This is a pretty solid concept: a PPV from a major wrestling company that solely features women’s wrestling matches. Unfortunately the company in question is TNA and they have a pretty poor track record with…well, pretty much all the things. Let’s get ready to fumble!!!!
Opening Twenty Minutes of Talking Part
Fuck this shit. Jeremy Borash is in the ring to welcome us to Knockouts Knockdown and give an explanation of the concept. Wannabe Knockouts will be taking on actual Knockouts in a series on one on one bouts the winners of which will be in a Gauntlet Elimination Battle Royal to determine the Queen of the Knockouts.
He gets interrupted by Maria and Mike Bennett who will be hosting the event tonight. They come down to the ring and Bennett’s like, “Yo mang, there’s only one queen of wrestling and that’s MAH WIFE!”
Maria then talks about how she’s bringing in eight wannabe knockouts as if JB didn’t mention the existence of the eight wannabe knockouts a couple minutes earlier when he explained the concept of this PPV. She brings the hopefuls down to the ring. In no particular order we have: Allysin Kay, Cherry Bomb, Veda Scott, Leva Bates, Barbi Hayden, Jayme Jameson, Shelly Martinez and Deonna Purrazzo.
All eight women then get interviewed by Maria and cut pretty horrible promos with shitty comedy. This takes fucking forever and it’s so bad. Barbi Hayden was probably the best of the bunch by a small amount, unless we’re strictly talking about sideboob and/or sombreros in which case no one could compete with Shelly Martinez.
Maria continues to talk, telling the women that they are competing for a spot tonight and then explains the same PPV concept Jeremy Borash informed us in like 15 minutes earlier. JB then gets back on the mic to introduce to wannabes to their opponents for the night…
- Cherry Bomb vs. Velvet Sky
- Jayme Jameson vs. Marti Belle
- Veda Scott vs. Rosemary
- Barbi Hayden vs. Raquel
- Leva Bates vs. Jade
- Deonna Purrazzo vs. Madison Rayne
- Shelly Martinez vs. Rebel
- Allysin Kay vs. Gail Kim
“Good luck ladies!”
Highlights for Children!
We get clips of the previous winners of the coveted Queen of the Knockouts tiara. Gail Kim won in 2013, Madison Rayne in 2014, and Awesome Kong in 2015.
To The Commentary Desk…
Josh Matthews, Jeremy Borash, Mike Bennett and Maria are crowded around the announce table. Mike Bennett doesn’t seem to get a chair since he’s just kind of lurking in the back.
Allysin Kay talks about how she’s going to kick ass and didn’t come all the way from Detroit to be scared off by someone like Gail Kim.
Match 1: Allysin Kay vs. Gail Kim
The opening portion of the match was a solid back and forth between the two women with Kim using her speed and Kay cutting her off with raw power. They keep cutting to Maria at the commentary desk which is annoying as fuck.
Kim makes a comeback and does a figure four on the ring post. Kay makes a comeback and we get some back and forth between the two. Kay goes for an armbar at one point. Gail Kim attempts to hit Eat Defeat, but Allysin Kay keeps countering. She looks really good here.
Kim eventually goes up top but Mike Bennett comes to ringside and starts hooting and hollering so Gail Kim dives at him and takes him out. Maria then sends Gail head first into the post which results in a count out victory of Allysin Kay.
Bennett is busted open. He and Maria walk up to the entrance area as Gail Kim gets back into the ring and gets on the mic. She’s sick of Maria’s bullshit and challenges her and her “pussy husband” to a mixed tag match later. Mike Bennett rips off his “most expensive” shirt. I guess they accept the match.
Winner: Allysin Kay
The actual match was pretty solid. I’m a sucker for power vs. speed matches in general and appreciate that they let Kay get some shit in on Kim. The ending of the match was stupid as hell though and kind of detracted from what was an otherwise good match.
We get a promo of Shelly Martinez who talks about her dead grandma and getting back in touch with her Mexican roots. She promises to kill Rebel in Spanish.
