11th Oct2021

‘Impact Wrestling: Knockouts Knockdown 2021’ PPV Review

by Phil Wheat

Welcome to this review of Impact Wrestling’s Knockouts Knockdown 2021 pay per view, a celebration of the brands womens division – the Impact Knockouts – and a tribute to the women past, present AND future, who make the division what it is today. This is the SECOND all-women’s pay per view to take place this year and its VERY welcome – as is the return of this PPV, which was last seen waaaaay back in 2017.

Match #1: Knockouts Championship #1 Contender Tournament First Round Match: Rachael Ellering def. Lady Frost

My Thoughts: This was a tremendously well-balanced and well fought match. Ellering and Frost looked like a perfect pairing, matching each other in size and strength – and this match was given a decent amount of time to tell its story and really give Ellering a huge push to kick off this tournament. Absolutely love Ellering’s Bosswoman Slam finisher!

My Score: 3.5 out of 5

Match #2: Knockouts Championship #1 Contender Tournament First Round Match: Chelsea Green def. Renne Michelle

My Thoughts: This was easily one of Chelsea Green’s best matches since being let go by WWE. And Renee Michelle looked great here too, much better than her outings as enhancement talent in AEW. It’s surprising how, when given the right opponent, the right setting and the right amount of time, wrestlers who have looked very much like mid-carders can come out of a match looking like superstars. That’s definitely the case here – Green needs more matches like this in Impact for sure.

My Score: 3 out of 5

Match #3: Knockouts Championship #1 Contender Tournament First Round Match: Mercedes Martinez def. Brandi Lauren

My Thoughts: Brandi Lauren is still selling the Su Yung possession gimmick, which means this match isn’t really as “serious” as its predecessors. This was essentially a squash match, giving Martinez a strong, definitive and quick win, hence the low score. Still enjoyed it though!

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #4: Knockouts Championship #1 Contender Tournament First Round Match: Tasha Steelz def. Jamie Senegal

My Thoughts: Jamie Senegal, who was the first Trans women to wrestle for NWA during the Empowerrr pay per view, was paying tribute to Daffney, who she called her mother, in this match. Which meant this was one had more of an emotional centre than other matches in this round one card. It was also a brilliantly fought match, with Tasha and Jamie giving it their all here, in a match that had plenty of time to tell its story and really get the crowd, and the audience at home, invested in where this was going – and the crowd in attendance really lapped it up, adding an atmosphere of a “big fight” feel not usually found in Impact programming (typically because of the small audience size).

My Score: 3 out of 5

Match #5: Pick Your Poison Match: Knockouts Champion Deonna Purrazzo def. Masha Slamovich

My Thoughts: This was a match between two powerhouses, with Slamovich looking and feeling like a female version of Rocky 4’s Ivan Drago – a total 180 from how she was presented in AEW in my opinion. Again, a great example of the right match and right setting totally changing the perception of a wrestler. Of course this match was Purrazzo’s to lose and she certainly didn’t and Purrazzo didn’t rely on shenanigans from Matthew Rehwoldt this time either. This was a real wrestling match; which seems to be the theme for this pay per view – actual “proper” wrestling on an actual wrestling show!

My Score: 3 out of 5

Match #6: Knockouts Championship #1 Contender Tournament Semi-Final: Mercedes Martinez def. Rachael Ellering

My Thoughts: This one was an interesting match-up, a true wrestling veteran versus a realtive newcomer and both women told that story well. Ellering delivered more here than in her first round match (which is saying something given how goos that match was), going toe-to-toe with Martinez; with both women delivering hard-hitting blows and making this one feel like a real battle for the spot in the final. A nice show of respect from Martinez at the end of this one cemented Ellering as a real star, even with the loss.

My Score: 3.5 out of 5

Match #7: Knockouts Championship #1 Contender Tournament Semi-Final: Tasha Steelz def. Chelsea Green

My Thoughts: Tasha Steelz looked like she was determined to take out Chelsea Green here – no messing, no gimmicks, no showboating. Steelz was looking for a fight and truly took this one to Green, even if the crowd was against her the entire time. Some rather nasty looking moves made this one feel a lot more vicious than the rest of the Championship contender matches on this PPV – including an ugly cutter on Green on the ring apron! The end of this one was a series of finishers with each woman kicking out against the other, really ramping up the tension.

