TNA IMPACT RESULTS: True Love Conquers All (February, 23rd 2017)

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If you haven’t watched impact from last week or seen IMPACTs social media over the past two weeks, then you heard it here. This weeks IMPACT episode from Orlando Studios birthed the wedding of the most oddly placed duo of Laurel Van Ness and Braxton Sutter. Of course, with each wedding in the wrestling business comes some sort of intervention in the midst of the I Do’s, and the one woman who has truly loved Braxton all this time, Allie, may either face the culmination of her heartache or suffer even more at the hands of her Boss, the stunning, vivacious but wickedly cruel former Knockouts leader Maria Kanellis-Bennett.

While the lady to be (supposedly) wed is all glamming up backstage, we have other Knockouts storylines to address. First features Brandi Rhodes, who has brought her husband, the Well Acclaimed Star that is Cody Rhodes, back to the IMPACT Zone. Hes not set to target Lashley over his assault however from the last time we saw Cody on IMPACT, but to sweet talk his wife, who has been trying her best to fit in as a part of the companies Knockouts Division. As Brandi acknowledges her happiness at being a part of the division and trying to continually evolve, there’s also the matter of the man who took it upon himself to save Brandi from the Decay over the past two weeks, Moose, and Cody invites the fellow wrestler to the ring. The Welcoming tone soon changes however, once he hears out that Brandi has Moose’s number. Moose assures hes taking it the wrong way, but gets a Maryse gesture from the less than proud member of the Rhodes Clan. Hes far from amused at the development, seeing as how they have trained and worked together in his absence, even going as far as wondering whether the two will sleep together. Moose tries to remind the former WWE star that he had to do what he could as a friend to try and help Brandi while Cody was having his international adventures, but gets called a slut in retaliation. Brandi steps in between the verbal altercation, knowing her husband wouldn’t embarrass her in her new workplace, believing the whole thing to be a joke and asking if thats the intention. Cody insists so, before the villainous persona is unveiled completely when he cheapshots Moose, furthermore leaving him laying by executing his finisher before even pulling a Bullet Club Gesture, right before forcing Brandi away from the ring. In the light of his villainous transformation, Cody even shoves cameras out of the way of getting some insight on the tension between the Rhodes.

The next situation sees Jade come out for an address towards her still rival Rosemary, as hinted earlier the week via IMPACT Wrestlings Twitter. Despite Rosemary temporarily stalking Brandi Rhodes, Jade hasnt forgotten their clashes, and the engagement of violence between “Red” and “Blue” is far from over. She knows her and Rosemary have been through hell, and even if its not about them or the Title, it is about taking back the division from Rosemary’s control, thus she demands the Knockouts Champion to meet her in the ring, and of course her still rival easily accepts. Upon entering the ring, the title holder calls Jades effort valiant, even if she should be trying to save herself. To Add, Rosemary is clearly done in her little war with Jade, as indicated, but its only different for Jade. The War Queen grabs the arm of the Demon Assassin as she prepares to leave the ring, declaring she isn’t finished with her, gutsy of course. She reflects back to the first time they met in order to obtain the Knockouts Championship, when she dived off Six Sides of Steel to only watch Rosemary obtain the title. Regardless of the lethal spot, shes still standing, as she is from the other match of which she accepted, that Rosemary had suggested, the Monsters Ball Match that both have scars left from. Jade wonders if it p***es off Rosemary that shes still around, and if she wants to get rid of her truly, then they can face off one last time for the title, in a match of her choosing this time. She Throws Out the Idea of a match Gail Kim and Madison Rayne made famous, a Last Knockout Standing Match. After some inner deciding, Rosemary agrees to the idea, to have Jade “dance with the demon” once more but this time its Jades Games, and shes bringing the title home.