Match 2: Shelly Martinez vs. Rebel
This is THAT match. Both ladies come out and rub their vaginas on the ropes as they enter the thing. The bell rings before Rebel has taken off her Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band jacket. Shelly Martinez does not attack at the bell, instead she yells some stuff at Rebel and Rebel yells stuff back at her. THIS IS WRESTLING!
A minute or so later they lock up and argue some more before Martinez throws a mediocre arm drag and then works the arm and yells a lot and calls Rebel a bitch. Martinez hits an okay drop toe hold and gets Rebel in a surfboard.
Rebel gets free and goes for a kick but Shelly catches her. I assume that she’ll attempt a horrible enziguri or maybe some sort of spinning clothesline spot will occur. I am completely wrong. Shelly pulls Rebel’s leg forward so Rebel does a split and then hits her with a dropkick and goes for a pin, but Rebel kicks out. This is probably the best spot of the match. It’s all downhill from here.
Rebel hides behind the ref and then pokes Shelly in the eye. They roll around on the mat ECW catfight style and then do some really shitty chain wrestling before Rebel takes control; locking on an abdominal stretch and a weird claw hold on Shelly stomach.
Rebel takes Shelly down with shitty leg scissors. This causes Shelly to scream, at the top of her lungs, “MY VAG!” I don’t know if this is because her vagina hurt or because he vagina popped out of her ill-fitting wrestling attire and she was alerting the cameramen to cut away. Either way it was hilarious.
Rebel does the Kevin Nash big boot choke out in the corner and then goes for some handspring back elbow into a corner than Shelly had rolled out of before the move even began.
Shelly hits a snapmare and then goes for a cross body block. Rebel barely catches her. Shelly makes a comeback and hits Rebel with a DDT. Rebels rolls out of the ring and Shelly Martinez goes for a dive. OH IT’S THAT SPOT!
Shelly gets caught in the ropes. Rebel seems confused and just sort of rolls her up for a pin. Martinez covers up her crotch as she lays in the ring because I guess her vagina was falling out of her wrestling attire. Rebel strikes victory poses for awhile and then Martinez seems to go on the attack, but they cut to a promo from Cherry Bomb, because of course they do.
To be totally honest, this match is why I watched this PPV. I had heard how it was the worst match of all times and just a disaster on every conceivable level. To be honest I was a bit disappointed it wasn’t worse than it actually was. Sure it was shitty, shitty wrestling, but it was nowhere near as bad as I’d been lead to believe. The one thing I don’t understand is this PPV wasn’t even live. Why didn’t they just redo the match or cut it from broadcast?
Cherry Bomb isn’t actually called Cherry Bomb tonight. She’s wrestling under some other name but keeps saying that she’s “so cherry.” She has a cherry armband on and it says “Cherry Bomb” on her ass. One of the announcers says that she wrestled elsewhere as Cherry Bomb as she makes her way to the ring. I don’t know why they don’t just call her Cherry Bomb.
Match 3: Cherry Bomb vs. Velvet Sky
Cherry attacks before the bell rings and takes control. She works over Velvet and screams the entire time. Is that her gimmick? Is just screaming during a match a gimmick a wrestler can have?
Sky makes a comeback and goes for some roll ups and pinning combinations but Cherry keeps escaping. Velvet finally nails her with a basement dropkick and scores a near fall. They go back and forth for awhile before Cherry nails Velvet with a kick to the gut and a back rake of Hulk Hoganian proportions to score a near fall.
Velvet Sky picks up the pace to make a comeback and hits a mess of clotheslines and then a bulldog for a near fall of her own. Cherry gets Velvet in a pinning predicament in the corner and gets her feet up on the ropes for the heel victory.
After the match Velvet complains to the ref that Cherry had her feet on the ropes. The ref asks Cherry if she did, she claims she did not. Velvet shrugs and offers to shake Cherry’s hand. Cherry goes and gets hit with the Stone Cold Stunner.
Winner: Cherry Bomb
This was a decent enough match, especially after the preceding fiasco. It wasn’t great but there was nothing wrong with it except maybe for the post match stuff that made Cherry Bomb look like a moron and didn’t really help Velvet Sky at all.
