Universal Studios – Orlando, FL – Friday, April 22, 2016
Josh Mathews, Jeremy Borash, and Mike Bennett are on commentary. They introduce all the knockouts, announce the matches, and run a video package showcasing the previous three years of winners – Gail Kim, Madison Rayne, and Awesome Kong, for those keeping score at home. It literally takes over half an hour for the first match to start.
Allysin Kay defeats Gail Kim by count out at 7:53. Kim is one of the most decorated competitors in TNA history, so this is an uphill battle for Kay on her first night in the company. Kay uses her power to fend off Kim’s attacks and take control. When Kim regains the advantage, Bennett tries to distract her so Kim takes him out! That distracts the referee, so he doesn’t see Maria push Kim into the ring post! Kim can’t make it back to the ring and Kay wins via countout. This was starting off just fine and the finish was used to set up a mixed tag match between Kim/TBD and Maria/Bennett.
Rebel defeats Shelly Martinez at 6:03. Yes, this is THAT match. It’s a miracle that Martinez’s boobs don’t fall out of her gear. Martinez has never been great, but Rebel is really difficult to watch out there. Even on a PPV that only Larry Csonka and I are watching, she has no business being out there. Rebel puts on a submission hold that causes Martinez to yell “My vag!” It’s as hilarious as you’ve heard it is. Everything these women try looks awful. Martinez tries the worst looking …dive in recorded history, and Rebel saves this thing by rolling Martinez up for the win. This had to be the second worst match in TNA, because we must #NeverForget Sharmell v Jenna Morasca.
Laura Dennis defeats Velvet Sky at 5:02. Dennis attacks before the bell and takes it to the former two-time Knockouts Champion. Sky fights back with her terrible looking offense, which she never managed to get better at despite many years in the business. Dennis cuts her off by scooping the legs, and cradles Sky with her own feet on the ropes to get the pin. Sky was her usual awful self, but Dennis was trying hard.
Jade defeats Leva Bates at 9:40. Bates is dressed like a droog tonight, for those wondering. This is a pretty even matchup, with both women pulling out varied attacks. No one really controls for an extended period of time; they trade control back and forth. Bates goes up top but misses a double stomp, and then walks right into an STO. Jade gets the pin and moves on. Solid stuff here, easily the best match on the show so far.
Rosemary (w/ Crazzy Steve) defeats Veda Scott at 5:51. Scott seems to be afraid of Rosemary, but she’s giving it a go anyway. Rosemary controls much of the match, and does weird stuff with Steve at ringside. When it’s finally Veda Time, she gets distracted by Steve and Rosemary sprays blue mist in her eyes to get the pin. This was short but they got a decent amount of stuff in. Rosemary has a cool vibe going on here.
Barbi Hayden defeats Raquel at 6:23. Raquel is faster, and Hayden is more powerful so they go with that dynamic for the match. After some back and forth of this, Hayden’s “Number One Fan” jumps the rail and distracts Raquel. This allows Hayden to hit an elevated DDT to get the pin. Borash and Mathews treat the “Number One Fan” like something we should be familiar with, but since Hayden is one of the newcomers tonight that makes no sense. What I’m trying to say, is that both Jeremy Borash and Josh Mathews are bad at their jobs. This match was nothing.
Madison Rayne defeats Deonna at 8:33. They chain wrestle in the early going, with Deonna more than holding her own with the former 5-time Knockouts Champion and 2-time Knockouts Tag Team Champion. Deonna feigns excitement about just being in the ring with someone like Rayne, but it turns out to be a hoax and she takes control. That’s clever. Rayne eventually makes a comeback and Deonna quickly cuts her off. Deonna complains too much to the referee, and Rayne catches her with the Rolling cutter to get the pin. This was not too bad, as they actually had a story to tell in this one and Deonna pulled it off.
Marti Bell defeats Jayme Jameson at 6:06. Bell is much more experienced than Jameson, and she uses that to her advantage. Jameson has the strength advantage though, and she uses moves like a powerslam and a uranage. The finishing sequence comes out of nowhere, as Jameson goes for a slam and Bell counters into a Side Russian Legsweep with a Clothesline to get the pin. No faulting the effort here, but this just didn’t click.
Maria & Mike Bennett defeat Gail Kim & DJ Z at 7:44. After some stalling, the men start it off, as this is under “mixed tag rules,” so there’s no fighting between genders allowed. Allegedly. Bennett and Z work almost the entire match, as Maria does everything she can to avoid getting in the ring with Kim. Eventually, Kim is able to catch Maria with a Spear, but they’re not the legal participants so no pinfall can be made. Bennett catches Z with the Miracle in Progress to get the win. Un-offensive, TV style match there.
Jade defeats Allysin Kay, Barbi Hayden, Laura Dennis, Madison Rayne, Marti Bell, Rebel, and Rosemary in the Queen of the Knockouts Gauntlet Battle Royal at 14:42. Hayden draws #1 and Bell is #2. Not much happens and Rayne comes out at #3. Typical battle royal punching and kicking going on here. Rebel is #4, and good for her for showing her face again after that match she had earlier. She and her Dollhouse teammate Bell work together to eliminate Hayden. Dennis is #5 and she comes out all fired up. The pace picks up when Kay comes out at #6 and she starts beating everybody up. Kay eliminates Dennis and Rebel in short order. Rosemary is #7 and the other Knockouts all seem afraid of her. Rayne gets it together long enough to eliminate Rosemary, and then Kay. Jade completes the field at #8. Now it’s Bell and Jade of the Dollhouse working together on Rayne, until Jade double-crosses Bell and tosses her out. Now it’s a regular singles match between Jade and Rayne, who won the Queen of the Knockouts in 2014. They fight tooth and nail for this prestigious honor, and Jade is able to secure it with an STO to get the pin. Typical gauntlet match from TNA, nothing memorable but not terrible.
Well, I’ve seen worse. Two matches on this show reached three stars, which doesn’t always happen on these One Night Only shows. I actually like the concept of Knockouts Knockdown as a One Night Only show, they just never seem to have enough good workers to really make it work.