12/31/09 New Year’s Knockout Eve
MADISON RAYNE vs. HAMADA
-Hamada seems to be getting more over by the week. It really makes you wonder why it took them so long to push her.
-Hamada uncharacteristically botched that flip off the ropes, but aside from that, this was a good match; probably Madison’s best in TNA so far. She acquitted herself well and didn’t get embarrassed even though the winner was never in doubt.
-It’s worth noting that Hamada is coming out through the face shoot tonight, but she came out through the heel shoot when she teamed with Kong last week.
-It seems the Knockout matches may be getting more time than usual tonight. Good. I’ve been waiting a long damn time for that even if it’s only for one night.
TARA BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW
-A nice thing about Tara being the singles champ now is that we no longer have to put up with ODB calling it the “Knocked Up” title. Tara brings some class back to the belt after what ODB did with it. I know ODB’s character isn’t supposed to be classy, but this is a change I appreciate.
TRACI BROOKS vs. ODB
-During the match, Taz said that he agreed with ODB going after Traci’s handicapped arm because it’s an obvious weak spot. Excuse me? So when Alissa Flash does that she’s going too far, but when ODB does it it’s all right? Geez, TNA, double standard much?
-The fans still seem to be on the fence with ODB’s heel turn. It has killed her face heat, but they remain pretty reluctant to boo her. It doesn’t help that she’s still doing a lot of the same mannerisms she did when she was a face. She needs to do more to change her demeanor if this is going to work.
BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW
-Entertaining interview as usual, but interviews have never been their problem. They always show a lot of personality in these segments and women like WWE Diva, Michelle ‘monotone’ McCool, should watch this and take it as an example of what to do when trying to cut a promo that doesn’t put the viewers to sleep.
ROXXI vs. VELVET SKY
-This match wasn’t bad, but keeping Velvet’s matches on the short side is definitely the right way to go. She had a brief flurry of offense and then Roxxi took control, which was good, but it probably would’ve been better if Roxxi had dictated the action the entire time considering the crowd didn't wake up until the momentum shifted in her favor. No offense to Velvet, but her offense just isn’t convincing and it never has been, especially against a larger, more athletic opponent like Roxxi.
-Poor Roxxi… Having to sell for Velvet Sky and Lacey Von Erich in the same segment must be no picnic.
-I like that Velvet was making those head-shaving gestures during the match and Roxxi acknowledged her history with TBP afterward. It was good that they touched on that even though the announcers didn’t mention it.
-I really, REALLY hope that Lacey attacking Roxxi post-match was about protecting Roxxi by having her sell an injury when she faces Hamada tonight and NOT about having her resume her feud with TBP. We’ve seen Roxxi vs. TBP many times and Roxxi doesn’t deserve to be saddled with the impossible task of carrying Lacey Von Erich to a watchable match. As talented as Roxxi is, she can’t work miracles, and that’s just about what it would take for Lacey to have a good match given her current skill level.
DAFFNEY vs. AWESOME KONG
-How does Daffney get entered in a #1 contendership tournament when she hasn’t won a match in months? I’m just saying.
-Impressive squash for Kong. It’s too bad it came at Daffney’s expense. She was allowed just enough offense to piss Kong off, but that’s it. It’s about what we’ve come to expect at this point.
SARITA & TAYLOR WILDE BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW
-Sweet Jesus… If you haven’t gone out of your way to see those photos of Sarita at the CMLL body building competition, then you don’t have a pulse. WOW! I’m glad they showed that; I was afraid her winning that championship would go unmentioned, which would've been stupid.
-They said that they’ll be facing Kong & Hamada on the January 4th show. Sweet! That should be an awesome match. Hopefully, management will let those women really cut loose on Monday. But if it’s just going to be the typical two minute TV match then they’re better off waiting until Genesis to do that one.
-It might be my imagination, but it seems like Sarita is more comfortable cutting promos in Spanish than English.
APRIL HUNTER & LORELEI vs. SARITA & TAYLOR WILDE ©
-Decent tag match. It’s nice to see Sarita & Taylor facing some different people -- getting wins over new opponents just adds to their credibility. However, it would’ve been nice if TNA had gotten an actual tag team with experience working together for this instead of two random singles wrestlers. April & Lorelei was an awkward pairing and it was clear that they weren’t too familiar with each other prior to the match.
-April & Lorelei didn’t do too badly here, but they really didn’t show anything that made me think they deserve to be signed. Lorelei in particular looked kind of shaky. If TNA is looking for new female talent, hopefully they’ll keep looking because they can do better than these two.