Leva Bates cuts a promo talking about being a nerd and how she knows Jade from the outside and considered her a friend. She says she knows Jade better than Jade knows herself.
Match 4: Leva Bates vs. Jade
Leva starts off the match with some dance moves and uses some dance based offense in the early going of the match before hitting a spear for a near fall. Jade is like, “Fuck this shit!” and then beats down Leva and stomps the shit out of the bowler hat she’d worn to the ring (she was cosplaying as Alex from A Clockwork Orange…or maybe a mime as one of the bozos on commentary opined).
Jade chokes out Leva with her suspenders and then gets Leva in a tarantula on the ropes before slapping on a Muta Lock. Leva manages to get a roll up, but gets superkicked. Jade gets in control for awhile until Leva hits a Code Breaker. Both women are down.
Leva gets back to her feet and starts kicking Jade. She gets her in a bridging northern lights suplex. Jade kicks out at two. Leva boots her in the face and whips her into the corner and follows her in for some weird double knee thing.
Leva goes up top, but Jade cuts her off. They fight on the top rope with Leva coming up victorious. She slips off the top rope. The commentary team comment on how hard it is for newcomers to wrestle in a six-sided ring. This was a running theme for the night whenever the wannabe Knockouts botched stuff. Maybe it’s true. I’ve never wrestled in either sort of ring so I have no idea.
Anyway, Leva goes back up top and kind of hits a double stomp, but Jade hits an STO and picks up the win.
This was a decent match; possibly the best match of the night. Yeah there were a couple sloppy spots in the early going, but Leva and Jade worked pretty well together and Jade is a great heel. The part where she stomped Leva’s hat was fantastic heeling.
We get a promo from Veda Scott talking about how scared she is of Rosemary and how she wanted to trade opponents with one of the other girls but no one was willing to trade with her. She ends up hyping herself up saying that she might not be the biggest or strongest competitor but she’s the smartest, so she’ll figure out a way to beat Rosemary. Maybe…
Match 5: Veda Scott vs. Rosemary (w/ Crazzy Steve)
Steve is dressed in business attire. I guess he’s got an interview later tonight. He and Rosemary are creepy in the ring so Veda Scott cuts a promo saying that Rosemary must be scared since she brought Crazzy Steve with her. Steve leaves the ring and Rosemary attacks before the bell rings.
Rosemary is clubbering, but Veda Scott hits some kicks and gets in control. Steve gets up on the ring apron and distracts Veda, allowing Rosemary to counter a high cross and lay Veda out with a backbreaker.
Scott gets Rosemary in a triangle choke, but Rosemary powers up and powerbombs Veda into the turnbuckles to score a near fall. The two women trade submissions with Veda getting the upper hand until Rosemary starts to bit Veda’s foot in order to escape a submission hold.
Veda fires up and hits a bunch of dropkicks before Steve gets on the apron. Veda’s had enough of his creepy bullshit and slaps him in the face. Steve touches his cheek and licks his fingers like a pervert. The ref gets involved, trying to get Steve off the apron and stop being a creepy. Veda turns around right into BLUE MIST and defeat.
This was another decent match. I liked the contrasting styles between Rosemary and Veda Scott and thought that both women looked really good in the ring throughout the match. Veda looked a little weird running the ropes a couple times, but as the announcers said, the six-sided ring can be hard to get used to for those not familiar with it.
Raquel is leaning on stuff backstage concealed in shadows. Everything is so dark. She says some stuff. None of it makes any impact at all.
Match 6: Barbi Hayden vs. Raquel
Barbi Hayden is out first. She gets on the mic and talks about she has fans all over the world, including Trina Michaels who is in the audience with a sign proclaiming herself the #1 Barbi Fan. She says that she knows not everyone will like her and one person who definitely won’t after tonight is Raquel.
