Impact Wrestling Knockout’s Division: A Look at How Stacked It’s Become

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Hi folks! Today, we’re taking a look at the seemingly stacked Impact Wrestling Knockout’s Division in 2020. Of course, due to the pandemic, we are not seeing all of them competing at the moment; although it is a promising lineup for the future. Let’s begin the list with the newer faces.

Deonna Purrazzo

“The Virtuosa” is so new she only appeared on Impact Wrestling this week. But it’s not the only time she’s been a Knockout, as Purrazzo previously featured on Impact’s lesser seen “One Night only” PPVs. Despite being 25-years-old, she has over six years experience and has wrestled all over: from WWE, to ROH, to Impact, to Stardom. Til now, she hasn’t been given the ball to show her true potential yet. But going by her latest promo, it seems the world is finally ready to see the real Virtuosa in action

Tasha Steelz

With only a few years in the business, not much is known about her. Going by the nickname “Boricua Bad Ass”, she is known primarily for her work with Ring Of Honor & NWA Powerrr. Probably the biggest name she has wrestled so far is Melina in a losing effort; although she does hold wins of Angelina Love, Marti Belle, Kris Statlander and others in multi-women matches.


She’s still got a long way to go if she wants to make an impact, pun intended. Siding with Kiera Hogan, someone who has already been established in the Knockouts Division, is a great way to start. They look set to feud with two others on this list after attacking ’em last week.


Kimber Lee

She has been touted as a future star several times, but for whatever reason it hasn’t happened for her. Originally finding success in a tag team with Cherry Bomb (aka Allie The Bunny), she was called up to WWE in 2017 and positioned in their NXT brand along with other promising independent talent. Later that year, she was renamed Abbey Laith, but results didn’t go her way and she was released the following year.

After this, she met her boyfriend Zachary Wentz (of The Rascalz) and they got married this month. So it makes sense that she would join him on the Impact Wrestling roster and finally get the break she’s worked so hard for the past nine years. She is one of the most traveled Knockouts on the roster, having worked for a vast range of promotions, including:

AAW • AIW • Bar Wrestling • Beyond • Blackcraft • CHIKARA • CZW • GCW • GFW • HOG • Impact Wrestling • IWA-MS • JAPW • OTT • PROGRESS • PWS • Queens of Combat • RevPro • RISE • ROH • SHIMMER • SHINE • SMASH (Canada) • WCPW • Wresting is… • Wrestling Revolver • WSU • WWE • WWNLive • WWR



Neveah

She is mostly known for her work in Shimmer Women Athletes (as tag team champion with Madison Rayne) and Women of Wrestling under the name Hazard. Also, she is the wife of oVe’s Jake Crist, and they are childhood sweethearts with two daughters. Neveah debuted on Impact watching Havok’s matches from afar. It was teased like she would eventually attack Havok, but instead, she rushed the ring and stopped Kimber Lee from striking her with brass knuckles.

The history between them dates way back to 2007, when she lost her debut match to Havok in Cleveland All-Pro Wrestling. Since then, the two would occasionally team up or battle each other in Shimmer, CZW and WoW. In fact, it was September when they formed a heel team in WoW. So not only has she got serious connections with The Crists & Sami Callihan, but is also really good friends with Havok. It’s difficult to say how good she is, but I’m sure we’ll find out shortly.

Kylie Rae

With only a few years in the business, Kylie is one of the least experienced Knockouts. You wouldn’t think so, but she has only been wrestling since 2016. Before this, she worked as a stunt woman for TV and movies. Many will remember her smiley face from the early days of AEW. She was often compared to WWE’s Bayley, with her overly positive attitude and always being up for a challenge. The reasoning behind her leaving isn’t public record, but Tony Khan assured the media it was very amicable.

**Kylie Rae Addresses Her Struggles With Mental Illness and Depression**

It was later revealed that Kylie had been suffering from major depression and an eating disorder. What seems likely is that she wasn’t mentally ready for the pressures of AEW, so she decided it was best to take a step back. Working with Impact Wrestling is less of a spotlight, and she can work on her craft before being moving up to a bigger platform. Kylie is currently working a storyline where she has befriended Suzie.


Tenille Dashwood

Formerly known as “Emma” in WWE, Tenille has yet to get off the ground in Impact. Having been contracted for almost a year, an injury sidelined her early on. After returning, she unsuccessfully challenged Taya Valkyrie for the Knockouts Championship, but has since disappeared again. Although she’s a solid worker, Dashwood has yet to win any major women’s championship.

Arguably, the biggest match of her career was taking on Paige to crown the first-ever NXT Women’s Champion. And then there’s the partnership with Santino Marella, which seemed like it was getting over before it ended abruptly. As a student of Lance Storm, we know she can always be relied on to have a good match. But what will it take to tip her over the edge? And don’t say “Emmalina”… that name is forbidden. Her Instagram however.


