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 the Pursuit Channel or Twitch every Friday night at 10 p.m. Then on Mondays, read this column and share it with everyone you know.
Two weeks ago on Impact, Jordynne Grace defeated Tessa Blanchard to become the #1 Contender to the Knockouts Championship, Johnny Impact and Taya Valkyrie turned heel, and Allie still wasn’t Allie despite Rosemary’s best efforts.
Scarlett Bordeaux Defeated Glenn Gilbertti
First of all, when Gilbertti said, “I’ll just show everybody tonight that a woman cannot be the man,” I can’t help but feel like he might have been talking about somebody besides Scarlett Bordeaux. In general, I thought his sexist rhetoric went a little far. I know he’s supposed to be the heel, and he’s proven wrong when Scarlett beats him, but that had already been pretty well-established. I’m a known supporter of intergender wrestling, but I don’t love watching IG matches where the whole idea of intergender, or even of women’s wrestling in general, is the thing the match is about. If you want to treat women as equal competitors, just treat them as equal competitors. Similarly, you can’t book Disco Inferno into a match against a woman and then have commentary talk about he’s disgusting and should be arrested anytime he gets any offense in. I’m glad Impact is willing to experiment with Intergender, but I’d rather just see Tessa Blanchard fight Trey Miguel or something like that, and have the story not be about gender at all.
For that matter, it’s weird how this story treated Scarlett Bordeaux like a feminist hero, when her whole thing has been about bringing back divas-era sexiness. Nothing against sex-positive feminism, but if Scarlett believes in women’s wrestling so much, it would be nice if she’d actually participate in the Knockouts Division and fight some women. Hopefully now that she’s finally made her in-ring debut, that will happen. On the other hand, I wouldn’t be surprised if she just goes back to playing Sexy Phantom of the Arena and showing up in non-wrestling segments to mess with people.
Gail Kim Is Back To Kick Tessa’s Ass
This was a good segment, and it’s going to be a very good match. But there’s the other thing: Tessa versus Gail was set up at Homecoming in early January, and was strongly hinted at prior to that. Now that the match has finally been made, it’s not even happening for another month. And this is Tessa’s next actual feud after Taya, and that ended like two weeks ago after starting… in October, I think? There’s a lot I love about Impact, but the glacial pacing is not one of those things.
Taya Valkyrie Versus Jordynne Grace Ended In A Shmoz
Speaking of Impact’s slow pacing and stretched-out feuds, this match ended with Johnny Impact pulling Taya out of the ring because she was claiming she couldn’t breathe, and then Cage and Kross showed up and it turned into a big brawl. Which means we’re get Taya versus Jordynne again. And then we’ll probably get it several more times after that. On the other hand, it’s Taya Valkyrie versus Jordynne Grace, so I can probably watch it at least three more times without getting bored. We’ll see if they try my patience.
Allie’s In A Better Place Now
We knew this story had to end, because Allie’s going to AEW. I was worried it would end abruptly, because there was incorrect reporting that last week was Allie’s last show. That’s an easy mistake to make, because these Undead Realm segments are shot without a crowd, so it’s harder to know what’s coming down the pipe until it airs. So this week was the end. Not just the end of Allie in Impact, but the end of the Impact version of Allie’s life, as she sacrificed herself to save Rosemary from Su Yung, regaining her soul in the process.
I thought this was very well done. The cheapness of the whole production is part of the Impact aesthetic, so that didn’t bother me. The performers gave it their all, which is what makes stuff like this work. Kevin Sullivan appearing as the Lord of Darkness was a nice touch, although if it were up to me I’d have given him some costume store horns. My favorite bit was Father James Mitchell selling how shocking Allie’s sudden death was. He’s basically been a grinning ghoul through this whole storyline, so when his jaw dropped and his eyes widened you knew something huge had happened. Plus, that gave Kiera Hogan her chance to escape his clutches and run to the ring.
Rosemary is going to come for Su now, and there will be nobunny to temper her rage. That’s going to be quite a thing to see, especially since we never got the full Rosemary versus Su match that was announced last year, which pretty much started this entire story. I don’t know if Mitchell can still take bumps, but I wouldn’t mind seeing her go after him too. And if her rage burns too hot, she may end up fighting Kiera too. There’s a lot of good places to go from here, but all of that’s for later. This week’s episode ended with the Demon weeping at the loss of her Bunny, and that’s as it should be.
Meanwhile, In Guyville
Moose defeated Trey Miguel
Moose won the match, but Trey Miguel continues to win my heart by being great at wrestling.
Eddie Edwards and Eli Drake Defeated KM and Fallah Bahh
I’m really getting to like Eli and Eddie as a team. Eddie’s a face, but he’s not really rational, while Eli’s a heel who can act civilized. So Eli can act like he’s above the hardcore stuff, but he always passes Eddie the kendo stick at just the right moment, and Eddie never hesitates to use it. This storyline could go somewhere interesting.
Ace Austin Defeated Damian Hyde
Ace Austin continues to seem cool, and I continue to wait for him to get more to do than beat up jobbers.
Willie Mack Defeated Ethan Page
Willie Mack does a really cool flip onto his feel during this match, which is enough to recommend it. Both of these guys could also really benefit from better storylines, though.
Rich Swann Defeated Sami Callihan
Sawyer Fulton, really? If you didn’t watch, the cliffhanger at the end of the episode last week was Swann getting attacked by the new fourth member of oVe, who turns out to be “Madman” Fulton, the original fourth member of Sanity from NXT, who was replaced by Killian Dane. Nothing against him as a performer, but acting like we should react to him being here is the sort of thing that people who don’t really watch Impact make fun of Impact for.
Killer Kross Defeated Brian Cage
Taya and Johnny both helped Kross win this match, with Taya delivering yet another low blow to Brian Cage. If Melissa Santos comes after her for this, I won’t be surprised (but I will be concerned for her safety, considering the size difference).
That’s all for this week’s Knockout Report. Join me next week, when Madison Rayne returns from the dead.