After a month's absence, I have returned to Bleacher Report and am hoping to be here on a much more regular basis. Now, enough of that intro, let's get back to the exploration of the hottest topics, issues in TNA Wrestling today.
In this edition of Knockouts Korner, we're going to be talking about the upcoming May Sacrifice pay-per-view and how last year's event and recent events help shape it's outcome and shake up the TNA scene for good.
Let's get started.
Last year at TNA's May PPV Sacrifice, the Knockouts competed in the first-ever Makeover Battle Royale, in which Gail Kim won the No. 1 contender spot for the Knockouts title and Roxxi had her head shaved.
Following the match, everyone thought a huge push would be in line for the former Voodoo Queen, and many thought she'd hold the title belt by the end of the year.
Instead, Roxxi got a gimmick change and saddled with a mediocre push and placement in a storyline involving a Sarah Palin impersonator.
Doesn't seem like good pay off for the sacrifice she made, if you ask me.
But this year could be different. If TNA chooses to do a second Makeover Battle Royale, there's a lot of potential, primarily involving the Beautiful People, and it's being foreshadowed now.
Balding the Beautiful People
Since Madison Rayne has joined the ranks of the Beautiful People, we have seen her being "initiated" into the group, which has taken on more of the sorority approach, with Cute Kip being relegated to the behind-the-scenes employment line.
Rayne and her counterparts Angelina Love and Velvet Sky have been cutting other knockouts' hair, or at least attempting to. With this year's Sacrifice set for May 24 at the Impact Zone, these "initiation tasks" could be a foreshadowing for the next battle royale.
If that's the case, there's huge opportunity to change the face of the Beautiful People, and possibly the Knockouts division as a whole.
Here we go
The match goes on, with the Beautiful People pretty much dominating. Rayne gets eliminated fairly early, however, she stays at ringside cheering on her counterparts.
The final three people in the match are Love, Sky and whichever babyface they're battling at the time (I suggest Taylor Wilde).
Getting caught up in the excitement, Love and Sky eliminate Wilde, meaning they must now wrestle to a pinfall to see who gets the title shot and who ever loses gets their head shaved.
They start freaking out and trying to figure out how to handle the situation. Finally, they agree to just walk away and not officially end the match.
As they start to leave the ring, Traci Brooks' music hits.
She comes out and declares that as Knockout Law, she's decided the match must continue to a pinfall finish or they'll both have their head shaved.
Love starts arguing with the referee and distracting him, and as she does, Rayne sneaks into the ring and lays out Sky with a chair. Love turns around, sees Sky on the ground and gets the pinfall 1-2-3. She and Rayne then leave the ring celebrating, as a dizzy Sky comes to and realizes what happened.
As Sky gets her head shaved, both heel and babyface Knockouts come out trying to comfort her for what happened, but she goes ballistic on everyone. It's not clear after Sacrifice if she'll remain a heel or have a babyface turn.
On Impact the next week, Sky calls out her Beautiful People cohorts, who seem sympathetic. Love tells Sky that it was just business and something had to happen. She goes on an egotistical rant about how she's the more beautiful of the Beautiful People and says Sky will have to take sabbatical from the group until she can get her beauty back.
During a match between Love and Wilde later that night, Sky comes out and tries to attack Love with a pair of scissors, but she's stopped by Rayne, who gives her the paper bag treatment.
Wilde clears the ring and comes to Sky's aid, calling out the other babyface knockouts.
Over the next few weeks, Sky continues to resist help from Wilde and company but slowly becomes more accepting. This prevents her from having an instantaneous face turn and better fits her character. She can even try to keep making herself the alpha babyface and claiming she's more qualified than the rest of them.
While Love feuds with champion Awesome Kong (now a fan favorite babyface), Sky begins seeking retribution on Rayne. After several months, Sky wins the feud and becomes one of the top babyface knockouts on the roster, possibly even holding gold for a short period of time.
While TNA may not want to split up the ever-hot Beautiful People, this would be a way to shake things up and split up the team in a clever way that wouldn't include a generic face turn for any of them.
There could also be a double-turn and someone else could join the Beautiful People, though in my opinion, the group could thrive with Love, Rayne and a male presence (not a fashionista like Cute Kip but rather a love interest character, which will come up in a future column).