And it's official. One more week to go until WrestleMania. Are you folks excited? Well probably not the ones who only watch the Divas but you gotta love that WrestleMania buzz even if you're not crazy about the matches. Well just to clarify on those who heard the FCW rumours, the territory is not actually closing though there are plans to take TV tapings out of Tampa. Triple H says more to be announced after WrestleMania is over. TNA meanwhile had a PPV this week featuring a match between women who were BFFs for all of five months. Should be a good one.
Victory Road - Gail Kim* vs Madison Rayne (Knockouts Championship):
You know what, this was a pretty good match-up. I wasn't expecting much but Madison really impressed me. From what I've seen in SHIMMER I know that she can wrestle in addition to comedy but in TNA she's not really found much balance between the two. Here she opted for proper wrestling and she was impressive with all these moves I had no idea she knew how to do. She pulled out big move after big move and that made things exciting. I expected Gail would play the face role in the match but thankfully she was clearly still a heel by the end of it. She and Madison worked really well together and their personalities just bounced so well off each other and that dynamic wouldn't have worked in a simple face vs heel match so put it down to both women having strong characters. Now I wonder what will happen after this as neither was on Impact this week but you all know I'm crossing my fingers that Velvet Sky will finally get the push she deserves. I'd actually like to see Madison and Gail stay together and then they can explore a proper break-up storyline later on. 7/10
None of the girls were actually on the show but more on that later. We finally have a WrestleMania match announced properly and all the points I made last week still stand. I'm hoping that WWE give us something for a go-home segment this Monday and I'm sure we'll all enjoy the match anyway. Here's hoping Maria has been spending the time she's not on TV in the gym learning the ways of the ring in preparation for her big match. Afterall, Sable was very impressive at WrestleMania XIV and she wouldn't even bump. Now for the good stuff - more Aksana and Vickie. That catfight was awesome and I loved every minute of it, so did the crowd too by the sounds of it. I don't really want to see a match since Vickie isn't a wrestler and Aksana is still getting used to the main roster but just let them have more catfights. I really want to see both of these women at ringside for Team Teddy vs Team Johnny so we can get a WrestleMania-sized catfight.
Ring Ka King - Angelina Love vs Alyssa Flash:
Yes! Yes! Yes! God I loved this match so much. It was definitely a dream match for me to see these two face up properly as they didn't really work together much back when Alyssa was first in TNA. Angelina works so much better as a face and it was great to see these two wrestling properly, just like the men. Angelina's looking much healthier lately as well. She showed off some nice technical skills at the start of the match and it was great to see her go fast paced against Alyssa who did well to ground her and work over her. Alyssa maybe could have gotten some more offence in but I'll expect another match with Angelina taking on Raisha Saeed this time so no harm done. The after match segment was all kinds of hilarious. Hmm, to accept a rose from a fully grown person or a giant teddy bear from a midget. I'm slowly becoming a fan of Indian Hornswoggle. 8/10
Superstars - Beth Phoenix & Eve Torres vs Natalya & Tamina:
Oh my well isn't this quite the episode of Meet The Odd Couples. Natalya working as a face it seems, though I wouldn't read too much into it just yet as she's still a heel on live events and after all Alicia worked as a face on Superstars once before she was properly turned on Smackdown. I think perhaps this is a sign they will be headed towards a Beth/Natalya program when WrestleMania is over since they did play up the storyline between them and the announcers did draw attention to it, not to mention that it was Tamina who took the pin. The opening tease between Beth and Natalya was great with all the playfulness. I definitely think Natalya now works much better as a face, having had a lengthy time to compare both personas. Eve is still adjusting to wrestling as a heel and it showed. Hopefully she doesn't go the same route as the Bellas and develops some of her own unique moves to use as a heel and keep herself interesting in the ring. That submission she used was nice and effective so hopefully she sorts herself out in time for WrestleMania. Tamina was quite impressive with her hot tag sequence and it was great to see her go fast paced. The crowd was very vocal for this match and hopefully with two bankable Divas and a "celebrity" in the WrestleMania match, WWE will see fit to give them plenty of time to work. Oh and bad landing for the moonsault but what can you do. 6.5/10
Impact - ODB & Eric Young* vs Sarita & Rosita (Knockouts Tag Team Championships):
Sarita and Rosita back on Impact, always a good thing of course. It seems Sarita has now hijacked Maryse's hair flipping and Rosa's dancing. You gotta love how she moves and how she's embraced this Spicy Latina character that TNA have given her (despite you know not actually being Latina). This match, like most of these, had more of a focus on comedy though ODB worked the most of it. I can see them eventually developing a rut here if they're dead set on not having Eric actually wrestle the girls. But they are over with the crowd and they are entertaining so I'll take comedy over champions who won't be featured any day. The action was good enough, I don't recall Sarita and ODB ever working properly together before. Well that's one of the four teams ODB and Eric can feud with out of the way for now. 6/10
FCW - Audrey Marie & Kaitlyn vs Sofia Cortez & Paige:
Not really liking the pairings here with the two veterans against two rookies. I think there should be one green girl and one experienced girl on each team. I like that Paige is keeping herself pale and therefore allowing herself to stand out from the pack. Kaitlyn and Audrey did a nice double team with the Irish whip into the arm drag and likewise Paige and Cortez did a nice double team of their own. The part with Paige in control didn't go as smoothly as it could have and her submission hold took a while to be locked in but it was great once she did get it locked. There was another strange moment where Paige got tagged and then just waited in her corner before quickly running over to cut Audrey off. Kaitlyn looked very solid and it was good to see the return of her cool finisher. She does a nice variation of the traditional Lotus Lock. A very interesting sight to see a 6-way Diva feud break out and it's good that Caylee Turner is working face again. I expect this to culminate in a 6-pack challenge for Raquel's Divas' Championship. 7/10
Xplosion - Angelina Love vs Velvet Sky:
Comparing it to the previous match these two had here on Xplosion as well as Angelina's show stopping match with Alyssa Flash over on Ring Ka King it didn't meet the high expectations. These two did share a chemistry as always but here I didn't like what was going on as much as in the other matches. I felt Velvet was in control for too much of the match and it made it feel almost like a squash match to put Velvet over as a title contender, rather than a back and forth affair between two strong competitors. It was almost like Angelina was the jobber here and that's not something I'd like to see. Comparing Angelina working heel in this match to working face on Ring Ka King, the face role is much better suited for her. Although she didn't really get to show off much in this as her timing was off on a couple of moves too. Nonetheless I still enjoyed it and as always note Velvet's big improvement in the ring, still hoping she will get the push she deserves. Good match but nothing special. 6/10
Smackdown - AJ vs Brie Bella:
Keep AJ with Daniel Bryan forever and make her wrestle on Smackdown every week if it means the girls get time to actually wrestle. I mean, the Bellas got a backstage promo and then an in-ring promo in addition to a match that also got plenty of time. I enjoyed this one a lot better than last week's one and I remember Brie and AJ having a nice little match together back on NXT. While she might not be the best worker, Brie has a very strong heel personality and she's able to use that to inject some excitement into the matches. Working with AJ who is a much better underdog than Kelly in my opinion helps as well. That headscissors into the arm bar was a nice move to see and would make a great permanent addition to AJ's moveset. The Bellas' promo after the match was nice as well though I doubt they'll actually split them. Interesting to see Nikki take Teddy's side when she's always the heel whenever they get divided. Also we saw Eve blow off Zack Ryder backstage again. Hmm, perhaps if she keeps doing this he'll eventually find another Diva who appreciates him. Someone classy, someone sensitive. Someone...Flawless? 7/10