At last month’s Genesis, Mickie James deliberately disqualified herself in her TNA Knockouts Championship match against Gail Kim. That left fans wondering if she would get yet another bite at the apple, but on January 26th Tara defeated both James and Velvet Sky to become number one contender. The match was set for the next PPV, Against All Odds.

Between then and now, for some unknown reason, TNA decided to give away the PPV match for free on the February 2nd Impact show from London’s Wembley Arena, except it wasn’t for the title. Tara defeated Gail after Madison Rayne accidentally hit the titleholder. The match was good and perhaps because they were out of the Impact Zone, the crowd was into it. How would Tara fare with the title on the line on pay-per-view? Answer: not as well as in London.

Tonight both women put on a solid match but after a (likely worked) knee injury, Gail defeated Tara to retain her title. Gail dominated most of the time, when she wasn’t arguing with Madison. Rayne finally got fed up and left midway during the match, which didn’t seem to bother the champ. However, when it seemed Tara had Kim on the ropes, she seemed to hit her knee awkwardly after a moonsault and was unable to capitalise. Gail targeted the knee for one move, then hit the Eat Defeat for the three count. Afterwards in the ring, Tara had removed her knee brace and was talking to the referee and another official. Lets break it down…

The Good

Gail’s continued title reign is restoring some of the luster the title lost after being the proverbial “hot potato” last year. She looks dominant and whether you agree with her huge push upon returning to the company, the matches have been good and there is a consistent storyline – who will be the person to knock Gail Kim off the mountain? First Mickie, then Tara, but with the trouble brewing between her and her tag team partner, it may be Madison herself who tires of playing second fiddle. Tonight’s match wasn’t quite as good as the one from February 2nd, but they got the Impact Zone crowd engaged, as well as you can for a crowd that is filled with holidaymakers and cynical regulars).

The Bad

Tara may have re-injured her knee from a slightly-off moonsault as I described above. The angle of the camera made it hard to tell, but when she rolled to the side clutching it, it was unclear if it was real or a work. Considering her history of knee problems and having to wear a brace, we hope it’s nothing serious – considering how such a big deal (and rightly so) was made of Jesse Sorenson‘s injury in the opening match, it’s more than likely a work.

The Ugly

A few missteps in the match but nothing too horribly bad.

***

At these next few tapings, we will see if the tension between Gail and Madison continues or if they will work together. Now that Karen Jarrett is gone, there is no one to keep the peace between the two. Being a former Knockouts Champion, will Madison remain content to play wingman to Gail? Or will the Killer Queen dethrone her rival?

– Jennifer Logsdon