Impact Wrestling Rebellion was an enjoyable show, if not an inconsistent one. By the time the show ended, my preconceived notions felt reinforced -- Impact Wrestling should be built around their stellar women's division.
We've covered every Impact Wrestling pay-per-view here at Fightful, and a recurring theme seems to happen with regularity -- their world title is overbooked to the point where you almost expect it. Non-finishes, ref bumps, interference, or flat out putting the title on problematic new acquisitions. It's gotten to the point where I've not looked forward to a top title match for the company in ages, and it's not on the talent involved.
It seems Impact Wrestling itself recognizes it to some degree. Rebellion and United We Stand were both without Impact World Championship matches headlining. Instead, they went with the hot hands of LAX, who are more than befitting of a main event spot as they're one of the best tag teams in the world, and the best in Impact Wrestling history. The rest of the tag team division is fun, too. The North, The Rascalz, OVE -- there are plenty of capable dance partners. However, I see their women's division as the feature attraction.
The division is stacked, especially for a two-hour show that runs pay-per-views less often than most companies. Stories have time to build, and the Knockouts are anchored, in my mind, by four specific names, and
Tessa Blanchard is a star, and a winner. There's hardly any other way to put it. Everything she does screams "victory." Her in-ring sense of urgency, facial expressions, her physical condition, her gear, her actual work -- she always looks like the most important thing to her is winning the wrestling match she's a part of, or playing the mind games necessary to make that more of an absolute for her the next time out. She's a fitting anchor of the division and one that is impossible to replicate.
Impossible to replicate would accurately describe Jordynne Grace. Nobody looks like her, and no other women wrestle like her. She brings something special and different to the table. Nothing is cookie cutter about Jordynne Grace, and that's magnified when it comes to women's wrestling. After coming up short in a championship match at Rebellion, she's one
Taya is the division's champion, and brings something almost in between that of Tessa and Jordynne. What stood out to me most at rebellion about her -- besides the star look -- was an insane gas tank. After wrestling Grace at a solid pace for almost ten minutes, she looked fresh as a daisy. Almost too fresh for having wrestled the match. We know that Taya has found amazing chemistry and a great dance partner in Tessa, and has had a main event push alongside husband Johnny Impact along the way. She doesn't need it, but the association with a former WWE and reality star doesn't hurt either.
Kiera Hogan may be the most underrated name that jumps off the page to me. Her in-ring work is hard hitting, and she's a regular standout on the Title Match Wrestling Ladies Night Out shows, where she's had main event cage matches with Ivelisse. She's been stuck in a lot of the more gimmicky aspects of Impact Wrestling, but I look at her as the fourth cornerstone to the Knockouts division as it stands now. She and Grace are both top-notch performers who haven't yet had a coronation to speak of within the division. Again, a story to tell, and a moment to make.
Gail Kim, while not active, is integral as proved last Sunday. She is the legend of the Impact Wrestling Knockouts division and didn't miss a step during her main-event worthy match with Tessa Blanchard, over a year removed from retirement. I'm not sure of Gail Kim's in-ring future, but you'd have to be looking for something to complain about if you didn't want to see her involved more based on the performance put forth at Rebellion. Her history isn't easy to come by, and her real-life role within the company was played to perfection on the show.
A wild card is Scarlett Bordeaux. While, it's hard to say that there can be a "star" in Impact Wrestling, she exudes that quality. She either endears or disgusts viewers based on the exploitation of her sex appeal, and is what WWE wishes they would have had in Sable in 1999. She can work in the ring, she can cut promos, and she can connect. Sable barely had any of those, and was able to make a huge mark on the industry on her way to becoming one of its biggest stars. Many, myself included, questioned how the approach would work in 2018 and 2019, but Bordeaux has worked the role well, and carved out a spot on the show wrestling intergender matches and picking up wins along the way. We've yet to see how she fits in to the women's division.
I, for one, can do without the undead realm otherworld gimmick. It's not my thing, and not really something I'm able to get behind. That's not to say that the characters involved don't have worth, though. Su Yung is a former Knockouts Champion, and Rosemary has a loyal following perhaps unmatched by anyone else in the company.
There are other players involved too -- Katarina, with over a decade of television experiences, Madison Rayne's 783 championship reigns -- stories to be told. Impact has seen cameos and appearances by the likes of Delilah Doom and Faby Apache that have really helped add. Oh, by the way, Tenille Dashwood is a free agent right now.
Let me be clear: this is a call for quality, not for equality. Though inconsistently, Impact has often presented female performers more seriously and with more care and effort than other companies. Their own pay-per-views, a consistent title, all that good stuff. I just want the best stories, most exciting performers and most interesting matches in the prime spots as pay-per-view headliners.