TNA Knockouts PPV shows strength of division
By BOB KAPUR - SLAM! Wrestling
TNA Wrestling's Knockout division has been a highlight of the company since it officially kicked off three years ago. Fans can re-live some of their favourite moments featuring these women through TNA Knockouts: Mad Sexy vol. 1, a new pay-per-view special.
At a premiere screening last night in Toronto, the current Knockout champion Angelina Love and fellow Knockout Taylor Wilde joined twenty lucky contest winners for a premiere screening of the show, which airs in Canada exclusively on Viewers Choice. The fun night kicked off with each guest receiving a TNA prize pack, followed by a meet and greet opportunity with the lovely ladies.
Before the screening, the ladies held a Q&A session for the fans. In front of their hometown crowd, the women answered questions on all sorts of subjects. Both were candid about any topic raised, even when asked to share embarrassing stories about wardrobe malfunctions, including one that happened to Wilde just this past week on TV ("fortunately, my back was to the camera," she laughed). Some of their most open comments were reserved for WWE, or "the other company" as they diplomatically referred to it. Both women spent considerable time in WWE's developmental system, but were squandered there and never brought on to TV.
"It sucked," Love said flatly. "I wouldn't want to go back."
Comparing the two companies, both of them trumpeted TNA's commitment to a strong women's division, pointing to Gail Kim as an example. Kim was showcased very strongly during her run in TNA, even main-eventing some TNA TV shows during her feud with Awesome Kong in 2007 and 2008. Since her move to WWE, however, she has been used only sporadically and has not been featured in many major storylines.
"She's being somewhat wasted," said Wilde about her fellow Torontonian. "It's unfortunate," echoed Love.
When all the questions had been answered, the lights dimmed for the screening. Hosted by Christy Hemme, the hour-long Mad Sexy package fits in six of the company's best women's matches, followed by a sexy photo slideshow.
Matches include: the 2007 Gauntlet Battle Royal match to crown the first Knockouts champion; a triple threat match between Gail Kim, Awesome Kong, and ODB; Wilde vs Roxxi vs Kong; Love vs Tara; Tara vs Daphne; and a tag match between The Beautiful People and Kong vs ODB, Gail Kim and Taylor.
In order to save time, introductions are chopped from the matches, and the occasional, unobtrusive edit is made during slow moments. This is a definite plus, as it allows for more actual wrestling content to be featured -- which is, after all, the point of the pay-per-view.
The matches really highlight how strong the Knockouts division was, and continues to be, in TNA. In fact, the entire show could be used as an argument for TNA to try out a TV show dedicated entirely to the Knockouts, as was once the rumoured plan. While not all of the women on Mad Sexy are still with the company, with the right investment of time and a concerted effort to bring back some of them, the Knockout Division could easily hold its own once again.
After the matches, the show ends with a slideshow of pictures of some of the current Knockouts in various stages of undress. Though there is no nudity, there are bras a-plenty, which leads to a nice happy ending to the show.
Fans in Canada will have plenty of opportunities to check out TNA Knockouts: Mad Sexy vol. 1 on Viewers Choice pay-per-view, with the next showing taking place on the evening of October 10, right before TNA's annual Bound for Glory event. According to Lee Mattina, the Programming and Marketing Co-ordinator for Viewers Choice, who also organized the screening, the show will be available for viewing for at least three months. If successful, it is possible that the run may be extended, and/or, as suggested by the "volume 1" reference in the title, that additional volumes may be released in the future.
All in all, Mad Sexy vol. 1 is a fun hour of wrestling and hot women, and at only $14.99, is an inexpensive way for fans to get their Knockout fix.
Taylor Wilde photo gallery
Angelina Love Photo Gallery
Bob Kapur loves the Knockouts. They are all encouraged to e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.