June 22, 2011

TNA: TKO Ep. #17

Season 1 finale

Welcome to TKO, the fictional, one hour a week, Knockout exclusive iMPACT spinoff.

ROSTER: Angelina Love, Brooke Tessmacher, Daffney, Jennifer Blade (Jennifer Blake), Madison Rayne, Mickie James, Sarita, Serafina (Christina Von Eerie), Tara, Trina Diaz (Divina Fly/Rosita), Velvet Sky, Winter

BROADCAST TEAM: Jeremy Borash & Don West


INTERVIEWER: Christy Hemme



TKO abides by one rule: Absolutely nothing happens on the show that could not conceivably happen if it existed in real life.

Here's what happened last time: Setting the Stage, Ep. #1, Ep. #2, Ep. #3, Ep. #4, Ep. #5, Ep. #6, Ep. #7, Ep. #8, Ep. #9, Ep. #10, Ep. #11, Ep. #12, Ep. #13, Ep. #14, Ep. #15, Ep. #16

COLD OPEN: They air a video package of the QOTM match last week, Mickie James overcoming the odds to win the match, retaining her title, and Traci Brooks' cryptic final line about needing an army.


iMPACT ZONE: The announcers welcome us to the season finale of TKO. JB says it's been a long, arduous journey for the entire roster, but it's been a hell of a season and they're going out with a bang.

Running down the card for tonight, they announce that, after tensions rising between these women all season long, tonight Serafina & Trina Diaz finally receive their tag team title shot against Winter & Sarita. After that, it's a grudge match years in the making as Angelina Love takes on her former partner and best friend, the woman who stabbed her in the back, Velvet Sky. And in the main event, Traci Brooks has decreed that Mickie James must defend the Knockouts championship again, just one week after a grueling QOTM match. But during the week, upper management called an audible, went over Traci's head and, by virtue of Mickie's QOTM victory, has given her the right to choose her opponent. Mickie made her decision earlier today. So tonight, the main event will be Mickie defending the Knockouts title against Tara.

Traci's music plays and she walks to the ring with a mic. She welcomes everyone to the season finale of TKO. She says this will be their last show for now, but she once again directs the fans to a page that has been set up on the SpikeTV website, urging everyone to go there and show their support if they want a second season. She says SpikeTV officials will be making the decision of whether or not to greenlight season 2 based on the fans responses and she hopes she can count on all of them.

Switching gears, Traci remarks about what an amazing ride this season has been. She wants the fans to know that when she first got this job, she promised herself that she would bust her ass like she never has before and has done everything she possibly could to make this show work. It wasn't always easy, there were people who made her job really difficult at times, but if this is their last show, she just wants to say that...

Mickie's music plays, interrupting her. From the look on Traci's face, she was expecting this.

Mickie walks down the ramp, grabs a mic from ringside and gets right in Traci's face. Mickie remarks that what Traci just said made a lot of sense. This might be their last show, and if it is, then she won't have another opportunity to do this. So as long as they're getting things off their chests, she challenges Traci to finally come clean. "I want to know what's really been going on with you. People can call me paranoid all they want, but you've been out to get me since day one, and I know it. Way too much stuff has happened in the last 4 months for it to all be a coincidence, Traci. I know you've got a hand you haven't played yet; I just don't know why. You owe me an explanation and you owe all these people an explanation. So why don't you just cut the crap, forget all your cryptic little warnings and passive aggressive BS, and just give us all a straight answer."

Traci considers this for a moment. "You're right, Mickie," she says finally. "I have been keeping things from you. And believe it or not, I've had very good reasons for everything that I've done. And since this is our season finale, maybe it's time for full disclosure. So I'll tell you what... you get passed Tara tonight and I'll come clean. I'll tell you, and all these people, everything you want to know. Until then..." she grins, oozing with sarcasm, "...good luck. You're going to need it."

Traci leaves the ring and backs up the ramp. Mickie doesn't take her eyes off her.

BACKSTAGE: Christy Hemme is standing by with Serafina & Trina Diaz, and asks for some comments about their tag title shot tonight. Serafina says she's wanted to break every tooth in Winter's face since the first day she got here and both of them owe Sarita a beating, too. Winning the tag titles tonight would be the icing on a really sweet cake, so she couldn't be happier about this. Trina says that those 2 have got a comeuppance coming, someone's got to dish it out and it might as well be them. Serafina adds that she'll be pissed if it's not them, joking that otherwise the last 4 months will have been a huge waste of time. She knows Winter & Sarita are going to be tough opponents -- they split up the Beautiful People, so obviously they're more dangerous than they look. But she says to look at her and Trina; at first glance they sure don't look like a real team, but people were thinking the same thing about Winter & Sarita just a few weeks ago. She thinks it's time to earn their keep around here, and tells the fans to get ready to be shocked and awed.

