It’s felt like Groundhog Day since the start of July when TNA Knockouts started dropping from their perch. We are now at the point that things seem totally desperate with the division, with just two full-time wrestlers on the roster and two playing valet roles but are likely on call just in case.
The latest Knockout to disappear from our screens is Mickie James, who dropped the Knockouts Championship two weeks ago on an Impact Wrestling taping which was televised last Thursday. As a result, ODB is now the reigning champion, currently in her fourth run with the title. ODB holding the title isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though you have to imagine that had the roster not reduced to the state that it is in now, she would still be the referee and Taryn Terrell would be holding the belt, considering she was on the monster push. As things turned out, she is on an indefinite leave of absence and TNA did what it had to do to get the belt off James before her contract expired.
When we wrote about Mickie’s contract situation just over a week ago, it was reported that she was still in negotiations with TNA and if the right deal could be struck she would be back on the show. However earlier today, her profile was removed from the roster page on the company’s website, which can’t be a good sign. Mickie James may be back, but I personally wouldn’t hold my breath. Considering the financial issues leading to a massive amount of cost-cutting on the roster – and talk of the show moving back to a singular location because of the sheer outgoings caused by Impact going on the road and not pulling in the crowds, it could just be that TNA can’t afford Mickie James money right now, and may not for the foreseeable future.
As it stands, the only full-time female wrestlers on the roster are champion ODB and Gail Kim, with Velvet Sky and Brooke Tessmacher working as hangers-on for Bully Ray and Chris Sabin respectively. That’s pretty weak by anyone’s standards.
Compared to James, ODB is probably less of a strain on TNA’s coffers though Kim might be on a more impressive wage, and has nothing to lose by stepping away from the company. Her husband Robert Irvine, who has an estimated net worth of $8 million from his career as a celebrity chef. On the flip side, Gail has said that she wrestles these days for the love rather than the money, so she may stick around for her own personal enjoyment, as financially, she and her husband are set. However, she would be the next great loss to TNA if she did go – partly because of her star status and recognition as the winner of the 2012 PWI Female 50 (which is a big bragging right), and partly because her reason to leave will likely not be because of money. Tessmacher and Sky are much of a muchness, and considering their current roles (and the fact that Tessmacher was off TV for much of this year anyway) they would create less of a void.
The problem that TNA has is that there is only one feud they can really do, which is ODB and Kim – and they did that short feud to set up ODB’s run to the belt. Their tussles ended with a 2 out of 3 falls match, so it drew a rather direct line under their programme. ODB v Sky is unlikely considering both are babyfaces and Tessmacher is not really in the picture at the moment. Consequently, ODB is the ruler and master of a barren land – and her reign is unlikely to be a spectacular one as a champion is only as good at the challengers they face and the matches they present.
It’s hard to see a way back for the Knockouts division. TNA has released veterans, promising names for the future, big names and former WWE Divas. It has been forced to abandon both the long game and the short term prospects just to balance its budget. If things get worse, there are only a couple of scenarios left to play out; Gail Kim – the woman who originally spearheaded the division – leaving, the Knockouts Division being mothballed or abandoned or TNA closing altogether. Any of those options would be a critical blow, and it’s anyone’s guess as to which will happen first.
Elsewhere on the site in the last week, we’ve uploaded a report from last week’s CAN USA Classic show, as well as videos featuring LuFisto from late 2007, and from Erin Angel’s tour of Canada earlier this year.
Got any news, results or upcoming events that you want to tell everyone about? Are you a female wrestler looking to tell us about upcoming bookings? Are you a fan who went to a show and saw a match, and would like to tell others about it – what you liked, what you didn’t and would like to encourage others to check it out for themselves? Send us an email!
