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Top 7 Impact Knockouts Champions

November 20, 2020 | Posted by Steve Cook
Taya Valkyrie Impact Wrestling

Deonna Purrazzo wants to be the greatest Knockouts Champion of all time.

It’s an admirable goal. TNA Knockouts were getting things done long before WWE decided to take their women’s division seriously. TNA saw that their women were getting more attention and having good matches & storylines, and played into it. It was a good time to do so, since it was at that time where WWE was finding talent from swimsuit pictures & giving women two minute matches if they were lucky. Back in my day, TNA Wrestling gave me the women’s wrestling content on a semi-major outlet I was looking for.

Eventually WWE bought in, and the game changed for the better. More options for the ladies isn’t a bad thing. Now we’re at the point where people wonder why Impact still has a “Knockouts Championship” instead of a women’s championship. My answer to that is that nobody has considered “Knockout” a bad term yet. “Diva” was problematic. “Knockout”…not so much.

Purrazzo is supportive of the “Knockout” term, and wants to claim her spot on top of that group. Here are seven ladies she needs to out-shine as champion.

7. Rosemary

Rosemary’s run as champion came at a strange time. There were different brands claiming control of the Impact Wrestling show. Things got weird. I think it helped Rosemary’s cause that she was weird, so the higher-ups left her alone. One of the most dangerous people in the history of Impact Wrestling. 266 days as champion.

6. Angelina Love

I know I’ll get some heat for ranking Angelina this low. 6-time Knockouts Champion, second-most of all time. If I just looked at that stat, she’d be a lot higher on the list. It’s when you dive deeper into the stats that things become clear.

Sure, second-most title reigns. However, seven people held that title for more days. Love’s longest title reign sits at 67 days, which considering she had six of them, is downright appalling. I can’t say it’s her fault that her peak coincided with Vince Russo being the booker, but her status among the all-time Knockouts Champions certainly suffers for it. No wonder she’s so mean to Quinn McKay these days.

5. Taryn Terrell

A lot of people didn’t take Taryn seriously when she wanted to be taken seriously as a wrestler. She got into the scene as an ECW general manager. She made some in-ring appearances with WWE, but her biggest moment with WWE involved an incident with her then-husband, Drew McIntyre, which got her fired. We won’t comment on that here, since we weren’t there.

We will comment on her TNA/Impact Wrestling tenure. I remember being in attendance for an OVW match between Taryn & Taeler Hendrix, which was a solid piece of business. Taryn went on to impress people in TNA, have some surprisingly good matches and hold the Knockouts Championship for a surprising amount of time. She went against all the top Knockouts too, pretty much anybody you could name, including almost everybody else on this list. Taryn only had one reign, but she made it count.

4. Taya Valkyrie

377 days. That’s the record for longest Knockouts Championship reign, and it’s held by Taya Valkyrie. I’ll be honest. At first I thought it was one of those reigns that didn’t have a lot of defenses. Impact has had some stretches where they went a bit quiet, not as quiet as the NWA, but still quiet. Taya made a pretty consistent string of defenses for 377 days. She defended the title 14 times, which by my math makes it slightly more than once a month.

A lot of folks thought she might disappear when her husband went to WWE. Taya has remained loyal to Impact, and taken part in some things. I’m not saying she shot John E. Bravo, but that mystery remains unsolved. All we know for sure is that Taya put together a memorable reign, one that will be tough to surpass considering the parity in the division.

3. Madison Rayne

The Locker Room Leader and current co-host of Impact Wrestling had a couple of questionable reigns that made me dock her some points. But let’s not get things twisted. Madison Rayne has been one of the best TNA/Impact Wrestling Knockouts, and adds a lot to the current product with her commentary alongside Josh Mathews. Josh has never been better on commentary than alongside his wife, and you can hear the chemistry there. It’s a great announce team, and I’m glad that Impact hasn’t felt the need to add Don Callis or another third voice there. Even if Don is a great commentator he sees the chemistry there too, which is why he only horns in on PPV shows and when AEW asks him to call Kenny Omega PPV matches.

Madison might have been a later addition to The Beautiful People, but she completed that group and made it dominant. With all due respect to Velvet Sky & Angelina Love, once they added Madison, the group had a worker. Somebody that could get it done in the ring. Madison brought that, and she had a personality too.

2. Awesome Kong

The most dominant female in North American wrestling history, you know, that didn’t train everybody and take their money for multiple decades. I was surprised that Kong only had two reigns and only had the fourth most days with the championship in history. I expected higher numbers on each side, because Kong was just that dominant. She laid waste to all in her path.

The problem, I suppose, was the same problem male super heavyweights run into. There’s only so much time folks at a certain weight can be at the top of their game. Kong never found that same level of dominance she had in the early days of the Knockouts division anywhere else. A shame. All I can say is that at her peak, Awesome Kong was the most dominant Knockout that ever existed.

1. Gail Kim

There are some people that are better anywhere other than WWE. On the male side, my main example is Scott Steiner. Scott was awesome throughout his tenure in WCW, whether it was part of his tag team with his brother Rick or as a singles star. It always worked. The Steiner Brothers had their WWF run, and as great as they were, they didn’t quite connect with those fans. They got out of there and went back to WCW, and it worked. Scott resisted a singles push forever since he loved teaming with Rick, but when he finally accepted it, it worked. When he went to WWE in late 2002, it didn’t work. When he popped up in TNA afterwards, it worked again. Scott Steiner was always awesome in TNA whenever he appeared. Even in more recent years when Impact Wrestling was the brand name and he was just making a cameo for one reason or another, it worked! People love the Big Bad Booty Daddy. I don’t know why that doesn’t translate to WWE.

Gail Kim is in that same boat. She got some early indy buzz. When she got to WWE, a lot of us realized she was good, but she didn’t connect to that audience. I have no explanation why, as she was a gifted performer that had a great look and should have clicked all the boxes for WWE. For whatever reason, she never connected there. She did connect in TNA. She was the second for America’s Most Wanted for one of their best runs, and once TNA established a Knockouts Championship, she was the obvious first choice for champion. Her lack of connection with WWE’s audience was even more appaling when she went back, and did nothing there. Like, what the hell? If you watched her in TNA she had the work down, and nobody would say the look was a problem, so how did WWE never milk Gail Kim for all she was worth the same way they try to milk all of ther current talents for all they’re worth?

That might be one of pro wrestling’s true Unsolved Mysteries to me. How WWE missed the boat on Gail Kim will forever be a mystery to me. She’s done well for herself and is happy with her current life, so things worked out for the best for her. Even if some of Gail’s later reigns were adding-on to make sure she had the most reigns, she made enough of an “impact” with her earlier reigns to establish herself as the best Knockouts Champion of all time.

article topics :

Impact Wrestling, Steve Cook