We cut to Winter & Sarita heading for the ring. JB says the tag title match begins after the break.


We see a video package, chronicling how the rivalry between these 2 teams developed over the course of the season, from Serafina's initial rivalry with Winter, to Sarita turing on Trina and taking out her anger on both of the faces, to Winter & Sarita capturing the tag team titles and ending the partnership of the Beautiful People, to the faces coming together and trying to gain a title shot, putting the 2 teams on a collision course.

iMPACT ZONE: Serafina & Trina come out to new music and a new entrance. SoCal Val introduces them by their new team name, Shock & Awe. Then the champions make their entrance.


Serafina and Trina prove how serious they are by really taking it to the champs. Making multiple quick tags, they actually have the heels on the defensive for a good chunk of the match.

JB says Winter & Sarita look awfully surprised by how well the faces are doing. West agrees that they really do work well together. They seem like such an unlikely pairing, but he remembers a time a few years ago when people thought the same thing about Beer Money, and look at them now.

Having trouble putting the faces away, the heels start getting frustrated. Winter grabs a chair from ringside and tries to use it on Serafina, but Daffney runs out from the back and takes the chair away before she can use it. With Winter distracted, Serafina nails her from behind, sending her over the top rope. She then climbs the turnbuckle and dives onto Winter on the floor. Meanwhile, Trina and Sarita go at it in the ring. Sarita shoves Trina aside and suicide dives onto Serafina. Not missing a beat, Trina moonsaults onto all 3 women.

The action starts to break down. The referee begins to count. With seconds left, Trina manages to throw Sarita back into the ring. Trina rolls her up, but Winter grabs her, rolling Sarita on top. Sarita puts her legs on the ropes for leverage and Winter holds them down.

WINNERS AND STILL CHAMPIONS: Winter & Sarita in 9:21

The announcers point out that Winter & Sarita just barely escaped with the win here, and even that they didn't come by easily. They agree that Serafina & Trina just got screwed.

Winter & Sarita laugh and immediately attack the faces again. Furious, Serafina & Trina fight back. A big brawl ensues.

The faces actually start to get the better of the champs, beating them down, when suddenly Terryn Shane & Haley Vaughn (Serena Deeb & Leva Bates) emerge from the crowd, jump over the rail and join the fight as well, taking it to both teams (this week, Haley is dressed as the Punisher). JB asks what they're doing here; their tryout was finished and management hadn't made a decision on whether or not to sign them yet. West says it looks like Terryn & Haley are trying to make a better case for themselves.

Cookie arrives with security. She tries to get involved, but gets bowled right over. The guards try to separate the 6 women. They can't.


Minutes later, things are just now starting to get under control. Serafina & Trina are being restrained in the ring, yelling and cussing at Winter & Sarita, who are backing up the ramp. JB says this is definitely a rivalry that is far from over, but adds that there may be a new X-factor to consider now as we see Terryn & Haley being escorted from the arena.

BACKSTAGE: We see Jennifer Blade in a hallway, talking on her phone. Mickie comes up to her and she ends the call. Mickie says that Jennifer was the person she was most worried about in the QOTM match and she definitely proved why. Mickie also understands that she's probably not happy about Tara getting the title shot tonight, but insists that Jennifer definitely made a case for herself in the future. Mickie encourages her to be patient and says that if Jennifer keeps going, it won't be long before she becomes champion.

Jennifer thanks her, saying that means a lot coming from Mickie. They shake hands and Mickie leaves. Jennifer watches her go.

They air a pre-recorded interview with Mickie where she explains why she choose to put the Knockouts title on the line against Tara tonight. Mickie says that, in the end, the QOTM match came down to her and Tara. Mickie thought her business with Tara was finished, but it seems as if they may still have something to prove to each other. When she returned to TNA last year, her journey to the title started with Tara, so it just seems fitting somehow that Tara be her final opponent of season 1 to bring things full circle.

