Maria Kanellis & Gail Kim In-Ring Promo:
Maria’s personal protege Allie is trying to get everybody’s attention. Allie introduces the first lady of professional wrestling. Maria says that she’s the leader of the Knockouts Division. She has a important job and that’s for her to get her vision out there to everybody. Sometimes she checks out social media and she realizes that everybody loves Velvet Sky. Maria fired her and she’s gone. Maria says that Velvet is part of the Knockouts Past and she’s trying to instill a brighter future. Gail Kim comes down to the ring to interrupt Maria. Gail says that she’s starting to sound like a broken record, but she’s fed up.
Gail is not happy with the way Maria has elevated to the top of the Knockouts Division. Gail is upset about Velvet Sky leaving because these fans loved her. Maria reminds Gail what her position is. Maria also reminds Gail that she put her wrestling boots on she defeated Gail. Gail says that she doesn’t follow Maria’s rules and she could kick her ass. Maria says that she could fire Gail Kim just like she fired Velvet Sky because nobody is allowed to touch her. Maria tells Gail that she’ll be put in the same position Velvet was last week and if Gail loses her next match, she’ll be fired. Gail wants to fight Maria, but Maria says that she’s a lady. Sienna attacks Gail Kim from behind and tosses her to the outside.
Fourth Match: Gail Kim vs. Sienna. If Gail Kim loses this match, she’ll be fired from TNA Impact Wrestling
Gail lands a couple of forearms as the bell rings. Gail clotheslines Sienna for a one count. Gail whips Sienna to the corner. Gail with a flying crossbody for a two count. Gail chops Sienna in the chest. Sienna with a running knee to the midsection of Gail. Gail with a hurricanrana that sends Sienna crashing to the outside. Gail kicks Sienna in the leg. Gail goes after Maria. Sienna attacks Gail from behind. Sienna sends Gail jaw first to the steel barricade. Sienna rolls Gail back into the ring. Sienna lands a big forearm.
Sienna chokes Gail in the corner with her boot. Sienna with a Samoan Drop for a two count. Sienna with a shoulder tackle to Gail. Gail responds with a reverse DDT. Maria knocks Gail off the ring apron behind the referee’s back. Maria rolls Gail back into the ring. Sienna goes for the Yokosuka Cutter, but Gail counters with the sunset flip to pickup the victory. After the match Maria viciously attacks Gail with a ground and pound attack and driving Gail’s head repeatedly on the mat. Maria slaps Gail in the face.
Winner: Gail Kim
A little more than a week ago, my colleague Keith Harris wrote a post documenting the recent reports of TNA’s search for new investors, a possible ownership change and the effect those things were having on the backstage atmosphere at a recent four-day taping for Impact Wrestling.
Included in Keith’s report was a quote from Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer, relaying an anecdote from WrestleMania weekend where an unidentified TNA wrestler told him management was encouraging the roster to send out messages to contradict media reports of problems behind-the-scenes.
Neither Keith nor Meltzer were the only people talking and writing about TNA’s morale, and the reports bothered Impact‘s Maria Kanellis. She began disputing them on Twitter, using the sarcastic #LowMorale. As part of the Twitter conversation under that hashtag, Keith and Maria exchanged emails, and agreed to actually talk about the issue (what a concept!).
The above video is the discussion we had about the reports surrounding TNA currently, the experiences Maria and her husband, Mike Bennett, have creating Impact Wrestling, what she’d like the media to focus on instead of the company’s finances and what she and her co-workers are doing to change wrestling fans’ impressions of Impact.
Or, if you’re not somewhere you can watch the video, here are some of Kanellis’ comments…
On #LowMorale, and what she sees backstage:
It’s funny when we’re seeing all this stuff about that the office is telling us to Tweet about #LowMorale… that was my idea. So, it’s funny that it came across as “office” because, I guess, maybe now I’m office? Because my husband and I were talking about it and as we’re playing with a football backstage at TNA and while we’re joking with our friends and so excited about the new talent that’s been hired and then reading online that TNA has low morale, it’s funny because it doesn’t necessarily sum up what’s really going on.
