The Impact Report: TKO: A Night of Knockouts (4-24-15)

Impact Wrestling
April 24th, 2015 (Taped March 16th, 2015)
From The Impact Zone at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida
Announcer: Josh Matthews

Josh Matthews is riding solo again this week. I wonder if they’re gonna just let him announce by himself until the next live show on May 8th.

Kurt Angle & Eric Young come out for a promo to hype their World Title Match. They both agree that EY’s a changed man. EY had the chance to attack Angle two times last week from behind and didn’t. EY says he’s saw the light thanks to Angle and is gonna become the EY of old! The EY that won the World Title. Austin Aries interrupts. He apologizes to EY and says that he’s cashing in the Feast or Fired Briefcase. Aries thinks EY’s not to be trusted since he betrayed Bobby Roode. He’s sorry to step on toes but he wants to cash in the briefcase the honest way and tell Angle he’s doing it to his face and giving him time to prepare. EY sulks off. Um, couldn’t they have just made this title match a triple threat? Does the Feast or Fired Briefcase give you the power to change previously scheduled title matches?

Tonight, we’re going to see a member of the Beatdown Clan face off with a member of The Rising. Wait, Beatdown Clan & The Rising are honorary Knockouts too?

Taryn Terrell cuts a chipper promo about how she’s determined to stay TNA Knockouts Champion tonight and will do what it takes to defeat Awesome Kong.

Four Corners Match to determine #1 Contender for TNA Knockouts Title: Gail Kim Vs Angelina Love Vs Brooke Vs Madison Rayne
I get a huge laugh out of Madison Rayne knocking Brooke down during her entrance. I’m not sure when Brooke’s gimmick turned into super hyper/annoying, positive person but Matthews implied it debuted on one of TNA’s YouTube shows. Chipper lady wrestlers seem like kind of a popular recent trend in the wake of the popularity of AJ. All four of these women are good to great workers and this is a very good opener and showcase for the Knockouts division. Kind of surprised that Madison Rayne is the MVP of the match although all four women did good jobs. Brooke wins with the Tess-Shocker on Madison. Seems like a big upset to me. Brooke has been stuck in a comedy feud with the BroMans for the last few months and hasn’t really been a serious character since the days of Aces & Eights. Still, like Manik, she’s one of those workers that’s inexplicably popular amongst the Impact Zone crowd despite not really being pushed. Good match. B+

We get a Shield-esque, video effect promo from The Rising where they announce that Mica will be taking on the selected member of the Beatdown Clan.

Backstage, EY has a mini-meltdown over Aries waltzing in and taking away his title shot.

Mica (with Drew Galloway & Eli Drake) Vs Kenny King (with MVP & Low Ki)
I got to say that I really enjoy Beatdown Clan’s flag waving entrance. MVP has a nice little heel moment at the beginning of the match. He announces that he agrees that this match should be one on one but needs to take off his jacket, takes off his jacket, then King jumps Mica and reveals that he’s representing the BDC. Drew Galloway is dressed like he lost track of time and was in the shower when the road agent told him this match was next. The gym shorts, wrestling boots, and nothing else attire he rocks just screams in shape ’80s wrestler working the current indy circuit. Of course, due to referee misunderstanding, Drake & Galloway get tossed from ringside by Earl Hebner almost as soon as the match starts.

I liked the most underutilized members of each group got a little chance to shine with this match. It seems like King was gonna get a breakout moment with his “King of the Night” gimmick last year but it ended up just leading to him being MVP’s sidekick. I’d like to see him get more of an opportunity to shine. Mica is in need of a little more polish but obviously has quite the pedigree and shows promise. We get another mild upset as Mica wins by countering a King springboard with a Samoan Drop. B- 

After the match, The Beatdown Clan attacks Mica. Drew & Eli Drake make the save but Homicide runs out with a police baton to favor the odds for BDC. The Beatdown Clan attack Drew Galloway with a steel pipe in revenge for Drew cutting Low Ki’s ear open with pipe shot. BDC’s finally coming to its own as a heel stable. I’m curious to see who joins The Rising to even the odds. The Rising has potential but right now seems like a bunch of dudes thrown together rather than a cohesive stable.

Backstage, Drew Galloway limps off with the help of Mica & Eli Drake. He challenges Low-Ki to a steel pipe on a pole match next week.

