Wednesday, April 29, 2015

TKO Special

Okay, so TKO wasn't a total Knockouts show but it was close enough. Three women's matches and a few segments involving the Knockouts? Hell, I'll take that any day from TNA. I've heard some people complain about the content but really, credit where credit is due, Impact Wrestling devoted the bulk of its two-hour show to women's wrestling, which is more than WWE would ever dream of doing.

As for the action on the show, I enjoyed the opening four-way match and although not a classic, the fans in the arena really warmed to it as it progressed. Brooke was probably the right choice to win the match, but I can't help feel a little uninspired by her current character (or lack thereof). I really liked her when she was doing the "Texas Tough" gimmick and I really liked her as the leather-clad biker babe with Aces and 8s, but I'm just not sure who Brooke is right now. Maybe Billy Corgan will have a gimmick for her. More on him later...

What's better than a new Knockout? How about three of them in one match! Getting to see the Impact debuts of Jade, Marti Bell and Laura Dennis in one match was a real treat and I'll admit, I've been a mark for The Dollhouse ever since I heard it was going to happen. Jade and Marti Bell are talented girls in their own right, but what will make this faction stand out is the creepiness of their characters. The Dollhouse is unlike anything TNA has ever had in the Knockouts Division. I can't put my finger on it, but it reminds me of some bizarre Japanese anime with psycho schoolgirls. Putting a jawbreaker in people's mouths after a beatdown is a unique calling card, too.

As for Laura Dennis, she's definitely a good addition but please, give her a character and maybe a different name before throwing her out there. Laura will be a great babyface for the Knockouts Division and has the potential to fill that Velvet Sky role (sassy, sexy and popular with the fans) but with much stronger in-ring skills.

The segment featuring Mickie James, Magnus and James Storm was okay, but it's an odd mixture of personalities and sometimes I felt like it was trying too hard to be melodramatic. For the past few weeks I've felt like the James Storm who spoke to Mickie and Magnus was a different character than the one who came out with the Revolution; his demeanor was different, his tone was different, and I'm glad Josh Mathews mentioned it on commentary because this is clearly deliberate and I'm interested to see where this goes. I've always been a huge fan of Mickie James so having her on TV again is a treat, but I'd really dig seeing her go full-fledged bad girl and join the Revolution. After all, there's always room for one more.

As for the main event, Taryn Terrell joining The Dollhouse shocked me as Taryn has always been the good girl and has all the natural looks and qualities of a stereotypical babyface. That, in itself, might be the reason why I'm excited by her alliance with Jade and Marti. It will be cool to see what the Knockouts Champion has to offer in a heel capacity. Maybe it's just me (and it says a lot about my taste in women) but bad girls are just far more interesting, and these bad girls definitely have my interest. The match itself between Taryn and Awesome Kong was decent but a little short for my liking. I understand its purpose wasn't to be a classic match but to further a storyline, I think a little more time would have been nice.

Overall, TKO was a very enjoyable episode of Impact (I know, I'm biased) but it's just a shame the rating for it wasn't a little higher because I'd hate for TNA to take that as a sign that the Knockouts Division isn't a draw. I feel with the right promotion and care, it can be and lately, they have done a good job putting the focus back on the Knockouts—let's keep it there. And for the love of Rhaka Khan, next time we have a Knockouts show, can we put Havok on it? She is an amazing talent with a unique look and style and to not feature her on TKO in any capacity, even a vignette, was a crime.

I'd be remiss if I didn't also mention the fact that TKO was helped immensely by not having Taz on commentary. I respect the hell out of Taz as a wrestler and I actually do like him as an announcer... just not as an announcer for Knockouts matches. I've been a very vocal critic of his announcing during Knockout matches over the years. For someone who did such a good job putting over the male wrestlers, his mockery and buffoonery during women's matches was appalling and detracted from every match he ever called. Josh Mathews did a fine job by himself at TKO, and I personally hope TNA keeps going with one man in the booth.

In other non-Knockout news, the big story this week is that Billy Corgan has joined the booking team effective immediately and will start making contributions to angles, storylines and characters going forward. Just based on who he is, this was always going to be a controversial choice but I'm all for getting a fresh perspective on things and if going outside of the business to get one helps TNA, then that's cool with me.

The way I see it, songwriters are storytellers so if Billy can transfer some of those storytelling talents from music to wrestling, then his contributions might be pretty good. The fact that Billy has been a wrestling fan for 30 something years may or may not help. After all, pretty much all of us wrestling fans are egotistical enough to think that we can book a company when in truth, the majority of us wouldn't last two minutes under the stress and strain of the position, but Corgan is actually getting the chance to do it, so I wish him the best. Just don't mess up the Knockouts Division, Billy Corgan, or I'll smash your damn pumpkins!!