TNA returns to follow up their tag team showcase with their Knock Outs showcase. Did the women benefit as much as the tag division did last week? It's time to find out.
Let's start with the main story of the night.
The show starts with Kurt Angle calling down Eric Young asking him which Eric Young it is going to be for their title match tonight, the crazy heel Young or the good guy Young. EY says it'll be the good one. Austin Aries interrupts to declare he is going to cash in his Feast of Fired briefcase tonight and therefore Eric Young will have to wait another night to get his title shot.
Backstage later on, Angle tells Eric Young that Young is still the #1 Contender and will get his title shot soon. EY is angry about losing out on it tonight.
To close the show, Aries comes out for the match. Before Angle even comes out, Eric Young attacks Aries from behind and delivers two pile drivers, one on the steel steps. Angle comes down to try to calm down Young but gets attacked himself. Eric works over Kurt's bad knee. As the refs try to stop him, the show goes off the air with Josh Matthews shouting "Eric Young's crazy!"
Since this was the main story of the night, it's pretty clear that the Knock Out's division did not get the showcase that the tag team division did last week, when they closed the show. While one can argue that the Knock Out's division is really slim, you could argue that about the tag team division as well and they shined last week. So when TNA had a chance to close out with the Knock Out's title match on the Knock Out's show, they chose to close out with an Eric Young beat down to try to establish how crazy he is. No two ways about it, that's a massive missed opportunity.
But more about the ladies down as we go. As for this angle tonight, it missed the mark. While the story about "Will Eric Young return to the side of the light" had some potential, it was completely rushed, ending up as a waste of time. This feud very may be filler to hold Angle over until an EC3 feud (hopefully) but they could have put more into it. Waiting until next week could have slowed the build and given the women a chance to close the show on the night they should close the show.
Instead, TNA devoted it's major story tonight to reinforce what was spelled out for us by Josh Matthews at the end of the show. Eric Young's crazy!
Brooke defeats Angelina Love, Gail Kim, and Madison Rayne in a fatal four way to become #1 contender
Fatal Four Ways are often clunky, which may be the reason this match never clicked with me. They can be good. Hell one of the best
women's matches in 2015 was the NXT Women's Fatal Four Way at Takeover Rival. But on a show that is promoting pushing the Knock Outs to the forefront, hiding 3 of your best talents in a fatal four way does a disservice.
This would have been better suited as a tournament, have two one on one matches early on and then the #1 contender's match later. If you're going to show off the women, show off the women. The men's title match can brew another week. We can wait on another random Rising/BDC match. Or an the X-Division match. Madison, Angelina, and Gail are awesome talents that should be shown off.
I don't mind Brooke winning, though she's clearly the least seasoned of the four. However, fans seem to like her and there's no reason she shouldn't get a chance. Though given the ending of the Knock Outs title match, (spoiler alert from six sections down) she is likely to become the first victim of the Doll House stable.
The BDC and Rising each pick a member to go one on one. Micah is the Rising member to go and MVP makes it seem as if he's the BDC member. Instead, Kenny King attacks Micah, revealing himself as the BDC member for the match. Early on, Drew Galloway tries to trip up Kenny King from the outside and both he and Eli Drake get ejected from ringside. Despite the BDC (sans Homicide) getting away with the same shenanigans for the rest of the match, Micah is able to defeat Kenny King via pinfall by catching him in a Samoan Drop.
Immediately after the match, the BDC attack Micah and the Rising run down to even the odds. However, Homicide finally comes out with his baton and the BDC get the upper hand. After the Rising is down, MVP gives Low Ki a pipe (reminiscent of the one Drew initially attacked Low Ki with months back) and Low Ki nails Galloway in the abdomen with it.
After the break, Eli Drake and Micah are helping Drew to the back. Drew challenges Low Ki to a match at Hardcore Justice next week.. a Pipe on a Pole (sigh) match.
The Rising, who are still new, are not yet clicking. However the BDC, who had that same problem early in their tenure, are firing on all cylinders. From their sick entrance and BDC flag, to MVPs awesome promo work, to their excellent ring side heeling, they are the total package. Honestly, watching them get away with the same thing Drew and Eli Drake got tossed for even had me a bit heated. The crowd is appreciating it too because week after week, the BDC chants are getting louder.
The match itself was OK but it was more meant to put over the idea that the BDC have it together and maybe the Rising don't yet. Maybe it's because the Samoan Drop is used commonly as a non-finisher in the WWE by 3 different guys, but it's hard to buy as a finisher here.
As for next week, I don't know if there's anything they can put on a pole that could get me excited for a Pole match. The psychology in those matches are often terrible since there are tons of times that someone could be getting whatever is on the pole but don't. Plus just hear an "...On a Pole" match gives me bad Vince Russo flashbacks.
Jade of the Doll House debuts against Laura Dennis. The other member of the Doll House, Marti Bell tries to interfere but gets sent to the back by referee Brian Stifler. However, she soon comes back out and kicks Stifler into the turnbuckle, causing a disqualification. After the match, they attack Laura Dennis and Christy Hemme.
This match was disappointing in the fact the match itself was just window dressing to establish the Dollhouse gimmick. Hell, Laura Dennis, who got a taped promo on the Impact website before the show, got the jobber's entrance, despite the fact the crowd loved her for her past work as Cherry Bomb. The little of the match they actually performed showed glimpses of why both women have already amassed a following, but on a night to showcase the Knock Outs, it would have been nice to see more of a match.
