Well it seems we've almost inexplicably found ourselves once again in that eventful week that has one TNA PPV on Sunday and then a WWE one the next Sunday, with a whole week's worth of build up to whatever matches are taking place. This week also happens to be the final edition of NXT as we know it as it's apparently all set to stop being taped along with Smackdown and instead has been taped three episodes in advance with FCW. Don't expect some Diva action until the third episode. Anyway let's get to business...
Sacrifice - Gail Kim* vs Brooke Tessmacher (Knockouts Championship):
So Brooke has ditched the average coats for a long personalised robe that goes with her ring gear. I like it and it suits her, even if it's been done loads of times before. I'm only just noticing Brooke's hair flip. I know she used to do that thing where she took her hair out of the bun but did she always hair flip? Anyway before I get to the in-ring action I want to say I'm happy Gail came down to the ring without Madison Rayne because that woman has a habit of commanding all the attention to herself whenever she's at ringside. Now for the match, I loved it. This was much better done than their non-title match on Impact and Gail's match with Velvet. Here Brooke is still very green so it actually makes sense to book her as an underdog whereas Velvet was a former champ and accomplished star so having her dominated so much didn't look right. Brooke however gave Gail a run for her money in the classic underdog way. Her hurricanrana was impressive - she jumped right into it a la Evan Bourne (come back soon bro). That was an interesting story to tell with Brooke constantly going for Eat Defeat and it was one I really liked. She'd beaten Gail with her own finisher before so she was trying to do it again, this time to win the title and add insult to injury. Gail's heat surprised me as well. In her matches with Mickie and Tara there was big move after big move to wear them down but here there was a lot of more basic stuff like clotheslines and more hit-and-run type tactics. I guess that makes sense considering Mickie and Tara are veterans so them being able to take all those moves during the heat is believable but with a rookie like Brooke it gives the impression that Gail thinks she'll be an easy win. However there was a bit of a drag during that part that wasn't there in those other matches, maybe giving Brooke a couple of extra hope spots could have broken that up a bit? When Brooke did regain control, I liked all of her offence. That X-factor from the corner is slowly becoming one of my favourite moves from her and I'm thinking maybe that needs a name too. The diving elbow drop was a nice touch as well because it's not a move you see women doing. I don't think I've ever seen a woman do that move before. The end was a bit out of nowhere and a bit of a copout and not really needed since the vast difference in experience means Gail shouldn't need to cheat to beat her. Though I will say that it was impressive she could get her feet all the way to the top rope. Really impressive and entertaining match. 7/10
Raw - Beth Phoenix vs Alicia Fox:
I've heard the news about the 3-hour Raw becoming a permanent thing and I can't wait. If the girls can get at least six minutes of time a week for their segments then I'll go to sleep happy on Monday nights. The match was what you'd expect it to be - short and one-sided. Alicia went for that nice headscissors she used on Natalya last week but sadly it got botched but it wasn't that noticeable. I'm just annoyed that they keep using her like this. She is too young and far too talented to be a jobber. Kelly would have made more sense since she was Layla's partner last week. I'm happy that Layla was scouting from the ramp this week because the commentary thing is really overdone these days. The after-match segment was a lot better and I like that Layla actually went and attacked Beth herself. It gave her a chance to show off more than just being the smiley-high fiving face most Divas graduate into. I know she hasn't played her LayCool character for over a year now but it's nice to see some of that feisty personality she's known for. Since she and Beth do have a bit of a history I'm expecting a lot of intensity in their match at Over The Limit. I've said it before but it has potential to be MOTY for the women if they get enough time and I'm sure they will since the majority of Diva PPV matches in the last few months have all gotten respectable time lengths. Overall rating: 5/10
Hmm from one world champion to another? I had thought from last week's Smackdown that AJ would make a full heel turn but once again the WWE writers keep us guessing and that's a great thing. I can't see where this storyline is going and I also can't wait to see where it goes. Will AJ become CM Punk's girlfriend? If she does she can expect a big boost in popularity or even just crowd reaction in general by simply interacting with him. I mean, being paired with Zack Ryder did wonders for Eve (where the hell was she this week by the way!) so it's really great to see AJ getting to interact with these main event stars, not to mention being involved in a main event level storyline. Is this going to be all an act to try and scam CM Punk out of the title so Daniel Bryan will take her back? Not sure how I'd feel about that since you wouldn't want a title change overshadowed by something AJ did. For some reason I don't see her actually being involved in the match at Over The Limit, simply appearing in a backstage segment maybe. There's likely going to be a rematch between Punk and Bryan so that's probably where she'll appear.
NXT - Maxine vs Kaitlyn:
Wow, how many times have they worked together since Maxine got called up? Well it's likely this will be the last time we'll see these two square off in a lengthy singles match since NXT is getting a drastic re-tool and all the previous storylines apparently got dropped for this week's episode. But let's talk about the match. At first it seemed to be exactly what I was expecting from them - solid action and entertaining stuff but lacking a certain oomph. My favourite bout between them had always been the one from last October with AJ at ringside but I feel this one was very strong too. It was a very unique and rarely seen bit of psychology they went for. So rarely seen that a lot of people missed out on it judging from reviews of the match. Maxine spent the whole match working Kaitlyn's neck. Anyone else notice that all her moves were targeted towards Kaitlyn's neck area? I liked seeing that since it showed the girls thinking outside the box with their psychology and storytelling. I say this about Maxine a lot but she knows how to use her rest holds and how to break the monotony of something like a chinlock by addressing the crowd. She busted out a nice new submission hold that fans of Tara and Jazz will approve of - that definitely needs to be added to her arsenal and she finished off the sequence with a nice DDT that again worked into the neck psychology. What can I say about Kaitlyn? Every week she shows her improvement in the ring - her dropkicks, clotheslines and crossbody all looked so effective. It was also good to see the return of her great combination finisher. As for Maxine's new gear, I'm not a fan of it. It's too generic, I mean she had something good going for her with the leotard and the stockings but how many women out there go for the sports bra and long tights? It actually looked the same as Maria Menounous's gear from WrestleMania and some of Rosa Mendes's outfits. And not a bit fan of those bangs Kaitlyn gave herself either. 7/10
Impact - Gail Kim* vs Brooke Tessmacher vs Velvet Sky (Knockouts' Championship):
Wow, this gives me WWE Divas 2003 vibes with the title on the line on a PPV and then being defended the very next night on Raw. Gail's probably clocked some kind of record for most successful title defences with her belt. Anyway I expected this match and now it makes sense since Gail has used cheating to beat both Velvet and Brooke in their respective title matches though I expected this to be the next PPV match, which it could well be. You gotta love that Velvet was the crowd's pick to win, though I did hear a few fans gunning for Brooke as well. You really do have to love the violent marks in TNA crowds. This match was really fun and a lot better than the last couple of triple threat matches we've seen from the Knockouts. The opening moments were expected as well with Brooke and Velvet going after Gail. They told a good story, playing up their previous partnership with a bit of hesitation to wrestle each other. They went for some really good spots like that double submission. Brooke did seem to have trouble taking the Flying Dragon but not in a way that hurt the match. Loved that double roll-up attempt as well as Gail's double missile dropkick. The end was good, not exactly a clean win for Gail but not really a weak one either. I would like to see a rematch on PPV but triple threat rematches are really hard to do right and I'm not sure if they could do it well again. I'm wondering if they'll use the finish as a way to go back to Gail vs Velvet? Oh well, the next few weeks will tell us all. In other news it was good to see ODB finally back on television and even better to see her rough it up with the guys. Wouldn't it just be like TNA to have Madison turn out to have her crush on ODB? 8/10