Brooke Tessmacher rolls into TNA Sacrifice to challenge Gail Kim for the Knockouts Championship that she has held onto for the past six months, turning back challenges from the likes of Mickie James, Tara, Madison Rayne and Velvet Sky.
• Tessmacher earned this title opportunity after returning from booking obscurity to defeat Kim three weeks in a row on Impact Wrestling.
• To ratchet up the emotion, Tessmacher even used Gail’s Eat Defeat finisher to get one of the pinfalls.
• This build-up is based on in-ring activity and a desire to be champion – no angles, no personal vendettas, just the spirit of competition.
• It was a quick, yet effective way to establish a new challenger, as Brooke seemed to be a legitimate threat to Gail’s title reign because she had a psychological edge over the champion – Kim had been beaten by the Tessmacher on three occasions in rapid succession – would the same thing happen with the title on the line?
• Despite Kim trying to get an early lead by attacking her opponent before the bell, it was Tessmacher who got the advantage with some quick moves like a monkeyflip and running hurricanrana, but the titleholder scooted out when Brooke went for Gail’s Eat Defeat finisher.
• Gail slowed things down after attacking Brooke in the ropes and proceeded to wear down her spunky opponent with chokes and an over the knee backbreaker.
• Rallying back, Tessmacher nailed a flying forearm, then went on the attack, even nailing a top rope elbowdrop.
• The end came when Brooke successfully nailed Eat Defeat on Kim, but the champion’s momentum caused her to fall out of the ring. By the time Tessmacher managed to roll her back in for a pin attempt, it was just a near-fall.
• In desperation, Gail caught Brooke with a double-leg takedown and got the pinfall with her feet on the ropes to retain the title.
• Thumbs up for this match. No grading on a scale, nothing like that. It was a good little contest, was everything that it needed to be, and did everything it needed to do.
• Like her former Extreme Expose partner Layla, Tessmacher has fire, and is exciting to watch. As we have said before, considering the amount of training and comparatively little ring time that she has had, Brooke Tessmacher is FAR better than she has any right to be. When she gets more experience under her belt, she could be a real star.
• Simple booking for the buildup – challenger wants a shot at the belt, and earns it by beating the champion. Consequently, a title match is booked between the two. So brutally simple that sometimes bookers forget that the spirit of competition is all you need to sell a match, not personal squabbles or silly angles.
• For the most part, the wrestling was fine, as it was kept simple – there’s that word again – with the slower portions led by Kim interspersed with the high spots from Brooke. The top rope elbow was a little iffy, but they got away with it, and well done for Brooke for giving it a shot.
• Gail Kim did not win this contest – she SURVIVED this contest, and the difference is very important. She got a desperate flash pin, as she was in trouble, and could sense that her title reign was in jeopardy.
• Kudos for the booking to this match. Brooke ended up looking like a real star in this contest, and showed that if it wasn’t for the dumb luck of Kim falling out of the ring after taking her own finisher, we could have had a new Knockouts Champion.
• Moreover, I cared about the outcome. I felt a legitimate sense of disappointment when Tessmacher was pinned, and that’s good.
• A portion of the crowd also cared – and that’s saying something, considering the abject apathy that usually greets Knockout matches in the Impact Zone. For its position on the card – second match out – it did exactly what it needed to do and it did it very well.
• There HAS to be a rematch. Have these two wrestle a few more times on the road and get this thing booked for Slammiversary on June 10.
– Lee Burton