-For the record, the Knockouts match was, once again, the highest rated segment of the show last week. Unfortunately, I’m having a hard time working up any enthusiasm for that because…
-Awesome Kong has requested her release from TNA, most likely because of the Bubba the Love Sponge situation. Considering Bubba’s many shameful comments about the Haitian disaster and the horribly classless and disrespectful things Bubba and Hulk Hogan have been saying about Kong on Bubba’s radio show AND the fact that there has apparently been no talk within TNA of firing Bubba despite all this, I have to say that, sadly, this does not surprise me. I can’t imagine why Awesome Kong would want to work with people like that, so it’s perfectly understandable if she wants to leave.
-I’m going to write a separate column about this debacle, so I’ll keep my comments about this here brief. I sincerely hope that Kong ultimately changes her mind about this because her leaving would be the worst thing that could possibly happen to the Knockout division right now. Forget about the fact that she’s the top heel/tweener and currently one half of the women’s tag team champions; more than any other woman on the roster, Kong is the one who makes the Knockout division unique in the wrestling business. Without her, and considering what Hogan & Bischoff likely have in store for us, there’s going to be very little left that really differentiates the Knockouts from the WWE Divas. Speaking as a fan and admirer of Awesome Kong, I really hope she decides to stay.
-For the record, anyone wishing to give money to the Haitian relief effort, please send donations via PayPal to Wrestlers4Haiti@gmail.com.
-And just to pour salt in the wound, about two hours before the show started tonight, I found out that Alissa Flash asked for, and has been granted her release from TNA. Damn. Sadly, this does not surprise me either since Alissa and Kong are good friends in real life. Damn, damn, damn.
ANGELINA LOVE RETURN HYPE VIDEO
-Nice video. It basically reiterated that after Angelina was released a few months ago, Velvet & Madison kind of pissed on her and brought in Lacey to replace her. Short and concise, and it got the point of the story across.
MADISON RAYNE vs. ANGELINA LOVE. VELVET SKY & LACEY VON ERICH ATTACK POST-MATCH
-I like Angelina's new music and the crowd was into her as a babyface.
-Pretty damn short match (about sixty seconds, I think) but an effective squash to put Angelina over in her in-ring return. The beatdown after the match was well done, but the prospect of yet another push for TBP does not exactly fill me with joy. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
-Angelina really needed some promo time before the match to set up exactly what her motivations were. I know that was covered by the video package earlier, but it's usually better to get that stuff directly from the mouths of the wrestlers.
-For the record, Bubba the Love Sponge was featured in multiple segments tonight and every second of it made me want to vomit.
-The TNA website is advertising a 6-women tag match for tonight with TBP facing Tara, Kong & Hamada, or more accurately, the three most dominant women in TNA vs. Madison Rayne and the two most untalented female workers in the company by a pretty wide margin. In any sane, logical universe the heels would be completely obliterated in this match on general principles. But THIS is the Hogan/Bischoff era, and in the Hogan/Bischoff era, the black hole of wrestling ability, Lacey Von Erich, is suddenly not just a wrestler, but a wrestler worth pushing seriously. Thanks a @#$%ing, lot, Hogan & Bischoff.
BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW
-They say that they've moved on to bigger and better things without Angelina. I'm really not sure what that's supposed to mean, seeing as how ever since Angelina left, all TBP have done is lose over and over again.
-The writers really need to shed a little more light on this storyline. It seems like they've glossed over a lot of the character details so they could just get right to the feud. I keep waiting for an Angelina promo where she explains where she stands in this whole situation.
THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE vs. TARA (c), AWESOME KONG & HAMADA (c). ANGELINA MAKES THE SAVE FOR THE BABYFACES POST-MATCH
-So... Tara and Awesome Kong are suddenly just fine with working together? Does anyone else see something wrong with that?
-The announcers say that this match is TBP's chance to prove themselves to Hogan/Bischoff and show that they deserve title shots. This really leaves me wondering why the hell Sarita & Taylor haven't gotten their rematch for the tag titles yet, and for that matter, why they haven't even been on TV since the January 4th show.
-You know who was the most over woman in this match by a mile? Awesome Kong. So, of course, she’s the one who wants to leave the company because of backstage political BS. Sigh...
-Not the worst 6 women tag ever. It was good when Tara, Kong & Hamada were on the offense, but it ground to a screeching halt when TBP were. TBP's offense is unconvincing at the best of times, but against opponents like these, they're just embarrassing themselves. Hamada selling for Lacey and Velvet doesn't even look right. It's not believable and you just can't suspend your disbelief because the rest of the time, Hamada and her partners are wrestling circles around them. This is the whole reason why TBP were finally depushed late last year, because they just couldn't deliver in the ring on the level of the other Knockouts. Apparently, Hogan & Bischoff don't care about silly little things like wrestling ability when it comes to female competitors.