They start off with some arms drags. Raquel is really bad. She does run the ropes so much as walk them. The first minute or so is really slow. They have no chemistry, but not from a lack of trying. Barbi Hayden’s trying really hard but you can’t polish a turd. Raquel looks so confused as to what to do.
Raquel makes a comeback after getting dominated for most of the match and does some “Brazilian jujitsu,” to Barbi. Barbi sells like she’s dying as Raquel gets her in a submission hold.
Trina Michaels jumps the guardrail and gets up on the apron. The ref is yelling at her to get down. Raquel breaks her hold and goes over to get in Trina Michaels’ face. Barbi sneaks up behind her and hits a hangman’s DDT to pick up the win.
After the match Raquel seems confused by what happened. She attacks Trina Michaels and Barbi Hayden and cleans house because that makes sense.
Winner: Barbi Hayden
If Barbi Hayden was not as good as she was this match would have easily been worse than the Shelly Martinez vs. Rebel match. Raquel is easily worse than Rebel and Shelly and the only reason this wasn’t a complete disaster is because Barbi Hayden controlled the bulk of the match here and sold well in the one segment where Raquel was on offense.
Madison Rayne talks about what her favorite Knockouts moments were both personal and historic. She talks about winning the belt after taking a year off to have a child and the feud between Gail Kim and Awesome Kong and how it made everyone else in the division work harder to try to have matches that equaled what those two were doing.
Deonna Purrazzo is not a 19 year old kid anymore. She’s traveled the world since she was last in TNA two years ago and learned a lot. She feels honored to be competing against a legend like Madison Rayne.
Match 7: Deonna Purrazzo vs. Madison Rayne
Purrazzo is Mojo Rawley levels of hyped. She comes out and is screaming in delight at the ref before Madison Rayne even makes her way out. She tries to shake Madison’s hand before Madison even finishes her ring entrance. Madison reluctantly shakes her hand.
Purrazzo does an indie respect handshake as the bell rings and they lock up. Rayne gets the upperhand and takes Purrazzo down after which Purrazzo is like, “Nice job,” and shakes her hand again. Madison looks confused. She continues this throughout the opening portion of the match. Purrazzo gets some offense in but ultimately gets outwrestled by the veteran and then tells Rayne, “Nice job,” and offers to shake her hand.
After a few such exchanges Rayne scores a series of crazy pinning combinations that Purrazzo barely escapes from, causing her to shout, “I don’t even know what that was, but THAT WAS AWESOME!” Cue “THAT WAS AWESOME!” chant from the audience.
Eventually Purrazzo snaps and takes Rayne down and puts the boots to her. They head outside and Purrazzo whips Rayne into the steel steps. Cue audience booing. Back in the ring Rayne makes a comeback, but after missing with a high cross, Purrazzo lays her out and hits a running senton for a two count.
Purrazzo argues with the ref about the speed of his count, giving Rayne time to recover. As Purrazzo is arguing, Rayne hits Cross Rhodes and picks up the win.
Winner: Madison Rayne
Another decent match with a kind of lame ending. Purrazzo looked good here, better than when I saw her on NXT. Granted that was just a squash match compared to this where it was a competitive back and forth match, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she showed up full-time in NXT in the near future.
Match 8: Jayme Jameson vs. Marti Belle
Jameson overpowers Marti Belle in the beginning. She tosses Belle around and slams her a couple times with ease. Marti keeps trying to lock up with her for some reason only to get thrown about like a ragdoll. Eventually Belle stuns Jameson off the ropes and gets in control.
Jameson hits an ugly looking slam that looked more like she kind of just dropped Belle. Belle makes a comeback and tries to slow things down but Jameson hits a mess of clotheslines and then a powerslam for a near fall. Jameson hits a sloppy spinning uranage before Belle hits a leg sweep and a clothesline FROM OUTTA NOWHERE! to pick up the victory.
Winner: Marti Belle
Meh. This was a short, nothing match. Jameson has a good look, but needs a lot of work in the ring. Marti Belle is pretty good, but kind of looked like a geek here. She didn’t really do anything and then won with a clothesline for some reason.
Highlights for Children!