Maybe there are people with low morale, but I don’t have facts on that. All I can tell you is from what I’ve seen. And from what I’ve seen is that the morale at TNA is not much different than it is at Ring of Honor, or the indy promotions that I go and hang out with my friends. So, for me, I’m excited to be at TNA and I’m excited to see all these people that are coming in to TNA and now have paychecks and now have consistent work on television. So for me it’s just very confusing.
And the reason why I wanted to talk about is I feel like the coverage is wrong. The coverage is going toward what’s going on with TNA management and investors and morale and all these things but what’s really going on is a great group of guys that is super inspired and motivated to create a whole new show. I like to refer to it as “TNA 2”, because it’s such a new group of people and we just want a positive atmosphere and a great place to work.
On working for TNA vs. WWE:
It’s funny because somebody said to me, “oh, well doesn’t that suck having to tape over four days and isn’t that terrible?” No! I worked for WWE. I had to go on the road every weekend. That was terrible! On my body, on my family, on everything. Sure, it was great to be able to be in front of those crowds, but what is reported online is not necessarily the feel of everyone in the locker room.
The talent’s perspective on investor rumors:
Mike and I are excited to be there. We surround ourselves with very positive people. We don’t know all that’s going on with investors, but that’s like if you asked me what was going on with my cell phone, it’s the same thing. I don’t have a connection with all the investors in Apple. I wouldn’t even know where to start with that. You hear rumors. But is that necessarily true? I don’t know. I’ve also been on movie sets before that had funding at the beginning of the day and then by the end of the day, didn’t have funding, and then the next day we were filming anyways, and we did have funding. So entertainment world is very, very different…
On what the roster is trying to accomplish, which is what she wishes people would focus on more:
So that’s what got under my skin. Here I am, in wrestling, excited to see TNA go from being a company on Destination America to coming to POP TV and having all of this excitement and energy and everybody really excited to be there and build something and then reading all this stuff about investors, and reading all this stuff about low morale. And while we’re hiring these new people, their stories are getting glossed over.
Everybody should be super-excited… Pepper Parks and Cherry (Bomb, aka Laura Dennis, aka Allie) have jobs on television! They are incredible talents. And because all these other side-stories are happening, we’re not really paying attention to what’s going on. Mike and I and Pepper and Cherry and Trevor (Lee) and you’ve got Allysin Kay who’s now Sienna and you have all these people who now have jobs. You have all these people that want to build something, and create something.
From this writer’s perspective, you can’t really argue with Maria’s points. She and the rest of the TNA roster are getting a great opportunity (Impact on its worst week gets more viewers than any non-WWE wrestling show in North America) and they’re trying to build something they’re proud of from that. They can’t control the “office” side of things, and she doesn’t pretend to have inside information to counter reports about dysfunction there.
There has been a near-total overhaul of the roster over the past year (Abyss, Jeff Hardy, James Storm, Gail Kim and Madison Rayne are the only people I think of as long-time TNA-ers still there), but unfortunately, they haven’t yet been able to change the conversation away from LOLTNA and “this company is still in business?” jokes for many in the internet wrestling community.
As Keith and I told her, we can’t promise we’ll stop covering the business side of things. But it’s hard to not be moved at least somewhat by an impassioned pitch from someone who loves wrestling, is happy to be working with friends and wants the product they’re creating to be given a fair shake based on its merits.
Will wrestling fans give “TNA 2” another shot, or has the bad buzz been around for too long?
Mike Bennett & Jeff Hardy In-Ring Promo:
Maria tells Hardy that may have a hearing problem and he should hang his head on every word The Miracle says.—
Maria Kanellis Backstage Segment:
Maria is talking to a producer and tells him that Dixie Carter needs to look at these papers. The producer tells Maria that Dixie is busy. Maria says that she doesn’t care if Dixie is busy, she’s the leader of the Knockouts Division and Dixie Carter needs to see these papers. Maria tells the producer to call her the president, she hands him the papers and tells him to get Jade and hand these papers off to Dixie Carter. Maria says that she’s made a major impact in the Knockouts Division. Maria hopes that Jade is smarter then Gail Kim. Maria says that every Knockout needs to realize what’s going to happen them when they cross her.
