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 start with the Knockouts, because they deserve it. You can follow me on Twitter here, With Spandex here, and Uproxx here. You can watch Impact Wrestling on AXS TV every Tuesday night at 8 p.m. Then you can read this column and share it with everyone you know.
Last time on Impact, Tessa Blanchard faced Mad Man Fulton, and Joey Ryan got taken to Wrestler’s Court.
Now without further ado, here’s the Knockout Report for December 17, 2019:
Jordynne Grace Defeated Tenille Dashwood
This week’s Best and Worst of NXT (always a recommended read) included a small lament about how great Emma was in NXT, and how she was misused and dismissed on the main roster. “It’s a shame about Emma,” was basically the point, and I read it having already watched this episode of Impact and thought “It is a shame about Emma.”
Don’t get me wrong, the Knockouts Division is great and usually Impact’s booking of women is as good as or better than any televised promotion besides WOW. There’s no shame in Tenille Dashwood being in Impact. What’s too bad is that it feels like she’s barely here. It feels like she’s barely anywhere. She’s not a regular roster member, and she’s just here this week to give Jordynne a solid win on her way to a title match, and to provide an ally for the inevitable attack by Taya that comes after the match.
Tenille does all that adequately enough, but it never really seems like her heart is in it. She stood out in WWE, despite their disinterest in pushing her. I’ve never seen her stand out in anything she’s done since her release. Maybe it’s to do with the long break she took due to her medical problems, but honestly sometimes it just feels like WWE broke her. I still have so many memories of her excellent work in NXT, and I’m still waiting to see that Tenille again. Some day, I really hope we do.
Rosemary Just Wants To Be Friends
What is Suzie’s deal exactly? When I first saw her I thought oh, Su Yung’s a normal person now, how fun! But she doesn’t act like a normal person. She acts like a half-animated fembot. Makeup aside, she’s not anymore human now than she was as a J-horror zombie. In this segment Rosemary comes on to her in that friendly/creepy Rosemary way, and then James Mitchell pulls them apart and tells Rosemary to stay away from her. Then Havok attacks Rosemary, and Suzie lets out a devastating scream. I can only assume this is all leading somewhere.
Taya’s Looking For Allies
Since I came back to Impact, Kiera Hogan and Madison Rayne haven’t done anything other than play different characters in the Throwback episode, but I guess they’re heels now? In any case, they’re backstage talking like Mean Girls when the Meanest Girl of all, Taya Valkyrie, shows up looking for friends. As they quickly point out, however, Taya really doesn’t have any interest in friendship, she’s just feeling beset on all sides by Jordynne Grace, ODB, and now Tenille Dashwood. What she’s looking for is mercenaries, and she’s ready to hand out future title opportunities as payment. Let’s be really, what she’s really looking for is partners for the six-woman tag match with Jordynne, Tenille, and ODB that they’re definitely booking for the Hard To Kill go-home show after the New Year. It’s good that they’re giving all the Knockouts who aren’t from literal Christian Hell something to do.
Tessa Blanchard Isn’t Taking Any Shit
The last segment of the show starts with Sami Callihan coming to the ring to, as has been promoted for the entire show, “expose” Tessa Blanchard. There’s not really a payoff to that promise, but it is a very good promo. Sami calls out the crowd for claiming to want gender equality but then thinking he’s terrible because he treats Tessa the same way he’d treat any man. Like all the best heels, he’s not exactly wrong, even if this mostly reads like a call-out of Don Callis. He also talks about how the crowd should cheer for him, because he’s like them while she’s a wrestling princess whose dad can get her opportunities anywhere. Again he’s not exactly wrong (except that at this point Tessa doesn’t need anyone’s reputation but her own to get opportunites), he’s just an asshole.
Naturally, Tessa comes out and immediately gets attacked by Mad Man Fulton. Ken Shamrock, who is entirely on board with intergender wrestling, makes the save to take out Fulton, and Sami and Tessa brawl out into the street. Literally in the city street, with cars going by. I’m sure it was very carefully staged, but it looks great. Not since that child got run over during the LAX/OGs feud has traffic been utilized in an Impact Wrestling storyline. And this isn’t even the go-home show! It’s the “plays stay interested over the holidays” show, and I for one am definitely interested in what happens when they come back.
Meanwhile, in Guyville…
TJP Defeated Daga
Did you know TJ Perkins is in Impact now? Remember when he won the Cruiserweight Classic? Good times, man, good times.
Brian Cage And RVD Fought In The Ring, But Didn’t Have A Match
RVD and his hot girlfriend are actually pretty funny when they’re not just rehashing ECW with other old ECW guys, but also I’m really looking forward to Cage kicking his ass at the PPV.
Ethan Page Defeated Rich Swann
Ah yes, the singles match between members of the two teams who have a Tag Team Championship match coming up. As one of those, this was fine. The tag match will be better.
Joey Ryan Defeated Acey Romero
Wow, Impact’s really letting Joey Ryan be Joey Ryan, huh? Dick tricks and all. I like Joey, and there was some fun stuff in this match, but I think his Impact run will get better when the story stops being this meta thing about how old wrestlers don’t like him. Wrestler’s Court last week was tons of fun. Johnny Swinger trolling him in the ring I could have done without.
Ace Austin Defeated Petey Williams
Speaking of solid guys with pervert gimmicks, Ace Austin really works as X-Division Champion, which he proves here by putting away the veteran Petey Williams. But he’s also obsessed with Trey Miguel’s Mom and maybe “MILFs” in general, which is a gimmick I could definitely live without. Love his hair though.
That’s all for this week’s Knockout Report. Join me when Impact returns in three weeks for the Hard To Kill go-home show, and then for the PPV itself on January 12.