-It’s really disappointing that TNA didn’t use Sara Del Rey for this. I really thought she had a shot after her match at the TNA house show in November went well. I heard from one source that she was at least on their list of women that they wanted to use, but for one reason or another it didn’t happen and that’s a damn shame. She would’ve done much better against the champs than April & Lorelei did.
ODB BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW
-Good angry promo, but I still don’t think ODB should be getting pushed toward another match with Tara. It’s time for a new challenger for the belt.
ROXXI vs. HAMADA
-As expected, it looks like the attack earlier was meant to protect Roxxi. She was actually put over really well here. She’s selling the injury to her ribs, clearly not 100%, but she still puts up a great fight and gives Hamada a hard time. Hamada wins the match, but Roxxi looks like one tough bitch in defeat.
-Even though this was more about the story of Roxxi trying to fight through the injury, this was a really good match and the best one of the tournament so far.
-Unlike their matches earlier tonight where they were both the crowd favorites respectively, the audience couldn’t seem to decide which woman to root for here.
-Unfortunately, this is the match where Roxxi broke her ankle. She said on her twitter page that she’ll be out for six weeks. Hopefully, she can heal up fast because it looks like she was on the verge of a nice push.
ODB vs. AWESOME KONG
-These two have had some good matches in the past and some not-so-good matches. This was one of the good ones. It could’ve used more time though, considering the history they have.
-This is the stuff that ODB needs to be doing more of if her heel turn is going to work. Pulling the referee in front of Kong, knocking out Kong with the tequila bottle -- these are things that heels do.
-For the record, if you haven’t figured out yet that ODB is going to win this tournament then you haven’t been watching pro wrestling very long.
HAMADA vs. ODB. AWESOME KONG BRINGS OUT A TABLE
-Very good match to end the tournament and it got more time than any women’s match in TNA or WWE in ages. I’d say this was one of ODB’s best singles matches since joining the company and Hamada deserves a lot of credit for bringing that out of her.
-Having said that, I really don’t agree with ODB getting the title shot against Tara. Their match at Final Resolution wasn’t very good, so why are they doing another one? Wouldn’t it be a better idea to use this tournament to build up a new opponent and put Tara in the ring with someone she could have a better match with? It’s important that the January 4th show delivers in a big way and I just don’t know if Tara vs. ODB is going to deliver.
-Hamada, Alissa Flash or Roxxi would’ve been a better choice to win the title shot. Unfortunately, Hamada already has a tag title shot on that show, Roxxi broke her ankle in her match with Hamada and Alissa wasn’t even in the tournament, due to -- I’m assuming -- a foot injury she mentioned on her twitter page that she got when she stepped on some Christmas ornaments that her cat broke. Under the circumstances, I suppose management felt ODB was the best option, but from the way this whole thing was booked, her going over was most likely the plan all along anyway.
-I like that Kong brought the table out as it reinforces her partnership with Hamada. However, a problem we now have is that Kong & Hamada come out of this tournament looking like babyfaces, which is going to make the crowd reaction interesting when they face Sarita & Taylor on Monday.
ODB & TARA INTERVIEW
-Good interview from both women. They made it look like they wanted to kill each other and got you excited for the match, which is what you want. I don’t know how good the match is going to be, but they did a good job selling it. If TNA did this good a job at hyping up their PPV matches, their buyrates would be a lot higher.
-ODB’s comments about the Knockouts being wrestlers and the women where Tara came from being about showing a lot of skin would’ve carried more weight if TNA hadn’t done that Velvet/Lacey mud wrestling match a few weeks ago.
-I liked this show in general. I may not like the fact that ODB went over, but the tournament itself was well done. Some of the matches were better than others, but none of them were bad. As a whole, the show came off fairly well despite a lot of padding. It being New Year’s Eve, I don’t expect this show to do a huge rating, but I think TNA can consider it a success regardless. If only they put this kind of focus on the X-division…
-As it turns out, New Year’s Knockout Eve drew a 0.6 for 7-9pm and a 0.8 for TNA’s normal timeslot of 9-11pm, which is pretty close to what iMPACT has been drawing lately. All things considered, that’s a great number and a good indicator that a potential Knockout spin-off show could draw on its own.
KNOCKOUTS TITLE MATCH:
ODB vs. TARA ©
-Let me get this straight. So the whole point of New Year’s Knockout Eve was to set up ODB winning the title back from Tara in a TV match that went under three minutes? Um… why? They spent a four hour special building this match up as a big deal and then it was over in two minutes and change. TNA just killed the relevance of the New Year’s Knockout Eve show retroactively and probably killed a lot of people’s interest in the singles title at the same time.
