, which completely killed this whole thing. Why was she trying to cry? That totally goes against her character! Are we supposed to want Tara to win this match because ODB hurt her feelings? How about wanting to see Tara win this match because Tara really wants the Knockouts title? Was there something wrong with that?
-I did like ODB’s claims that Tara waltzed into TNA and got a lot of opportunities handed to her without earning them because, let’s be honest, that’s pretty much exactly what happened. Tara’s comments about the WWE Divas were amusing and no less true as well. This might have worked if they’d just done it differently, but the phony crying was all wrong.
-Why did Tara just run off afterward? She just beat Awesome Kong in a cage match and now she’s running away in tears because ODB attacks her and calls her a Diva? Character continuity just went the way of the dodo and I don’t think the writers could have found a worse way to follow up Tara’s win over Kong at Turning Point if they’d tried.
-So… is ODB a heel now? It seems that way, but with TNA being the land of the tweeners that might not be the case. Tara is over enough at this point that ODB probably doesn’t need to be a face -- at least not the top face -- but she’s always been so popular that turning her could be difficult. Tara’s probably the one person she could get heel heat off of though, so I suppose this might work if that’s where they’re going.
DANIELS vs. ABYSS. THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE ANTAGONIZE LAUREN, DISTRACTING ABYSS
-Using TBP to get Daniels over as a heel? I suppose that’s not a terrible way to go if you absolutely have to have them on TV. But this is the second time they’ve antagonized Lauren in the last few weeks and this is making me nervous that it could lead to Taylor getting involved and TBP getting another tag title shot. I do NOT want that to happen.
HAMADA vs. SARITA ©
-Sweet. Speed, agility, beautiful execution, moves that would make most of the WWE Diva’s crap their pants. These are two of the best, if not THE best workers in the Knockout division and they showed it here. Great, great stuff and the crowd loved it. The only problem was… can you guess? Can you? That right! THE MATCH WAS TOO DAMN SHORT! How the hell can you book a match between two workers of this caliber and give them so little time? TNA, are you actually TRYING to piss me off?
-On the plus side, they showed clips of Hamada defeating Taylor two weeks ago and the announcers stressed that Hamada now holds wins over both of the tag team champs, so it’s looking more and more likely that there’s a feud brewing here. I can’t wait to see these women go at it on PPV where they’ll hopefully get more than two or three minutes to blow the roof off the building.
-It occurs to me that there’s more than one positive about Hamada going after the tag team titles. Getting a tag partner could be a boon to her as she would really benefit from having a mouthpiece.
KURT ANGLE vs. RAVEN & DR. STEVIE (w/ DAFFNEY)
-Daffney gets nothing to do, yet again. I’m beginning to wonder why I keep bothering to mention this because it never seems to change.
Remember that column I wrote a while back (KNOCKED OUT: Sexual Politics Hurt the Product) about how mixed tag/intergender matches on iMPACT needed to be eliminated since SpikeTV’s no man-on-woman violence rule made them come off badly because the men aren’t allowed to attack the women? Well, we have TWO of them on the show tonight. Sigh…
BOBBY & CRYSTAL LASHLEY vs. SCOTT STEINER & AWESOME KONG
-Did I miss something? When did Crystal become a TNA employee? In the storylines, I mean. How can she get booked in matches like this when she’s just Bobby’s wife that comes to the show with him? This makes no sense. And even if Crystal is on the payroll, how does she get booked in wrestling matches when she’s not a wrestler (anymore)?
-Since when is it legal in a mixed tag match for one of the men to pin one of the women?
-This was lame. At least they didn’t insult our intelligence by having the women “wrestling” the men while not actually wrestling the men. I guess they’re saving that for later in the show…
BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE BACKSTAGE SEGMENT
-I like how TBP felt insulted to be booked in a mud wrestling match because, quite frankly, they should feel insulted. Of course, Nash then had to coerce them into doing it anyway with promises of ratings and attention. Smartest man in wrestling indeed.
-The woman may be all looks and virtually no talent, but Lacey was funny in this segment with her dumb-as-dirt act, thinking “ratings” meant 5 star hotel ratings. It’s not saying much, but that’s probably the most entertaining Lacey has been so far.
TARA BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW
-This drink-a-6-pack-before-the-match stipulation is every bit as asinine as Tara says it is. And I’m not expecting it to make the match any better either.
INTERGENDER LEGEND’S TITLE MATCH: HAMADA vs. ERIC YOUNG ©
-Hamada got all the offense, which was pretty much the only way the match could have gone. This was clearly booked to protect Hamada, but she still lost in under two minutes and that does not help her.
-This match really didn’t do Eric Young any favors either, not that that means much at this point. Eric Young’s character has been losing steam since BFG. That’s what tends to happen when you’re a champion who hardly ever defends his title.
BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE BACKSTAGE SEGMENT
-TBP are much more entertaining doing stuff like this than being perennial non-credible title contenders.