Maria Kanellis, Jade and Sienna In-Ring Segment:
Maria introduces herself. She’s the leader of the Knockouts Divsion. She’s here to make the Knockouts Division a great again. Maria has remarkable things instore for the division. Speaking of remarkable women, Maria calls out Jade. Jade music hits, but she doesn’t show up. Jade finally comes down to the ring. Maria wants Jade to see her vision. We all know what happen to Gail Kim and Maria would hate to see Jade go in the same direction. Maria wants Jade to admit her mistake. Jade says that she has nothing to admit. Maria says that she basically handed the title to Jade. Maria calls Jade a scared little girl who needs to be taught a lesson. Maria is telling Jade to lay down in the ring and hand the title over to her. Referee Brian Stiffler comes down to the ring. Maria calls herself the first lady of professional wrestling and the knockouts title would look better around her waist.
Maria tells Jade to lay down. Jade tells Maria that she’s not laying down for any man, woman or bitch. Maria says that she’s found someone who has the same vision as her and Jade is going to be in a fight tonight. Maria brings out the newest Knockout Sienna. Sienna launches Jade in the air and throws her down to the mat. Jade lands a series of forearms. Sienna drops Jade with a big boot. The brawl continues on the outside. Jade goes for the Package Piledriver on the ramp, but Sienna counters with a back body drop. Jade lands a series of knife edge chops. Sienna irish whips Jade shoulder first to the steel ring steps. Sienna rolls Jade into the ring. Maria asks Jade if she believes in her vision? Maria tells Sienna to finish her. Sienna plants Jade with a inverted face slam.
New Store Coming Soon be sure to turn on your notifications to see when Maria’s store will be opening up.
The entire Matt Hardy Brand is going to have a protest. Matt calls his brother a traitor. He’s sure that all the creatures can’t wait to see little nickel nero, get his opportunity at the TNA World Heavyweight Title tonight. That’s not going to happen. Matt is the only person that deserves to be the number one contender. Matt want’s a rematch. He’s the greatest TNA World Heavyweight Champion of all-time. The Iconic Matt Hardy is demanding TNA Management to grant him that opportunity right now. The Miracle’s music hits and out comes Maria. Bennett says that the Matt Hardy Brand needs to relax. Matt is becoming old, so he needs to cool down. Bennett says that nobody want’s to see either Hardy Boy’s with the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. What this business needs is a miracle. When Bennett becomes the champion he will be giving the entire world the opportunity to answer this question. Do you believe in miracles? Maria says yes we do. Reby says that they need to leave. This is her husband moment. Reby calls Maria a fire crotch. Matt is the greatest wrestler in the world and they don’t know who they’re dealing with. Maria says that she’s the first lady of professional wrestling. Maria asks Reby if she knows what it takes to be a lady? Reby snaps and says that she’s know how to put her ear ring, down Maria’s throat.
During EC3 and Matt Hardy’s match, Mike and Maria sit at ringside.
Matt Hardy, Tyrus and Mike Bennett w/Rockstar Spud, Reby Hardy and Maria Kanellis vs. Beer Money & Ethan Carter III
EC3 clothesline Bennett over the top rope. Bennett runs to the back with Maria as the shield.
Winner: Matt Hardy, Tyrus & Mike Bennett
Gail during an interview backstage says she has been waiting for two months to get her hands on Maria. But would’ve thunk it, Maria does what Maria always does and that’s talk. She talked her way out of the match. She talked to TNA Management and now Jade is the number one contender. Gail wishes Jade luck. Gail says that she’s going to one up Maria.
