We're halfway through the year, and IMPACT Wrestling has delivered some fantastic televised bouts in 2021. One of the major highlights of the promotion has been their Knockouts division. Considered by some, myself included, to be the best women's division in wrestling, there are some fantastic match-ups to choose from so far.
With the likes of Kiera Hogan, Jordynne Grace, Havok, Rosemary, Rachael Ellering, Tasha Steelz, Kimber Lee, Tenille Dashwood and, of course, IMPACT Wrestling Knockouts Champion Deonna Purrazzo, the company isn't short on any quality wrestling.
If you haven't kept up with IMPACT Wrestling this year, we're here to tell you what you've missed in regards to the Knockouts division. We'll kick off this top five list with an old rivalry between The Demon Assassin and the Kaiju Queen.
#5 Rosemary vs Havok - IMPACT Wrestling May 13th, 2021
Watching IMPACT Wrestling now, it seems that Jessika Havok and Rosemary are on their way to a shot at the Knockouts Tag Team Titles. However, these two have a pretty rough history together. They've been bitter rivals for the better part of two years, and have waged war against each other several times over, including a Full Metal Mayhem match back in 2020.
Recently, they'd both been vying for a shot at IMPACT Wrestling Knockouts Champion Deonna Purrazzo, leading to them butting heads a few more times to see who would face The Virtuosa. Their best matchup of the year so far was in May.
It started off with a handshake before they laid into each other with a series of stiff strikes. Both competitors rocked each other with a pair of big boots, and it seemed that they were an even match for one another. Havok took the reigns, though, after a nasty STO backbreaker. Havok followed with another hellacious boot in the corner that nearly took Rosemary's head off.
IMPACT Wrestling's Kaiju Queen battered Rosemary's face into the mat with rear-mounted elbows to the back of the head. It looked like they were going to call it right there, but Rosemary managed to fight back.
A great show of power in her own right, Rosemary launched Havok overhead with an exploder suplex and followed with a spear. At that point, though, Havok had enough, spiking Rosemary with a Tombstone Piledriver for the win.
The next month, Rosemary got a victory over Havok in another fun match up. When these two get together, it's a car crash of violence, and it's always a good time.
Now it seems that the two enemies will work together to take on the IMPACT Wrestling Knockouts Tag Team Champions. If that's the case, we can expect a fantastic and brutal match at IMPACT Wrestling Slammiversary next month.
#4 Jordynne Grace vs Rachael Ellering - IMPACT Wrestling May 20th, 2021
In 2020, the IMPACT Wrestling Knockouts division saw the rise of several major stars, but the two that seemed to carry the division were Jordynne Grace and Deonna Purrazzo. A powerhouse and a technician, the two had some of the best matches for the company last year and haven't slowed down.
While Purrazzo continued to reach new heights, becoming a two-time IMPACT Wrestling Knockouts Champion, Grace has struggled. Though she eventually won the Knockouts Tag Titles with Rachael Ellering last month, they quickly lost them back in what would be an embarrassing short reign.
Grace's frustrations and the pressure she's put on herself forced her to challenge Ellering to a match in May. Much like the previous entry, it started with a handshake. Ellering had the advantage in the early going after a nice technical exchange, and even got to show off her power by easily breaking the grip of Jordynne Grace's full nelson.
Grace hit her corner double knee and corner basement elbow combination, but failed to connect with the Vader Bomb. The former IMPACT Wrestling Tag Champions then traded various pinfalls, leading to Ellering getting the win.
This was more of a showcase for Ellering, seeing if she could keep up with Thicc Mama Pump. However, she did more than that, and these two put on a great match.
It does feel like we're heading towards a break up soon, which means the next time we see these two against each other, there will be a lot more animosity. Grace has continuously gotten into her tag partner's face as of late, and tensions can only boil over so much before these two explode.
#3 Fire 'N Flava vs Havok & Nevaeh - IMPACT Wrestling March 30th, 2021
The Knockouts are, far and away, the best women's division in professional wrestling, and part of that has to do with the way they handle their tag division.
Looking at, say, WWE's women's tag team division, those titles just seem like an after thought. Aside from last year when Sasha Banks and Bayley were holding them, they've never been a major part of that company's plans. IMPACT Wrestling, on the other hand, has made the Knockouts Tag Team Titles a truly prized possession. That has a lot to do with Fire 'N Flava refusing to let themselves be seen as anything but major players.
When IMPACT Wrestling announced they would be bringing these titles back, Fire 'N Flava, and Havok and Nevaeh were the odds-on favorites. Of course, they ended up in the finals of the tournament, and Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz won in the end. They'd go onto have a feud that went from January to March of this year.
In every match, Fire 'N Flava seem to be a better team than anyone they've faced. They're on the same page 24/7. They may be the best tag team in IMPACT Wrestling at the moment. A team has to be on their A game from start to finish or catch them off guard in order to beat them. When Havok and Nevaeh came into this one struggling as a unit, fans knew what would happen next.