-I’ll admit, the stereotypical male in me got very excited by Madison Rayne teasing a wardrobe malfunction. This whole thing is six degrees of stupid, but I am looking forward to seeing Madison in that referee outfit in a few minutes. Yeah, I’m a guy. So sue me.
ODB BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW
-I like that ODB came right out and asked who names a match a “trailer park throwdown?” Seriously, what’s with this thing in TNA where every match has to have its own name? What the hell is wrong with just calling it a street fight?
TRAILER PARK THROWDOWN: TARA vs. ODB ©. BOTH WOMEN MUST DRINK A 6 PACK OF BEER BEFORE THE MATCH
-A semi-decent garbage brawl with a lot of comedy thrown in. I didn’t find it funny, but other people might have, I suppose. As expected, the drink-a-6-pack stipulation was stupid and pointless. It added nothing and the match would’ve been better without it.
-The writers need to work a lot harder if they want ODB’s heel turn to work. She’s still getting nothing but face pops and putting her in comedy matches like this is not helping matters any.
MUD WRESTLING MATCH: VELVET SKY vs. LACEY VON ERICH. SPECIAL REFEREE: MADISON RAYNE
-Remember when there were X-division matches on iMPACT from time to time? Those were the days…
-It’s a very sad state of affairs when a Velvet Sky/Lacey Von Erich mud wrestling match is hyped about five times as much as the main event of the next PPV.
-If the TNA writers are going to book trash like this then they seriously need to stop scripting the Knockouts to take potshots at the WWE Divas because this segment was worse than anything Tara accused the Divas of last week. Frankly, I was embarrassed to be watching.
-Didn’t Dixie Carter say in that interview just last week that she considers TNA to be pro wrestling rather than sports entertainment, that wrestling shouldn’t be a dirty word and people shouldn’t have to be embarrassed to be wrestling fans? Segments like this are NOT going to help with that.
-Doesn’t stuff like this completely go against the way TNA branded the Knockouts in the first place? I’m thinking of those ads SpikeTV used to air with lines like “We don’t settle grudges with pillow fights. Bikinis and lingerie? Screw that!” Apparently things have changed since then and not for the better. I don’t care if this was due to Kevin Nash booking the show in kayfabe -- that doesn’t make it a good idea.
-Before the match, Taz said that this match would not be for wrestling purists. I’m a wrestling purist, so you can imagine what I thought of this. Taz also said that red-blooded males should get a kick out of it and I am a red-blooded male, so I’m kind of conflicted.
-This was idiotic, it accomplished absolutely nothing and it should never have been booked. Why the time spent on garbage like this was not spent hyping Final Resoution I have no idea. Having said that… daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn -- that was some pretty freakin’ awesome eye candy. I don’t want to see this crap on iMPACT ever again, but I’m seriously taking a cold shower at 11:00 pm.
-I may need to start an online petition about Kevin Nash never being allowed to book the show in kayfabe EVER again because from top to bottom, this show sucked. This was easily one of the worst iMPACTs since the show debuted on SpikeTV. Or maybe instead of starting a petition, I’ll just tweet Dixie Carter about it. God knows they’ve been promoting Dixie Carter’s twitter page a hell of a lot more than they’ve been promoting Final Resolution so I might as well take advantage of the damn thing.
-A report came out today that Christy Hemme was retiring from in-ring competition; she’ll be sticking around, but she won’t be wrestling anymore. Apparently her neck injury last year really spooked her. I confess, I won’t particularly miss her as an in-ring worker, but it’s always a shame when a wrestler’s career is cut short like this. Christy wants to do what’s best for her health, which definitely beats her risking further injury and ending up in a wheelchair or worse. I can’t fault her for that.
-I wonder if this New Year’s Knockout Eve show is partly about management testing the waters with some potential new additions to the roster since several women have left recently, Christy among them. Word is that a number of women from the indies are being brought in for that show and this would be a great showcase to see what they can do. At least one website has reported that Sara Del Rey might be used, and while that would make sense after her match at the TNA house show went well last month, I’m trying not to get my hopes up.
ROXXI BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW
-Roxxi! Yay! I knew from the spoilers that she would be back for this show, but that doesn’t take away anything from seeing her again. She really got a raw deal when she was released earlier this year.
-Lauren says this is Roxxi’s official return to the company. I haven’t heard anything about Roxxi coming back full time (although Diva-dirt has said she’s booked for the New Year’s Knockout Eve show), but it would definitely be a good idea on management’s part after all the recent departures. The roster is looking a little spare right now and the return of Roxxi would be a great boost.
-Roxxi says that ODB is someone the girls in the back can look up to. I guess she missed the part where ODB turned heel officially, like many of us did.
ROXXI vs. ODB ©
-Roxxi got a bigger reaction here than when she came back over the summer. I guess absence makes the heart grow fonder in her case.
-Nice match. Roxxi is over as hell. She hasn’t missed a step and the crowd loved having her back. Stuff like this should help the fans to accept ODB as a bad guy. Roxxi has always been really popular and she was getting more face heat than ODB here, so for ODB to lay her out like this should help facilitate her heel turn.