We get highlights of the events that lead to the mixed tag team match between Maria Kanellis & Mike Bennett and Gail Kim and a partner of her choice. I saw all of this literally an hour and a half ago. I haven’t forgotten that Gail Kim busted open Mike Bennett’s dome.
Maria cuts a promo on Gail Kim. It is a generic heel promo. I don’t remember any of the specifics of it.
Match 9: Maria Kanellis & Mike Bennett vs. Gail Kim & DJ Z
“Violence against women is bad!” mixed tag team rules are in effect here. Anytime a dude tags in the opposing dude also has to come in and whenever a woman is tagged in the other team’s woman must also enter the match.
Maria and Mike are out first. Gail comes out and then brings out her partner: former X Division Champion, DJ Z. Gail is going to be starting things off for her team, but Maria wants nothing to do with her and tries to avoid starting the match.
The bell rings and Maria tags out immediately. There’s about two minutes of the two teams tagging in and out before DJ Z goes for a schoolboy on Mike Bennett when he has his back turned to talk to Maria. DJ Z runs wild for awhile on Bennett hitting a bunch of cruiserweight moves before he gets distracted by Maria and Bennett gets in control.
Bennett drops DJ Z with a right and declares, “Oh man I’m bleeding again.” I thought that he’d cut his hand punching DJ Z, but no, his head was once again gushing blood.
Bennett works DJ Z over for awhile before DJ Z hit a high cross that laid out both men. DJ Z is crawling towards Gail Kim for the hot tag, but before he can get there Maria pulls Gail off the ring apron so DJ Z is left hanging. Gail gives chase and chases Maria around the ring, so DJ Z is like, “Whateves…” and makes a comeback for himself and hits a bunch of fast high flying moves on Mike Bennett.
Maria slides into the ring and Gail Kim finally catches up with her, hitting her with a spear. Bennett cuts off Gail Kim with minor violence against women and Maria goes out to the floor. DJ Z goes for a slingshot DDT, but Bennett counters it and hits the Miracle in Progress to pick up the win.
Winners: Maria & Mike Bennett
This was an okay men’s match pretending to be a mixed tag team match. The women didn’t really do anything. Mike Bennett was pretty mediocre throughout the match too. DJ Z looked pretty good here though and seemed to be giving 110%. I’d be happy to see him in some sort of WWE/NXT show that I watch with more regularity than I do TNA.
Highlights for Children!
We get highlights of the winners of the eight qualifying matches before our main event for the evening. I just watched this entire PPV so this segment is entirely pointless. I can excuse “Earlier Tonight!” segments on TV since there’s a good likelihood that people are coming in in the middle of an episode, but who does that with a PPV? This is basically just killing time.
Match 10: Barbi Hayden vs. Marti Belle vs. Madison Rayne vs. Rebel vs. Cherry Bomb vs. Allysin Kay vs. Rosemary vs. Jade
This is a Gauntlet Elimination Match to determine the Queen of the Knockouts. Basically it’s a Royal Rumble. Two women start in the ring and every two minutes another woman enters the match. Eliminations come by being thrown over the top rope and having both feet touch the floor. Because this is TNA, and every stipulation has to be zany, once the match is down to two women it becomes a standard issue wrestling match with victory coming via pinfall or submission.
Barbi Hayden and Marti Belle start things off. They spend a minute or so arguing with one another and posing to the hard camera and pushing each other out of the way. JB talks about how he’ll be the one to crowd the victory but says he won’t sing the “Here she comes…Miss America!” song when he does so. He actually sings it while saying he won’t sing it which cause Josh Matthews to drop the greatest line of the night, “You have a beautiful voice. It’s like a cross between Fergie and Jesus.” Awesome!
Back in the ring Hayden and Belle finally lock up after Hayden shoves Belle. As soon as they lock up the countdown for the third entrant begins. There is no way that was two minutes.
Madison Rayne hits the ring and runs wild of a little bit, taking out both Hayden and Belle with some clotheslines. She tries to toss Hayden out of the ring as the countdown begins again. Yeah, these are 90 second intervals…why not just say that and put that on the graphic TNA?
