KNOCKOUT TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH:
DAFFNEY & ODB vs. THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE (c) (w/ MADISON RAYNE)
-No entrance for Daffney & ODB? Gee, I wonder if they're going to lose this match...
-ODB has been off TV for months and she's still one of the most over people on the roster. Wow.
-So... Daffney's a face now? Whatever. It makes about as much sense as anything else on this show.
-What did Daffney & ODB do to earn a title match?
-Wait... WHAT? Madison gave Lacey her tag title? WHY?! WHAT THE HELL IS THIS GARBAGE?! DOES TNA ACTUALLY WANT THOSE BELTS TO MEAN NOTHING?! And the announcers don't even acknowledge it! What in God's name is going on?
-Yeah, Velvet & Lacey's offense is butt ugly, so by all means, let's have them on the offense for most of the match, because that won't make the match horrible or anything. Oh, wait... it will.
-The former singles champ, ODB, gets pinned by Velvet Sky. I think the same thing happened to her the last time she on the show too. Ouch. But hey, at least she was on TV for the first time in who knows how long. I suppose that's a step up.
-Where the hell are Sarita & Taylor? With all the recent departures, they're probably the only tandem of Knockouts left that can carry TBP to a good match... unless the writers wanted to do something with Hamada, which they clearly don't.
-And the match is over almost as soon as it begins. Though considering Lacey was in it, that was probably for the best. There was no part of this that didn't suck.
-Well, here's some unfortunate news. According to Dixie Carter's twitter page, Daffney and Angelina Love were both injured at the TV tapings last week. Daffney suffered a concussion, a bruised sternum and a severe stinger and Angelina partially tore her bicep. Ouch. I heard Daffney's injury was a pretty scary moment. I don't doubt that if it was anything like when Chris Sabin suffered a stinger in a match with Team 3D a few months ago. Thankfully, reports say that neither woman should be on the shelf for too long, though it does make me wonder what the hell the writers are going to do with the Knockouts while those two are laid up. Could we see a return to TV for Sarita & Taylor Wilde? Damn, I hope so. TBP are terribly exposed right now without Saritaylor to carry them in the ring.
BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE BACKSTAGE SEGMENT
-Short and to the point. It set up Madison's first title defense and it looks like there won't be any stupid gimmicks tonight. That's something, I guess.
KNOCKOUT'S TITLE MATCH:
ANGELINA LOVE vs. TARA vs. MADISON RAYNE (c) (w/ VELVET SKY & LACEY VON ERICH)
-It's strange to hear the announcers acknowledge that Madison won the singles title without pinning the champion. That's really not something you want to remind people of. You might as well have Madison just stand next a huge neon sign that reads "NO CREDIBILITY HERE!"
-Before the match, Slick Johnson sends Velvet & Lacey to the back. Looks like the storyline with him and Madison is dead thankfully. I just wish there was some rhyme or reason to when referees send people to the back and when they don't. It seems to be totally random.
-Unsurprisingly, this was short (I don't count the stuff that happens during commercials), but what we got was pretty decent. Madison was the least impressive competitor in the match, but she won, and she did it without any stupid gimmicks, heel tactics or outside interference, so at least she has a shred of credibility now. This was the first competently booked Knockouts match in weeks.
-The brawl between Tara & Angelina was well done, but why in God's name are they doing this feud again when their first feud last summer was so lousy?
-Here's some more disturbing information. According to diva-dirt.com, Taylor Wilde's contract is expiring soon and there's talk in the company of not renewing it. Taylor has since refuted this on her twitter page, saying that reports of her leaving the company were false and that her contract was not up, but Roxxi's contract wasn't expiring this time last year either and that certainly didn't stop them from getting rid of her. While I would hate it if there were any truth to this rumor ( I love Taylor), it wouldn't surprise me if there were. This new creative regime just doesn't seem to have any plans for her for reasons I can't figure out. But IMO, it would be really unwise to let Taylor get away right now because...
-It looks like Tara will be leaving soon! She recently posted the following on her MySpace page:
"It appears that I'm winding down at TNA... I came to TNA last year because I still had a lot of wrestling left in me. I was paid a fraction of what I thought I deserved. But I wanted to show I was still at the top of my game. Now my contract is up in May. I want a modest pay increase. They don't want to pay me what I think is fair. I have no problem going my own way."
-Now that one I did not see coming. Once again, pay issues lead to another top Knockout leaving the company. TNA need to wake up and realize that they're probably not going to be able to hold on to former WWE Divas if they don't open up their wallet more than they do. Those women are accustomed to making a hell of a lot more money in WWE and they're probably not used to being stiffed like this. It's really strange that the Knockouts continue to draw ratings for TNA and yet the company seems to hold them in such low regard these days.
