What’s up Knockout fans and welcome to a slightly belated edition of TNA Xplosion Watch here on Diva Dirt! This week’s match was aired a day before Mickie James‘ Knockout Championship win, so bear that in mind when you don’t see the belt around her waist. On this week’s Xplosion, Mickie takes on former rival Tara, and of course, Tara has the “snake in the grass” that is Jesse Godderz with her. Are TNA spelling it Jesse or Jessie this week? It changes all the time! I’ll stick with Jesse as that seems more manly and Jessie with an I reminds me of Jessie from Team Rocket in Pokémon and her godly name should not be tarnished by the likes of Mr. Pectacular. Weird trail of thought over, let’s get cracking!

We cut to the arena and Tara is making her entrance alongside her Hollywood Z-lister boytoy. Tara and Jesse mock a fan on the ramp and pretend to go to slap his hand, which I thought was hilarious. Just when you think this pairing is getting old, they add something new. Out next, without her recording breaking ninth belt of gold, is none other than Mickie James. No surprise, Mickie’s album is plugged like crazy and not to burst anyone’s bubble but Mickie’s album is not Top 5 in the UK like the normally excellent Todd Kennelly says. Maybe in our Country music chart it is, but a country music scene is virtually non-existent here so, yeah… I’ll move swiftly on. Love Mickie’s new video though!

The match starts out with a collar and elbow tie-up, which Tara gets the best of, as she transitions it into a waistlock that she then turns into a belly to back slam. The Widow’s Peak Freak then mounts Mickie and “plays the bongos” according to Todd. Tara then decides to play something else and goes to play tonsil tennis with Jesse. Mickie spanks Tara herself before kicking her in the midsection and applying a headlock. Following a shoulder block, cartwheel and dropkick combo, Mickie levels Tara with a drop toe hold and then she rides Tara like a donkey! Jesse is clearly jealous of Tara and proceeds to get in on the action himself. ODB obviously feels left out and she decides she may as well get spanked too and although Mickie isn’t interested in riding ODB, she gives her a cheek whack on the behind as we go to a commercial break.

Back from the adverts and Mickie decks both Tara and Jesse with a baseball slide dropkick on the outside. Mickie gets Tara back in the ring, but as the record 5-time Knockouts Champ distracts ODB, Jesse does what a good manager should, he gets involved and trips Mickie up head first on the apron. Tara works over Mickie with a few stomps back in the ring and then she wrenches at Mickie’s hair, stretching Mickie over her back. Following a couple of pin attempts, Tara rakes Mickie’s face/ears before slamming her face into the mat. Mickie attempts to make a comeback yet Tara clubs her down before setting her up in the tree of woe and slamming her neck first off the bottom turnbuckle. Really nice.

Mickie’s comeback might not be dead in the water just yet as she manages to avoid Tara’s dropkick attempt, yet after a near fall from a schoolgirl, Tara regains control with a clothesline. Tara then locks in a sloppy yet pretty unique submission yet it’s not cinched in tight enough as Mickie gets out pretty quickly, and she nearly puts Tara away with a lovely bridging pin. Mickie goes for another pin attempt, this time a Crucifix, yet that also isn’t enough. Hardcore Country then decapitates Tara with an Enziguri, which could definitely be a turning point in the match.

Mickie goes for her Mickie-DT yet after a distraction from Jesse, Tara hits her beautiful Spider’s Web – such a good looking move. Tara then looks to deal even more damage to Mickie’s neck and back as it looks like she’s looking for a Superplex, yet after a reversal and failed interference from Jesse, Mickie flies from the top rope Lou Thesz style and scores a three count!

Thoughts: This match has felt really fresh compared to a lot of Tara’s other bouts recently and I really enjoyed it. Mickie didn’t have a clichéd comeback and that made for a much more realistic feel to the bout. Jesse can sometimes interfere too many times for my liking yet I think the balance was just right in this match, and he sold Mickie’s kick at the end really well. Overall, a really nice hidden gem once again on Xplosion. And with that, stay tuned, Jack will be back!