Cheerleader Melissa in TNA
Sometimes it's just as important to study the failures, not only the successes that a company has. TNA's mid to late 2000's Women's Division is often pointed to as a shining beacon in the sea of terrible women's wrestling in his American Professional Wrestling history, and rightfully so. The Gail Kim Vs. Awesome Kong feud is probably one of the best feuds in American Professional Wrestling of the past 15 years. With that being said, there was more to TNA's Knockouts's division than just that and the good times did not last forever.
Both Ayako Hamada, who was working here as just Hamada, and Cheerleader Melissa, who was working here as Alissa Flash, are incredible wrestlers. In this 4 minute and change dark match they get the crowd invested and heated. A feat that is much easier said than done. Melissa teases the crowd with removing her entrance jacket, but never actually does. A simple, but effective trick to get under the fan's skin in a short period of time. The match is executed well. Hamada wins with a Hamada driver.
These are two women that should have been working PPV's, but instead, they were here working web exclusive dark matches. Flash at the tail end of her run with the company. She competed in two more matches after this. A dark match loss to Sarita, and a battle royal. Hamada would stick around for another year before leaving the company in the fall of 2010. The Impact Women's division, in general, started taking more of entertainment over wrestling quality with various members of The Beautiful People, ex-WWE wrestler Tara(WWE's Victoria), and ODB dominating the Knockouts belt for most of the next two years. A talented set of women in their own right, but not ones that could consistently deliver the match quality that Ayako and Melissa could.
Around the time this match was taking place, the company was starting the Hulk Hogan-Eric Bischoff Era of TNA. An era that saw the company reach it's the highest viewership early on, but one that also drove the company into ruin by the end in 2013. During that time that Knockouts would have ups and downs in quality. Even at it's worse, the Knockouts Division didn't negatively affect the company much. Nowhere near what Bubba The Love Sponge did for example. But one has to wonder if the company would have been a bit stronger if the Knockouts division would have been producing high-quality matches consistently at a point when the company was unstable.
If this match would have gone 15 minutes on PPV instead of 4 minutes on Youtube it would have been a 4 Star match for sure.