Slammiversary: Tessmacher takes the Knockouts title
After last month’s match where Gail Kim barely escaped with the TNA Knockouts Championship, she and Brooke Tessmacher meet again at Slammiversary X, with the title on the line for a second time.
• As mentioned in the build-up piece on Friday, Tessmacher earned the opportunity to challenge for the belt again after defeating Mickie James, Tara and Velvet Sky in a four-way match on Thursday’s episode of Impact Wrestling. She pinned James following a Tess Shocker.
• In the weeks building up to Sacrifice, Brooke had pinned the titleholder on a number of occasions. For this month, there was not much more build-up than the win on Thursday.
• Tessmacher had been a fingernail away from winning the title last month when she had Gail Kim reeling, but Kim defeated her with a roll-up, using her feet on the ropes for leverage.
• It was the champion who gained the early advantage with an armdrag, roll-up and dropkick, but bailed for the outside when Brooke went for the Tess Shocker.
• As Tessmacher got too close to the ropes, Gail pulled her outside, rammed her into the ring apron, then set to work, but not before a flurry from the challenger, which saw her connect with a flying clothesline and hurracanrana, but was cut off when she was dropped throat-first onto the ropes.
• Gail’s focus was the neck and shoulder of Brooke, wearing her down with hammerlocks and headscissors. Struggling to her feet, Tessmacher once again attempted a Tess Shocker, but was foiled. However, a desperation neckbreaker was more successful, and allowed her to begin the comeback.
• All was going well until she went for the Tess Shocker again and was unsuccessful for a third time. Kim punished her with a stranglehold neckbreaker for her trouble before spearing her to the outside.
• As Brooke returned to the ring, Gail taunted her and went for Eat Defeat, but chose to finish her opponent with the Tess Shocker instead. As she lifted her up, Tessmacher reversed it into a victory roll for the clean three-count to win the Knockouts Title.
• The match had its successes and disappointments. First off, the result was the right one, as Gail Kim had been champion for long enough. There wasn’t much more for her to do, and to flip the belt to a hot prospect is a positive thing.
• Last month’s match was focussed around Brooke Tessmacher trying to beat Kim with Eat Defeat, which she hit during the contest, but couldn’t get the win. It was a nice turnaround for the rematch for the focus to be on the Tess Shocker to put it over as an effective finisher, even though of the four attempts made by these women to go for it, none connected. The big point is the fear of it connecting, as both knew it was a match-ender.
• However, while this was a decent enough match which told a nice story and had the right result, it wasn’t as good as the contest at Sacrifice, and the comparatively-weak build-up didn’t help. Three days push for the match doesn’t compare to the weeks of build that the previous encounter had. It may have hurt the interest in the match.
• While I say that it was right for Kim to lose the title, I fully acknowledge that – while a hot prospect – Brooke Tessmacher is not the wrestler that Kim is, and Gail carried the entire contest. Can Brooke be relied upon to be the backbone of the division now that she is the figurehead? We’ll find out, I suppose, but I hope that she continues to work with Kim in the coming weeks to hone her craft, before she is given other opponents.
- Lee Burton