-Without Tara, who is one of the only women TNA seems to want to feature on a regular basis right now, it really makes me wonder what they're going to do to fix this. I would think there would be an aggressive effort to sign recently released WWE Diva, Mickie James. But if they can't get Mickie, I just hope to God that they won't get desperate and go after that idiot, Maria Kanellis (I heard a rumor that they were). That would be horrible.
-I won't particularly miss Tara if/when she leaves as she never really clicked with me and her run in TNA has been pretty underwhelming, but Taylor Wilde leaving would break my heart. If both women leave, I'm not sure what would happen. Maybe they would sign some new women or maybe they just wouldn't care enough to do anything about the situation. With the current regime, it's hard to tell. There are some women from the indies that I would love to see TNA bring in, but since Hogan & Bischoff took over, I've pretty much given up any and all hope that TNA will ever sign Sara Del Rey. As great a wrestler as she is, she probably doesn't have the look they want; by that I mean she looks like an athlete, not a bikini model.
-I suppose the silver lining here, if you want to see it, is that if the Knockouts keep getting injured and/or leaving the company, then pretty soon, TNA will have no choice but to put Sarita & Taylor Wilde back on TV, just by process of elimination.
-And now for some good news... Following yet another one of his verbal diatribes on Awesome Kong -- this one containing a number of racial slurs -- when he ambushed her during an interview, Bubba the Love Sponge has been fired from TNA. THANK GOD! That racist, white trash dirtbag deserves a hell of a lot worse. You've got no one to blame but yourself this time, Bubba. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out and never darken my TV screen again, you repugnant lowlife.
BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE BACKSTAGE SEGMENT
-I like Madison a little more after she pointed out the ridiculous stipulation of having all the titles on the line in a 6-woman tag. Why do the writers like doing that so much?
-Short segment that set up the match for later in the night. Fine for what it needed to do.
ALL TITLES ON THE LINE:
TAYLOR WILDE, SARITA & TARA vs. THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE (c)
-Sarita & Taylor's first appearance on iMPACT in who knows how long and they don't even get their awesome entrance shown (Booo!). Neither did Tara for that matter. Naturally, TBP got their entrance. Ugh...
-Even though this match was blink-and-you-miss-it short, there were still noticeable botches from Lacey, Velvet, and Lacey & Velvet together. Neither of those women should be allowed to execute a DDT ever again. Why do these idiots continue to get pushed? They're AWFUL!
-Some really brief action that was more of an angle about Tara acting like an ass to her partners. I really don't understand that. It makes sense that she'd be angry at Angelina and about how she lost the title, but she has no reason to be pissed at Sarita & Taylor. It also makes no sense for Sarita to get pinned when Tara is the one who's leaving the company soon. Why not just have Tara eat the pin? She has nothing to lose by doing the job at this point.
-Booking like this pisses me off. I know Sarita & Taylor aren't being pushed or even used right now, but they ARE former champions and they deserve a little more respect than to be used as nothing but fodder for Tara who, as I just pointed out, is LEAVING THE COMPANY in a few weeks!
-Why was Tara so pissed off at Sarita & Taylor for the loss when she was the one who caused them to lose the match? For that matter, why would she do everything possible to piss off her partners if she's supposed to be so obsessed with getting the title back? This whole thing was a mess.
TARA BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW
-She challenges Madison Rayne to a Title vs. Career match at Sacrifice, which is just a few days before her contract expires. I guess that's how they're writing her off the show. That should be a good credibility-building win for Madison. And since Tara's leaving the company, there will no reason at all why Madison can't win the match clean. Having said that, I'm sure she won't.
-Taylor Wilde has a singles match with Tara tonight. As thrilled as I am that Taylor will be in the ring again this week, the current booking philosophy with the Knockouts does not have me holding out hope for good things here. Tara's about to leave the company, so it would make sense to have Taylor go over, but TNA seems to have some strange aversion to doing things that make sense these days.
BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW
-Nice interview. Good to see Madison not get overshadowed on the mic by Velvet for a change.
-It could be worth noting that Velvet seems frustrated with Lacey's stupidity lately. That could be going somewhere. If this leads to an angle where Lacey is kicked out of the group, it can't come soon enough.
TAYLOR WILDE (w/ SARITA) vs. TARA. TARA BEATS TAYLOR DOWN POST-MATCH. SARITA MAKES THE SAVE
-Saritaylor get their entrance! Yes! That entrance is way too hot to be cut for time. It must always be shown. Always.
