This is part of my TNA Sacrifice 2009 Review Series. If you have read the first part, welcome back! If you are new to the series, you will find a summary of my ranking system in the first part.
Wondering whether the event is worth it to see a replay or the DVD? Wondering about the effectiveness of the show? Not everyone sees PPV's, so some the analysis here could be useful.
Continuation of the Review:
Kurt Angle is working up backstage, with MEM security behind him. There is a brief and small “out of shape” chant which I found amusing. This segment was just used to briefly hype the main event.
We see some shots of the crowd as he commentators segue into the next match. The appropriate video package is shown.
TNA Knockouts Championship match: TNA Knockouts Champion Angelina Love vs. Awesome Kong (with Raisha Saeed)
I feel it would have been better to put Nash vs. Joe first as that match seems to have had less impact on the card and less importance, as it wasn’t promoted as a grudge match.
This match was very relevant to have, but was weakened as the ending was inappropriate considering Kong’s mindset. Her attitude was not evident in how the match ended, which significantly weakened possible impact.
TNA has gone back on track with Angelia Love’s use after The Beautiful People lost credibility for a period of time.
This match should have happened on this night, but Angelina Love should have been handled in a better way after Roxxi changed from The Voodoo Queen. She still has some credibility to regain and that negatively affected the atmosphere of this match in a minor way.
Right from the beginning, a “Kong’s gonna kill you” chant begins.
I love the beginning of this match where we have a hesitant and reluctant Angelina Love, pre-emptively attacked by Awesome Kong and thrown across the ring quickly like a rag-doll.
Kong came across as powerful and the camerawork was perfect. In this match, the story is that Kong is exacting vengeance. She is motivated and calculating- the beast has awakened and focuses on her victim.
Kong moved quicker than she normally does at the very start, not because she was wrestling any better, but to convey the message. Unfortunately, the match was hurt by having, overall, too slow a pace.
Love ran around the run with her arms raised, which was corny but made sense for Love’s character. She then proceeded to try to escape into the crowd.
After that failed, after she fell to the ground she clutched to a pole. After a few seconds, Kong quickly kicked her hands away.
Kong didn’t work a really fast style here, which was appropriate- Kong is savouring every moment, she isn’t in a blind rage. Still, after the very beginning, she showed inconsistency without a good reason by slowing down the pace.
Kong repeatedly Irish whipped her into the barricade and finished her by grabbing her legs and slamming her into it.
Kong didn’t neglect her facial expression. She didn’t go overt like Love does, who went for that sometimes apprehensive, sometimes scared look.
Kong is a smarter performer than that. She clenched her jaw and didn’t change her expression to much, so as to look the behemoth, but at the same time she conveyed the impression that she savouring the moment.
When Kong is hurt, she looks annoyed as well as pained. Sometimes this results in a constipated look.
Sometimes she goes just for annoyed look but it didn’t come across as well as it could have been. Kong is able to go past her normal limits in terms of expression in a match like this, but she didn’t do that in this match.
There is some great camera work at one stage where Kong methodically kicks Angelina who is trying to get away.
There wasn’t a lot of variety at the start, but each move- and each repetition- mattered. There wasn’t anything thrown away.
This match wasn’t entertaining in the same way as the previous matches, but was entertaining in the ‘watching people we don’t like get their just desserts’ way.
It is interesting to note that the pace again slowed for this match.
Love had a feel of desperation about her and when she capitalised it was always credible. Love isn’t a smart persona; she’s an opportunistic, manipulative persona.
She is not nearly on the level of, say, Edge or Randy Orton, who are intelligent characters and opportunistic and manipulative, but where she finds opportunities, she takes them.
That was good for this match. It was about survival, not the 1-2-3 or even the TNA Knockouts Championship, which made the extensive use of the outside in the early going a wise move. It put the emphasis on the right area.
After a big clothesline which resulted in Love’s head impacting with a sizable thud, a “Kong” chant broke out.
Selling had some nice touches, such as when Kong drags Love to the ring. During this time, even disoriented, Love tries to move away from Kong, who quickly pulls her back in close. This is a minor touch, but for those that notice it, it helps to send the message.
Selling was overall done better than standard matches, through Love’s facial reactions, which was a focus due to the storyline.
This match would been more entertaining and better overall if this match were at a faster pace and that was shown in the crowd response which was below what it should have been.
A quicker pace also would give extra time to use, which could have been into allowing for a greater variety of moves to be used, which would have made it more entertaining.
Post-match, we see Kong showing more depth of expression. More of that expression in the match at certain times would have helped. It worked perfectly post-match though. Love likewise does better in her selling post-match than during the match in my opinion.
Love does a nice dazed motion. On the mat, however, she looks sultry instead, which is different to just looking good.
I'm not sure whether that is a good thing or not. I did a different picture this time around because I found it interesting how she could accomplish that. Edit out the referee's hand and it is similar in some ways to those photo shoots they do.
The crowd response is better post-match. There is another perfect camera angle post-match. Kong leaves to a small “Kong” chant.
Placement: 5.2- Average
Crowd Response: 3.4- Below average
Relevance: 7.2- Above average
Pacing 3.7- Below average
Selling: 7.0- Above average
Cohesion: 8.2- Well above average
Timing: 6.4- Generally average, but had some standout moments
Moves: 6.5- Generally average, but had some standout moments
Entertainment Value: 5.3- Average
The Test of Time: 4.5- Generally average, but went below at times
Overall: 57.4- Not up to the usual standard of Knockouts’ matches. This seemed more like a throw-away match than a showcase for the brutality of Kong and the resourcefulness of Love.
Any comments? Other opinions? Feel free to contribute. Everyone places different weight on what they see. The more opinions known, the easier it is for people to determine whether they want to see it.
This match suffers from a common problem. Many matches have the wrong pace and this gives the match a completely different feeling. Most of those matches go too slow, but there are other matches that go too fast.
Its important to have the right pace and the right amount of contrast of pace, to maximise entertainment value and to fully convey the message.
This match on the whole, didn't really show a different side to Kong, which hurt this match. Again, that had more to do with pace than move selection. You'll be amazed how benefited slow, psychological matches are when the pace is overall sped up, while retained the other elements.
This is partly why matches from the 70's and 80's have had many great brawls in particular. Brawls and survival matches in particular, need the right pace to succeed.
As a slower pace has been perceived as more suitable, partly due to WWE's adoption of a sport- entertainment style in the 80's, more matches have used the wrong pace.
The right pace has nothing to do with what people are used to. Its not about working faster than most matches; the right pace is about sending the message of the match and conveying the emotion better.
This match could have been brutal is the pace was faster. A few more slams would have helped too, but in this match, the move were very suitable considering the motivations of the characters.
Kong generally isn't threatened and so works a moderate pace. Her opponents respond either with caution, resulting in the same pace, or take the fight to her, in which case they work a faster pace and Kong doesn't.
In this match, however, Kong is on the offensive. She needs to work a faster pace. She did that briefly at the beginning, but then reverted back to her normal ways.
This didn't bring the match down, as Kong's motivations made this acceptable, but it did prevent the match from having a greater impact.
This match works for storyline purposes, but the execution was lacking. Working with a character like Kong has challenges as the best way to keep a character fresh and interesting is to develop it and show different sides.
Characters like Kong generally find themselves in the quagmire of repetition. They get used to a certain style and a certain pace and without the right atmosphere, it can be difficult to fully bring out a different side.