This week our trio of contestants face off against TNA talent in an effort to make a final impression. Obviously there’s a lot of recapping and exposition, including some great footage of UK shows – get yourself along to your nearest promotion, what you’ve seen on Boot Camp is just the tip of the iceberg! (Also, buy my book!)
First into the ring is Rampage Brown, taking on Bram, who used to be Kenneth Cameron and in the Ascension, but now is not. Spud, on co-commentary, reminds us that Bram is also British, and this pair know each other well from their younger days. We have a nimble match with some hossy slugging, as would be expected; and Bram pins Rampage, as would also be expected.
“As much as I love the guy, I’ve got to kick his head in,” says Bram in explanation. “If it were up to me, me and Magnus are scary now, imagine the three of us together…no bugger’d be able to touch us.”
Next up, Mark Andrews (in his DEFEND baseball jacket) against DJ Z and his pleather trousers. This is an X Division showcase, obviously, with leaps and top rope fun including testicle squishes.
Andrews misses a shooting star press, and DJ Z capitalises with a DDT and the pin to secure the victory.
“He’s, what, 22? It’s scary to think how good he might be when he’s my age, 27,” says DJ Z. Andrews refers to his TNA fandom once more, revelling in the “T-N-A! T-N-A!” chants he elicited.
Finally, Kay Lee Ray faces Gail Kim, who is basically wearing underwear from the 1990s, all white lace and cropped. The pair shake hands before the bell rings, because they’re adorable and somewhere Al Snow is marching round shouting about RESPECT. Kay Lee gets the crowd behind her and gives Gail a proper battering (“She got a two count! I don’t think I could even get a one count on Gail Kim!” says Spud) but doesn’t take advantage as her opponent falls into the steps, giving her time to get back on her feet before diving through the ropes. After a well-balanced bout, Gail, obviously, wins, and then strokes Kay Lee’s hair for a bit before hugging and applauding her. This is probably my favourite match of the three – you forget how good Gail is when she has so few genuine challengers in the Knockouts division.
“I was just like, ‘What is it going to take to beat this girl?'” says Gail, who’s beaming, and obviously enjoyed that.
So who wins?
Well, that’s ultimately down to Dixie. They head to her house, which for some reason we are informed she bought from LeAnn Rimes, with special guest Spud, and then Grado, Mastiff and Dar are allowed out of the garden to join them on the leather seating.
Dixie tells them they’re all going on the TNA tour, even though Grado already challenged Al Snow to a fight in Glasgow at the Hydro. She then says she hasn’t decided who’s going to win, and asks the final three to tell her why they should get the TNA contract, because that’s usually how job interviews work.
Andrews once more refers to how much he likes TNA and how he feels he’ll fit in to the X Division; Kay Lee is urged to “be real” (by DIXIE CARTER, who is IN CHARGE of a PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING COMPANY which has a ‘REALITY TV SHOW’), and says that working for TNA is the biggest thing she will ever do; Rampage immediately undoes any goodwill he may have won from me by wittering about his daughter and then flubbing the rest of it.
Hilariously, Dixie then brings the three together (with Kay Lee once more trying the Knockouts-hand-on-hip) and tells them basically what she didn’t like about them. Way to build up your new star, Dixie!
Anyway, Dixie has to pick one of them even though Mark doesn’t have the right physicality and Kay Lee isn’t ready to be a Knockout and Rampage doesn’t have a personality.
And the winner is…
IT’S FRIEND OF TOWIS MARK ANDREWS!
Kay Lee and Rampage are legitimately happy for him although disappointed for themselves, and there’s a lovely little moment.
Mark rings his mum and I cannot understand a blinkin’ thing she says over the speakerphone, but he seems to be able to, so that’s good.
Obviously every good reality show ends with a montage of the winner’s best moments with some inspirational music soundtracking it. And then we fade to the credits.
So Mark Andrews will be on the TNA tour as a TNA wrestler – but you can also catch the other five finalists at the Glasgow, Manchester and London venues. (And you can see all of them on shows around the UK every week!) Congratulations to Mark, commiserations to the rest, and hurrah all round for British wrestling!