THE TWO SHEDS REVIEW by Julian Radbourne
This edition of The Two Sheds Review will see us take another look at the world of women’s professional wrestling. Having recently reviewed a second Women Superstars Uncensored DVD, which wasn’t really a good example of women’s wrestling, we’re going to take a look at what is considered the best women’s division in North America at the moment – the TNA Knockouts, and this time, there will be two DVD reviews for the price of one.
The first is Knockouts: The Ladies of TNA Wrestling Volume 1. Originally released in 2006, this volume takes a look at the TNA careers of Traci Brooks, Jackie Gayda, Christy Hemme, SoCal Val, and Gail Kim. Basically, if you’ve seen any of the WWE’s Diva releases, then it’s more or less the same format. The subjects are interviewed, then we get a video montage of the girls taken from various video shoots, along with a few extras. As for the actual wrestling, well, there’s only one match, which sees Gail take on Traci in a match that was recorded especially for the DVD after an Impact taping. That for me speaks volumes about the way TNA viewed the women in their employ.
This release didn’t really do it for me. It was lacking in many aspects, and while I’m not averse to looking and beautiful women, as far as women wrestlers go, I prefer to see them actually wrestling.
TNA Knocked Out: Pro Wrestling’s Best Women’s Division, is a completely different kettle of fish. Released late last year, this release showcases the ever growing Knockouts roster, from wrestlers such as Awesome Kong, Gail Kim, The Beautiful People, to those who don’t see much in-ring action such as Sharmell, Karen Angle and SoCal Val, right down to Lauren the backstage interviewer. Like the previous release, there are interviews where the subjects talk out of character and tell of their inspirations and aspirations, but there’s also a ton of matches on here, ranging from the excellent feud between Gail and Kong, Taylor Wilde’s upset title win, and the Make Over Battle Royal, which saw an emotional Roxxi, for me one of the top female stars in the world at the moment, getting her head shaved. There’s also a bonus disc, and it’s something of a surprise that that particular disc is dedicated to the departure of Gail Kim. It shows her final ever interview, and her final TNA match against Kong. It says a lot for the esteem that she is held in that TNA didn’t do a hatchet job on her.
In conclusion – while the first Knockouts release was very disappointing, the second was excellent. The Knockouts often steal the show on pay-per-view, and after just two years you can see why they’ve become one of the best things about TNA at the moment, and although the division will never be the same without Gail Kim, this division, with the support of TNA management and fans like you and me, will continue to thrive and grow for years to come.