-ODB’s title reign went absolutely nowhere. What exactly is the point of giving her the belt back when Tara just won it a few weeks ago, and in such anticlimactic fashion on top of that? Do the writers not understand how damaging this is to Tara -- that it makes her look like a fluke champion? Apparently not, seeing as how this is the SECOND time they’ve booked her to lose the title almost immediately after winning it. Even if she wins it back at Genesis, all these rapid fire title changes do the wrestlers no favors and they ruin the prestige of the championship. This booking is absolutely atrocious.
BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE BACKSTAGE SEGMENT
-Oh, yeah, by all means, let’s waste time on multiple segments of TBP playing strip poker. It’s not like we only have five hours of TV time to put together the entire card for Genesis. Oh, wait… it is.
KNOCKOUTS TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH:
AWESOME KONG & HAMADA vs. SARITA & TAYLOR WILDE ©
-In one match these women showed why THIS was the feud that the tag team division should’ve started with. Seriously, this was so far above what TBP delivered against Sarita & Taylor, it’s not even funny. This was easily the best Knockout tag team match in the short history of this division. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think they were capable of even more, but it was an excellent contest between four terrific workers and light years better than anything we saw from the women on Raw tonight.
-The crowd loved this and the following chants were audible during the match: “You’re all awesome!” “This is awesome!” And my personal favorite: the dueling chants of, “We love Knockouts! -- Divas suck!” And the best part was that at the same time as this was happening, over on the USA network, Maryse & Brie Bella were falling all over themselves in the ring while the audience they were performing in front of took a nap. Score one for the good guys.
-This was a bit longer than usual, but still not long enough. Breaking the match up with commercials definitely hurt it. It really bothers me when matches where titles change hands aren’t given proper time. They did at least put over the title change as a big deal, but I wanted more time for this segment. Hopefully, they’ll get more time at Genesis, if a rematch even happens at Genesis.
-I do agree with Kong & Hamada being the ones to take the titles from Sarita & Taylor, but I think the babyfaces needed to get a win over them before that happened. Now the story of their title reign is that they easily defeated a bunch of mediocre opponents and then came up short the first time they faced a real challenge. Granted, this does give them a big mountain to climb now, but it paints their title reign in a bad light.
-There are a lot of positives here though. This development puts Sarita & Taylor in a new position. They had been having trouble getting the fans to rally behind them and making them underdog challengers rather than dominant champions could help with that. What’s important now is that the writers make Kong & Hamada the most detestable, vicious, blood thirsty heels possible because babyfaces are only as effective as the heels that oppose them and those two are still technically tweeners at this point.
-Kong & Hamada will make fine champions and this development will make the tag team division more interesting, which is something that needed to happen. I’m not sure I like the timing the title change, but it could turn out to be a good thing depending on what happens next.
-The announcers didn’t point this out, but Kong is now the second woman in TNA history to hold both the Knockout singles title and tag team titles; Taylor being the first.
BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE BACKSTAGE SEGMENT. VAL VENIS DEBUTS
-I really don’t like where this is going at all. Out of all the free agents in the industry that TNA could’ve picked up, they bring in a relic of the Attitude Era like Val freaking Venis? And I thought TBP had reached new levels of pointlessness before…
RAVEN & DR. STEVIE (w/ DAFFNEY) vs. MATT MORGAN & HERNANDEZ
-Holy crap… Daffney looks so hot tonight, I think I can feel the heat through the TV screen. That’s all I can really say since, once again, she was given absolutely nothing to do.
THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE (w/ LACEY VON ERICH) vs. AWESOME KONG & HAMADA (c). ANGELINA LOVE RETURNS POST-MATCH
-Short squash match. I know I constantly complain about the short matches on iMPACT, but this was a time when it made sense. This match should have been short. Kong beat Velvet & Madison in a handicap match in under two minutes last spring. After that, anything less than total squash domination of TBP would make Kong & Hamada look like chumps.
-Nice to see Angelina back. This was a good return for her. I was worried that her coming back would mean a renewed push for TBP. And unlike other people, I didn't think that her returning to the group would at least have the benefit of eliminating any reason for Lacey Von Erich to remain in TNA, because apparently, Hogan likes Lacey for some ungodly reason, so she's not going anywhere. Basically, Angelina being put back into TBP would've meant we'd be in for more of the same old thing, but the writers decided to do something different instead. Thank you.
