-Well, here's some not-so-surprising news to start off the month. According to ODB's twitter page, she asked for and has been given her release from the company. If you've been paying attention then you're probably about as surprised by this as I am (not very). I can't even remember the last time she was used on TV, and last we heard from her, she was lamenting the current crappy state of the Knockout division on her facebook page, so this hardly comes as a shock.
-Not to sound cold or anything, but I'm not going to lose much sleep over this one. I'm not one of these internet marks who hate ODB or anything (though there are quite a few of them out there), but ODB didn't really do much for me as a wrestler. She could be entertaining in small doses, but I think the writers had long since run out of things to do with her. There really didn't seem to be anywhere left for her character to go and it's not like she had been prominently featured in the last six months. Although, it is troubling that one of the only really over female babyfaces the company had left is now gone.
-I imagine this means we're going to see yet another push for Angelina as we wait out the clock until Mickie James's 90 day no compete clause expires. Oooh, pinch me.
ANGELINA LOVE PRE-MATCH PROMO
-Angelina's been out for weeks and she doesn't even get her entrance shown on her first night back? That's just ridiculous.
-I like that they announced the match for Victory Road as early possible, but Angelina has been out for a while with an injury, so what did she do to earn a title shot?
ANGELINA LOVE vs. LACEY VON ERICH (c)
-Lacey Von Erich in a singles match? For one night, the ridiculously short matches the Knockouts get these days turned out to be a blessing. Lacey's matches should be kept as short as possible for obvious reasons.
-Mercifully short and Angelina gets herself DQed with a DDT to Lacey on a chair. Intriguing finish. This could turn out to be interesting if they play it like Angelina cares more about hurting TBP than beating them or it could turn into some really stupid angle that results in us never getting a clean finish to her matches. I'll forgive it this time since it was Lacey and she's awful, but I hope they won't try for a finish like this when Angelina gets Madison in the ring with the title on the line.
-There's news going around that Tara may be returning to the company soon. Um... what? Didn't she just lose a match where the stipulation was that her career is over if she loses? Maybe they worked out a new deal, but if there was a chance of that happening, why do the "career ending" stipulation in the first place? If they bring someone back just a couple months after she lost a match with her career on the line, it's just going to look stupid.
-Disagree with me all you want, but I hope Tara doesn't come back. Her first run in TNA was extremely underwhelming and I really have no desire to see her again. I might feel differently if she had delivered on a level proportionate to the push she received, but she didn't. She never really had any standout matches. Even the cage match with Awesome Kong wasn't that great. The only reason that match was memorable was because of the cool finish with her diving off the top of the cage -- take away that finish and the rest of the match really wasn't anything to write home about, just like her entire run in the company. I'd much rather they have kept Roxxi around instead.
BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE BACKSTAGE SEGMENT
-Some interesting things going on in this segment. Madison making a crack about the absent Lacey and, more interestingly, Madison seeming cocky and unconcerned about Angelina while Velvet was clearly on edge. Madison even started bossing Velvet around. Did Madison become the leader of TBP and forget to tell anyone?
ANGELINA LOVE vs. VELVET SKY (c). MADISON RAYNE TAUNTS ANGELINA POST-MATCH
-Nice touch with Velvet selling her concern by not doing her usual entrance.
-I like this gimmick of Angelina being more concerned with hurting TBP than getting wins over them. If that leads to TBP being off TV while they sell the injuries, then more power to her. TBP are ridiculously overexposed at this point and they need to get some of the other women some screen time already.
-Not a great match, but it was passible, I suppose, and that's about the best you can ask for from a Velvet Sky singles match. But I'm just so tired of TBP that it's hard to drum up any enthusiasm. This faction is so damn stale right now, it's not even funny.
TAYLOR WILDE vs. MADISON RAYNE (c). ANGELINA LOVE ATTACKS MADISON POST-MATCH
-Once again, Taylor doesn't get an entrance. I know a lot of people haven't been getting their entrances shown tonight, but still, this really bugs me.
-A typical Madison Rayne match. She gets outwrestled by her opponent, then wins in unconvincing fashion. I really don't understand why she's getting pushed so much. Based on the crowd tonight, she hasn't gotten over at all as a singles competitor. Take away the other members of TBP and you only shine a light on how generic a character and wrestler Madison really is.
-They were actually having a pretty good match, but unfortunately the whole thing ended up playing second fiddle to the ECW guys showing up in the crowd, distracting from the in-ring action. For the record, I would have complained about this no matter what match it happened during. It's just typical Russo booking with the wrestling being the least important thing about the show.
-Forgive me, but I couldn't care less about an old school ECW faction in 2010. Yes, ECW was great in its day, but the company has been dead for a decade now. For God's sake, why can't people stop raping its corpse and just let it die? The only chance this would have of being any good whatsoever is if Paul Heyman were booking it, which seems pretty damn unlikely even if TNA is actively trying to sign him. Be honest -- does ANYONE want to see an original ECW faction booked by Vince Russo, or worse, Kevin Sullivan? Yeah, I thought not.
