MIMPACT Wrestling has a solid Knockouts Division. Anchored by current champion Mickie James the roster consists of talents such as Deonna Purrazzo, Jordynne Grace, Havok, Rosemary, Killer Kelly, Tasha Steelz, Taya Valkyrie, Taylor Wilde, and more. James won the title by defeating Jordynne Grace at Hard to Kill in a match that brought the “Last Rodeo” tour of James to a conclusion. The match had the highest of stakes as it was Grace’s title against the career of James. The match main evented one of IMPACT’s biggest shows of the year. Although James currently sits at the top of the division, there is one challenger who should have the title sooner rather than later in my opinion. That wrestler is Masha Slamovich. Let’s put on the armchair booker hat and examine why Slamovich should hold the Knockouts Title next.
Masha Slamovich Should be the Next Knockouts Champion
She Had a Great Start to 2022
Masha worked in IMPACT briefly in 2019 losing matches to Havok and Jordynne Grace. She returned to IMPACT in 2021 as part of the Knockouts Knockdown event where she lost to Deonna Purrazzo. Masha was, however, offered an IMPACT contract by Gail Kim at the event, although the segment did not air on the broadcast.
She hit the ground running in 2022. Her first IMPACT match of the year saw her defeat Vert Vixen. Other 2022 IMPACT January victories came against Kaci Lennox, and Kiah Dream. Other victories early in 2022 in an IMPACT ring came against Raychell Ross, Ari, Abby Jane, Damaris, and Shawna Reed. From here Slamovich started to compete against core IMPACT Knockouts and racked up wins against Havok, Alisha Edwards, Tenille Dashwood, Madison Rayne, Gisele Shaw, and Deonna Purrazzo. Her win over Deonna Purrazzo earned her a shot at the IMPACT Knockouts Championship.
This start to 2022 established Masha as a top contender in the Knockouts Division. Although her first few wins in 2022 were against non-contracted IMPACT wrestlers, wins over Havok, Edwards, Dashwood, Rayne, Shaw, and Purrazzo were nothing to look past. Purrazzo especially has been a center point of the division since her arrival in 2020. Things were looking up for Masha Slamovich as 2022 rolled on.
Masha Has Come Close More Than Once
The match for the Knockouts Championship came at Bound for Glory in October, IMPACT’s biggest event of the year. She took then Knockouts Champion Jordynne Grace to the limit but was unable to win the title. The two had a rematch at OverDrive 2022 in a Last Knockout Standing match. Once again, Slamovich came up short in an extremely physical match with Grace.
From there Slamovich suffered a loss to Taylor Wilde on IMPACT television. Although Slamovich’s 2022 didn’t end the way it had started in IMPACT she did gain another opportunity.
Slamovich kicked off 2023 with a win at Hard to Kill in a four-way match. She defeated Deonna Purrazzo, Killer Kelly, and Taylor Wilde in the match to earn another shot at the IMPACT Knockouts Title.
Unfortunately, she came up short in a Knockouts Championship match at No Surrender, losing to Mickie James.
Although IMPACT has had her win against some of the biggest Knockouts in the division such as Purrazzo, Havok, and Rayne who are all former champions they have her 0-3 in title matches. Before long she will start to lose credibility if they do not get the title on her. She has established herself as a powerhouse in the division but if she keeps coming up short in title matches, they run the risk of her becoming lost in the shuffle of the Knockouts Division.
She is a Fresh Face
Masha Slamovich has yet to hold the IMPACT Knockouts Championship. Looking at the current landscape of the Knockouts Division Purrazzo, Valkyrie, Havok, Grace, and James are all key players in the division. They also have one thing in common. They have all held the Knockouts Championship at least once before.
Masha Slamovich would be a fresh face for the division. With this comes the opportunity for fresh feuds for the Knockouts Championship. Masha tends to be more on the heel side and it gives an opportunity for face characters to chase the title. Even if it is a former champion on the chase, it is a fresh championship feud for the fans to see.
Her Matches Speak for Themselves
Her title matches in IMPACT have been hard-hitting and extremely fun to watch. Outside of IMPACT Masha has had matches in Beyond, GCW, PWG, and other independent promotions. Her matches with Deonna Purrazzo, Yuka Sakazaki, Charli Evans, Leyla Hirsch, Alex Shelley, and AKIRA among others have shown what she can do inside the squared circle. Although her matches against the main Knockouts roster have been great, she has plenty of great matches that occurred outside of an IMPACT ring.
Masha Slamovich Should be the Next Knockouts Champion: In Conclusion
I am far from a wrestling promoter or booker, but from what I have seen Slamovich has what it takes to carry the Knockouts division. The fans are behind her and she has proven the ability to have memorable matches in IMPACT and beyond. I would love to see the IMPACT Knockouts Championship on her before we cross the second half of 2023.
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