As for the Doll House gimmick, it seems like both women are adult children who get very angry when they don't their way. And when they don't get their way, they get vicious. It's easy to become weary of an angle that can easily be interpreted as "Women Be Crazy." TNA is going to have to work hard to not fall into that trap. Instead they should flesh out why these girls are the way they are and not just tell us "The Doll House is Crazy!" at the end of a show.
Magnus comes out to introduce Mickie James. She then comes down to announcer her retirement to become a full time mother. James Storm interrupts out and says he doesn't want to see her leave. Magnus thanks Storm for his help in the past but says it's been a difficult decision that they've decided on. Storm continues to say Mickie is one of the best, persistent that she stay for at least one more match. After Storm pushes it enough, she agrees to one more match.
Backstage Davey Richards, who had issues with Storm himself, warns Magnus to watch out for him.
Later in the show, Magnus asks one of the crew guys to "keep and eye on Mickie."
This was an interesting segment that I don't have much to say about at this point. They are picking up the James Storm angle with Magnus and Mickie. This is a curious angle since Storm still has his Revolution and it could be intriguing to see how (or if) they tie it all together. Watching Storm use his powers of persuasion to override her previous decision and change Mickie's mind was interesting. I said last week I wanted more from Storm and this may lead to it.
I fear that Magnus may end up looking poor here, already having someone spy on his wife. Plus he just stood in the ring with his arms crossed as she delivered her fake retirement speech. I know it's an angle, but dude, you can wait outside the ring as she speaks to the crowd.
Davey Richards defeats Manik via Pinfall.
After the match, Richards is attacked by the rest of the Revolution. The Hardys are able to make the save before any damage can be done. Manik gets a twist of fate from Jeff and then the Hardy's new double team finisher, where Matt holds the opponent over his shoulders and Jeff Hits another Twist of Fate (called... CheckFate).
This was another fun X-Division match to build up Richards on his way up to the X-Division title. Manik did a good job working creepy heel while keeping the X-Division style. Some slower movements between move sets and stares to help solidify his cultist persona.
It looks as if the Hardys first round as tag champs will be against the Revolution, which makes sense given their history, though hopefully next week is it. Their rivalry never really hit home.
CheckFate is a terrible name for a finisher.
EC3 and Tyrus (who is dress up all fancy) come out to a podium. EC3 then delivers a campaign speech about why he should be the next World Heavyweight Champion. He calls himself a unifier. He reminds us he is unpinned and unsubmitted. And best of all, he shows us graphs. Graphs!
Mr. Anderson comes out and tells EC3 he's full of BS. He tells Carter that he should run for president with Anthony Weiner so they can be Little Weiner and Anthony Weiner. He then cuts a promo where he tells EC3 "You don't win championships by politicking" The two men finally brawl. EC3 slips out of Anderson's Mic Check and flees.
There are no amount of words that can express my love of Ethan Carter the Third. He is a fabulous heel and cuts an excellent heel promo here. The dude is full of charisma and I am counting down the days until he is TNA champion.
Ken Anderson on the other hand... Listen, you either find Anderson funny or you can't stand him. Full disclosure: I'm the latter. His penis jokes aren't funny. He's extremely obnoxious. And apparently, if he doesn't think you win championships by politicking, he doesn't actually know much about pro-wrestling.
If you find Ken Anderson funny, all power to you. You'll probably enjoy this upcoming feud. However, if you think he's a terrible face, then there's little to get excited for about this feud. Except for the fact EC3 will be on TV.
Before the Knock Outs title match, Taryn Terrell makes this a no DQ match (because she can?) Awesome Kong and Taryn go back and forth in a decent but short match. Taryn retrieves a table and sets it up in the corner of the ring. As she does, Marti Bell and Jade come down to observe.
Taryn tries deliver her Cutter to Kong through the table but Kong fights her off. The Doll House women start attacking Kong and Taryn, Jade, and Marti deliver a triple power bomb to Kong, who was standing on the turnbuckle, through the table. Taryn pins Kong to retail her title.
After the match, she cuts a promo revealing she is a member of the Doll House and this their house.
I could go on some more about how this should have gone on last over the Eric Young is crazy segment that did close the show, but I've covered it enough up top. (Though it should have gone on last!)
This heel turn for Taryn works. Her face work just wasn't connecting. I actually had "Taryn Terrell is a poor promo" written twice in my notes for the write up. But as soon as she delivered her Doll House heel promo, I erased them both. It wasn't groundbreaking, but it was worlds better. She seemed to feel much more comfortable delivering it. In fact, as soon as she revealed she was a Doll House member, her mannerisms changed too. That was some excellent attention to detail by the Knock Outs champ.
Plus, debuting Jade and Bell as protecters of the champion and not just a random duo shows TNA does put some care into the Knock Outs division. This could be an intricate story, similar to all the factions the men have. While much of the women's showcase tonight was disappointing, this one was satisfying.
It just should have gone on last.
Pros of the show:
- Taryn's heel turn
- EC3 2015
- A show that featured more women's matches
Cons of the Show:
- Not ending with the women's title match
- "Eric Young is Crazy!"
- Not utilizing the Knock Out's best well.
- Anderson's weiner jokes.
I commend TNA for displaying the ladies more than usual, and even giving their main event scene some care. However, they could have done more to help highlight the division like they did for the tag division last week.
Arbitrary Grade: C+