Wrestling Gold: The History of the TNA Knockouts Tag Team Championship
Throughout the history of professional wrestling, the business has awarded championship belts in many divisions. While some have been forgotten over the years, some titles have stood the test of time.
The WWE has seen almost 30 titles defended, but today only six remain.
TNA Wrestling began with three titles—the NWA World and Tag Team Championships as well its own X-Division title—but today it owns its own belts and fans see six titles defended between its ropes.
Ring of Honor Wrestling began with just two, but has since added another title to its ranks.
While Shimmer has only been around for a few years, the most well-known all-women’s wrestling promotion currently holds two titles.
Wrestling Gold will concentrate on the active titles of the companies listed, as well as the NWA World and Tag Team Championships, and any other active title the readers would like to see.
That’s right, if there is a championship you would like to see included, it will be added to the series.
For this edition of Wrestling Gold, I present the TNA Knockouts Tag Team Championship.
The creation of the titles was announced in late August 2009 in a backstage segment. The tournament included eight teams and began the following week.
The first round saw the teams of Awesome Kong and Raisha Saeed, Taylor Wilde and Sarita, the Beautiful People and Christy Hemme and Tara advance to the semifinals.
The finals were then determined with Wilde and Sarita and the Beautiful People advanced, and the match was setup for No Surrender.
Throughout the title's two-and-a-half year history, it has seen nine champions. So let’s get started!
Taylor Wilde and Sarita
Defeated: The Beautiful People (Velvet Sky and Madison Rayne)
Where: Orlando, Fl.
When: Sept. 20, 2009
Event: No Surrender
Title Reign: 106 days
Taylor Wilde and Sarita defeated the Beautiful People in a tournament final to become the first ever Total Nonstop Action Knockouts tag team champions.
Taylor Wilde and Sarita formed their alliance when the tournament to crown the first champions was announced. Upon winning the titles, Wilde became the first woman in TNA to hold both the Knockouts singles and tag-team titles.
In their 106 days as champions, they mostly feuded with the Beautiful People, defeating them two more times before finally losing the belts to Awesome Kong and Hamada.
After losing the titles, the two of them disappeared from programming but would return in March 2010 in an unsuccessful attempt to regain the titles.
They began a three-month losing streak, both in tag-team action and in singles matches. It ended in June when Sarita interfered in Wilde’s match with Daffney. Wilde did not want to win that way and it lead to Sarita’s heel turn and a feud between the two.
Taylor Wilde is no longer with TNA Wrestling while Sarita remains with a company with a new partner, Rosita.
Awesome Kong and Hamada
Defeated: Taylor Wilde and Sarita
When: Jan. 4, 2010
Title Reign: 63 days
Awesome Kong and Hamada were stripped of the titles on March 8, 2010 due to Kong being released from TNA Wrestling.
Awesome Kong and Hamada formed their alliance out of nowhere. They first appeared as a team in a triple threat tag-team match defeating the champions and the Beautiful People in a non-title match.
They were soon entered into a tournament to decide the No. 1 contenders which they won.
On a live three-hour edition of Impact, they defeated Taylor Wilde and Sarita to become the new champions.
After winning the titles, the team sparingly appeared until Kong’s release on the first of March. Seven days later, TNA stripped them of the titles.
Awesome Kong is now with WWE as Kharma while Hamada stuck with TNA until the end of the year.
The Beautiful People (Velvet Sky, Madison Rayne and Lacy Von Erich)
When: March 8, 2010
Title Reign: 141 days
Velvet Sky and Madison Rayne would defeat Taylor Wilde and Sarita and Tara and Angelina Love in a triple threat match. Later that night, while they celebrated their win, Lacy Von Erich asked Velvet if she was a champion as well.
Velvet said “yes” and it was later confirmed on the TNA website as all three members of the Beautiful People were recognized as champions. They would defend the titles under the Freebird Rule.
The Beautiful People formed towards the end of 2007 as Velvet-Love Entertainment with Angelina Love and Velvet Sky. Within a few months, they became the Beautiful People.
Giving the face Knockouts their own special makeovers, the Beautiful People terrorized the division for the next year.
