SPOILER ALERT: If you are purists and want nothing to do with the knowledge of future episodes of TNA Impact Wrestling, you might want to turn back now. Otherwise, feel free to cheer at the end of this column with the knowledge I'm about to disclose......
For the past couple of months, TNA has been narrowed down to 5 Knockouts on their roster: Lei'D Tapa, Velvet Sky, Brooke Tessmacher, ODB, and Gail Kim. In an earlier column, I made the statement that the coming weeks would see a prominent return and, in my humble opinion, there are few Knockouts in TNA's history who have been a better heel than the one returning......Madison Rayne. Yes, she is about 2 months out from having a baby, but she's as tough as they come AND she makes something possible that wouldn't surprise me one bit.....the banding together of one of TNA's most famous long running tandems.....The Beautiful People.
Could it happen? I think it could. While Chris Sabin has been playing the heel over the course of the past couple of months, I have yet to see indications of Velvet playing into that persona. In fact, it MIGHT be possible to see Sabin make a face turn gradually over the course of the next few months IF Velvet and Rayne reunite to take on Kim and Tapa. I won't tell you guys HOW the return happens, but you'll know it when you see it. So what does this mean for the state of the Knockouts Division?
TNA is, even now, looking to rebuild their long-suffering Knockouts Division after giving time off to Taryn Tarrell during the tenure of her pregnancy and the releases of Mickie James and Tara. I won't lie, all were big losses, especially since the original plans called for Tarrell to win the Knockouts Title at Bound for Glory this year, but Tara and James ALSO came with a big price tag and very little guarantee for a tenure that benefitted the long term plans TNA has for the division as a whole. I can't blame upper management for letting them go as they do need to cut some higher costs in order to benefit the bottom line. It did, however, leave a big gap in the division and THAT is where Madison Rayne shines. Rayne was, without a doubt, the single most improved wrestler on the entire roster when she broke away from the Beautiful People, establishing herself as a dominant presence.
Another division that is slated for overhaul is the X Division, which comes with the return of ANOTHER member who has been out for months....Zema Ion. As difficult as it has been for me to truly get behind him, it has been painfully obvious that he's been gone. Some might dispute me on this, but I found myself missing his highspots and even the hairspray, oddly enough. But his return and the rebuilding of the division under the tutelage of Austin Aries and Chris Sabin as the veterans makes me believe that good things are coming down the pike for the X Division as well.
With TNA back the Impact Zone, at least in the short term, and having unloaded some hefty contracts, they NOW are able to make some decent offers to a few talents on their radar, among them being a couple from Ring of Honor and the return of some old favorites. Homicide, Rubix, Gregory Helms, and Joey Ryan have been in TNA's sights of recent and, from what I'm told, John Morrison is also a strong contender, though nothing is set in stone as of this post. With Ion's return, and the promise of returns and debuts in the coming months, rest assured that business is going to be picking up for TNA's other specialty division ramping into their PPV schedule to start the new year.