Hello Impact fans and curious rubberneckers! I’m Elle Collins, and this is the Knockout Report. I’ll fill you in on everything that happens in Impact Wrestling, but I’m always going to lead with the Knockouts Division, because they deserve it. You can follow me on Twitter here, With Spandex here, and Uproxx here. You can watch Impact Wrestling on Pop every Thursday at 10 p.m. This column usually goes up on Fridays, but the combination of Survivor Series and the Thanksgiving Holiday has moved it to Mondays for a couple of weeks.
Last time on Impact, Jordynne Grace made an impressive debut, Johnny Impact successfully defended his title against Killer Kross, and Allie finally gave into the darkness.
Without further ado, here’s the Knockout Report for November 15, 2018.
Tessa Blanchard Defeated Ray Lyn
Ray was just here to do the job, but she obviously knows her way around a wrestling ring. She was fast and dynamic throughout the match, and got enough offense in that Tessa’s win felt real and worthwhile, even though it was never in doubt. I’m completely in favor of Tessa having a jobber match at least every few weeks. The Knockouts Division is relatively small, and we need to see Blanchard’s dominance on display on a regular basis without her having to beat up every other Knockout multiple times (which would be especially hard to pull off since like half the division are demons these days).
After the match, Tessa calls out Taya Valkyrie, which doesn’t seem like a great idea considering she only managed not to lose her belt to Taya by punching the ref to take a DQ, but Tessa’s ego will trump her intelligence every single time. Sure enough, it turns out Taya’s already gotten management to give her another title shot at Homecoming in Nashville. That’s not until January 6, which means we’re probably looking at some more jobber matches in the meantime as they stretch this feud out. Maybe they can pull in Jordynne Grace and whoever Tessa can recruit for a tag match or two. I think they need to save Jordynne versus Tessa for a proper feud down the road, but doing it in a tag context could be a good way to get an exciting little preview of that matchup.
Scarlett Bordeaux Is Still At It
I don’t know, y’all. I’m tired of having to write about this every week. Scarlett’s good at what she does, but what exactly does she do? Wear ridiculous skimpy outfits and flirt with men, mainly. This week, prior to flirting with the referees backstage, she recruited a rando in the parking garage and turned him into her security detail, in a pigtail wig and no shirt. Is he going to disappear after a few weeks, like her previous henchman Bobo? Probably. Is any of this leading anywhere? I’ve lost faith.
Alisha Edwards Tried Desperately to Keep the Peace
Poor Alisha. She’s a member of the best per capita women’s roster in televised wrestling, but she’s usually too busy trying to take care of her unhinged husband to compete. I just wanted to give her a shoutout here, because not only is she great at selling that combination of worry and frustration that being married to Eddie Edwards would inspire, she does it while wearing a really fantastic outfit.
I am a little worried about the clear implication that she’s now had Eddie him committed. It’s a course of action that makes sense in the heightened world of Impact, to be sure — the guy literally has conversations with a kendo stick — but I feel like it’s a dangerous choice for that heightened world to come any closer to a portrayal of actual mental illness and associated healthcare than it already has. Tread lightly, Impact Creative (yeah, that seems likely).
Su Yung Defeated Heather Monroe
Kiera Hogan tried to warn Heather Monroe to be careful around Su Yung, but like all visiting jobbers, Heather just wanted to prove herself and doesn’t seem like she’s actually watched the show before. Naturally, it wasn’t long before Monroe was laying in the middle of the ring with Su’s entire hand in her mouth. Kiera ran in to save Heather from further trauma at the hands of the Blood Princess and managed to throw Su out of the ring.
That’s when things got real. A veiled figure came down the ramp and revealed herself as Allie! She’s darker than we’ve ever seen her, clearly infected by the evil of Su Yung and Father James Mitchell, and no longer trying to pass herself off as a human being with a soul. We knew this reveal was coming after last week, but it was handled perfectly. Allie never played an emotion during this entirely scene. She’s just cold and empty — in other words, soulless. She climbed into the ring as Kiera stared in horror, then watched as Su took out her former friend, and left arm-in-arm with the Undead Bride.