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The best of the rest
AJ Lee made Naomi tap out to the Black Widow on SmackDown… Michelle McCool may be planning a return to WWE. She left the promotion at Extreme Rules in April 2011 after being beaten by Layla in a Loser Leaves WWE match… Emma, Bayley, Paige and some of the newer Diva trainees were featured in a video showing slow-motion footage of wrestlers performing their moves. It was very impressive to watch… The company is high on Renee Young at the moment. As well as being a backstage announcer and host of some of the recap shows, she presented the Total Divas Reunion Show and recently took to the commentary booth in NXT… New recruit Christina Vargas has quit. She tweeted that she wanted to pursue a cooking career, which she says is her true passion… Lisa Varon was backstage at Raw in Chicago last night… Nikki Bella worked her first match since injuring her shin back in June – an injury which was overhyped on Total Divas as being career threatening. She was part of a 10-woman tag match featuring the Divas against the Total Divas. Brie Bella pinned AJ Lee to get the win. Despite the posturing between AJ and Natalya last week, it seems that Brie is now set to be the next challenger for the Divas Championship… Kaitlyn also returned on the WWE App last night, saying she’s glad that she’s not part of the Divas v Total Divas feud. Sure, because who doesn’t want TV time?
Dixie Carter turned heel on AJ Styles on last week’s Impact, calling it her show and dictating that AJ’s mic be cut off and the show ended after she demanded that the house lights were turned off… SoCal Val officially pleaded not guilty in writing to charges of DUI and leaving the scene of an accident with property damage on August 31. A pre-trial conference date has been set for October 7… Gut Check winner Lei’D Tapa worked TNA’s house shows this weekend. She lost to ODB. The El Paso show only had 200 fans there, which is horrendous.
Shanna has been announced for Absolute Intense Wrestling’s Girls Night Out 9 & 10 tapings on October 6. She’ll face Savannah Summers on GNO10… Hannah Blossom won the Ohio Valley Wrestling Women’s Championship in a four way Ladder Match last Wednesday in a match which also featured Holly Blossom, Taeler Hendrix and Lei’D Tapa. Santana Garrett, Candice LeRae & Marti Belle also wrestled dark matches before the TV taping… Tammy Lynn Sytch claimed she was mugged on her purse in the early hours of last Wednesday and that she in the process of adopting a child from Cambodia. They turned out to both be lies, claiming she did it to call for more privacy to wrestlers. Quick note: you can get privacy by not being on social media. Also, considering Sytch has an autobiography written, it’s worth wondering just how much of it is based in reality… Two more matches have been announced for NCW Femmes Fatales XIII on October 26. Jodi D’Milo (flanked by Mademoiselle Rachelle) takes on Mary Lee Rose while Kimber Lee, Christina Von Eerie and Angie Skye square off in a 3-way… Jodi D’Milo, Leah Von Dutch, Jewells Malone, Barbi Hayden, Santana Garrett, Shanna & Jessie Kaye have been announced for Women Superstars Uncensored’s Blood and Thunder show on October 12. It has also been announced that Nevaeh and Christina Von Eerie will team up on the card… Santana Garrett won I Believe In Wrestling’s Cruiserweight Championship at the weekend, defeating Chasyn Rance… Hiroyo Matsumoto and Saraya Knight have been confirmed for SHIMMER’s DVD tapings taking place in a month… Courtney Rush’s broken collarbone does not require surgery.
Syuri regained the Wrestling New Classic Women’s Championship on Wednesday, defeating Serena Deeb. Characteristically, the title changed hands on the champion’s first defence… The title wins kept coming for Syuri too, as she defeated Zeuxis on Friday to win the Reina World Championship… Hanako Nakamori will be the next challenger for Kana’s JWP Openweight Championship after beating Command Bolshoi on Sunday… As a send-off following three months training and wrestling with Ice Ribbon, Kasey Owens wrestled a series of 60 second matches against the roster. Most of the matches naturally ended in draws… Nazo Fukumen B unmasked at last night’s UNION show, revealing herself to be Mio Shirai, who had previously been banished from the promotion but had the ban lifted… Nanae Takahashi won the second Stardom 5STAR GP, beating Alpha Female in the final round.