Katie Forbes

Katie is a twerk machine who spends much of her time either pleasing her man Rob Van Dam, or being worked over by her girlfriend. With incredibly thick assets (some will scream FAKE!), she isn’t shy in displaying them. So much so, that her, RVD and girlfriend Jennifer Barlow got Impact Wrestling banned from Twitch for a few weeks. Why? Because they pretty much… had a threesome in their bed with whipped cream and everything. It was clearly too much for Twitch, who found it necessary to send out a warning shot.

With how Rob & her act on TV, there comes a lot of social media hate… and this has translated in to storyline. Teaming with Joseph P Ryan (the reformed version of Joey Ryan), they make up the new stable known as “Cancel Culture”. Basically, anything remotely insulting will result in it being cancelled forever! This came about because Katie was distracting RVD during his matches, as she was unhappy with all the hate they were getting on social media. And well, it’s been put on hold during the pandemic, but it’s safe to say they will return to this gimmick soon.


Alisha Edwards

I hate to be negative, but she’s probably the least impressive Knockout on the roster. Unless she’s able to improve her ring work, she makes a good enhancement talent and manager for her husband Eddie Edwards… but that’s about it. I did like the storyline between her and Ace Austin, although it was nonsensical at times. There’s definitely a place for her, but she will end up losing most of the time unless she’s partnered up with Eddie.

In every division you need one or two who can be great at getting others over, and so far she has done the job. She’s unlikely to ever win the Knockouts title, but not everyone is destined for that kind of thing. She could very well be the Heath Slater of the Knockouts, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Kiera Hogan

One of only a few openly gay female wrestlers in the business. She’s also less than 5 feet tall. Regardless of these facts, Kiera Hogan is sure to be a champion one day. She’s improving all the time, and at 25-years-old is already showing wisdom beyond her time. Not only has she mixed it up with everybody, she has taken Tasha Steelz under her wing.

She wasn’t getting over as a face, but since switching her colour scheme from red hot to blue hot (well before Sasha Banks did it), it’s suited her a whole lot more. There’s definitely potential there, but we may have to wait another year or two til she’s able to bring it out.

Havok

As the biggest, Havok is the first former Knockouts Champion to be listed here. And while no, I wouldn’t say she’s absolutely killing it as an athlete… I do think she’s doing the job of being the divisions powerhouse. Not only that, but she can get hardcore when called upon, which is a unique asset.

Some may remember her original title run when she wore a mask and defeated Awesome Kong. She’s come a long way since then though, and I’d say she’s more reliable now. You know what you’re getting with Havok, and it’s not going to be pretty, but she will always bring the goods. Her character work is progressing, thanks to the recent storyline with Father James Mitchell, Rosemary and Su Yung. Also, as Sami Callihan’s real-life girlfriend, you know he’s going to be helping her with that side of things.

Su Yung / Suzie

One of the most intriguing characters in all of wrestling… is Su Yung. Or is it Suzie? We’re not sure. Originally, Su Yung was the leader of the undead bridesmaids and became Knockouts Champion pretty quickly. But something changed, and over time she began to lose her edge after being defeated for the title. Father James Mitchell wanted her & Havok to team together, to bring chaos and destruction to the division. But they didn’t want that, and tensions soon flared up. And it was during this feud with Havok, that we saw her being hung, killed, and resurrected. A new person walked in to Impact… and all she knows is that her name is Suzie. The other wrestlers quickly figured out she was though, so they want nothing to do with her.

Who is Suzie? Why has Su Yung become her? And what lies in her future? We don’t know. And this is what makes her compelling, because we just don’t know what’s going to happen next. Suzie keeps having flashbacks as she twitches randomly. It’s like Su Yung is trying to break out. And one time she did, when Suzie was provoked enough for it to happen. But Su Yung disappeared again shortly after and now Kylie Rae (unaware of how she was before) has befriended her. All we know is, the story of Su Yung AKA Suzie is far from complete.

Madison Rayne

Many may remember her as the third member of The Beautiful People, but she’s done so much since then. As a five-time Knockouts Champion, she is easily the most accomplished in the division. And while she recently ventured to other promotions like WWE, ROH and others, Madison soon found her way back to the place she calls home. And having done commentary in the past, she’s recently been called on to call Impact Wrestling with Josh Mathews in Don Callis’ absence.

Starting her own talk show as well, Madison is multi-talented as a wrestler, interviewer, commentator, mentor, and more. Her vast experience is a big plus for the Knockouts division. Josh is clearly punching above his weight here. Loving the chemistry they have as well… it’s almost as if they aren’t married.