SARITA & TAYLOR WILDE BACKSTAGE SEGMENT
-Sarita attacks Taylor... What the... WHERE THE HELL DID THIS COME FROM?! They never teased this! They never alluded to this! This was completely unprovoked! This made no damn sense!
-According to the announcers, this break up was teased on Xplosion. Well, someone should tell TNA that Xplosion DOESN'T AIR IN AMERICA (not yet anyway)! Why the hell are they trying to pay off angles that only air on a show that no one in this country has seen? What kind of sense does that make? NONE!
-This just goes to show how absolutely meaningless the Knockout tag team titles are now because TNA just broke up the only team TBP had to feud with, and no other makeshift team the writers could put together from the women they have is going to be anywhere near as good together as Taylor & Sarita... unless it's Sarita & Hamada, but that would require Hamada actually getting TV time and it doesn't seem like that's going to happen. This is absolute horse shit.
-I suppose there is one saving grace here. If you'll remember, when these two were originally teamed together, I said that the only downside to it was that we wouldn't get to see the matches they could have against each other. I assume that match will happen now, but it will most likely happen on Xplosion, which means we won't even get to see it, so the whole thing is entirely pointless! What a God damn waste.
-Well, at least the writers are actually doing something with Sarita & Taylor now. Sure, it's frustrating as hell, but at least it's something. And if they're feuding with each other, it means that at least one of them will actually get to win a damn match.
-If this segment was any indication, Sarita should make a great heel. Hopefully, this will lead to her getting more TV time. I really doubt it, since Angelina and TBP are the only women TNA seems to give a rat's ass about anymore, but there's always hope, I guess.
DAFFNEY vs. ANGELINA LOVE
-Daffney doesn't get her entrance shown and Angelina has a title match at the PPV this Sunday. Gee, I wonder who's going to win this match... [/sarcasm]
-Surprisingly, Daffney actually seems to be more over as a face than Angelina. Her crowd pops/chants were much louder.
-Decent action while it lasted, but once again, just way too damn short to mean anything.
ANGELINA & MADISON RAYNE POST-MATCH PROMO
-Madison challenges Angelina to put her career on the line this Sunday and Angelina inexplicably agrees to it. Um... what? Again with this crap? How the hell does Madison keep convincing her opponents to do this when they don't have to and why in God's name do they keep agreeing to it when they have everything to lose and nothing to gain by doing so? All this does is make the babyface Knockouts look like a bunch of idiots. Angelina apparently anticipated this and was ready with a stipulation of her own, but it doesn't make her any less of a dumbass for agreeing to this. I have no problem with the 'wrestler puts their career on the line' stipulation as long as it makes sense, but this does not.
-Since Angelina isn't leaving the company and has a contract good for another couple years, I guess this means we'll have a new singles champion after Victory Road. I really wish they would get behind Sarita or Hamada like this, but Angelina is certainly a step up from Madison at this point.
-If Velvet and/or Lacey are going to turn on Madison at Victory Road, they just completely telegraphed that swerve with this stip of an automatic title change if they interfere.
-At least they put importance on the title by having Angelina say she wants to be the first ever 4-time singles champion. Putting importance on championships isn't something you normally see on a show written by Vince Russo.
7/11/10 Victory Road
KNOCKOUTS TITLE vs. CAREER:
ANGELINA LOVE vs. MADISON RAYNE (c)
-Wow. Both women actually got their entrances shown. I guess that can only happen on PPV these days.
-The match was okay at best, not PPV quality due to not getting enough time and the stupid finish certainly didn't help.
-The way the title changed hands was asinine, but at least they finally got the belt off of Madison Rayne. This business of pushing her as some kind of badass career killer wasn't working and it was never going to work. She just isn't equipped to pull off that kind of gimmick. No one was buying into it and she shouldn't have won the title in the first place. She was booked as a jobber for over a year prior to becoming champion and then they tried to make her credible afterward. It just doesn't work that way.
-It was confirmed almost immediately that the mystery woman who tried to help Madison was Tara, which really doesn't interest me at all and frankly, it doesn't make any sense either after Madison "ended her career" a few months ago. Tara has underperformed since the day she walked into this company and I really have no desire to see her anymore. I'd much rather see Roxxi or Alissa Flash be brought back or a new signee get a shot. Seriously, was her previous stint in TNA not boring enough? Did they have to bring her back just so she can cut more horribly acted promos and have another 10,000 lackluster matches with Angelina? Ugh...
-I can't believe that the last three Knockouts title changes in a row have happened without the champion getting pinned or submitted. It's like they actually WANT that belt to be worthless.
-Angelina is now the first ever 4-time Knockouts champion. Sadly, that means very little at this point, especially when the title changes hands in such a screwy, gimmicky fashion.