Another British women’s wrestling promotion is on the way. British Bombshells will be based in the north of England. A roster has yet to be announced… Bete Noire has revealed that she will spend the first part of 2014 wrestling for Ice Ribbon in Japan… Erin Angel and Shanna competed in the first women’s match held in Holland on Saturday. Angel won, in what was described as the match of the night… Kay Lee Ray retained the ICW: Fierce Females Scottish Championship against Viper and Amazing Kong on Sunday at XX: It’s In Our DNA. Also on the card, Erin Angel became the number one contender for the title after winning a confusing round robin against Shanna and Rhia O’Reilly, and Crazy Mary Dobson challenged KLR for the belt after beating Carmel Jacob earlier in the night.
Australia & New Zealand
Kellie Skater defeated Madison Eagles to win the Pacific Pro Wrestling Women’s Championship on Saturday. She celebrated by kicking Storm in the head backstage – as par the agreement between she and Eagles before the match… Speaking of Eagles and Skater, they challenge Eliza Sway for the Indygurlz Australia Championship in a 3-way on October 12.
September 18: Wrestling New Classic (Tokyo, Japan) – Makoto, Miyako Matsumoto & Kaho Kobayashi b Takuya Kito in a handicap match; Syuri b Serena Deeb to win the WNC Women’s Championship
September 18: Ohio Valley Wrestling (Louisville, KY) – Taeler Hendrix b Santana Garrett; Holly Blossom b Marti Belle; Lei’D Tapa b Candice LeRae; Hannah Blossom b Holly Blossom, Lei’D Tapa & Taeler Hendrix to win the OVW Women’s Championship; Jessie Belle b Lylah Lodge
September 19: TNA Impact Wrestling (St Louis, MO) – ODB b Mickie James to win the Knockouts Championship
September 19: Ring Wars Carolina (Fayetteville, NC) – Devyn Nicole b Mia Svensson
September 19: Evolution Pro Wrestling (Clarksville, IN) – Melanie Cruise v Crazy Mary Dobson
September 20: Reina Joshi Puroresu (Tokyo, Japan) – Aki Shizuku b La Vaquerita; Ariya & Rabbit Miu b Sareee & Kaho Kobayashi; Mima Shimoda b Makoto; Mia Yim & Leon b Tsubasa Kuragaki & Chik Tormenta; Syuri b Zeuxis to win the Reina World Championship
September 20: Premier British Wrestling (Larbert, Scotland) – Kay Lee Ray b Portia Perez
September 20: WWE (Lexington, KY) – Cameron & Naomi b AJ Lee & Layla
September 20: WWE NXT (Orlando, FL) – Paige Bayley & Kendall Skye b Emma, Alexa Bliss & Sasha Banks
September 20: CMLL (Mexico City, Mexico) – Dalis la Caribeña, Luna Mágica & Marcela b La Comandante, La Seductora & Princesa Blanca
September 20: TNA (El Paso, TX) – ODB b Lei’D Tapa
September 20: Bruiser Wrestling Federation (Farmville, VA) – Kacee Carlisle b Sassy Stephie
September 20: Florida Underground Wrestling (Tampa, FL) – Justine Silver b Devyn Nicole
September 20: WWE SmackDown (Cincinnati, OH) – AJ Lee b Naomi
