"The Beautiful People’s drawing power is nothing but a crutch – a crutch used by the TNA creative team to buoy the iMPACT ratings whenever they need, and it could not be more obvious... They know they can pimp Velvet & Angelina all over the iMPACT show, put them in any stupid skit, any ridiculous segment, no matter how utterly pointless it is, and it’s going to draw ratings.
As far as the TNA writers are concerned, Velvet Sky & Angelina Love are nothing but a ploy to gain viewership in the cheapest way possible.
Not Beautiful People, but ratings whores."
-KNOCKED OUT: Beautiful People or Ratings Whores? 2/20/09
I remember a time when the Knockout division was one of the best things about TNA. I also remember when Dixie Carter said that she was very proud of it and that it was important to her that the Knockouts were represented properly.
The former is no longer true. I can virtually guarantee that the latter isn't either.
Last Monday, at 8pm I sat down to watch iMPACT, and for the next two hours, I was subjected to easily the most idiotic, illogical and flat-out horrid edition of this show that TNA has produced since the Kevin Nash-booked episode from late last year.
The ironic part about this is that there were actually some good things about this show. But a nice ladder match and a pretty decent X-division segment were not nearly enough to prevent the floodgates from opening, thus causing me to nearly drown in the tidal wave of horse crap that burst forth.
The Motor City Machine Guns getting buried by three broken down senior citizens and their fat, racist white trash mouth piece, otherwise known as the Band & Bubba the Love Sponge. The tease of a feud between two of the biggest ratings-killers in the entire company, 'the Walking Insomnia Cure,' Orlando Jordan and 'the Human Piss Break,' Rob Terry. Not to mention the fact that the Lockdown build up was so atrocious that they are now heading into their go-home show next week with only three, that's right, THREE matches announced. This show was so bad that it had me entertaining thoughts of hanging myself by my shower rod, just to escape it.
And as much as it pains me to say this, the biggest crime against pro wrestling fans everywhere was committed by the Knockout division, or rather, by whatever group of paint-sniffing chimps is booking the Knockouts these days.
I don't know how the Knockout division has fallen so far as to allow their singles championship to change hands based on who opens a certain lockbox, to have the title holder be determined by the luck of the draw, thus completely destroying the credibility of not only the new champion, but the former champion AND the title itself.
What I do know is that this never happened before Hogan & Bischoff showed up. Take from that what you will.
Unfortunately, something that DID happen (quite often, in fact) before the men in question arrived in TNA was the endless pimping of the Beautiful People in an increasingly shameless attempt to bolster the ratings.
I'm not going to bother listing off the innumerable examples of the TNA creative team using this tactic; I already did that once before (KNOCKED OUT: Beautiful People or Ratings Whores?).
Instead, I'm just going to give you some undeniable facts and let you draw your own conclusions:
-On the 4/05/10 edition of iMPACT, the Knockout singles title was put on the line in a match which the champion, Tara, won. However, she lost the title because the random lockbox she won the key to was not the correct one (dear God, it sounds stupider every time I say it).
-The championship was then awarded to Angelina Love, even though she was the fourth and LAST person to score a pinfall victory in this elimination match.
-Tara was shown to be more concerned about winning back her pet tarantula (which she shouldn't have even had to win back in the first place since it was STOLEN from her) than she was about losing her championship, thus making the title look like crap, not only for changing hands under such ludicrous circumstances, but because the champion didn't seem to care that much about it.
-Hamada, the best worker in this match by a country mile, who was very over and riding a big push before Hogan & Bischoff arrived -- a push which ended after their first day on the job -- was never even seen in the match. She didn't tag in until the show went to a commercial break and she was eliminated before the commercial break was over.
-The TNA creative team (now reportedly headed by Eric Bischoff) decided to sacrifice the already-lackluster Lockdown hype, not to mention all manner of common sense and logical storytelling, so they could have the entire show build up to the "climactic" final segment where Lacey Von Erich would take her clothes off in an obviously desperate attempt to pop the plummeting ratings.
-Daffney, the apparent top heel in the Knockout division right now, was punked out by Lacey, a woman that Hogan & Bischoff openly acknowledge as being so unskilled that she doesn't even know how to lock up properly, just so Lacey could do her aforementioned striptease.
-The penultimate iMPACT before Lockdown ended with Velvet Sky challenging Angelina Love to a "Leather & Lace" match (no, I don't know what that is either) next Monday, with nary a mention of Lockdown, one of TNA biggest and most important PPVs of the year, which was less than two weeks away.
-By the end of this show, TNA had still announced only three matches for Lockdown, which as I just mentioned, was LESS THAN TWO WEEKS AWAY!
-A few months ago, TNA head writer Vince Russo stated on his facebook page that he respected the Knockouts far too much to ever book them in a Bra & Panties match, and on this show he booked a match where one of the Knockouts would have to perform a striptease or be fired immediately, thus proving that as far as the TNA writers are concerned, respect means nothing.
On 4/05/10, the Knockout division lost whatever shred of dignity and credibility it had left after just four months of being booked by Eric Bischoff, a man who has openly admitted to believing that nobody cares about women's wrestling, and Hulk Hogan, a man who thinks a woman's place in pro wrestling is acting as arm candy for the men and competing in bikini contests (re: Hogan's Australia tour).
And the worst part about this, the most maddening part, is that Dixie Carter inexplicably allowed it to happen. Where was Ms. Carter to put a stop to this embarrassing, and frankly, insulting segment? Where was she to remind Hogan & Bischoff that she wanted the Knockout division treated with respect?
I honestly don't know. But for someone who has always seemed to take a great deal of pride in being a woman in a position of authority in what is predominantly thought of as a male-dominated business, for a woman who has stated on many occasions that she is very proud of the Knockout division her company has built, this is very unfortunate, and to be honest, kind of sad.
Ms. Carter, the Knockout division was reduced to little more than a tits-and-ass ratings ploy on this show. I have to ask... are you still proud of it now?
Because I wouldn't be...