-So Angelina and Tara are suddenly BFFs? Considering their history, there really needed to be a moment where they acknowledged the weirdness of them suddenly being on the same side. It didn't have to be a big moment, it didn't have to focused on too much, but it needed to be there. The fact that it wasn't makes me feel like the writers are skipping over important details.
TRACI BROOKS & ODB vs. SARITA & TAYLOR WILDE
-Well, at least Sarita & Taylor are finally getting some damn screen time. I've been missing them (and their awesome entrance) on iMPACT lately. Ever since the Hogan/Bischoff regime took over, the booking philosophy with the Knockouts has become all about shoving TBP down our throats at the expense of all the other women on the roster. It sucks, but I pretty much expected it. I had a feeling the Knockout division would suffer with Hogan/Bischoff running the show and that's exactly what's happened.
-Just for the record, I attended a TNA house show a few weeks ago and Sarita & Taylor's entrance is even hotter in person, and I didn't even think that was possible. :)
-This Traci/ODB pairing seems strange and random. Traci went back to being a babyface recently (I think), but ODB was still a heel the last time she was on TV, so it doesn't make much sense to see them teaming up. But, as has been previously established, the webmatches have little to no relation to what happens on TV anyway, so I don't think it matters that much.
-Traci was definitely acting heelish during this match. So, is she back to being a heel then? Screw it. I'm just going to call her a tweener until someone tells me otherwise.
-As expected, Sarita & Taylor pretty much wrestled circles around Traci & ODB here. Can someone please explain to me why they're not on TV right now? TBP getting all the screen time while these two are twiddling their thumbs on Xplosion is sucking the life out of me.
-Not really a bad match. Sarita & Taylor were awesome as usual, but their opponents were really not. Traci & ODB just looked like they were going through the motions out there. They seemed to have no energy, like they were jet lagged or something.
-ODB's face pops returned in this match. That didn't take long. If she's still a heel then she needs to act more like a heel. If she keeps doing the same thing she's been doing, then the crowd is probably going to cheer her no matter who her opponent is.
TARA BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW
-It's good that Tara at least acknowledged the history between her and Angelina. The writers didn't do anything with that last week, so those things needed to be said.
ANGELINA LOVE BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW
-The best part about this interview is that potshot Angelina took at Lacey Von Erich, asking Velvet & Madison how TBP have been doing since they tried to replace her. Let's face it, since Lacey showed up, TBP have been in an endless downward spiral, due largely to the fact that Lacey sucks and everyone knows it.
ANGELINA/BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE VIDEO PACKAGE
-Nice video package. The problem is, more than anything, it seemed to be teasing a future match between Angelina and Lacey, which, by all rights, would be absolutely horrid due to Lacey's abysmal lack of talent.
ANGELINA LOVE vs. TARA (c)
-This match was actually hyped very well throughout the show, far more hyped than AJ Styles' match. So, or course, they went to a commercial break thirty seconds after the bell rang. Sigh...
-From the pretty generous use of the digital blurring effect, it looks like Tara had a nip slip and never realized it. They were blurring her chest through almost the entire match and the post-match brawl, which was very distracting. Strange, that she never noticed.
-Anyone who remembers Tara & Angelina's feud from last summer knows that they suffered from the same lack of in-ring chemistry that plagued Tara's feud with ODB. From what I saw, this was a lot better. Angelina working a more babyface style seemed to help the problem considerably, as did the lack of interference, but I can't say much more than that since more than half the match took place during the commercials.
-It's interesting that they're pointing out that Velvet keeps avoiding Angelina. That makes sense considering how long they were partners. I'm sure we'll see that match at some point. Unfortunately, I'm looking forward to that one about as much as I'm looking forward to Angelina vs. Lacey. By that, I mean that I'm NOT looking to it. At all.
-Right now this storyline has Angelina and Tara vs. TBP. With the faces outnumbered 3 to 2, the third woman needed to even the odds has got to be Roxxi who, according to her twitter page, should be back in the ring in a few weeks. She has more reasons to hate TBP than any other woman on the roster, plus, with Lacey injuring her ribs on the New Year's Knockout Eve show, that spot has to be earmarked for her. That's what SHOULD happen anyway. But I have a bad feeling that Roxxi might not fare too well under the Hogan/Bischoff regime. If those guys are fans of Lacey of all people, then Roxxi strikes me as someone they might not be interested in. I hope I'm wrong...