September 21: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Hikaru Shida b Kaho Kobayashi; Tsukushi & Miyako Matsumoto b Hamuko Hoshi & Kurumi; Maki Narumiya & Rutsuko Yamaguchi b Tsukasa Fujimoto & Risa Sera; Kasey Owens v Tsukasa Fujimoto went to a time limit draw; Kasey Owens v Miyako Matsumoto went to a time limit draw; Kasey Owens v Risa Sera went to a time limit draw; Kasey Owens b Koyuki Hayashi; Kasey Owens v Kaho Kobayashi went to a time limit draw; Kasey Owens v Hamuko Hoshi went to a time limit draw; Kasey Owens v Rutsuko Yamaguchi went to a time limit draw; Kasey Owens v Maki Narumiya went to a time limit draw; Kasey Owens v Hikaru Shida went to a time limit draw; Kasey Owens v Tsukushi went to a time limit draw; Kurumi b Kasey Owens
September 21: WRESTLE-1 (Kyoto, Japan) – Syuri b Makoto
September 21: Pacific Pro Wrestling (Bundamba, Australia) – Kellie Skater b Madison Eagles to win the PPW Women’s Championship
September 21: Impact Pro Wrestling (Lynfield, New Zealand) – Evie b Megan-Kate; Britenay b Olivia Shaw
September 21: New Breed Wrestling Association (Banbury, England) – Bacardi b Katey Harvey
September 21: Pro Wrestling Showcase (Amsterdam, Holland) – Erin Angel b Shanna
September 21: Premier British Wrestling (Alloa, Scotland) – Portia Perez b Carmel Jacob
September 21: WrestleForce (Columbia, SC) – Nina Monet b Pandora & Mia Svensson in a 3-way
September 21: TNA (Tuscon, AZ) – ODB b Lei’D Tapa
September 21: WWE (Fort Wayne, IN) – Cameron & Naomi b AJ Lee & Layla
September 21: WWE (Hidalgo, TX) – Alicia Fox b Brie Bella
September 22: Ice Ribbon (Yokohama, Japan) – Kurumi & Kyuri b Miyako Matsumoto & Kaho Kobayashi; Cherry & Meari Naito b 235 & Koyuki Hayashi; Maki Narumiya b Risa Sera; Kayoko Haruyama b Hamuko Hoshi; Neko Nitta b Tsukushi & Leon in a 3-way; Hikaru Shida & Tsukasa Fujimoto b Mio Shirai & Rutsuko Yamaguchi
September 22: WRESTLE-1 (Ishikawa, Japan) – Syuri b Makoto
September 22: Sendai Girls (Tokushima, Japan) – Kagetsu v Carlos Amano went to a time-limit draw; Manami Toyota b Sonoko Kato; Meiko Satomura & Hiroyo Matsumoto b DASH Chisako & Sendai Sachiko
September 22: JWP (Yokohama, Japan) – Hikaru Ahida, Hamuko Hoshi & Meari Naito b Manami Katsu, Rydeen Hagane & Yako Fujigasaki; Leon b Arisa Nakajima; Kayoko Haruyama & Tsubasa Kuragaki v Sachie Abe & KAZUKI went to a time limit draw; Kana b Rabbit Mito; Hanako Nakamori b Command Bolshoi
September 22: Fight Club Finland (Helsinki, Finland) – Ricky Vendetta b Jessica Love
September 22: Insane Championship Wrestling: Fierce Females (Glasgow, Scotland) – Kirsty Loveign & Fiona Fraser v Shelly Starr & Sammii Jayne went a no contest; Ayesha Ray b Bête Noire; Leah Owens b Sara-Marie Taylor; Rhia O’Reilly b Shanna; Crazy Mary Dobson b Carmel Jacob; Nikki Storm b Portia Perez; Erin Angel b Rhia O’Reilly; Erin Angel b Shanna; Kay Lee Ray b Viper & Amazing Kong in a 3-way
September 22: I Believe In Wrestling (Orlando, FL) – Santana Garrett b Chasyn Rance to win the Florida Cruiserweight Championship
September 22: CMLL (Naucalpan, Mexico) – Estrellita & Goya Kong b Amapola & Tiffany