Mike Bennett Backstage Interview:
Jeremy Borash announces that the order of this gauntlet match will be determine via the spin of the wheel. Mike Bennett will be the first one here to spin the well. Bennett says that the energy you just saw out there was a miracle. Bennett said that he took a opportunity to make a name for himself when he went after EC3. Bennett gives Galloway props for taking advantage of that opportunity. Tonight he’s going to kill two bird with one stone. Bennett will fulfill his destiny to save TNA Wrestling and becoming the TNA World Heavyweight Champion. Maria hands over the entry number to Bennett and it’s unknown as to what number Bennet drew for this Gauntlet match as they walk away.
Mike Bennett Backstage Interview:
Jeremy Borash announces that the order of this gauntlet match will be determine via the spin of the wheel. Mike Bennett will be the first one here to spin the well. Bennett says that the energy you just saw out there was a miracle. Bennett said that he took a opportunity to make a name for himself when he went after EC3. Bennett gives Galloway props for taking advantage of that opportunity. Tonight he’s going to kill two bird with one stone. Bennett will fulfill his destiny to save TNA Wrestling and becoming the TNA World Heavyweight Champion. Maria hands over the entry number to Bennett and it’s unknown as to what number Bennett drew for this Gauntlet match as they walk away.
Gail Kim, Maria Kanellis and Dollhouse In-Ring Segment:
Maria says that when she acts, things change. She loves wrestling, is the first lady of wrestling, but if she faces and beats Gail again nothing will change. She spoke with management, and asked for something. She brings out the Dollhouse. Maria says she sees so much potential in them, and says they are beautiful and powerful. They have had too many leaders, but it always failed, because they did not have a leader like her. She wants them to be unique individuals, and tells them to break up the Dollhouse and become women. Marti is not impressed by this and calls her out. Maria tells them to respect her, and what she has done. She says she went to management and is giving her title shot to one of them. So they will have to kill the Dollhouse and fight, because the winner receives her title shot and she will lead them to become stars.
during the knockouts match Mariajoins the Pope & Josh at commentary
Maria Kanellis finds Dixie Carter backstage, thanks her profusely for having Mike Bennett and herself in TNA, and asks Dixie to meet up with Bennett out in the ring to tell her how she can be a part of a Miracle. She also has an idea about how she can take a leadership role in TNA, but Dixie says she saw what happened between her and Gail, and like Gail, she believes actions say more than words.
We see a Decay promo video, then we head to the arena where Mike Bennett and Maria are already in the ring. Bennett says the Miracle that is happening tonight is that TNA needs him now more than ever since one of the greatest wrestlers ever, who cheap shotted him and ducked him, by the way, is on his way out the door. That means that the Miracle will be named the #1 contender to the TNA World Title, and once that happens, he’ll be the TNA World Champion and save the world of pro wrestling. Bennett asks Dixie to come on down and make this Miracle happen, but he gets Drew Galloway instead, and Drew does not look happy. Drew says they think they just get things handed to them, but if he can offer Bennett some advice, it’s to fight more and stop running his mouth like a bitch. Drew tries to start a fight with Bennett, but Maria holds him back. Bennett says Drew begged Kurt Angle for a second match because he couldn’t do it the first time, he only has a title shot because he won it in a lottery game show, and he orders Drew to go to the back and get Dixie. Drew says he could do that, but he could also…oh, Drew suckerpunches Bennett and hammers him with punches. Bennett takes Drew down, but Drew gets on top, more punches, then nearly tears Bennett in half with a clothesline. Drew goes for the Claymore Kick, but Bennett bails out to the floor and yells at Drew for ruining his moment.
Happily married, professional wrestling couple, Maria Kanellis and Michael Bennett, share the secret to wedded bliss, and their squared circle success with JR. They talk about their decision to leave Ring Of Honor, working for New Japan Pro Wrestling, and growing the popularity of “The Kingdom.” You’ll also hear about Maria’s experiences with Donald Trump on “Celebrity Apprentice,” how she ended up spending the night in jail, and the Diva Search that led her to WWE.