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Thread: Does Impact have enough depth to sustain a Knockout's division/title?

  1. #1
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    Does Impact have enough depth to sustain a Knockout's division/title?

    I just got to wondering about this - given the fact that there's only about half a dozen women on the roster who are active, do Impact have enough women to make having a women's division worthwhile? Would they be better off cutting back here if they are not able to sustain a full division? If you still wanted specific matches I figure you could always promote them on a case by case basis, with female stars paid by the appearance.

    I know they're meant to have a couple of people about to debut - would those incoming be enough to make a difference, or is that still too weak a division for it to mean anything?

  2. #2
    The Brain
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    To be frank, that's about as many women they've had for years now, and somehow or other it usually seems to work out just fine. Six women is actually a pretty decent number if you're only running one segment a week, and the division tends to refresh itself periodically so you don't get stuck with the same people over and over again. Just checking out their division right now it actually looks even stronger than usual, as Allie, Gail Kim, Laurel Van Ness, Rosemary, Sienna, and Taya Valkyrie are all strong talents with a lot of potential to mix it things up between them, and you don't have deadweight like Angelina Love or Madison Rayne hanging around right now which is a big plus.

  3. #3
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    It's a shame in a sense, because for a while there Madison was far and away the best heel that they had. I don't know quite how things went so badly off the rails for her. It wasn't like it was a short run either, it was a good couple of years.

    I guess I didn't mean do they not have enough specifically now, so much as has it been a long time since they have had enough women to sustain a division. Or, is it worth having a title if you've only got half a dozen people competing for it.

    The freshening up is a good point, though. I guess you could potentially argue that if people are coming and going, there's the appearance of more in the mix than there is, and it only becomes apparent if you go digging.

  4. #4
    The Brain
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    With Madison, honestly I think it was a combination of too much time passing and then the booking not being there for her when she finally came back around. Maybe it could have been rebuilt in the exact right circumstances, but the division had largely moved on.

    I do think the quick turnaround is a big factor of what keeps the division fresh. They really only need to do one or two segments with women each week, so even with a small division it stays pretty fresh as people come and go and cycle through the feuds.

  5. #5
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    Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. When it did come it felt to me like it was almost 'meh, we ain't done this for a while, you have a turn'. And that shit is bound to fail. Didn't she get a WWE tryout recently? I guess nothing came of that. A shame, because she's still on the young side. Could have had another 5-10 years in her if she'd been correctly handled. Still, she isn't alone. The downside of the 'freshening up' is that you become old news pretty quick if you aren't able to get back out to somewhere with a high profile a la Mickie James. I'm not 100% sure but I think that pretty much every women's champion from up until 2015 has either pegged it to the WWE, is still with Impact, or has seen their career tank/left the business entirely.

    One other thing is that constantly freshening up the talent when you're struggling is that no one has positive associations with the show, and consequently few positive associations with the talent. Only the fans who compartmentalise well will do that, and honestly I think they are the minority (I know I'm certainly not one of them). Like, Sienna and Rosemary are the two who I'd maybe be most interested in but because I've been on the outs with the company and not fond of the creative for pretty much all of their run, I don't much care in the same way that I did when, say, Madison, Mickie and Winter were all running around over the title. It's not a talent issue (the bits I have seen of Sienna look really good) it's a fact of presentation and even of human nature, to a degree.

  6. #6
    The Brain
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    Holy shit, I had no idea Rayne was only 31. She did have a WWE tryout but I'm not sure she'd make much impact (no pun intended) there right now. Maybe a trainer or producer role, but they have Sara Del Rey on staff so that position which is pretty much impossible to improve upon.

    TNA was using her as a part time commentator for a while but she didn't seem like a great fit for that either. Not sure where's best for her now.

    I never had an issue getting into new talent when they came in, provided they brought something worthwhile, but maybe I'm one of those compartmentalizers. Even though I'm not watching currently, I'd say their core KO division is as strong as it's been in quite some time. Allie, Laurel Van Ness, Rosemary, Sienna, and Taya are all really good talents and bring a lot to the table, and there are a few other scattered women to keep things fresh, not to mention until BFG they still had Gail Kim in the mix which shouldn't be overlooked as a major positive.

    As for past champions, unfortunately shelf life seems much shorter for women in wrestling in general, so sadly I can't say it's a big surprise.

