Women’s wrestling has had a busy week: IMPACT hosts Knockouts Knockdown, WWE begins their Queen’s Crown Tournament, AEW unveils a new women’s championship, Ring of Honor searches for number one contenders, and much more! Let’s break it down in this week’s edition of Women’s Wrestling Wrap-Up!
Knockouts Knockdown: Purrazzo Meets Her Poison, Martinez Outlasts In Tournament, Evans Victorious in Monsters Ball, Awesome Kong Inducted Into HOF, And More
The Knockouts of IMPACT Wrestling once again proved that women’s wrestling matters with a spectacular performance at their all-women’s special over the weekend at Knockouts Knockdown, for the first time since 2017. Led by the commentary team of Veda Scott and Mickie James, and ring announcing of Melissa Santos, Knockouts Knockdown featured talent from in and outside of the IMPACT Zone in high stakes competition through an eight-woman tournament. The winner of this tournament would endure three rounds of stiff competition in one night to earn a future Knockouts Championship opportunity.
Four IMPACT Knockouts would square off with four outside participants in the opening rounds to kick off the tournament. Former IMPACT Knockouts Tag Team Champion, Rachael Ellering, would meet with Lady Frost–who made her IMPACT debut in July, in the first round. “The Hot Mess” Chelsea Green, a former Knockouts Champion, would square off with Renee Michelle. Former IMPACT Knockouts Tag Team Champion, Tasha Steelz, met with Jamie Senegal. A transformed Brandi Lauren went face to face with perhaps the hottest free agent, Mercedes Martinez. It should also be noted that Frost, Michelle and Senegal were all recently showcased on NWA’s first ever all-women’s pay-per-view Empowerrr, which was executively produced by Mickie James.
Ultimately, Martinez and Steelz would rise above their competitors to reach the finals before Mercedes Martinez scored the pinfall victory to capture the Knockouts Knockdown Tournament trophy. With this impressive win, Martinez is now in line for a future Knockouts Championship match opportunity. However, the fate of her opponent is unknown, as current champion Deonna Purrazzo is scheduled to defend her title against Mickie James on October 23rd at Bound For Glory. Either way though, Martinez against Purrazzo OR James is still a match to highly look forward to.
Speaking of Deonna Purrazzo, she also competed on Knockouts Knockdown against a mystery opponent of Mickie James’ choosing in a “Pick Your Poison” matchup. It was there that Purrazzo met her poison, in the form of “The Russian Dynamite”, Masha Slamovich–who was also recently featured on NWA Empowerrr. Slamovich brought the fight to Knockouts Champion in this non-title matchup, but the Venus de Milo proved to be too much, allowing Purrazzo to gain the submission victory. Interestingly, this was not Purrazzo’s first Knockouts Knockdown event, as she made her IMPACT (formerly TNA) debut at TNA One Night Only: Knockouts Knockdown 2014 against Brooke [Tessmacher], in only the eighth match overall in her career.
The night would not only bring great in-ring action, but great emotion as well. IMPACT made strong showings in celebrating the life of former Knockout, Daffney, who recently lost her life. At the start of the show, Gail Kim was joined by the IMPACT Knockouts inside the ring, with the men humbly standing at ringside. Lexie Fyfe then joined to represent Daffney’s friends and family, as a ten bell salute tolled in honor of the late Daffney. Jamie Senegal would also honor Daffney with an “I Scream” green and black gear tribute during her tournament match.
Later in the show, Savannah Evans emerged victorious in the four-way Monster’s Ball Match–which also tributed itself to Shannon “Daffney” Spruill. In 2009, Spruill competed in the first ever Monster’s Ball match against Taylor Wilde, where Wilde defeated her in an epic battle. Wilde reflected on the match and her memory of Daffney in a video package presented just before the four-way match at Knockouts Knockdown as well.
As Awesome Kong joined the IMPACT Wrestling Hall of Fame, she expressed similar positive regard towards Daffney and her influence on women’s wrestling. Kong, joined by Christy Hemme and then Gail Kim, made her awaited return to IMPACT to become the newest member of the Hall of Fame. In a night underlied with immense emotion, Kong delivered a powerful speech before accepting her rightful honor.
The evening concluded with the Knockouts Tag Team Championships on the line as Havok and Rosemary, collectively known as Decay, successfully defended against The Influence, Tenille Dashwood and Madison Rayne. This main event not only featured two completely contrasting teams, but specifically highlighted the Knockouts Tag Team Championships, which are titles very rarely showcased in the main event scene. But in the end, it made sense.
In the closing moments of Knockouts Knockdown, a vague graphic appeared of two female figures. Then, the words “The IInspiration Are Coming” flashed across the screen, followed by the Bound For Glory pay-per-view logo. As it would now seem, one of wrestling’s hottest tag teams is now bound for IMPACT Wrestling, with their debut confirmed for Bound For Glory next weekend. What do Jessica McKay and Cassie Lee have in store for the Knockouts Division? We’ll find out soon.
