During the premiere offering from women’s MMA promotion Invicta Fighting Championships on AXS TV last night (May 21), announcer TJ DeSantis introduced this video by saying Impact Wrestling is “leading the way in professional wrestling with empowering women and female role models.”
DeSantis called the video from AXS-owned Impact a look at the “Knockouts series”, but don’t get too excited. It’s not a standalone show. It is a heck of a sales job for the Knockouts division, though.
They represent the strongest roster of female wrestlers ever assembled. They are the Knockouts of IMPACT - the best damn athletes in the history of professional wrestling. pic.twitter.com/u28NkdaimH— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) May 22, 2021
Some big claims in there, but hey, why should Stephanie McMahon have all the fun?
The narrator says the Knockouts “represent the strongest roster of female wrestlers ever assembled,” and “the best damn female athletes in the history of professional wrestling, period.”
Kiera Hogan echoes those sentiments. In other comments from the division’s stars, Rachael Ellering talks about past Knockouts paving the way for the current line-up’s chance to shine, and reigning Knockouts champ Deonna Purrazzo finishes the heavy sell with this:
“The Knockouts division revolutionized women’s wrestling. There would be no platform without the Knockouts division pushing the boundaries, breaking through the glass ceilings that women’s wrestling faced constantly through the years.”
And you know what? Go off, Impact.
Personally, I’d take NXT’s women’s roster over the current Knockouts line-up, and other brands and companies have good arguments, too. But the ladies of Impact aren’t making some ridiculous claim.
As to the history? There’s an even better case to be made there.
Awesome Kong, Mickie James, Tara, and Gail Kim led a killer Knockouts scene throughout a lot of good, not so good, and LOL years before the company ditched the TNA name - and at a time when AJ Lee was barely carving a place for herself among WWE’s Divas. In terms of revolution start dates, among other things, it’s worth noting that Kim vs. Taryn Terrell’s Six Sides of Steel thriller was a few months before Sasha Banks and Bayley stole the show in Barclays.
We’ll let you and the rest of the wrestle web debate whether this is a debate we should be having.
Impact’s smart to try and start it, though. The Knockouts are a good reason to remember that Thursday isn’t a night off from pro wrestling, and stirring something up is a good way to remind fans of that.