Sunday, December 3, 2023

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Xplosion Write-Up: True blue

Hola Knockout fans and welcome to another edition of Xplosion. Jade may no longer be with Impact Wrestling but through this postponed episode, she momentarily lives on! The former Knockouts Champion will take on Laurel Van Ness and if you recall, these two previously faced off on Xplosion back when Laurel under her Chelsea Green persona. So how will the match up between these two change with the face/heel roles reversed? Let’s watch.

Both Knockouts make their entrances, saluting the crowd to their liking and tie-up to get things started. They trade arm wrench holds, fighting for early control but it’s Laurel who wins the bout when she corners Jade with the use of some right elbow strikes. Laurel then whips Jade across the ring and tosses her among return with an arm drag takedown.

Jade gets back to her feet and responds to Laurel with an arm drag of her own, adding in some flashy kicks to the mix! After hitting a suplex to Laurel, Jade goes for a pin that earns her a two count. Jade stays on Laurel, setting her up for a powerbomb, which Laurel manages to fight out of.

Snapmare by Laurel takes Jade down once again and after hitting the ropes, Laurel smacks Jade across the face – much to displeasure of the Impact Zone. Laurel goes for a cocky pin, placing one foot over her opponent but Jade kicks out at two. We head to a commercial break as Laurel pummels over a grounded Jade.

When we return, Laurel remains in control, targeting Jade’s back and throwing in some insults for good taste. Laurel goes for another pin cover but only scores a two count although if you ask her, argues it should’ve been a three count.

Laurel takes Jade for a trip to a corner of the ring, where she rams Jade’s head to the top and second turnbuckle but opting for a kick at the the bottom turnbuckle. After playing on her signature ‘Shhh…’ taunt, Laurel runs after Jade but Jade quickly leaps up from her corner and traps Laurel in a tarantula submission!

To avoid a disqualification, Jade releases the illegal hold at the ref’s count of four. As Jade leaps again, Laurel begins to fight back, striking Jade with a right forearm, following with knee shots to the head and using the second rope to take Jade down with an elevated DDT. Laurel goes for the pin, but Jade kicks out at two.

Jade dodges a running clothesline and takes down Laurel with one instead. A dropkick and a T-Bone Suplex later, Jade goes for the pin but comes short of the three count.

Jade begins to set Laurel up for the packaged piledriver but Laurel is able to counter out of this with a Russian Leg Sweep. Laurel then takes flight from the top rope, hitting a big missile dropkick and tries to steal the win with a dirty pin using the bottom ring rope as leverage.

The referee catches this and orders Laurel to break her pin cover. Laurel pitches a fit but is soon knocked off her game when Jade kicks her in the midsection and takes her down with a top rope missile dropkick. This earns Jade a two count over Laurel; though the crowd argues ‘that was three’.

Jade goes for a springboard moonsault but misses when Laurel rolls out of harms way. Laurel makes the most of Jade’s crash and burn, trying to put her away with the curb stomp but Jade avoids this. One kick to the mid-section and a packaged piledriver later, Jade puts Laurel away and picks up the win!

Thoughts: I’ll be honest, I preferred the first Xplosion encounter between Jade and Laurel/Chelsea.

That’s not too take away from this match, it was all right but it felt a bit more slow paced and the camera cut away during the match was a bit odd.  Were they trying to hide something? I also just happened to find myself more invested in the babyface Chelsea – who was a fresh face at the time, had just come off of Tough Enough and had fans hoping/cheering that she would get signed.

Now that she has had some time to grow with Impact, I will say that Laurel has show some in-ring improvements. She knows her bratty character and her mannerism of toying with the crowd and arguments with Earl Hebner showed that. Pretty soon we’ll be seeing Laurel’s Broken Bride persona make her way to Xplosion as well which will be interesting to see.

My biggest take away here was Jade. With a little more time and freedom on Xplosion, Jade really showed how versatile of an athlete she can be. We’ve all been critical of Jade’s character and mic skills but here we where some of Jade’s strengths are. She has both speed and power and I do miss seeing her on our Impact shows. With Impact still on the road of rebuilding their company and brand, I hope that they take some time to invest in the Knockout again like they did during Jade’s feud with Rosemary.

What did you think of the match? Do you miss seeing Jade on Impact? Let us know in the comments below! 

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