We go to Christy and Tara. Tara says that she's been in such a great mood since she finally got that monkey off her back 2 weeks ago (the monkey being Madison Rayne). She didn't think anything could feel better than that, but then she found out that Mickie had given her a title shot tonight, which, she admits really surprised her. She and Mickie may never be best friends, but in light of this and everything else that's happened, she thinks it could be time to put the bad blood behind them. She's not interested in screwing people over or doing underhanded crap anymore; she's done with all that. She just wants to go out to the ring and do what she does best. She promises that her and Mickie are going to put on a show tonight. There's just one thing she has to do first...

We cut to Cookie, who is standing in front of a row of men. Angry, she says that from day one the security around here has been a total joke, and what happened out there a few minutes ago was the last straw. "These chumps can't even separate a bunch of girls!" she shrieks. She says she's looking for a new head of security -- she just fired the previous one because they need someone who can actually do this job and get stuff done. She thinks one of these guys might be the person she's looking for.

She goes down the row, giving each man the once over, stopping at the last person in line. It's a tall, burly, muscle-bound woman (Melanie Cruise). She says her name is Eden. Cookie asks what she brings to the table. In response, Eden lifts Cookie up and presses her like weights.

"Now that's what I'm talking about!" Cookie exclaims. "You're hired!"

We cut to outside where Velvet Sky, wearing brand new ring gear, stands in front of a flaming garbage can. She has one of her old Beautiful People t-shirts in her hands, staring at it darkly. She wads it up into a ball and tosses it in the fire. "That's the last one," she says quietly. "That part of my life is over. The next chapter gets written tonight. It's my time to shine, Angelina. I hope you're ready."

They air a video package, chronicling the entire history of the Beautiful People, up to and including Velvet turning on Angelina, and why.

iMPACT ZONE: JB & West explain the ramifications of this match. By decree of the board of directors, Velvet needs a big win to earn her new contract. With this being the season finale of TKO, this is her last chance to save her job. Either Velvet topples her former best friend or this is her last night in TNA.

JB doesn't know how this is going to play out. Velvet says she knows Angelina better than anyone and, by virtue of that, knows how to beat her better than anyone, but doesn't that go both ways? West says that normally it might, but this isn't the Velvet that they remember. She's showing a side of herself that no one has ever seen before, including Angelina.

Angelina's new music beings to play.

BACKSTAGE: Angelina makes her walk to the ring. Christy is waiting for her by the entranceway. She tries to get some pre-match comments, but Angelina says that she's done talking and walks right by her.

iMPACT ZONE: Angelina walks to the ring, not bothering with her usual entrance. She looks terrible. No makeup, hair dirty, mismatched ring attire -- she's a mess. When JB points this out, West says that after everything that's happened to Angelina recently, it's not surprising that she hasn't been taking care of herself like she used to.

Velvet's new music begins to play.

BACKSTAGE: Velvet makes her walk to the entrance.

iMPACT ZONE: Velvet appears, doing a whole new elaborate entrance and brimming with confidence.

JB directs our attention to 2 manilla envelopes that Val is holding. In her right hand she holds Velvet's termination notice and in her left hand she holds Velvet's new contract. One way or another, Traci is going to be signing one of those forms when this match is over.

Val gives each woman a separate intro.


Angelina wrestles very recklessly. She's too angry to think clearly and it shows. West point out that Velvet basically gutted her on national television and she stuck that knife in deep. Playing nice is the last thing on Angelina's mind right now.

But Velvet is keeping her cool, picking her spots very carefully. She has all of Angelina's big moves scouted, but connects with her own, taunting Angelina as she does it. Finally, Angelina gets so pissed off at this that she charges at Velvet, throwing caution to the wind.

Velvet is ready for this. She trips Angelina with a drop toe hold and Angelina lands hard, hitting her throat on the ropes. As Angelina gasps for air, Velvet quickly rolls her up and gets the sudden clean pin from out of nowhere.

WINNER: Velvet Sky in 8:52

Velvet celebrates. Angelina just sits there in a state of shock.

Confetti falls from the rafters, color coordinated to match Velvet's new ring gear. Her celebration goes on for a minute as she soaks this in. Then she smugly waves goodbye to her former friend. She walks up the ramp, takes her new contract from Val and leaves Angelina alone in the ring without looking back.


They air a video package about Brooke Tessmacher's struggles throughout the season to survive on the roster despite her lack of experience. It's intercut with footage from a never-before-seen interview conducted after her loss to Jennifer 2 weeks ago. "I don't know," she says, very depressed. "I don't know what else I can do."