  7. #7
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    My understanding was that Taya didn't feature much and was basically inactive. When I last saw Allie and LVN, I didn't really see what they'd bring to the table. They may have done more stuff elsewhere but Allie had bags of character but didn't look like an in-ring marvel at all. I mean, if she is then she did a really great job of acting like she wasn't, but it's not a story that gets me excited about someone as a top wrestling prospect. And as I say, when you go through those guys, you get back to Gail, Sienna, and Rosemary.

  8. #8
    The Brain
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    My understanding was Taya is heavily involved and only had to miss BFG as a fluke, due to some personal stuff. Could be wrong, of course. As far as Allie and LVN go, I'm a massive fan of character work and both are killing it, and I think they might be better in the ring than you suspect, but maybe they just aren't your cup of tea. But if I watched again, they would definitely be two that I was on the lookout for.

  9. #9
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    I don't remember Laurel especially. Some decent crazy acting in the stuff with Sutter but I only caught it occasionally and it's not my flavour of wrestling anyway. In the case of Allie, she was killing it in developing a character. Started out really irritating and then was a master of getting crowd sympathy. If she is good in the ring, then she was deliberately working to look like a novice, and doing it well. But she was definitely working the 'but I'm not a wrestler' shtick when she first got into the ring, and it certainly looked like she wasn't much of one!

    In a sense, that's part of the problem with running one segment per show, because if she is the one we're supposed to get behind, then that needs to play out down the card. Then they develop, you see the development in front of your eyes, and you get behind them over time. If they're a novice and are immediately put into contention then that advertises to the crowd that your title is garbage, and that anyone can basically walk in off the street and challenge for it.

    A quick glance into her track record suggests she is probably a better wrestler than the story presents her, but honestly, the way they had her go from a secretary who was an in-ring liability for the heels to Knockouts champ in a matter of months actively put me off the division.

  10. #10
    The Brain
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    The Allie title win didn't really bother me, as there was never anything in the story that made it seem like Allie came in and suddenly gained the skills to be on top of the division overnight. If I remember she won it on a fluke in a multi-man match, which I guess is not absolutely ideal but is much better than throwing away her established character, which they did a good job not doing. It was a 1 week reign all in service of getting Maria even more over a heel when she forced Allie to lie down for her, and to that extent it worked really well and lead directly to Maria get her ass royally kicked by Gail Kim. I think they've done a good job since then slow burning Allie's "improvement" in the ring, i.e. having her show more and more of what she actually do, which is indeed plenty.

  11. #11
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    Oh no, I know that within the framework it can be explained. I just thought the frame, itself, sucked. Allie was presented in that way, and Maria actually was a non-wrestler, and having them running around in the title scene made me think less of the title. Those are just the facts of it in terms of my own relationship with the show.

    It's also not just the title change, though - it's the elevation of Allie to essentially top babyface when she still isn't meant to be that good. The story itself is that the division is pretty weak, that someone who isn't a particularly talented wrestler is the star, and that's a weird story to be telling.

  12. #12
    The Brain
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    I guess we just read that differently. To me it was more a question of the people being drawn to Allie not for her wrestling skill, but just as a compelling and sympathetic character, and to that end I thought they did a great job. I agree to some extent about the title not going to people who aren't presented as strong wrestlers, but as a short term thing built around Gail Kim getting her revenge in a really satisfying manner it worked for me. Then again, I'm a guy who actually enjoyed Vince as ECW champion so I'm guessing our tastes just diverge on this kind of story.

  13. #13
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    Yeah, people got behind Allie, and that's great. And they handled the title switch about as well as you can ask. It's not like they did it badly, I just don't think the course was right in itself.

    I don't hate it on spec, for what it's worth. I think it comes back to that thing of if this is the only thing you do, if you only have the one major segment a week, then it makes it look bush league (not to sound like Scott Hall here), and if it looks inconsequential then why do I care? I think the one thing that often gets left out when we think about good storytelling is the importance of making it feel significant.

    EDIT: Just finding out that she was Abbey Laith's partner. Makes me more likely to want to watch some of her older stuff, if she's got that character work and she's teaming with someone who did make a solid impact on me.
    Last edited by Prime Time; 11-08-2017 at 02:51 PM.

  14. #14
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    Enjoyed reading through this conversation. I have to say, I have stuck with Impact through the last couple of hard years and had the feeling for a while that they are short of numbers in every area and the women would just be the worst for it.

    And losing Laurel won't help.

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