Still, it was a great match. Havok and Nevaeh were among the more dominant forces in IMPACT Wrestling but it never seemed like they were fully in control, if that makes any sense.
Hogan and Steelz were always just waiting on one mistake to capitalize on, and once they had control, they implemented a stick-and-move offense. While keeping out of the arm's reach of the challengers, they kept one another fresh, tagging in and out.
Havok and Nevaeh kept their heads on a swivel as best they could, but the teamwork of Fire 'N Flava was too much to handle. Though Havok and Nevaeh had both champions nearly pinned several times over, it wasn't enough.
Havok dropped Steelz with an earth-shattering powerbomb near the end of the match, only for Hogan to break it up.
After disposing of Nevaeh, Fire 'N Flava hit a fisherman's neckbreaker/frog splash combination for the win. They were at a disadvantage power-wise, but there was a major gap between the IMPACT Wrestling Tag Champions and their opponents when it came to teamwork. That's, honestly, something that defines their run at the top perfectly.
This bout also saw the ending of Havok and Nevaeh as a pair. Nevaeh turned on her partner, and after losing to Havok two weeks later was gone from IMPACT Wrestling altogether.
#2 Fire 'N Flava vs Jordynne Grace and Rachael Ellering for the IMPACT Wrestling Knockouts Tag Title Match - June 3rd, 2021
The IMPACT Wrestling Knockouts Tag Team Titles have changed hands twice since Fire 'N Flava won them. Tasha Steelz and Kiera Hogan lost the titles to Jordynne Grace and Rachael Ellering at Rebellion. A few weeks later, at Under Siege, Fire 'N Flava would regain the gold.
IMPACT Wrestling delivered one of their best episodes of the year on June 3rd. Josh Alexander and TJP wrestled for over an hour in an Ironman match for the X-Division Championship. Jake Something and Rohit Raju finished their rivalry with a great Tables match. Following all that, we got a rematch for the Knockouts Tag Titles.
In the previous two slides we talked about some major key factors heading into this match.
- Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz are more in sync with one another than any tag team in IMPACT Wrestling.
- Jordynne Grace and Rachael Ellering are struggling to get on the same page.
Knowing that, it wasn't hard to see where this one was going. Still, despite their issues, Grace and Ellering nearly pulled out another victory together.
Grace started the match off, and almost caught Tasha with a schoolboy in the opening moments. However, the trash talk from the IMPACT Wrestling Tag Champions began to get into the head of Grace, much like any opponent that faces them.
Like Havok and Nevaeh, the strength advantage was there. Grace and Ellering hit a wide variety of powerful tag team maneuvers, including a great Muscle Buster/powerbomb combination, nearly winning back the IMPACT Wrestling Tag Titles.
In the end, though, a little craftiness saw Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz divide and conquer. After laying Rachael Ellering out on the floor, Hogan leapt onto Jordynne Grace's back for a sleeper hold.
Grace slammed Hogan down, thinking that she'd outsmarted Hogan. But that was the gameplan for the champions as Steelz landed on top of Grace with a frog splash.
This further cemented Fire 'N Flava as a seemingly unbeatable team, as they always appear to be two steps ahead of whoever they face.
#1 Deonna Purrazzo vs Jordynne Grace vs Kiera Hogan - IMPACT Wrestling March 2nd, 2021
Up to this point, the IMPACT Wrestling Knockouts Champion has yet to have a spot on this list. Why's that? Well, Deonna Purrazzo rarely wrestles on free TV. However, fans got to see why that was on March 2nd, as she stole the show with Jordynne Grace and Kiera Hogan.
It was an interesting three-way, as it featured a former champion in Grace, the current one in Purrazzo, and someone destined to hold the title in the future in Hogan, already holding the IMPACT Wrestling Tag Titles.
It started with Hogan and Purrazzo, the two champions, going after Grace, who fought them off easily enough. While Grace focused on Hogan, Purrazzo sent her to the floor before locking in her Fujiwara Armbar on Hogan. Grace broke it up but faced a similar fate, being forced to drag herself to the ropes.
The three traded various maneuvers, leaving Purrazzo in the corner as Grace dropped Hogan on her head with a phenomenal Chaos Theory German suplex. She wasn't able to capitalize, though, as the IMPACT Wrestling Knockouts Champion was right back on her with an armbar attempt.
It was a match that highlighted everything each competitor brought to the table; Hogan's incredible speed, Purrazzo's technical prowess, and Grace's sheer strength. Rightfully so, IMPACT Wrestling awarded this match the main event spot.
In the end, Grace had Hogan in the palm of her hands. Though she avoided the Grace Driver, a nasty combo in the corner left Hogan in dire straits. Grace tried to finish the job with a Vader Bomb, but Hogan was pulled out of harm's way.
Though Tasha Steelz managed to save her partner from being pinned, it allowed Deonna Purrazzo to pick up the pieces and pin Jordynne Grace.