IMPACT Wrestling: The Knockouts Division Is Unmatched

IMPACT Wrestling Image provided by IMPACT/AXS
IMPACT Wrestling Image provided by IMPACT/AXS /

There isn’t a division on the level of Impact Wrestling’s Knockouts Division.

IMPACT Wrestling’s women’s division has pulled itself up by its bootstraps from almost certain failure with the mass exodus of their stars from 2017 and 2018.  The division has rebuilt a truly impressive roster that deserves to be considered one of the best divisions in the world today.

With the recent additions of former NXT superstar Deonna Purrazzo and WOW: Women Of Wrestling star Nevaeh, IMPACT Wrestling has continued to build out one of if not the most diverse and talented women’s division in wrestling today.

From imposing bruisers like current IMPACT Women’s Champion Jordynne Grace and Current World Champion Tessa Blanchard to talented technical wrestlers like newcomers Tasha Steelz and Kylie Ray and fantastic character work from the likes of Rosemary and Su Yung as well as a growing tag team division, IMPACT Wrestling has quietly established itself as the most impressive and diverse women’s division in the world.

Even with exciting performers like Sasha Banks, Naomi, and Kairi Sane who are all capable of putting together some truly incredible bouts, WWE seems hesitant to give their women the reigns and allow them to run roughshod over the wrestling world.

Even with a recent influx of former IMPACT talent in the way of Mia Yim, Chelsea Green, and indy darlings like Candace LeRae, WWE is not letting their women run the show.

While RAW and SmackDown have benefited from the “women’s revolution” as well as an infusion of exciting NXT talent, WWE has shown that with a few notable exceptions women’s wrestling will always be considered a second class art form in the company and across the brands.

With no real women’s divisions to speak of in Major League Wrestling and the Women of Honor division being all but an afterthought even when live tapings were taking place, we have to turn our attention to relative newcomers in the game from Jacksonville, Florida, All Elite Wrestling, for the next real contender.

All Elite’s women’s division started with such promise and in some way’s has begun to live up to the expectations leveled against them. While the short history of the company has only allowed for three champions, each of those women has been very impressive in their reigns with the gold and Dr. Britt Baker DDS (also an IMPACT alumnus) is putting together some of the best character work of her career while injured. But the rest of their division lacks focus.

The inaugural women’s champion Riho has not been seen on AEW television since March of this year and while Nyla Rose’s reign was impressive with her destruction of challenger after challenger she has yet to recapture the intensity and impact that she had while chasing after the title and subsequently holding it since she lost her title to current champion Hikaru Shida at Double or Nothing.

While some of the lack of clarity in the AEW women’s division can surely be attributed to the current situation we find ourselves in with empty arena shows becoming the new norm and no crowds to speak of to feed off of as a performer the totality of the blame cannot be placed at the feet of the virus.

AEW was established on the basis of offering something different in the world of Professional Wrestling and giving us, the fans, stories that matter and giving those who may have been overlooked the chance to shine. They more than succeed in that goal with their men’s division, but fall disastrously short with their women.

With incredible indy talents like Big Swole, Kris Statlander, Bea Priestly, Leva Bates, Penelope Ford, Allie, and others in their ranks. It is frankly disappointing that the division seems to have been relegated to one mid-card match per tv taping if they are lucky and one or two matches on PPV with very little build or story behind them.

The division could very well grow and gain influence and cause me to eat my words by allowing these incredible women to have the freedom and creative influence over the product that the men in the company are allowed. Giving them the chance to showcase their skill to the world. I truly hope it does but for now, it is just a dull spot on the otherwise bright landscape of women’s professional wrestling today.

Our final contender among companies in direct competition with IMPACT is the recently reinvigorated NWA Women’s Division. This division also benefitted from the IMPACT exodus of 2017 – 2018 when they landed former two-time knockouts Sienna and built their women’s division around her as the new champion.

With stars like Thunder Rosa and Marti Belle filling out their ranks the NWA does truly have some very impressive performers even if their bench isn’t particularly deep. With only six women currently signed to the brand (former WWE Divas champion Melina, Ashley Vox, and Kamille being the other three) it is admittedly hard to take their division seriously.  The promotion is only a year into their reintroduction to the wrestling world and the women’s division will surely grow but with their current set up they won’t be taken seriously, at least not yet.

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IMPACT Wrestling has been consistently on the fringe of pro wrestling. From six-sided rings to being the landing pad for washed-up stars from our youth. They have cut out a niche for themselves in the wrestling world quickly becoming the place where young talent cuts their teeth and gets the reps to propel them to the grander stage. They are beginning ever so slowly to be taken seriously by wrestling fans and critics alike once again. The credit is theirs and theirs alone but a lions share of it rightly lays at the feet of their women’s division.