Rosemary

I just love me some Rosemary. Even more so when she talks like a collective of people in one body. How do i even describe her? She’s such a natural character actor. I still think her best work was when she was with Decay (w/ Abyss & Crazzy Steve), when they invaded the Hardy Compound a few years ago. No idea what’s going on at the moment with Taya Valkyrie and Johnny Bravo, but they wouldn’t build it up for this long without something big planned.

That’s Rosemary though; we just don’t know what’s going to happen. And we can thank her for Allie’s AEW character “The Bunny”. She helped to get that over, before Allie was viciously killed by Su Yung of course. And she did well to save Havok and Su from Father James Mitchell’s clutches. Honestly, doing justice in describing Rosemary would take an article in itself. Do not underestimate us… it could happen one day.

Impact Wrestling Knockout's Division

Taya Valkyrie

377 days as Knockouts Champion is a record. She’s still not the longest of all time (third behind Madison Rayne & Gail Kim), but to say you held the title for over a year is very impressive. Granted, she did everything a closet heel champion does to ensure she defended it as seldomly as possible. With the help of the 30-day rule, Johnny Bravo, getting disqualified, or being better in general, La Wera Loca can claim to be the best Knockouts Champion ever. And as the wife of John Morrison, it feels like it’s only a matter of time til she finds her way to WWE.

She’s impressive enough, but I think Taya is waiting for a time when WWE really needs her. There’s so much competition in women’s wrestling right now, that she knows it’s best to be at the top somewhere than to be struggling to get airtime elsewhere. Maybe one more Knockouts title reign in 2020?

Impact Wrestling Knockout's Division

Jordynne Grace (Knockout’s Champion)

“Thick Momma Pump” has been compared to Scott Steiner for a while, and for good reason. When she first came to Impact, it seemed like she needed to work on her image somewhat. The end product wasn’t quite there, but she put in the time and paid her dues, and earlier this year she finally achieved by ending the reign of Taya Valkyrie. She’s got such a stacked physique that it makes sense for her to be a major contender, and it was only a matter of time.

Her ring work has improved exponentially, and the cool thing is she hasn’t reached her peak yet. There’s a big question mark on her status though, because she’s not only woman to be holding a title. There’s two female champions in Impact, and much like in WWE when you have two World Champion equivalents, you’re always asking who is the real champion? Maybe we’ll find out one day. Til then, Jordynne Grace has to establish herself as the woman to beat.

Impact Wrestling Knockout's Division

Tessa Blanchard (World Champion)

Ok, so let’s put the recent controversies to one side. Yes, there were allegations of her bullying other talent when she was younger. Sure, there were Twitter exchanges that never got fully resolved. But much like anyone anywhere, things happen and people change. And I ain’t covering for Tessa, or claim to know her personally, but it would be very fishy if Impact made her their World Champion if she still acted in a way which could be considered dubious or harmful.

Moving on from that, Tessa Blanchard holding a World Championship traditionally held by men is a whole other debate. Does it hurt the male talent? I don’t believe so. Let’s put it this way, did we ever say Spike Dudley shouldn’t be wrestling bigger guys? What about Rey Mysterio winning the Royal Rumble from #2? How about any other man smaller than Tessa to ever win anything? It’s alright for Chyna to win the IC title because it wasn’t the World title? How does that work… you can’t have a rule for one and not for another.

The fact is, Tessa is intense, strong, and tough for her stature. She’s a pretty good wrestler too. So factor in that wrestling isn’t real fighting and Tessa has spent much of her career wrestling guys… why should she be restricted? What’s the point of limiting her potential? Why make it so the World title can only be won by guys? If the male talent can accept her then why can’t others? It’s not like we ain’t seen men win women’s championships in WWE & TNA. Tessa Blanchard is World Champion, and I think she’s doing a good job so far. Shame we didn’t get to see her against Michael Elgin & Eddie Edwards though. Soon.

Impact Wrestling Knockout's Division

Conclusion

The Impact Wrestling Knockout’s Division has taken women seriously since it first introduced the championship back in 2007. They created the women’s revolution, as it became a platform for women’s wrestling to be taken just as seriously as the men’s. No longer were they about bra & panties and mud pit matches. They weren’t having to be degraded in beauty competitions. Getting ahead in the Knockouts Division, was and still is about being the best overall wrestler. And while it’s seen ups-and-downs over the years, Impact management has taken it a step further by making the Knockouts the focal point of the entire company.

Out of the three singles championships, two of them are held by women. Some of the most creative stories end up on the laps of the Knockouts. It’s no coincidence that in a time when other companies have put extra emphasis on their female talent, that Impact takes it to another level entirely. One step ahead of the game, much like they were in 2007, Impact Wrestling shows what it really means to bring equality for women’s wrestling in 2020. Could it be anymore stacked? Can Impact incorporate all of these Knockouts in to their weekly schedule? It will be interesting to find out. Thanks for reading! See you again next time.

Impact Wrestling Knockout's Division

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