-It was really strange booking for Roxxi to get the clean win over ODB here. As a big Roxxi fan, I’m certainly not complaining, but after ODB beat Tara last week and Roxxi beat ODB this week, how is Tara still the #1 contender? Shouldn’t Roxxi be the #1 contender now? Even if Roxxi’s not back on the roster full time, how do they justify her not at least being added to the title match on Sunday after this? To have the champion job cleanly to someone who’s presumably only there for one show is really questionable booking to say the least.
-The announcers definitely made it sound as if Roxxi is back full time, but that’s another one I’m trying not to get my hopes up for.
THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE (w/ LACEY VON ERICH) vs. AWESOME KONG & HAMADA vs. SARITA & TAYLOR WILDE ©
-The announcers said that management would be looking at this match closely when determining who would get the next shot at the Knockout tag team titles. Sarita & Taylor vs. Kong & Hamada should be off the chain if the taste of it that we got here was any indication. The insane chemistry between Sarita & Hamada alone is enough to make that match a must-see.
-Kong being Hamada’s partner makes sense since they have that history in Japan. I’m disappointed that Alissa didn’t get this spot, but if she couldn’t get it then I’m glad Kong did.
-The match was great when TBP weren’t in the ring and not as great when they were. It was too damn short, of course, but that goes without saying at this point.
-Once again, TBP were used as enhancement talent and yet nearly all the focus before and after the match was on them. Forget the champs, forget the new challengers for the titles; it’s all about the @#$%ing Beautiful People. There’s something very wrong with this picture.
-The bit with Lauren afterward was cool. After several weeks of TBP antagonizing her, Lauren’s had enough, slaps the taste out of Lacey’s mouth and then stalks off. Lauren said on her twitter page that she’s leaving the company, so this could serve as her official exit from the show. It’s really a shame to see her leave as she was very talented at what she did and great at putting over storylines. I always liked that she wasn’t the spineless interviewer you usually see and wouldn’t take crap from the heels when they gave her a hard time. She’ll be missed.
-It says a lot about how little management thinks of Lacey if they don’t even let her get over on an interviewer who’s on her way out. Seriously, why did they even sign this woman?
-What a nice show for the Knockouts this was after that trash TNA made us suffer through last week.
12/20/09 Final Resolution
-Multiple websites are now reporting that Roxxi is back with TNA full time. Awesome! Thank you! No matter what anyone says, her being cut from the roster had to have had something to do with the Rhaka Khan altercation. Roxxi got released while Khan was not, then Khan and Kurt Angle have a messy break up, Roxxi is suddenly brought back for two shows in late summer while Khan is fired, and a few months later they bring Roxxi back on a permanent basis. Call it a coincidence if you want, but I just don’t buy it. It’s great to see that ugly situation finally get rectified. Justice has been served. Good riddance to Rhaka Khan. Welcome back, Roxxi.
KNOCKOUTS CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: TARA vs. ODB ©
-Not a great match by any means. It was okay at best, but I kind of expected that. I really didn’t see these two matching up that well. Their match at BFG was better, but that one also had Kong in it. The action was kind of slow and the finish came out of nowhere. A roll up isn’t really an effective finish unless the match is long enough and has enough nearfalls beforehand to give you the impression that any move could end the match at any time and that wasn’t done here.
-Why have all the Knockout matches been so short lately? They can’t even get decent time to work on PPVs anymore.
-The finish was the right one. Tara deserves the belt, and since ODB has signed her new contract there’s no reason to keep it on her anymore. Besides, it’s not like her title reign had been all that interesting. She was just a transitional champion until Tara was ready to take the belt.
-I’m still pretty skeptical that this ODB heel turn is going to work. The crowd seemed to favor Tara here, but at the same time they didn’t seem to want to boo ODB. Mostly, it was like they didn’t know how to react to her anymore. Her face heat has died down, but her heel heat isn’t growing if this match was any indication. I suppose time will tell on this one.
-I really hope this feud is over now as I don’t have any desire to see a rematch when there are much better opponents on the roster for Tara that she would have better chemistry with than ODB. The most likely candidates would have to be Alissa Flash and Roxxi. Roxxi’s non-title win over ODB on iMPACT should immediately install her as a contender for the belt. Plus, they need to do something with Alissa, for God’s sake. They’re the only women not currently working in tag teams that are talented enough and over enough to be in a title program, so I really hope the writers go with one or preferably both of them.
MICK FOLEY & ABYSS vs. RAVEN & DR STEVIE. DAFFNEY INTERFERES
-Well, Daffney got to do more than just stand there this time, but this feud is so damn stale and so far beyond played out at this point that I’m not even interested enough to comment on it.
-This has nothing to do with Final Resolution -- I just thought it was funny. Leave it to Awesome Kong to still seem badass while wearing an elf costume. Merry Christmas, everyone!