Now the Knockouts, for the rest of the night, focuses around the Laurel situation. Allie has been brought to Maria at the demand of Sienna, and the Poor Allie has to watch Laurel celebrate potential happiness with her love interest, and she doesn’t even want to be a part of the whole thing. Maria recognizes this as the heartbreak of watching Braxton and Laurel being together, but regardless she demands Allie to be there tonight as the ringbearer. Allie leaves the room, despite knowing she has to book Laurels hotel room. The Heartbroken one bumps into Braxton, who tries to explain whats truly going on, but Allie doesn’t want to hear any of it.

As Braxton is left to reel in the true reason why hes wedding Laurel, Maria comes to make his inner frustration more angering, telling him that the blackmailing that has spiraled far beyond control will end once he and Laurel are official. She reminds Braxton that something will happen if he doesn’t choose to marry Laurel, and having made that clear, she heads off for probably more celebratory drinks, surely not as much as what Mike has had…

Now to the wedding, that has snatched the main event spot for the evening after so much hype. Appearing down the ramp/isle and heading to the ring are the Groom Braxton and the Clearly forced Best Man, Mike Bennett, who may be playing the best drunken act in professional wrestling. Next is the Flower Boy, Rockstar Spud and his accomplice Aron Rex, just a part of the guest list. Then following the double act are Sienna and Maria as bridesmaids, then the dolled up bride Laurel Van Ness, with the bridal theme only fitting of course. She passes on her bouquet to Sienna before readying to address her possible husband to be Braxton, but not before Maria wishes to address herself as….well you get it by now. Maria is ready to get on with Laurels big night, but she needs her ring bearer, thus she summons Allie, whose appearance stuns Braxton. Of course Braxton wants to be the gracious gentleman and welcome Allie, but Maria decides Allies placement, demanding her to stick by the side of Sienna to witness the whole wedding.

The Marriage Officiant begins the ceremony, but the chants from the IMPACT Zone overpower all this. Mike is passed out on an unimpressed Braxton’s shoulder, Rex is fake crying and Maria just wants to skip to the I Do’s. Laurel runs through her vows first, while Braxton accidentally (purposefully) forgets his. The Officiant asks if there’s anybody who wishes to go against the marriage, and everyone is easily hoping for Allie, or are objecting themselves. Maria wants that part skipped too, blaming this on Allie, and making her jump right into her part of participation. With the I Do’s beginning, Laurel easily declares I Do, before the crowd hope for objection as they jump to Braxton’s part. Spud is even pulling a Chris Jericho (quietly) in trying to silence the crowd, who plead for Braxton to say no. Braxton eventually agrees to say no, to the happiness of the crowd and Allie of course.

Braxtons real feelings begin to be outed, as he tells Laurel he cant stand being around her, and she can be assured theres another guy she can make miserable in future, but his heart is set on the one and only Allie. He reveals to everyone Maria’s place in the whole set up, from her forcing the break up of him and Allie to her forcing the partnership of himself and Laurel to the revelation that Braxton going against her wishes would mean Allie being terminated. Hes Sick of Maria and she cant change his love for his real life wife, but this only motivates the cunning Maria to do what shes been plotting to do, what Braxton knows she will do, to fire Allie. She fires Allie officially, but Allie has her own last words to accompany, snatching the mic from the Former Boss Ladys hand and declaring that none of that matters because she quits. It all breaks down physically from there as Sienna grabs Allie for Maria to attack, but Braxton stops Maria. Braxton gives a drunken Mike a huge forearm, and Allie takes down Maria, scrapping with her after months of issues. Sienna comes in between but is cleared off by Brooke. Robbie E (despite being in a feud with Aron and Spud) goes after Bennett. Laurel drinks her sorrows as the wedding falls massively apart, and once the heels have been cleared away, Braxton and Allie can finally show their love, making out with one another to end. Love Wins.

