After going through six out of ten Knockouts in a gauntlet match, Mickie James became number one contender to Gail Kim‘s TNA Knockouts Championship. Between then and now, Karen Jarrett made Mickie’s path to the pay-per-view a difficult one. Karen reinstated ODB and gave her the order: hurt Mickie and pin her, and she would become number one contender. Despite her best efforts in a street fight, Mickie pinned ODB after kicking a chair into the latter’s face. Karen then called upon Gail’s tag team partner, Madison Rayne, and called her her “lynch pin.” She ordered Madison to tear Mickie apart so she would be unable to show at Final Resolution. Again, to no avail – Mickie pinned Madison after a jumping DDT.
The last time these two met was when they were employed by WWE on August 17th, 2009. Mickie defended her Divas title against Gail Kim in what was an unqualified disaster of a match. When Gail returned to TNA, people wondered how long it would be until the two wrestled again, and if the match would turn out better or worse than the last time. At Final Resolution, Gail kept the Knockouts Championship after Madison distracted Mickie long enough for Gail to hit Eat Defeat. Let me break it down into what was Batman, what was Batman Returns and what was Batman & Robin…
This match proved that these two can have a good match, given time and fewer limits as to what they could do in the ring. There were a few iffy parts but their chemistry was much more evident. They told a story – two rivals with knowledge of each one’s moves and how to counter said moves. For instance, when Mickie was in the corner, Gail went for the running cross body where she hits her opponent’s stomach and slides out between the middle ropes. Mickie knew it was coming and dodged, so that Gail flew out between the ropes and actually hit her legs on the steel steps. Earlier, Mickie attempted her top rope hurricarana but as soon as she had her legs wrapped around Gail’s neck, Gail smacked her in the stomach and reversed it, slamming Mickie face first into the mat. Little details like this added to the overall story.
The fact that Gail retained the title is a hopeful sign that the era of short title reigns has come to an end – the previous four PPVs all had the Knockouts belt change hands. For a while, it seemed to pass from woman to woman, with no one having that long of a run. If we continue to get good quality matches from Gail, I have no complaints. I wouldn’t mind to see her work with Mickie again, either.
Before the match, production screwed up by having the storyline video run twice. Aside from a few minor missteps in the match, the fact that this was the only bad thing I found is impressive. I expected to see both Karen and Madison come down to interfere, but even Rayne’s distraction was brief, not overly drawn out. A huge step up from Turning Point, where we saw both Karen and Madison interfere.
The Impact Zone crowd really don’t help at all. Quiet, unethusiastic and a detriment to the atmosphere.
As silly as it may sounds, I’m still trying to figure out what was on Mickie’s backside. A design of some sort? A star? All black would’ve suited the outfit much better.
All in all, kudos to both Mickie and Gail for putting on a good match. They can lay the memory of their Divas title match to rest once and for all. Given TNA’s history of skipping from feud to feud, we will probably see a new contender to Gail’s belt, but I can’t help but hope for more from these two.
– Jennifer Logdson