-Apparently, Awesome Kong’s request to be released from TNA has been denied and issues between the two parties have reportedly been smoothed over somewhat. While I do feel bad for Kong if she’s trapped in a working environment she no longer wants to be a part of, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t breathing a big sigh of relief over this news. Kong leaving TNA would pretty much cripple the Knockout division, and anyone who thinks otherwise is dead wrong. I’m very glad that Kong is sticking around, and hopefully, in time, she will be as well. Fingers crossed…
TARA & ANGELINA LOVE BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW
-Couple this interview with the video package that preceded it and it seems like the writers are trying to overhype the Tara/Angelina pairing. That video made it seem like they were bitter rivals for years when the reality is that they feuded for about a month and a half and only had three singles matches, none of which were very good. This type of promotion would make a lot more sense if it were Angelina & Roxxi they were talking about. I'm convinced that Tara's spot in this feud was earmarked for Roxxi before she broke her ankle, and I expect her to be inserted into it when she's cleared to get back in the ring.
THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE vs. TARA (c) & ANGELINA LOVE
-I hope Hogan & Bischoff were paying attention to those "You can't wrestle!" chants in the crowd when Velvet was on the offense.
-Nothing really memorable here, but a fair match that actually got some decent time (not counting the commercial break). Thankfully, Tara & Angelina carried the action for most of the match. Unsurprisingly, Lacey did virtually nothing; she tagged in, hit one move, then tagged out, which is definitely the right way to book Lacey if she absolutely has to be booked in a match at all. On the plus side, she managed not to botch anything for once, which for Lacey is really saying something.
-Taz had the best line of the night when he remarked about Lacey doing a lot of work just to hit that one backflip/elbow drop move. LOL. Seriously, that was a pretty big production for what amounted to a simple elbow drop.
-While I am not a proponent of pushing TBP, it was probably the right call to put them over here. You can't have them losing handicap matches where they have the advantage if this feud is going to have any chance whatsoever of working. The booking was effective in that Tara & Angelina dominated most of the time until TBP got the better of them simply because of the numbers advantage. The faces look strong, but the heels go over. TBP get some much-needed heat in this feud while Tara & Angelina await a third partner to even the odds. I can't see that third partner being anyone but Roxxi; hopefully she'll be back from her injury before they're forced to go with someone else.
2/14/10 Against All Odds
-Consider this part of the column an editorial, rather than a review. None of the Knockouts appeared at Against All Odds. However, in their place we were subjected to an absolutely abominable match between the Nasty Boys and Team 3D -- a match that was billed as the first meeting of two legendary tag teams (maybe 10 years ago it would have been) and sucked so horribly, I felt as if they were trying to literally force the bile from my throat.
-Why in the name of all that is good and pure someone backstage thought the Nasty Boys of all people needed a PPV spot is far beyond my ability to comprehend, but we got this insufferable crapfest instead of a Knockouts match, and it’s a safe bet that whoever made that decision is kicking themselves now.
-Just about any Knockouts match the writers could have put together from the current storylines would have at least been watchable, and that’s a hell of a lot more than I can say for the absolutely embarrassing performance Knobbs & Sags turned in. They are broken down, out of shape, overweight (especially Knobbs) and had to role their fat asses out of the ring every few minutes to catch their breath under the pathetic guise of “slowing down the pace of the match” because their conditioning is so horrid. This miserable display is what we got instead of a Knockouts match.
-This is not me being a mark. This is not me being the writer of the KNOCKED OUT column. This is me being a wrestling fan of many years who does not like having his intelligence insulted and his time wasted by two fossils from a previous era that is long since over, two washed up, repugnant jackasses who are obviously only employed by TNA because of their friendship with Hulk Hogan. So, to anyone out there who might happen to read this, please believe me when I say that I would rather brush my teeth with thermite, gargle with sulfuric acid and shampoo my hair with toxic waste than watch the Nasty Boys wrestle. They are horrible. H-O-R-R-I-B-L-E. In every sense of the word. When they are on my TV screen, I am struck by a powerful urge to slit my wrists just to escape them.
-I thought Against All Odds looked like a good show on paper and I liked the card aside from the Nasty Boys match. But because the Nasty Boys match was there, and on the basis of that match alone, I did not pay for this PPV. Instead, I saved my money and watched this show for free via other means. I will not, nor will I ever, under any circumstances, pay money for a PPV that features the Nasty Boys instead of people who actually deserve to be there. Get them out of TNA, for the love of God.