I’m at a crossroads with how TNA handled their programming on Friday night’s Impact Wrestling. They made a big deal leading up that it would be a night of Knockouts and what we got was a night of wrestling programming.
There were plenty of women on the show, yes, but if you’re going to tout that it’s a show centring your women and there are an equal amount of men’s matches as their are women’s then it’s not quite a night of knockouts.
The show opened with promos between Eric Young and Kurt Angle, followed by a fairly short women’s fatal four way, a separate men’s match than the one advertised. The format that they thought highlighted their women best seemed to be men’s promo, women’s match, men’s match, men’s promo, men’s promo, women’s match, and so on.
That being said, focusing entirely on their women’s programming I think they did a great job overall in terms of story and matches. TNA has a knack for taking a different twist on our perceptions as to what gimmicks to anticipate.
My favourite of the evening being the introduction of the creepy new faction Dollhouse. This duo, so far, comprised of Marti Belle and Jade was a sickeningly sweet trip into a 90’s nightmare that the crowd was all in a kerfuffle over. Starting off their match by screeching at ring announcer Christy for introducing them incorrectly, and ending the match with interference by taking out the ref and the announcer and then shoving a jawbreaker into her mouth, they hit every heelish note perfectly and I can’t wait to see more. This was a great way to team up against Laura Dennis, aka Cherry Bomb, who the crowd was going to be behind no matter what. That being said, I was a little bit confused since Laura was wearing her Cherry Bomb gear but the commentary team and all on screen graphics referred to her as Laura. Name semantics be damned, she always puts on a great match.
Dollhouse got even more interesting later in the evening when they interfered in the main event between Awesome Kong and Taryn Terrell by aiding Terrell in putting Kong through a table. Taryn then revealed that she was part of, and possibly the head honcho, of this new stable.
Mickie James also showed up to make an announcement, one of her retiring from wrestling forever to be a mom full time. Something fishy is going on here, and it was obviously concocted to start a feud between Magnus and James Storm. It was extremely heartwarming to hear the rally of support from the crowd and respect that they have towards Mickie James, who is a fierce fighter and can stand up to almost any one else in the company right now and give them a run for their money.
Let’s sincerely hope that the lesson TNA takes away from Friday night’s show was that intergender programming can be enjoyed and maybe creative will start booking more of their shows in this format. We’ve known for a while that it doesn’t need to be a one sided battle in terms of how you lay out your card, and that a fanbase will react positively to change and diversity. Quit stifling your women or using them as a one off to get some ratings and realize we comprise some of the best talent on your rosters.