Here is a rundown of IMPACT’s Knockouts Knockdown results:
Knockouts Knockdown tournament quarterfinals
- Rachael Ellering def. Lady Frost
- Chelsea Green def. Renee Michelle
- Mercedes Martinez def. Brandi Lauren
- Tasha Steelz def. Jamie Senegal
Pick Your Poison
Deonna Purrazzo def. Masha Slamovich
Knockouts Knockdown tournament semifinals
- Mercedes Martinez def. Rachael Ellering
- Tasha Steelz def. Chelsea Green
Shannon “Daffney” Spruill Memorial Monster’s Ball match
Savannah Evans def. Alisha Edwards, Jordynne Grace, and Kimber Lee –
Knockouts Knockdown tournament final
Mercedes Martinez def. Tasha Steelz
IMPACT Wrestling Knockout Tag Team Championships
Decay (Havok & Rosemary) def. The Influence (Tenille Dashwood & Madison Rayne)
WWE Begins Queen’s Crown Tournament
WWE recently began their inaugural Queen’s Crown Tournament, which features eight women vying for the crown and title of Queen.
The official brackets were revealed last week, with four first-round matchups culminating on Friday Night Smackdown and Monday Night RAW. Last Friday, Zelina Vega overcame Toni Storm to advance, while Carmella defeated the arguable crowd favorite, Liv Morgan to solidify her spot in the semi-finals. Accordingly, Vega will now take on her ally, Carmella, this week on Smackdown, where the winner will go on to the finals of the tournament. Some concern should be noted, however.
As explained last week, the results of the WWE Draft left the main roster women’s tag teams scrambling for competition. Only two teams survived it unscathed: the current WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions, Rhea Ripley and Nikki A.S.H., and Carmella and Zelina Vega. With this semi-final match-up set to pit two allies against another, further concern has sparked amongst the WWE Universe in regards to the already dwindling women’s tag team division. Can these two still coexist in the quest for queendom? With an already unclear direction and the dire need for more teams, the WWE women’s tag team picture is in serious trouble if another team is split up as well.
Nevertheless, Monday Night RAW also featured a pair of first-round matchups. Doudrop defeated Natalya to advance, while Shayna Baszler gained the victory over Dana Brooke. Next week, Baszler will face Doudrop in a semi-finals match on RAW, where the winner will go on to Crown Jewel to face the winner of Carmella vs Zelina Vega and crown the first ever Queen of the ring.
AEW Introduces TBS Championship
Last week on AEW Dynamite, a new women’s championship was unveiled. Tony Schiavone and AEW official Aubrey Edwards officially revealed the TBS Championship, which will become active in the new year. Moreover, a women’s division tournament will be held to declare the new inaugural champion.
All Elite Wrestling officially moves its programming from TNT to TBS on January 5, 2022, likely when the tournament will begin as well. So far, Thunder Rosa, Skye Blue, Ruby Soho, and Jade Cargill have been featured in backstage promos, seemingly confirming their status as participants in the tournament.
WrestleZone will provide more information as more details become available.
ROH Determines Women’s Championship Contenders
Since crowning Rok-C as the inaugural Ring of Honor Women’s World Champion at Death Before Dishonor, ROH has redefined its women’s division. Now, the next step is giving their champion some more competition.
Board of Directors Member, Maria Kanellis Bennett recently instituted two triple threat matches, where the winners of those two matches will then face off with one another to determine the number one contender for Rok-C at ROH’s Final Battle show. Last weekend, Willow defeated veteran, Angelina Love and Women’s Tournament finalist, Miranda Alize in a highly competitive matchup. Willow [Nightingale] has been featured in notable promotions like MLW, GCW, and SHIMMER.
Willow will now go on to face the winner of the second triple threat match between Allysin Kay, Trish Adora, and Mandy Leon. Then, the ultimate number one contender will formally square off with the ROH Women’s World Champion, Rok-C.
Outside of Ring of Honor programming, Rok-C has already successfully defended her championship against Killer Kelly at New Texas Pro Wrestling. She is also set for two upcoming title defenses, against Laynie Luck at Warrior Wrestling on October 16th and Promise Braxton at Reality of Wrestling on October 23rd.
Last week, WOW – Women of Wrestling revealed a multi-year deal with ViacomCBS, which is scheduled to return to television in 2022. In addition, AJ Mendez, formerly known as AJ Lee in WWE, was announced to be joining the brand as an executive producer and broadcaster.
WrestleZone covered more on this news, here.
Former NWA Women’s Champion Thunder Rosa spoke with Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful about Mission Pro Wrestling, joining All Elite Wrestling, Cincinnati, and much more.
Former Knockouts Champion Chelsea Green chatted with Pro Wrestling Illustrated about balancing her personal Life with wrestling, recent work with NWA, IMPACT’s newly announced Digital Media Championship, and more.
Former IMPACT Knockout Christy Hemme recently joined SteelChair Mag to discuss Knockouts Knockdown, the current Knockouts division, her different roles in the wrestling business, and more.
Major League Wrestling star Alicia Atout recently chatted with Denise Salcedo about her growth from being a fan to an interviewer and beyond, MLW on VICE TV, future goals, and much more.
Former WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion Jessica McKay spoke with Chris Van Vliet about her release from WWE in April, the new name of their tag team “The IInspiration”, the lessons she learned from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and much more!
WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion Rhea Ripley appeared on TV Insider to discuss the WWE Draft, Nikki A.S.H, her bonds with Bianca Belair and Raquel Gonzalez, and much more.
Former WWE Women’s Champion Mickie James joined the Health Interrupted Podcast to discuss country singing, her ACL injury, mental health, her time on television, and more.