This past Thursday, TNA Wrestling provided fans with another Gut Check special. Not since early January, when Jay Bradley was awarded a contract over Brian Cage, have we seen a Gut Check match on IMPACT.
Gut Check allows young, unsigned, and hungry talent the opportunity to showcase their skills on the main stage in IMPACT Wrestling. Win over the judges after one match and one promo, and this unsigned wrestler may land a spot on the IMPACT Wrestling roster.
This was the tenth Gut Check since its introduction to TNA television, but only the second one to ever feature only Knockouts. The first Knockout to earn a contract through Gut Check was, of course, Taeler Hendrix.
This month's competitors were former WWE NXT Diva, Ivelisse Velez, and second generation wrestler, Lei'd Tapa.
The match itself was actually more enjoyable than the Knockouts Championship match, which happened earlier in the night.
The match between Velez and Tapa had signs of the classic underdog story, and the two worked a fun match with their individual styles meshing really well.
Tapa, the bigger of the two, would utilize her size and strength advantage, while Velez would rely on her speed and MMA background to take down the second generation wrestler.
The finish saw Lei'd Tapa arguing with referee, Taryn Terrell over a nearfall on Velez. In the midst of arguing, Velez was able to exploit Tapa's error and lock in a nice guillotine for the submission victory.
This match draws parallels to the last Gut Check match between Jay Bradley and Brian Cage. Both competitors really have something special to offer IMPACT Wrestling, and I find myself pulling for TNA to sign them both.
While Ivelisse is more prepared for prime time television, Tapa brings a presence that hasn't been seen since the days of Awesome Kong or Rhaka Khan.
The Knockouts division is in dire need of new blood, and TNA has seemingly found two great women who can help with that issue.
If it were up to me, I'd like to see Ivelisse Velez be signed to an IMPACT contract and be placed on TV as soon as possible, while working out any scheduling issues between her MMA career of course. I'd also like to see Lei'd Tapa get signed to a TNA developmental (OVW) contract.
Velez is the more experienced of the two, but it's tough to pass up on either one. Both of these ladies, Ivelisse Velez and Lei'd Tapa, deserve a contract within IMPACT Wrestling.
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