Laura Dennis Vs Jade (With Marti Belle)
The Dollhouse debut by berating Christy Hemme and making her introduce them as “The Dollhouse” rather than just individually introducing JadTreatment of Laura Dennis was kind of weird. They acknowledged her as indy sensation Cherry Bomb and featured her in a pre-match interview on TNA’s website but she was basically a glorified jobber in this match. I guess it helps the whole “reality” angle that current TNA likes but I don’t think they gave any background to Jay Rios last week. Anyway, I was impressed by the Dollhouse’s gimmick even though they looked a bit greeen & nervous in their national TV debut. In a weird way, I think the Dollhouse is like the bubbly, brightly colored female version of Mankind’s original gimmick. Right down to having different intro & outro themes. Finish comes when Marti goes ballistic when Referee Stifler tries to toss her from ringside. Her and Jade pummel Referee Stifler and get DQ’d. Not Referee Stifler. 🙁 B-  After the match, The Dollhouse attack Christy Hemme, throw her against the ringsteps, and shove a jawbreaker into her mouth.

Kurt Angle tries to calm down EY and assure him that his title shot will come but EY’s having none of it. His title shot was supposed to be tonight. EY storms out of the building (…or does he?)

Former TNA World Champion Magnus enters the ring and introduces his fiancee Mickie James. Mickie thanks the TNA fans and talks about the importance of holding the Knockouts Title. Mickie says important as that is, holding a title will never be as important as holding her newborn baby! Mickie says she used to be a great champion but now she wants to be a great mom. James Storm enters, in fun loving mode, to call B.S. on this. James Storm loves Mickie because she’s the type of woman who’d rather drink one out of a box than out of a fancy glass. Storm can understand wanting to be a mom but she owes the TNA fans one more match. The TNA fans agree with this psychotic cult leader and want Mickie to have one last match. Mickie gets swept up in the spur of the moment and agrees to have one more match. James Storm air guitars to “Hardcore Country” in celebration. Magnus looks puzzled. Really good segment. I’m genuinely intrigued to see the direction that Storm is heading in. Hope TNA doesn’t go to one extreme or the other in alternating between Storm’s fun loving, beer drinker gimmick and psycho cult leader gimmick. I think it could be very interesting if the shifts between the two were subtle.

After the break, we go to the back where Magnus asks Mickie what the hell just happened. Mickie says she just got swept up in the moment. Davey Richards interrupts and tells Magnus to keep an eye out on Storm because he’s a master manipulator. Richards has got to head to the ring for a match. Davey Richards: Honorary Knockout?

Davey Richards Vs Manik
Manik is also an honorary knockout. For a Night of Knockouts, this evening is heavy on wrestlers with dongs. Manik gets the jobber entrance but sizable chants from the crowd. I’m not sure what the deal is with Manik’s popularity in the Impact Zone but my guess is this; since a lot of the audience members are parkgoers and casual fans at best, they’re gonna root for the guy who looks cooler. I guess people think Manik looks cool? Impact Zone fans are a bit weird. Anyway, this match is good but not quite as good or as long as Davey Richards’ first single showcase a few weeks back. Richards wins with the Creeping Death and then immediately gets attacked by The Revolution. B- Josh Matthews surmises that James Storm is acting like the evil mastermind we thought he was rather than the beer drinking, air guitar playing good ol’ boy we saw a few minutes ago. The Hardys run in for the save. I guess The Hardys beef with the Revolution is still unsettled. The Hardys new finisher, the CheckFate is decent but man, that’s a hell of a dumb name!

EC3 is backstage. He has a major announcement coming up next.

EC3 and a very dapperly dressed Tyrus (nice top hat) enter the ring. EC3 speaks behind a podium while Tyrus holds a campaign sign. EC3 officially announces he’s running for World Champion in 2015. He will unite the fans who chant “You Can’t Wrestle” and the fans who chant “Yes, he can!” As World Champion, he will reduce unemployment by 79% and a 67% reduction in unmotivated children and lazy millennials. He plans on defending the title on Mars so watch out martians!

He’s interrupted by Mr. Anderson who makes some more lame small penis jokes about EC3. EC3 can run for office with Anthony Weiner and they can be Big Weiner and Little Weiner. Anthony Weiner reference—timely! Anderson thankfully gets serious and cuts a decent-ish promo after the super lame/obnoxious jokes about how you win World Championships through hard work not politicking (tell that to Hulk Hogan…or Shawn Michaels…or Triple H…or…you get the drift). EC3 takes off his coat and tie and starts to throw down with Anderson but bales when Anderson looks like he’s about to hit the Mic Check.

As much as I’d rather see EC3 feud with anybody but Anderson. This segment was pretty effective in setting up this feud with EC3 as the arrogant, know it all and Anderson as the hard working, everyman. Hopefully, this is just a short detour on EC3’s rise to becoming TNA World Champion. Even TNA’s not stupid enough to have Anderson go over EC3. Right? RIGHT!?

Good video package for Awesome Kong/Taryn Terrell. This match is next. OK, here’s where the show completely jumped the shark. This is a Night of Knockouts and the Knockouts Title match doesn’t even get the chance to close out the show. Ridiculous.