They soon debuted the addition of a new member in Madison Rayne and Angelina would capture the Knockouts Championship two times with Velvet and Madison as backup.
In September 2009, Angelina was released from TNA due to problems over her work visa but the Beautiful People remained as Velvet and Madison. Lacy Von Erich debuted the following month and Madison soon became the leader of the group, leading the trio to this title and the Knockouts Championship for herself.
When Angelina returned, her former group feuded with her and it eventually led to the reformation of just Angelina and Velvet as the team. With the debut of Winter towards the end of 2010, tension arose between Angelina and Velvet and it lead to the breakup of the team once again.
Both Velvet Sky and Madison Rayne are still with TNA while Lacy Von Erich can be seen on the independent circuit.
Taylor Wilde and Hamada
Defeated: The Beautiful People (Velvet Sky and Lacy Von Erich)
When: July 27, 2010
Title Reign: 132 days
Taylor Wilde and Hamada were stripped of the titles on Dec. 6, 2010 when Hamada was released from TNA Wrestling.
Taylor Wilde and Hamada formed their team the same day they won the titles. The team appeared sparingly after winning the belts, only popping up on Impact and Xplosion once in a while.
By October, Hamada went to Japan and requested her release from TNA. During this time, Wilde appeared by herself with one-half of the titles if she appeared at all. Hamada was finally granted her release on Dec. 6 and the team was stripped of the titles.
Wilde would be released four days after Christmas.
Taylor Wilde is now retired from professional wrestling while Hamada can be seen competing for Shimmer and other independent promotions here in the states and in Japan.
Angelina Love and Winter
Defeated: Madison Rayne and Tara
When: Dec. 9, 2010
Title Reign: 94 days
Angelina Love and Winter defeated Madison Rayne & Tara in a tournament final to crown the new champions.
Angelina Love and Winter began to appear together in October 2011 when Winter would appear before Angelina to tell her how much of a big a fan she was.
At the time, only Angelina could see her which led to Velvet Sky worrying about her Beautiful People partner. She finally appeared for everyone to see the following month when she saved Angelina during a brawl backstage.
In December, the Beautiful People entered into a tournament to crown new tag champions but Velvet was taken out backstage. Winter replaced her, much to the dismay of both Angelina and Velvet.
Angelina soon embraced her new team and felt that Velvet was growing jealous. To prove she was not, Velvet tried to interfere on the team’s behalf but it backfired and cost them the titles.
Angelina soon started to appear out of it and became a “zombie.” The Beautiful People were no more and Angelina helped Winter in winning the Knockout’s Championship twice.
While Angelina is no longer a zombie, they remain together as a team but they do not appear too often anymore.
Mexican America (Sarita and Rosita)
Defeated: Angelina Love and Winter
When: March 13, 2011
Event: Victory Road
Title Reign: 121 days
Sarita and Rosita debuted as a team in February 2011 as cousins. The following month they joined Hernandez to form Mexican America and would win these titles at Victory Road.
By the end of the month, the stable was joined by Anarquia.
For the next three months, the stable would appear sparingly with Sarita and Rosita appearing the most. By June, the male team began demanding a shot at the Tag Team Championship and became the No. 1 contenders in July.
Around this time, only Rosita would appear with Hernandez and Anarquia due to Sarita suffering from a facial paralysis.
After losing the titles, they received their rematch at August’s Hardcore Justice but would lose the match. That same night, the men also failed in capturing tag-team gold.
A few days later, though, they defeated Beer Money to win the belts.
Sarita and Rosita then appeared mostly as valets to the champions. They continued on in that role until Mexican America lost the belts.
While still appearing by their side, Sarita and Rosita began to wrestle more and soon entered into a feud with ODB over Eric Young and the titles.
They were last seen last month in a failed attempt to recapture the titles at Lockdown and on the losing side of an eight-Knockout’s tag-team match on Impact Wrestling.
TnT (Tara and Brooke Tessmacher)
Defeated: Mexican America
When: July 12, 2011
Event: Impact Wrestling
Title Reign: 106 days
Tara and Brooke Tessmacher formed their team the same night they won the titles from Sarita and Rosita. They held onto them for about four months, only defending them a few times but appearing on a regular basis.