September 22: AAA (Mexico City, Mexico) – Drago, Faby Apache & Pimpinela Escarlata b Argos, Mamba & Mary Apache
September 22: Samantha St Paul & Marti Belle b Sassy Stephie & Kimber Lee; Sassy Stephie b Missy Sampson to win the DCW Women’s Championship
September 22: EVOLVE (Brookyln, NY) – Su Yung b Ivelisse Velez
September 22: WWE (Springfield, IL) – Cameron & Naomi b AJ Lee & Layla
September 22: WWE (Hidalgo, TX) – Brie Bella b Alicia Fox
September 23: Sendai Girls (Tokushima, Japan) – Meiko Satomura b DASH Chisako; Carlos Amano b Kagetsu; Meiko Satomura & Manami Toyota b Aja Kong & Sendai Sachiko
September 23: UNION (Yokohama, Japan) – HAYATA & Nazo Fukumen B b FUMA & Kaori Yoneyama via DQ; Keizo Matsuda b Cherry
September 23: Wrestling New Classic (Hiroshima, Japan) – TAJIRI, Makoto & El Hijo del Pantera b AKIRA, Syuri & Yusuke Kodama
September 23: WAVE (Tokyo, Japan) – Moeka Haruhi & Tomoka Nakagawa b Misaki Ohata & Mio Shirai; Tsukasa Fujimoto & Hikaru Shida b Shu Shibutani & Cherry; Yumi Ohka & Kana b Ayako Hamada & Yuu Yamagata; Miyako Matsumoto beat GAMI; Dynamite Kansai b Ryo Mizunami
September 23: Stardom (Tokyo, Japan) – Mayu Iwatani b Miho Wakizawa & Hiroyo Matsumoto in a 3-way; Kairi Hojo b Kaori Yoneyama; Alpha Female b Dark Angel; Io Shirai v Takumi Iroha went to a time limit draw; Yoshiko b Act Yasukawa; Yuhi v Kyoko Kimura went to a time limit draw; Nanae Takahashi b Natsuki*Taiyo; Nanae Takahashi b Alpha Female
September 23: WWE Raw (Chicago, IL) – Cameron, Naomi, Natalya and Nikki & Brie Bella b AJ Lee, Layla, Alicia Fox, Aksana & Tamina Snuka
September 27: British Championship Wrestling (East Kilbride, Scotland) – Scott Maverick & Kay Lee Ray v Switch & Viper
September 27: RAD:PRO Wrestling (Newcastle, England) – Rubix Roach & Kirsty Love v Rabbit & Dragonita
September 27: SHINE 13 (Ybor City, FL) – Rain v Angelina Love; Jessicka Havok & Amazing Kong v Allysin Kay & Ivelisse Velez; Mia Yim v Nikki Storm; Leva Bates v Nevaeh; Su Yung v Taeler Hendrix v La Rosa Negra v Xandra Bale; Mercedes Martinez v Solo Darling; Santana Garrett & Amber O’Neal v Sassy Stephie & Jessie Belle; Nikki Roxx v Leah Von Dutch
September 28: United Pro Wrestling (Woodridge, Australia) – Nikita Naridian v Storm v Shadow Shinobi
September 28: Southside Wrestling Entertainment (Nottingham, England) – Martin Kirby v Kay Lee Ray
September 28: Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling (Port Coquitlam, BC, Canada) – Nicole Matthews v Bambi Hall
September 28: Alternative Wrestling Show (South Gate, CA) – Christina Von Eerie v LuFisto
September 28: Pro Wrestling Syndicate Bombshells (Iselin, NJ) – Missy Sampson & Annie Social v La Rosa Negra & Amazing Kong; Jessie Kaye & Alexxis Nevaeh v Mistress Belmont & Veda Scott; Jennifer Cruz v Amber Rodriguez; Angelina Love v Riot; Sumie Sakai v Amy Lee; Luscious Latasha v Vanity; Amber v Silvie Silver
October 5: DOA Wrestling (March, England) – Miss Mina v Addy Starr
October 5: HXC Wrestling (Manchester, England) – Mad Man Pondo & Crazy Mary Dobson v Clint Margera & Jimmy Havoc
