No Surrender: The student beats the teacher

Miss Tessmacher defends her TNA Knockouts Championship against her mentor, friend and former Tag Team Championship partner Tara.

The Background
• Tara defeated Tessmacher on the August 23 episode of Impact Wrestling after the champion (who had regained the title from Madison Rayne following last month’s Hardcore Justice PPV) issued the challenge to her mentor as part of Open Fight Night. Tara won with a superplex.
• Following that result, Knockouts boss lady Brooke Hogan booked another match between the two with the title on the line – however, it was announced just this Tuesday online, and the two had no interaction on last Thursday’s TV. Instead, while Tessmacher was wrestling Mickie James on a house show in Dalton, GA, Tara was defeating Gail Kim on Impact.

The Match
• Well, before we get to the match… instead of a video package, Tessmacher was interviewed, where she let everyone know about the relationship between she and her opponent, why she called Tara out last month, and why she needs to win – to prove that she is god enough to be champion.
• The contest began with a strong lock-up with each woman taking down the other but maintaining the move as they rose to their feet, followed by Tara using her experience to escape a wristlock, then outsmarting Tessmacher when she tried her own flashy escape.
• The same thing happened when the titleholder floored the challenger with a shoulder tackle – Tara tripped her friend from the mat and then applied a side headlock.
• An attempt at a magistral cradle also failed to pay dividends for Tessmacher, as Tara went with the momentum of the roll-through to send the champ to the floor. The challenger held the ropes open so she could get back in, but then surprised her with a roll-up, which Tessmacher didn’t think was very sporting.
• From here, it broke down into a fight. Tessmacher used some running clotheslines and one from the second rope, but Tara countered a Tess Shocker attempt, hit a Spider’s Web and nailed a superplex, but could only get a two-count this time.
• Frustrated, and screaming “don’t make me do this”, Tara went for a Widow’s Peak, but Tessmacher rolled through with a sunset flip for the three count.
• After the match, Tessmacher offered her hand for Tara to shake it. She did, but it was very brief and it was clear that there were strains in the friendship.

• Given that they hang out together, train together and have worked in the ring together, I expected this to be Tessmacher’s best ever match. It wasn’t. Not even close. It was too awkward and it wasn’t engaging as a match – her outing against Gail Kim at Sacrifice was much better.
• At 6:55, the match wasn’t too long, but there wasn’t enough excitement or drama to make the seconds feel like they were flying by.
• The lack of build-up may have been a factor in why the fans were so quiet – if you can often hear individual voices shouting out, you know it’s almost silent in there.
• However, there were positives. First off, Tessmacher’s pre-match promo was great. No raised voices, just a calm explanation of the background, why this match was so important to her and why she needed to win. It reminded me of a Bret Hart promo in some ways – no acting or hysterics, just a calm, reasoned approach to what is purported to be an athletic contest. This should have been on Impact to sell the match, not on the PPV itself when people have already bought it.
• Commentary team Taz and Mike Tenay sold the friendship strains between Tara and Tessmacher very well. No pissing about with jokes, the pair sold the match to the viewer.
• Referee Taryn Terrell was just that – the referee. No silliness or trying to make herself part of the dealings – she called the match and did a good job.
• Despite this match being dull, I would be interested in seeing a programme and storyline between these two with their friendship breaking down because of their desire to hold onto or win the Knockouts Championship. Maybe with more time, more heat and more build-up, these two could have a barn-burner of a contest next month at Bound For Glory.

– Lee Burton


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