Oh good, here comes Rebel. She hits a bunch of terrible spin kicks and then comes face to face with Marti Belle. They hug and jump up and down and then run wild on everyone together. They work over Rayne and Hayden and hit a Total Elimination at one point that Josh Matthews claims is “Shades of Perry Saturn and John Kronus!” No Josh, it wasn’t. Perry Saturn 2016 and the corpse of John Kronus could have done a better Total Elimination than that.
They dump Barbi Hayden over the top rope and another 90 seconds have expired. The fifth entrant comes out. It’s Cherry Bomb. She attacks Marti Belle and yells a lot. Allysin Kay is the sixth woman to enter. She comes in hot, cleaning house before getting shut down for no reason and then eliminating Cherry and Rebel shortly thereafter. Why beat her down if she’s going to just get back to back eliminations like 20 seconds later? Just let her come in, run wild, eliminate a couple fools and then get beat down. Is that that hard TNA? People were pumped up when she came in, stopped being pumped up when she got beat down and then didn’t give a shit when she eliminated people. Dumb!
Rosemary comes out next. Everyone in the ring runs away from her like they are playing tag at recess. Eventually Rosemary caught each of them and worked them over. The best spot here was when Allysin Kay had Marti Belle in the corner and Rosemary charged them, Allysin offered up Marti, but Rosemary just shrugged and started working over Allysin instead.
Rosemary runs wild for about 40 seconds and then goes for a quasi-Tarantula thing and falls onto the ring apron and gets punted down to the floor by Madison Rayne. Allysin Kay follows her out a second later.
Jade makes her way down as the final contestant. We’re down to Rayne, Jade, and Belle. The two Dollhouse members work together for like ten seconds before Jade randomly forearms Marti Belle in the face. Jade is like, “We’re family! Sorry!” and Belle smiles and is like, “FAMILY!” and then gets dumped out of the ring by Jade.
It’s down to Jade and Madison Rayne now. One fall to a finish. Jade gets in control and ground Rayne with a Muta Lock. They head out to the floor where Rayne posts Jade and the rolls her back into the ring.
Back in the ring there’s some back and forth between the two and Rayne makes a brief comeback. It’s short lived though as Jade hits a tornado DDT into a STO to pick up the win.
Post-match Jeremy Borash heads down to the ring and Jade is given a tiara since she’s now Queen of the Knockouts. She bows and asks if she can keep the crown. She’s pretty adorable. “Doll Parts” plays and Jade heads to the back, your 2016 Queen of the Knockouts!
This was a match that happened. There wasn’t anything really bad in it except Rebel’s spin kicks I guess but there wasn’t anything really worth watching here either. It was kind of slow and except for Jade tossing Marti Belle, none of the eliminations felt big or important. Allysin Kay eliminating Cherry Bomb and Rebel back to back could have been cool if they hadn’t stopped her from running wild right before she did it. Rosemary basically eliminated herself. Allysin Kay they didn’t even show get eliminated, she just fell out of the ring while the camera was focused on Rosemary post-elimination.
I’m honestly fine with Jade winning. She had the best preliminary match and though Leva Bates put in a good effort, most of the credit needs to be given to Jade. Also during the battle royal part of the Gauntlet Match she had the only elimination that felt important, so kudos to the woman who was (and I think now is again) Mia Yim.
That one match not withstanding, this event was mostly okay matches, if you want to see indie wrestle ladies in a TNA six sided ring this is about as good as you’re going to get. That being said, nothing here really stood out as essential viewing or particularly heinous. Even the Shelly Martinez/Rebel match was not as terrible as the internet had lead me to believe. Yeah it was bad, but it was nowhere near as bad as something like Heroes of Wrestling.
Like I said, the idea of having a show dedicated to women’s wrestling is pretty solid and I’m surprised that the WWE waited as long as they did to rip it off as they seem to be doing with their upcoming Women’s Tournament thing. Hopefully the in-ring action there will feel more essential than this did.