October 5: Ring Wars Carolina (Lumberton, NC) – Mia Svensson v D’Arcy Dixon
October 6: Bellatrix 7 (Norwich, England) – Erin Angel v Penelope; Christina Von Eerie v Skarlett; Destiny v LuFisto; Mercedes Martinez v Miss Mina; Cheerleader Melissa v Saraya Knight; Liberty v Sammi Baynz
October 6: Absolute Intense Wrestling Girls Night Out 9 (Cleveland, OH) – Seleziya Sparx v Taeler Hendrix; Kimber Lee v Nikki Storm; Allysin Kay & TBA v Veda Scott & TBA; Jewells Malone v Annie Social; Heidi Lovelace v Melanie Cruise v Angel Dust
October 6: Absolute Intense Wrestling Girls Night Out 10 (Cleveland, OH) – Allysin Kay v Veda Scott; Santana Garrett v Kimber Lee; Nikki Storm v Mia Yim; Mickie Knuckles v Jenny Rose; Shanna v Savannah Summers
October 11: Preston City Wrestling (Preston, UK) – April Davids v LuFisto
October 11: Full Impact Pro (Ybor City, FL) – Jessicka Havok v Maxwell Chicago
October 12: New Horizons Pro Wrestling (Maddington, Australia) – Eliza Sway v Kellie Skater v Madison Eagles
October 12: Scottish Wrestling Alliance (Motherwell, Scotland) – Fiona Fraser v Viper
October 12: Remix Pro Wrestling (Marietta, OH) – Maria Kanellis v Sassy Stephie
October 12: Women Superstars Uncensored (Voorhees, NJ) – Jessicka Havok v Lexxus; Nikki Storm v Jenny Rose; Saraya Knight v Mickie Knuckles
October 13: Galaxy Pro Wrestling (Clarksville, TN) – Heidi Lovelace v Angelus Layne
October 19-20: SHIMMER: Women Athletes (Berwyn, IL)
October 26: Pro Wrestling Kingdom (Birmingham, England) – Bubblegum v Kay Lee Ray
October 26: NCW: Femmes Fatales XIII (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) – Mercedes Martinez & Saraya Knight v LuFisto & Sweet Cherrie; Cheerleader Melissa v TBA; Pink Flash Kira v Portia Perez; Leah Von Dutch & Xandra Bale v Deziree & Midianne; Niya Barela v Missy; Jodi D’Milo v Mary Lee Rose; Kimber Lee v Christina Von Eerie v Angie Skye
October 27: Xtreme Violence Wrestling (Myrtle Beach, SC) – Mia Svensson v Kimberly Spades
November 2: Ring Wars Carolina (Fayetteville, NC) – Mia Svensson v Amanda Rodriguez
November 9: House Of Hardcore (Poughkeepsie, NY) – Lisa Varon & Stevie Richards v Carlota & Rosita
November 15: Preston City Wrestling (Preston, England) – April Davids v Amazing Kong
November 16: Preston City Wrestling (Preston, England) – Amazing Kong v Bubblegum
November 17: Southside Wrestling Entertainment (Nottingham, England) – Amazing Kong v Kay Lee Ray
November 23: Full House Wrestling (Peterborough, England) – Pollyanna v Dragonita
November 23: Ring Wars Carolina (Lumberton, NC) – Mia Svensson v Devyn Nicole
November 30: Women of the Kingdom (Birmingham, England)
April 6: SHIMMER Women Athletes (New Orleans, LA)
– Lee Burton
– Photos by TNA, Lisa Varon, Kellie Skater, Youji Kawauchi, Ringbelles
– Data collated from (but not limited to) Cagematch, joshifans.com, PuroLove, Dramatic DDT, Luchablog, Lords Of Pain, Wrestling Observer, Open The Puroresu Gate, Ringstars, PWInsider, NHB Girls