BACKSTAGE: In the locker room, Brooke is packing up her stuff in a gym bag. Mickie comes in and asks her if she's going somewhere. Sadly, Brooke admits that she's throwing in the towel. "I've tried everything, worked as hard as I can, but it's just not happening."

Mickie encourages her not to give up, but Brooke just feels defeated. "I didn't even come here for this. I was supposed to be Eric Bischoff's assistant, and then he went and threw me in with the sharks. And you know what sad thing is? I actually liked it. Being a wrestler is great. This is the most fun I've ever had. And I thought if I busted my ass I could learn enough to survive here, but it just hasn't worked. I had a chance and I blew it. I'm not entitled to anything else." She sighs. "Man, I really wanted this job..."

Mickie sits down, thinking about this. She says that everybody wants something, but knowing what we're really entitled to and what we're not is hard sometimes. It seems like everyone in the locker room has had this problem since TKO started -- thinking they're entitled to things like respect, championships, or even just simple honesty, and she herself has been as guilty of that as anyone. "Who knows... maybe if I'd given Traci the benefit of the doubt and not pissed her off so much, things might have worked out differently."

They seem to have established some common ground, but Brooke asks where Mickie is going with this.

"Everyone deserves a fair shake," Mickie says, getting to her feet. "You haven't really gotten that. So here's the deal: you stick around for a while and give this another shot, and I'll train you myself."

Brooke asks if she's serious. Mickie says she's always serious. Brooke smiles and accepts Mickie's offer.

From there we cut to Tara walking into catering. She approaches Jennifer, who immediately jumps out of her seat. Tara says she comes in peace and tells Jennifer to relax. Tara explains that Jennifer was really getting under her skin for a while there, and she admits it pissed her off. But now that she's had a chance to think about everything that's happened, she realizes that the reason she got so angry is because Jennifer was right and she just didn't want to accept it. "When Madison Rayne retired me last year, it really shook me. And I didn't understand how much it shook me until you threw it in my face. And if you hadn't done that, I'd probably be carrying Madison's luggage tonight instead of wrestling for the title. You wanted me to respect you... well that's something I respect."

Tara gives Jennifer props and offers to bury the hatchet if she'll accept Tara's apology for treating her like shit. She offers to shake hands, finally giving Jennifer what she wanted this whole time.

Jennifer considers this. "I'll think about it," she says. She walks away without shaking Tara's hand, bookending the scene from their first match where Jennifer tried to shake hands, but Tara blew her off.

They air a video package chronicling the Mickie/Tara feud from last year. We see both women via split screen.

JB says the main event is coming up next.


iMPACT ZONE: JB says before the main event they're going to take a look back at TKO season 1, and they air one last video chronicling the entire season, all the big feuds, the swerves, the betrayals, the memorable moments, QOTM, etc. West says it's pretty surreal when you think about everything that's happened in just the last 4 months.

Val announces that it's time for the main event. Tara's music begins to play.

BACKSTAGE: Tara begins her walk to the ring. Jennifer is standing by the entranceway, waiting for her when she gets there.

"Show her who you really are," Jennifer says. Tara nods at her, smiling.

iMPACT ZONE: Tara makes her entrance.

BACKSTAGE: Mickie's music begins to play and she starts her walk to the ring.

iMPACT ZONE: Mickie makes her entrance.

Val gives each woman a separate intro.


No swerves. No funny business. It's nothing more than a great match between 2 great wrestlers.


Post-match, Mickie and Tara shake hands and hug. JB says that it looks like they've finally put the bad blood behind them.

Tara tries to leave, but Mickie grabs a mic and tells her to stick around because this concerns her too. In fact, it concerns everyone. "Hey, Traci!" she says. "The match is over and I'm still the champion. So come on out. You've got some explaining to do."

Traci's music plays and she comes out, joining them in the ring. West says he can't wait to hear what Traci has to say.

"I'm waiting..." says Mickie.

Traci takes a deep breath and begins. "Do you remember what I said that first night I came back to TNA, 4 months ago?"

Mickie remembers. She said that she had plans that not everyone was going to like, and she wasn't kidding.

"That's just part of it," Traci responds. "I said 2 important things. The other one was that this business is about evolution, and people who can't evolve don't last. You see, about a year and a half ago I had to learn that the hard way when management called me up and told me I was done here. So you know what I did? I evolved. I made myself into something better. So when those same people who fired me started looking for someone to run this show of theirs, there was really no better choice than me. It isn't every day that you get a second chance in this business -- hell, you should know that as well as I do. So when I got my foot back in the door I told myself that I was going to do everything under the sun to make this show a success. So I evolved again and put my plan into motion.