-I'm not sure if this was a face turn for Angelina or if it's a case of heel vs. heel -- with Vince Russo writing, either one is possible. Personally, I'd much rather she turn face. I know she turned heel two years ago because her initial babyface run was as boring as the WWE product, but the landscape was a lot different back then. If there was any storyline that could make Angelina an effective babyface, this is it. She got a good babyface reaction from the crowd when she attacked her former partners, but she still had her heelish attitude, so it's not really clear yet what side of the fence she's going to fall on.
-It occurs to me that, with the way Roxxi was written off TV (the injury to her ribs at the hands of Lacey), one way they could go with this angle is Angelina & Roxxi teaming up to take out TBP once and for all after Roxxi heals up from her broken ankle in a few weeks. If Angelina doesn't find herself a partner this feud is going to be three on one, and as much as I want Roxxi to be inserted into the singles title picture, it would be pretty cool to see her & Angelina, two former arch rivals, joining forces. They could tell a really interesting story with that, not to mention create a new Knockout tag team that would make perfect sense under the circumstances.
TARA/ODB VIDEO PACKAGE
-Wait, wait... So now Tara vs. ODB at Genesis is 2 out of 3 falls? When did that happen? Why book this gimmick when we just had a 2 out of 3 falls match at the last PPV? Why book it if you're barely even going to mention it in the match hype? What is the reason for this gimmick to exist? What about this feud said, "We need a 2 out of 3 falls stipulation"? These women haven't even had a solid match under normal conditions yet; what makes the writers think giving them two more falls than usual is going make any difference?
-They pretty much said that this match would be the end of their feud. If that's the case, then I expect Tara to win the title back on Sunday. Hopefully, she'll have a good, lengthy run with it this time because they've been playing hot potato with that belt lately and its credibility is pretty much shot.
KNOCKOUTS TITLE MATCH: 2 OUT OF 3 FALLS
TARA vs. ODB (c)
-I already miss the 6-sided ring. It just doesn't feel like TNA without it. And may I say that I felt personally offended when Hogan & Bischoff crapped on the 6-sided ring and said they were getting rid of it "whether the fans liked it or not" while the fans were booing the hell out of them and chanting, "We want 6 sides!" This is just the latest in an increasingly long line of examples which prove that Hogan & Bischoff don't give a rat's ass about what TNA was before they got there. Can someone please explain to me why we're supposed to cheer for these guys when they're obviously egomaniacal pricks?
-This was the longest Knockouts match we've had on PPV in a while, but of all the women they could have given that time too, they had to give it to Tara & ODB? Why? Get it through your heads, TNA management -- these women have no chemistry! None! Zero! That time should be given to Sarita & Taylor vs. Kong & Hamada; a match that, for the record, was not even on this PPV.
-After several matches where Tara & ODB didn't produce anything worth talking about together, this was more of the same. It was pretty much exactly what we've come to expect from them, which is not a good thing. I really hope this feud is over now because, frankly, I'm sick of this match up and I don't think I'm the only one. Their wrestling styles just do not mesh and they never have. It's time for Tara to feud with someone she can actually have a great match with.
-The funny thing about this is that while I was watching this match, I was wondering why we never see a 2 out of 3 falls match end with one person getting two straight pinfalls, and then it happens. I think that's the first time I've ever seen that finish.
-After losing two pinfalls in a row, ODB has absolutely zero grounds for a rematch against Tara. Unfortunately, that didn't stop TBP from getting title shot after title shot a few months ago even though Sarita & Taylor pretty much embarrassed them every time. The only thing I can do is cross my fingers and hope that this lousy feud has finally been put to rest.
-Let this be the end of this ridiculous game of hot potato that the writers have been playing with the singles title. The fact that Tara is now the first three time Knockouts champion in TNA history means virtually nothing because her first two title reigns lasted for less than a month combined. The best thing that can happen now is for Tara to have a long run with the belt, defending it against opponents that she has chemistry with and can have good matches with. And by that I mean she needs to feud with someone other than ODB, Kong & Angelina.
-Originally, I had written a lengthy argument here, outlining all the reasons why Tara's next opponent and first challenger for the title should be Alissa Flash, but since Alissa has been released from the company (a news item I've been crying bitter tears over), that has now been deleted. Needless to say, I'm incredibly pissed off about this. Alissa is one of the best and most marketable female talents in the industry and was easily the most underutilized woman in the history of this company. I'm not going to go on a huge rant about this because I'm too upset right now. All I'll say is that the fact that a tremendous talent like Alissa gets released while a no-talent piece of crap like Lacey Von Erich still has a job in TNA makes me sick to my stomach.