My Score: 3 out of 5

Match #8: Monster’s Ball Match: Savannah Evans def. Kimber Lee, Alisha & Jordynne Grace

My Thoughts: As someone who watched TNA back in the day, choosing the smaller, more exciting, upstart to WWE programming I never realised just how innovative the company was – from the X Division to the Knockouts, TNA was just an all-round cooler show. Which is why I never, till watching this PPV, realised how forward-thinking it was to have women’s hardcore matches (or Monster’s Ball matches as they were termed). TNA was just so different to “mainstream” wrestling I’d seen that it seemed normal. It really wasn’t and seeing this match, hearing Veda Scott and Mickie James on commentary and seeing the Taylor Wilde video package before this one you realise just how ground-breaking it was to have women’s hardcore matches on international TV and PPVs.

As for this one, you really have to give it to Kimber Lee, she was obviously the one chosen to take the punishment, to bleed in the match, to basically put her body on the line to make the three other women in the match look good. Which they did. This was a fast-paced hardcore match with the usual spots – kendo sticks, tumb tacks etc. but it all worked, thanks to Kimber Lee, to generate excitement AND grotesquery and make this one a great tribute to Daffney.

My Score: 3.5 out of 5 (and all these points are for Kimber Lee’s arduous effort!)

Match #9: Knockouts Championship #1 Contender Tournament Final: Mercedes Martinez def. Tasha Steelz

My Thoughts: This one was a brawl between two women who clearly wanted to win the title shot. Tasha Steelz wrestled like a woman with a chip on her shoulder whilst Martinez looked, for the most part, to be having fun… Until frustration set in as she couldn’t put Steelz away. Speaking of whom, Steelz performance in this tournament looks to have changed the perception of her from tag-team wrestler to brutal, determined singles wrestler and definitely someone who is now firmly in the women’s singles title race.

My Score: 3 out of 5

Match #10: Knockouts Tag Team Title Match: Decay (Rosemary & Havok w/Crazzy Steve & Black Taurus) vs. The Influence (Tenille Dashwood & Madison Rayne w/Kaleb with a K)

My Thoughts: This was a pleasant surprise. I expect a lot more shenanigans and less wrestling from a match featuring Tenille Dashwood and Kaleb with a K. Instead we got yet another hard-fought match that had everyone involved, everyone got a spot to standout and everyone really sold the feud between these two tag teams. A great twist at the end to have outside interference from Kaleb with a K backfire and eventually cost The Influence the match rather than help them win it. Oh, and Rosemary is a f*king superstar isn’t she?

My Score: 3 out of 5

News of the Night:

  • The show opened with a 10-bell tribute to Daffney, led by Lexie Fyfe, who is representing the friends & family of Daffney, and all the men and women who wrestling have lost to mental health over the years.
  • Melissa Santos was the guest ring announcer.
  • Veda Scott and Mickie James were on commentary.
  • Christy Hemme made a rare appearance in Impact to announce that Awesome Kong would be inducted into the Impact hall of Fame.
  • In her acceptance speech, Awesome Kong paid tribute to Daffney, asking people to be as open to the next generation, be it wrestler or your chosen profession, as Daffney was.
  • Taylor Wilde paid tribute to Daffney, recalling her Monsters Ball match against her in 2009.
  • Mercedes Martinez earned the #1 spot for the Impact Women’s Title post the Mickie James / Deonna Purrazzo match at Bound For Glory.
  • It was announced that “The IInspiration” (aka Cassie and Jessie, formerly The IIconics) are coming to Impact at Bound For Glory.

Final Verdict: 4/5

Wow. Just wow. This was one hell of a pay per view from Impact Wrestling. Hell, from any wrestling company. All the matches were superb and really showed just how deep the companies female roster is. There’s a reason why people say TNA/Impact have the best women’s division and this PPV showed it front and centre! Plus there was a real emotional core, paying tribute to Daffney, that added an extra element to proceedings. And we got some great promos (yes, great promos and one’s that DIDN’T distract from the matches rather helping to build them up), Awesome Kong’s Hall of fame announcement, and the tease of The IInspiration coming to Impact… Probably, no DEFINITELY, my favourite Impact Wrestling PPV of the year so far.

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