-Nice intensity from Taylor in this match. Too bad she wasn't in control of the action for very long.
-I was right to not hope for much from this match. For crying out loud, they gave it less than ninety seconds! What a waste.
-Well, they certainly did their best to bury Taylor here. And, yes, doing so made absolutely no sense. Taylor will be in TNA after Sacrifice; Tara will not. So why in the world have Tara not only beat Taylor so easily, but destroy her like this? What is the damn point of giving Tara extra momentum when she's about to leave the company?
BACKSTAGE SEGMENT: LACEY VON ERICH GIVES HULK HOGAN VIDEO FOOTAGE FROM HER IPHONE
-I doubt they're involving Lacey in this angle with Abyss/Wolfe/Chelsea. This probably wasn't about anything more than what we saw.
BACKSTAGE SEGMENT: BISCHOFF PUTS TARA IN A MATCH WITH SARITA
-Tara gets pissed off when Bischoff calls her disrespectful. Why are they doing this with Tara? This angle isn't making me root for her. All it's doing is making me want to see her get beat at Sacrifice.
SARITA vs. TARA
-Both women get their entrances. That's a good sign. This match could be really good if they give it some time, which I'm sure they won't.
-Well, it went slightly longer than the earlier match and it was good while it lasted. Sarita looked strong until the knee brace shot at the end. Still, it's just baffling that the writers are pushing Tara harder than ever when she's about to LEAVE THE DAMN COMPANY! Shouldn't it be the other way around? Shouldn't they be deemphasizing her and having her put over some of the girls that will still be there after Sacrifice?
-Seriously, why are they doing this? What purpose does it serve to have a woman whose contract is expiring squash two former champions on her way out the door? All it does is make said former champs look like crap without giving them any chance to get their heat back because the woman who beat them will be gone in a few days.
-Something else I can't figure out is why on earth they're trying to make Tara a heel when she's facing another heel this Sunday at Sacrifice. Wouldn't a better idea be to try to get the fans to rally behind Tara, rather than turn her into an unlikeable bitch when she's about to put her career on the line against the heel Madison Rayne? Do they want to turn Madison into a babyface when she wins that match? I officially have no damn clue what's going on here.
-It seems TNA has signed the woman who injured Daffney in a dark match a few weeks ago. I know very little about her, but she's a former student from Team 3D's wrestling school. I just looked at some pictures of her and color me surprised! Given Hogan & Bischoff's mindset about pushing the model-type Knockouts to the moon at the expense of all the other women, I never thought they would consider someone like this.
-My guess? They're looking for someone to replace Awesome Kong. It can't be a coincidence that Kong leaves the company and not long after, they sign a woman with a similar body type. Memo to TNA: you can't replace Awesome Kong with just anyone. I'm not saying this girl isn't talented; I don't know enough about her to be able to say that. But if TNA were looking for someone to replace Kong, they should've put Hamada in that spot. Or they could have signed Sara Del Rey and let her be that person, because I guarantee you, no matter how good this woman is, she's nowhere near as good as Death Rey.
-For a taste of what we're in for, here's a match she had with Kong on the indies:
TITLE vs. CAREER:
TARA vs. MADISON RAYNE (c)
-Interesting fact -- Tara's first match in TNA was against Madison Rayne. Now her last match will be too. There's some fitting symmetry in that.
-A lot of dueling chants for both women. That could be a sign that Madison is starting to catch on as the champ. Or it could just be a case of the crowd not knowing who to cheer for since Tara turned heel a few weeks prior to the match for some reason.
-There was a point where Madison seemed like she was trying to get the fans behind her. The announcers even put over the heart she was showing, which seemed strange to me. I kind of doubt it will happen, but I heard a rumor that the writers were toying with the idea of turning TBP face. Stay tuned on that one.
-Good match that got some decent time to tell a story for once. It's just sad that this kind of competent booking is a rarity in the Knockout division these days.
-I'll be damned... Madison wins clean -- exactly what needed to happen. She even sent Velvet & Lacey to the back before the match. Welcome to credibility, Madison. This could be a big break out match for her if they follow it up the right way. Unfortunately, the TNA writers have a really terrible track record of doing that.
-So Madison get validated as the champ and Tara gets a show of respect from the fans as she leaves. Nice.
-If the writers are smart, they'll have Madison milk the hell out of being the one who ended Tara's career. She should be able to get a lot of heat from that. This isn't something to just be swept under the rug and forgotten about.
-This was about as good as we could've hoped for. Well done to all those involved. It will be interesting to see what they do with the Knockouts now that Tara's gone. I expect we'll be seeing the new signee debut before too long.