After losing the titles, Tara and Tessmacher stayed together but competed mostly in singles matches.
Tara would earn a shot at the Knockout’s Championship in February but would fail to reclaim the title. Tessmacher would disappear from programming while Tara stayed in storylines until April.
Tessmacher made her return on the April 19th edition of Impact Wrestling in an eight-Knockout’s tag-team match, pinning champion Gail Kim to give her team the victory.
Tessmacher then became a regular on television while Tara disappeared from storylines.
She earned a shot at the title at Sacrifice, but much like her partner, failed to win the title.
TnT are considered to still be together as a team but mostly appear as singles competitors.
Gail Kim and Madison Rayne
Where: Macon, Ga.
When: Oct. 26, 2011
Event: Impact Wrestling
Title Reign: 125 days
When Gail Kim returned to TNA last October, she aligned herself with then-vice president of the Knockouts division Karen Jarrett and Karen’s lackey Madison Rayne.
After Karen named Gail the No. 1 contender for the singles title, she granted her a shot at these belts with Madison as her partner. They won the titles and quickly defended them the next week against Mickie James and Velvet Sky in a winning effort.
A few days later at Turning Point, Gail won the Knockouts Championship.
Gail and Madison stayed together while Gail defended her single's title most of the time. When Madison became the No. 1 contender for the single's title in February, tension between the two was teased.
They lost the tag titles during this time and went one-on-one at March’s Victory Road. Gail would retain her title but their friendship and team stayed intact.
Gail Kim and Madison Rayne remain together as Gail continues to defend her Knockout’s Championship.
ODB and Eric Young
Defeated: Gail Kim and Madison Rayne
When: Feb. 28, 2012
Event: Impact Wrestling
ODB and Eric Young were brought together during the Wild Card Tag Team Tournament last December and they managed to make it to the semifinals before finally being defeated.
Young would fall in love with ODB and the former Knockouts champion soon followed suit when she fell for him as well.
EY soon asked then-general manager Sting to give ODB a shot at these titles as a gift and to his surprise, the Icon agreed and made him her partner. The bigger surprise was when they actually won the belts, but during their celebration, there were more surprises to be had.
Young proposed to ODB in the middle of the ring, and after she proposed back, the wedding was on.
Despite being teased by Sarita and Rosita, Young stuck with his love and they were married inside a steel cage on Impact Wrestling before Lockdown. At Lockdown, they successfully defended the titles against the members of Mexican America.
They disappeared afterwards but resurfaced at Sacrifice when EY lost an open challenge to Crimson.
Statistics and Final Thoughts
Most Reigns: All teams (1)
Wrestler(s) with Most Reigns: Taylor Wilde, Sarita, Hamada and Madison Rayne (2)
Longest Reign: The Beautiful People (141 days)
Wrestler with Longest Combined Reign: Madison Rayne (266 days)
Shortest Reign: Awesome Kong and Hamada (63 days)
As much as I enjoy the Knockouts division, I do not think these titles should exist.
While they serve as something to do for the less featured women of TNA the key words there are “less featured.” When given to Knockouts who are barely on the show, fans tend to forget the titles are still around until the champions pop back up.
Even when the titles are held by Knockout’s who get featured every single week, the belts just serve as a decoration of sorts.
I also believe that TNA does not have enough women on their roster to justify having another title for the division. Another problem is time. TNA only has one show a week and that two hours is not enough time to feature all six of their titles.
Perhaps if the division was bigger and TNA had a second show the titles would be worth while to keep.
With Eric Young being one-half of the champions right now, I have a feeling that the titles may be on their way out soon. While it is always sad to see a title abandoned, it may be for the best in terms of this title.
They just do not mean anything for the division.
If TNA was able to bring some meaning to the belts and make them just as important as the Knockout’s Championship then I would probably change my mind.
For now, though, I think the titles should be scrapped.
Thanks for reading! Come back next week as the tag-team titles continue with the WWE Tag Team Championship!
The title “Wrestling Gold” thought up by editor Jeff D. Gorman