(Brandi Rhodes, Cody and Moose Segment; Cody Rhodes Turns Heel)

(Jade and Rosemary Segment)

(Laurel Van Ness, Maria Kanellis-Bennett and Sienna Backstage Segment)

(Laurel Van Ness, Maria Kanellis-Bennett, Sienna, Allie and Braxton Sutter Backstage Segment)

(Maria Kanellis-Bennett and Braxton Sutter Backstage Segment)

(Wedding Segment)

Thoughts On:
Brandi/Cody/Moose: Of course id seen the spoilers so i saw this coming, and with Cody as the newest member of the Bullet Club, i wouldn’t be surprised if they bring some of the members in on pay per appearance contracts, or with the same obligations as Cody. With the way IMPACT is running with shows every few months, it doesn’t exactly clash with Cody’s indy obligations, so if Brandi turns heel along with him they can still manage one another on IMPACT Television without interference’s. Later this week are the tapings so more light should be shed on one of the biggest angles over the Grand Championship to date, and to see whether Brandi distances from being an IMPACT Knockout to help Cody whichever way possible, and considering their partnership, there’s no way Brandi will stick by Moose…..Surely?

Jade/Rosemary: To Say Jade isn’t the best on the mic, i think she did well here, especially towards the end of the segment. Theres something about these two as enemies that isn’t tiresome, and while Rosemary ending her angle with Brandi may be sudden with Cody shuffled back in, its been a while since the company have had a Last Knockout Standing Match, all of which in the past three years have featured Gail Kim, so now the responsibility of putting on a clinic rests on other veterans shoulders, to no issue whatsoever. Question is, if Jade loses, where does she go from there? Sure, if that does happen, its perfect timing as March may see the inclusion and return of Gail Kim, but if both are involved in the same angle, considering Jades growing popularity, if a turn is involved, who is it? Note also the mention of Rosemary leaving Decay was edited out (though mentioned in the spoilers) so maybe they need the tag team still around due to the contractual issues with the Hardy’s or its just an angle scrapped.

Laurel Marries Braxton: Easily one of my fave segments in recent memory relating to the company and Everyone involved should be proud of how well it came off and worked. While we all had to see Allie sour at times as a developing character due to being a stepping stone in the Gail Kim/Maria long tenured storyline, this was the ultimate payoff, and it was no better time than now, where the crowd was more emotionally invested than ever and behind Allie to the chagrin of the evil Maria. There were people who thought Allie couldn’t flourish without the Cherry Bomb Character but IMPACT creative was smart to pull the trigger the ascension of the Allie character the moment her tension with Maria had began, at last with its payoff, because imagine if this segment had been in front of a dead crowd? Everyone played their part perfectly, Laurel ascended to one of the most hated heels in the division so imagine her as champion? Just hope that heat isn’t lost by time the next tapings arrive because Laurel has been too perfect with her character, especially here. Maria was just evil Maria with the perfect mic skills as usual, frightening everyone with what she could possibly do to Allie. Mike was one of the most entertaining minorly used people in the segment with his fake drunken antics as well. Braxton has flourished as a character in this segment and to have the payoff be with his own real life wife couldn’t be more fitting either, someone who he shares genuine chemistry with. Rex and Aron proved the perfect guests with their reactions. The Only confusion was Robbie’s involvement. Maria, Laurel and Allie have had massive character development over time that has paid off and with Allie released from Maria’s chains, shes free to do whatever she wants to the former Boss Lady now for sure, and with her veteran experience IMPACT wont share, she could carry Maria in a match if needed, plus her chemistry with Laurel has been proven too. On top of this segment, there’s so much backstory Allie has with both that will make for heated matches in the future, possibly Allie vs Maria at the tapings then vs Laurel on PPV unless Maria gets a rematch, but a match with so much backstory doesn’t usually need overdoing, though that worked for Chris Jericho vs Shawn Michaels etc. Sienna is also stuck in her own angle with Brooke and i wouldn’t be surprised if she turns on Maria in the near future, but with Madison in her own role, Gail and Jade sure to still be involved with Rosemary, Angelina and Alisha feuding, Reby pregnant and Brandi possibly just Cody’s manager, Brooke and Allie may need an extra babyface to deal with the Lady Squad in a 6 woman tag in the near future. Rebel anyone?

– Catherine

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