The Knockouts division is of Impact wrestling is on fire right now. The women’s division is often credited with having the most talented and deepest women’s roster in all professional wrestling. The last few weeks the Knockouts division but all of Impact wrestling as well, has been the talk of professional wrestling. The Knockouts division is steel reeling from the stunning upset that occurred at Slammiversary on July 18. The challenger, Deonna Purrazzo who had recently returned to Impact wrestling walked into Slammiversary made a powerful statement by defeating champion Jordynne Grace. The number one contender for the Knockouts title had been decided earlier in the night during a gauntlet style match. Kylie Rae emerged victorious which earned her the right to punch her ticket for a shot at the Knockouts title.
There has been some debate recently on social media about which wrestling promotion is truly responsible for the “Women’s Revolution.” Answers to this question seem split between NXT/WWE and Impact wrestling. TWM’s own George Geal took to social media to weigh in with his response.
A suggestion that the name of the Knockouts division was outdated and disrespectful was quickly put to rest by current and former members of the proud division.
Impact wrestling has also teased the return of the Knockouts division tag team titles in recent weeks. Let’s look at the history of the Knockouts tag team division as well as discussing why now is the perfect time for the tag team titles to make a return to Impact wrestling’s Knockouts division.
The first ever Knockouts tag team champions were Sarita and Taylor Wilde. The duo won the inaugural Knockouts tag team titles on September 20, 2009 competing in an eight-woman match and eventually defeating the team of Beautiful People, Madison Rayne, and Velvet Sky. Their title reign would last an impressive 106 days before relinquishing the titles to the team of Awesome Kong and Hamada. The Knockouts title would remain active until June 27, 2013 when the title was deactivated.
One interesting note is that Eric Young is the only male wrestler to have been part of the Knockouts tag team championship when he and ODB defeated Gail Kim and Madison Rayne on February 28, 2012. Young and ODB would retain the Knockouts tag team titles for an unprecedented 478 days. Young and ODB were stripped of the title due to the gender of Eric Young. A few days later the Knockouts division tag team titles were deactivated. No official explanation was given but many fans suspect this was due to the dwindling number of women on the Impact roster in 2013.
The current depth of talented wrestlers in the Knockouts division makes now a perfect time to bring back the Knockouts tag team division. Impact could capitalize on the current interest and enthusiasm of women’s wrestling. Fans, journalists, and insiders have taken to social media to discuss topics such as who is responsible for the “women’s revolution,” which promotion has the best women’s roster, and even if the term Knockouts is an appropriate name for the women’s division of Impact wrestling. The buzz is already present, now is the time to strike while the proverbial iron is hot.
A tag team division would allow Impact to feature more of its talented women’s roster each week. Rather than having a single’s match and a thrown together tag team match each week the Knockouts division could be strategically scheduled to maximize its talent. This would allow thoughtful development of single’ feuds as well as putting together compelling and creative tag team storylines. As of now there are so many wrestlers in the Knockouts division it is difficult to give a legitimate push to more than one or two each week.
Currently the Knockouts division has a few ready-made tag teams that could be used to introduce and develop the division. The team of Tasha Steelz and Kierra Hogan are already performing as a tag team and they have a built-in rival in the team of Havok and Nevaeh. Rosemary and Su Yung would make a fantastic tag team as both appear to channel their inner demons anytime, they are threatened. The diverse make-up of the division would allow for some interesting tag teams and high-quality matches that would further drive fan interest.
The story lines and feuds could be further developed between each pay per view. More time could be spent which would enable the Knockouts champion to develop a more complex feud with her challenger as well as allowing the tag team champions to feud with the number one contender for the tag titles. This would allow the development and utilization of six different women. If you add in a second single’s challenger looking to become the number one contender along with another a rival tag team trying to obtain a title shot, you are featuring up to nine women vying for one of two title shots. The use of nine women would require the rest of the divisions to be available for matches each week as the feuds played out over time. The tag team division would allow for optimal and efficient use of the talented collection of performers that Impact wrestling has assembled. Currently the roster is underutilized based on the weekly time constraints of the show. Adding the tag team division puts more of the performers in the ring in the same amount of airtime resulting on more eyes on the product.
Women’s wrestling is blowing up right now and is a hot topic across multiple social media platforms. Fans are hungry for quality wrestling from both the men’s and women’s side and we have even seen intergender wrestling featured in a world title match at Hard to Kill. The glass ceiling has finally been broken as women are finally being afforded the respect and admiration they have earned through years of handwork and perseverance while developing their craft.
Impact wrestling looks to be the promotion poised to capitalize on the demand for quality women’s wrestling. They have assembled an impressive collection of talented wrestlers with interesting characters which has catapulted the Knockouts division to the top of women’s wrestling. The successful development and implementation of the women’s tag team division would further cement their place atop women’s wrestling. Impact has done a terrific job reinventing themselves recently and have become the most exciting promotion in all of sports entertainment. Impact wrestling has continued to raise the bar throughout professional wrestling which benefits the fans most of all. Anytime one promotion improves its product or innovates the sport it causes the other companies to respond or get left behind. If you have not been paying attention, I urge you to give Impact a second look and see why they are the hottest thing going in professional wrestling today.