I love Allie’s look here, and I hope it’s what she sticks with for a while. The lower half of her face is painted like Su: white with creepy black veins. At the same time, the way her face is divided brings to mind Rosemary, the mostly unseen presence at the heart of this story. Her all-black outfit and leather jacket don’t look like Su or Rosemary, so much as an escalation of the darker looks she’s sported before. She’s not an Undead Bridesmaid, but she’s not the Demon Assassin either. She’s totally Allie, but without everything that made Allie lovable. I think back to months ago when Rosemary warned Allie to stay away from the darkness, and how profoundly she’s failed at that, proving Rosemary correct by becoming a monster in the process. I don’t know how long it will take for Rosemary to make her way back to the Realm of the Living and put an end to this nightmare, but every week I get more excited to watch it happen.
Meanwhile, In Guyville
LAX Defeated KM and Fallah Bahh
Fallah Bahh looked great in this match, but there really wasn’t much to it. Nobody expected KM and Fallah to beat LAX, and nobody was surprised. After the match, LAX asked Konnan about fighting the Lucha Bros, and he put them off. So that’s probably happening pretty soon.
Insult Hardcore Wrestling and He Shall Appear
Last Monday was the already infamous Avocado Toast promo on Raw, in which Ronda Rousey railed against Becky Lynch for being a Millennial. After about 24 hours of everyone on the internet making fun of her for that, this episode of Impact was shot in Las Vegas, in which Tommy Dreamer called Eli Drake a “skinny-jean Millennial.” So that doesn’t seem like a coincidence. The big difference of course is that Dreamer is solidly Generation X, so it actually makes sense for him to put down Millennials. Ronda is a Millennial, so she just seemed like she didn’t understand the words she was saying. Also Tommy Dreamer isn’t trying to convince anyone to like him. Sure he’s technically the babyface here, but seeming like less of a jerk than the guy who calls everyone dummies isn’t much of a challenge, and plus if you’re going to be on board with Tommy Dreamer in 2018, you probably already are. Not to mention, Eli Drake really does wear the skinniest jeans.
Johnny Impact Defeated Matt Sydal
Literally every wrestling match on this episode was just the prelude to what came after it. That’s not a criticism; it’s a normal part of TV wrestling. This is just a stark example. Anyway, Johnny and Matt both looked great, but of course Johnny Impact won — he’s got the name of the company right there in his name! Afterwards Killer Kross came out and made Johnny an offer. Basically Kross is a born henchmen, and now that Johnny’s sent Austin Aries packing and then defeated Kross himself, the big guy wanted to hench for Johnny. But Johnny’s a good guy, and good guys don’t have evil henchmen, so he said no. Killer Kross should go talk to Eli Drake, who could use a hardcore henchman in his corner right about now.
Brian Cage Defeated Sami Callihan To Retain the X-Division Championship, Then Gave It Up
As I’ve said throughout this recap, this was a good match, but really only a prelude. Cage’s work has been consistently great, but his reign as X-Division Champ has been troubled by how much bigger he is than all of his potential opponents. He already beat Fenix months ago, and if Sami Callihan can’t take him out either, who possibly can? So it made sense after the match when Cage invoked Option C, which enables an X-Division Champ to give up the belt in exchange for a shot at the Impact World Championship. So the X-Division title is vacant, and Cage gets a hot against Johnny Impact at Homecoming in January. That’s still a month and a half away, and I find myself wondering if Cage is due for a heel turn in the meantime, to give the whole thing some heat.
That’s all for this week’s Knockout Report. Join me next time, for the 2nd Annual Eli Drake Gravy Train Turkey Trot, and whatever else Impact decides to do on Thanksgiving Night!