"I knew I needed 2 things to make this work. The first one was you, Mickie. And this is where all your little suspicions of me came in. I was actually kind of surprised that you had me pegged from so early on because I thought I covered my ass pretty well. I wasn't ready to show my cards until now, but I guess congratulations are in order... because you were right, Mickie. About me. About everything.

"I have been out to get you. I've been out to get you from the day all this first started. When I stripped you of the title on our first show, I didn't do it to start things off with a bang, I did it to piss you off! When Daffney showed up from out of nowhere and went after you like a slasher movie villain, she was doing it because I put her up to it. I got her out of the mental hospital and she owed me a favor, so I told her 'I want you to take out Mickie James'. I didn't know for sure if she could do it, but I knew she'd give you the fight of your life, and that's what I wanted."

Mickie and Tara exchange confused looks.

"Everything I've done this season, every deal I made behind your back, every match I made where it looked like you couldn't possibly win, everything you accused me of -- it was all true. Because if this show was going to work... you and me? We couldn't.

"I did all of this because I wanted you to hate me."

"You can't be serious," Mickie says. She's completely flabbergasted. "All this time, all the lies, all the double dealing, all the underhanded BS... it was all just about giving me a white whale to chase?!"

Traci grins. "Exactly."

"WHY?!" Mickie screams.

"Because I needed a chase, Mickie!" yells Traci. "That was the second thing! I needed Ahab to chase his whale because if we didn't have a chase, we didn't have a show! That's what this was always about -- controversy, infighting, creating conflict -- because that's what sells! That's what keeps the fans coming back for more every week! Do you think they were going to watch a show about a bunch of women who all get along and play nice? It doesn't work like that! I thought it did once upon a time and it cost me my job! But I wised up, just like you're going to have to.

"So from now on, this is how it's going to work: I'm going to make your life a living, breathing, stinking hell. You're going to fight me every step of the way. All these people are going to pay to see it. And together, you and I are going to make piles and piles and piles and piles and piles of money."

"You're insane..." says Mickie. She can't believe what she's hearing.

"No," Traci remarks. "I'm just doing business. This was always just about business. It was never supposed to be personal. And for what it's worth, Mickie... I'm sorry."

"For what?" Mickie asks.

"For this."

Winter & Sarita jump out of the crowd. They hit the ring and drop Mickie with steel chairs. Tara tries to fight them off, but they take her out just as quickly, and the tag team champions start to tear into both of them.

Serafina, Trina and Brooke all run down the ramp to help, but they don't have weapons of their own and get dispatched in short order.

The heels return their attention to Mickie, with Traci ordering them to give her the conchairto.

They're about to finish Mickie off when Jennifer, with a chair of her own, hits the ring. She stands menacingly between the heels, and the beaten Mickie and Tara. Winter & Sarita look hesitant to attack someone similarly armed.

Slowly, Mickie drags herself to her feet...

Then Jennifer whirls around and flattens Mickie with the chair herself.

Mickie crumples to the mat.

Laughing, Traci pulls Mickie up. Jennifer and Sarita do the conchairto on Mickie. Then Jennifer and Winter do the same to Tara.

Traci celebrates. Winter & Sarita celebrate. Jennifer just glares down at the fallen Mickie and Tara; her face a mask.

Cookie, carrying a bag, emerges from backstage, followed by Eden. They join the others in the ring and Cookie pulls 3 t-shirts out of the bag.

Jennifer, Winter and Sarita put the t-shirts on. Each shirt has a stylized graphic on the chest: W3

The W3 graphic appears on the video screen. Unfamiliar music plays over the loudspeaker. Pyro goes off.

The announcers are in shock at everything that has just transpired. "Can you believe this?" JB asks. "I can't," West admits. "I had a feeling Mickie was right about Traci, but I had no idea how right she was. Mickie said she was going to go to war... I guess this makes it official."

JB tells the viewers that if they want to see what happens next, then he urges them to go the webpage SpikeTV set up and show their support, because he sure as hell wants to see what happens next.

Traci raises the hands of her army. They stand triumphantly over the broken bodies of Mickie and Tara, as we...



Much like television in real life, these things are often open-ended. This series is on hiatus for now, but if you readers want more TKO, make your voices heard and let me know about it.

Peace. Out.

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