At their Chicago tapings in April, Impact Wrestling made a big splash by confirming the signing of the artist formerly known as Naomi, Trinity.
While it was obvious that a switch to Impact wasn’t her first priority after quitting the WWE, it was still a good landing spot for her to showcase what she was really capable of. For Impact it was a big get regardless and I’ve spoken already about how they treated her like a megastar right out of the gate and immediately presented her like a big deal.
Her appearances on the first two episodes of TV from those tapings immediately positioned her as adjacent to the title mix and although they were nothing that would blow you away, they were well done. As you’d expect of someone who was in the WWE system as long as she was, she’s got the basics of TV wrestling – where to stand, how to project yourself, your look – nailed.
The real test of Trinity’s capabilities was going to be her in-ring work. As far as I’m concerned, Impact have got the most consistent women’s division in North America and one that regularly produces good matches in big spots. Led by Deonna Purrazzo and Jordynne Grace, their current roster have elevated the working standard at the top of the division and it was paramount that when Trinity was dropped into the business end of the card, she didn’t look out of place. She didn’t have to deliver notebook matches every time out but if she stank then it’d be very noticeable.
I know her stans, the people who bludgeoned anyone who’d listen for years with the notion that she was underrated, would worship her regardless. You need honest critique in that conversation too though and for that reason I was looking forward to her debut match on this week’s TV against KiLynn King.
Although I’m very tired of tag champions losing singles matches, I liked the booking against King for a number of reasons. Firstly, it was a big show of faith in King, someone they only signed earlier this year but clearly see a lot in.
The second big reason was tied to Nick Aldis. Aldis is on a very similar story trajectory to Trinity in that they’re both new signings who are immediately being given rocket pushes into the title mix. Aldis’ first match back was a competitive squash against Sheldon Jean, so it was nice that they didn’t just rinse and repeat with Trinity but instead gave her an 11-minute, back-and-forth match against an established act.
As for the match itself, it was good. I thought about caveating that statement by saying ‘for her first match in 354 days it was good’ or ‘considering she’s not had a match that long in 15 months’ but both seemed out of place because the match was just flat out good. If I’m being entirely honest, it was also far better than I had expected.
In terms of issues, aside from a couple of slight mistimings early on, the only thing I noted was that a wardrobe malfunction seemed a genuine possibility given the number of times Trinity had to adjust her gear.
Look, there were some bells and whistles with Taylor Wilde on the outside that undoubtedly added to the crowd reactions. There was also a distinct WWE house style influence on the match with a couple of rest hold periods to structure and build to the babyface comeback.
Otherwise, I thought the match rocked. It was immediately obvious how motivated Trinity was and the glee on her face as the match built was palpable. Her big offence, like the Blockbuster off the top and the Rings of Saturn variation for the finish, all looked super clean and impactful and she sold well for King’s big weapons. Even though there was never any doubt about the finish, the crowd were invested in the nearfalls and I was fully immersed by about the midway point all the way through to the final bell.
For her first match in Impact, you couldn’t have asked for more from Trinity. Taking on Gisele Shaw at Under Siege is another test and a very different one. King is less experienced but she got her reps in with the NWA and has come on massively to the point of being a very reliable worker, hence her getting the spot for the debut. Shaw has improved massively since her Impact debut but she can be a bit sloppy and has had timing issues in her matches before. If Shaw and Trinity have a good match and Trinity then moves into the Knockouts title programme, she’ll be firing on all cylinders and proving a superb addition indeed.