Before the match, Taryn Terrell proposes that we make the contest “No DQ”. Josh Matthews is astounded. This takes away the champion’s advantage! Awesome Kong & Earl Hebner shrug and agree.

No DQ Match for the TNA Knockouts Title: Taryn Terrell (c) Vs Awesome Kong
I really like the story here with Taryn Terrell having the determination and the desire to beat Awesome Kong but just not having the size & talent to do so fairly. Everytime, Taryn seems like she has the match in the bag, Kong charges back. This match would get the A grade but it gets a bit short changed on time. I really like the slow burn heel turn for Taryn. She knows that despite improving tenfold in the ring, she’ll never be as beloved as Awesome Kong or Gail Kim (or Mickie James or even arguably, somebody like The Beautiful People) so she has to resort to desperate measures to retain her title. Said desperate measures are enlisting The Dollhouse to help her win the title. Taryn wins with an assisted top rope triple powerbomb on Awesome Kong. B+ After the match, Taryn announces that the Knockout Division is her house and she’s in The Dollhouse. Good match/angle and it definitely deserved a couple more minutes and to close out the show proper. It’s also a good set up for Kong to return as a pissed off, ass kicking babyface in a few weeks.

Austin Aries cuts a promo about winning the World Title the right way then runs into EY. Aries apologizes and says EY’s got the first shot after Aries beats Angle tonight. EY sulks off with his rolling suitcase.

On security camera, we see Magnus hire a camera crew to follow Mickie James around. TNA’s got to be careful with Magnus. He really kind of looked like a chump throughout tonight and he can’t afford that after the Bram feud, which just washed off some of the stink of Magnus’ horrible World Title run last year. If this Storm feud works, it can reestablish Magnus as a potential main eventer but if it bombs, I think he’s stuck in the mid-card.

Austin Aries comes down for the main event but gets jumped by Eric Young. Who did not see that coming? Anybody? EY piledrives Aries on the floor and onto the steel steps. Ouch. Kurt Angle runs out for the save but ends up getting attacked by EY himself. Young curb stomps Angle on to the stairs. I’m glad Matthews restrains from making a “You can’t see that move anywhere else but on Friday nights here on Impact” remark. EY rips off Angle’s kneebrace and gives him a figure four on the floor. I really didn’t like this running storyline and I see no reason why it closed the show over the Knockouts Title match. Austin Aries just felt like he was thrown in there as a plot device to allow EY to go crazy again and just looked like a semi-arrogant buffoon the entire night. After a few weeks of sensible, direct storylines, I think the EY/Angle feud got a bit too convoluted this week. I also feel like they fit about six weeks of storytelling into two with the whole “Is EY a changed man?” storyline. It just felt very, very rushed and kind of contrived.

Final Grade: Anybody who skims through the review can go fuck themselves might be perplexed by the rating I give this show. While there was plenty of good stuff on this show (and some great stuff in the Knockouts Title match and EC3’s promo) and not too much bad stuff, the bad stuff there was (mostly the Ang and the false advertising for the show really hurt it. If they were confident in enough to have the Knockouts be the focus of attention in the advertisements of the show then they should have been confident enough to hand the women the ball and feature them for more than 25 minutes of the show. Historically, the Knockouts have been much more of a drawing factor for TNA than the tag team division but the tag team division got way more time & attention last week than the Knockouts did this show. TNA really had an easy chance to hit a home run with this show and ended up hitting a weak groundout. Of all of the male storylines, I don’t think there was anything that was absolutely crucial to the show. The BDC Vs Rising and Hardys Vs The Revolution feuds can wait a week. It’s not like they haven’t been featured every other week.

The Knockouts Division is a bit thin but they could have made up for it by splitting the Four Corners Match into three singles matches (two semi-finals matches and a finals to determine the #1 Contender) and giving the Women’s Title match five more minutes. Also they didn’t even utilize all of the Knockouts they had on the roster. Where were Havok & Rebel?   This is the first misfire in a while for Impact and I hope it was just an off night and not  a sign of things to come. C+ 

Next Week on Impact Wrestling: TNA gets EXTREMEHARDCORE! Kurt Angle takes on Eric Young in a Stretcher Match, Drew Galloway battles Low-Ki in a Steel Pipe on a Pole Match, and Davey Richards teams up with The Hardys against The Revolution in a Street Fight. It’s Hardcore Justice on Destination Impact! 


Written by Connor McGrath

Connor McGrath is a public access television show host and part-time amateur comedian, who resides in Portland, Maine. He contributes reviews of Northeast independent wrestling promotion, NWA On Fire along with occasional guest articles.

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