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Xplosion Write-Up (May 3rd, 2014): Brittany Tries to Relight the Fire

This week on Xplosion, we’re getting a fix of two underused (well, recently) Knockouts: ODB and Brittany, who, since her debut has more or less sat on the sidelines. Will Brittany earn a long-awaited follow-up victory to her debut win over Gail Kim? Let’s watch:

They start with a tie-up, the stronger ODB backing Brittany into a corner. Being a babyface, though, she backs off at the referee’s insistence, and the two circle each other again. They have another tie-up, which Brittany dominates this time. She backs ODB into a neighboring corner. She too backs off, and they start again.

The third tie-up results in more action, ODB pulling Brittany into a side headlock. Brittany shoves her off into the ropes, but on the return is knocked off her feet by ODB’s shoulder block. ODB takes her down twice more before Irish whipping her into the opposite corner. Brittany skins the cat, slipping behind a charging ODB and hitting her with two arm drags.

She captures ODB in a wrist lock, hopping to the top rope and taking her down with an impressive high risk arm drag. ODB backs into a corner to regroup as we head to a commercial break.

When we come back, ODB has seemed to recover as the Knockouts square off in the middle of the ring. Instead of going for the usual tie-up, ODB opts to hoist Brittany up and hit her with a bodyslam. Brittany backs into a corner, seemingly setting herself up for the Bronco Buster. When ODB goes for the kill, though, she moves out of the way.

With ODB prone, trapped in the ropes, Brittany lays a few kicks to her back, continuing to kick her even as she frees herself and crawls across the ring. ODB makes it to a corner, only to get a headbutt from Brittany. The rookie hits her with a handspring elbow, bringing her to her knees. Brittany follows it up with a pin attempt, wrapping up ODB but barely getting a two-count.

Brittany Irish whips ODB into the opposite corner, but gets nothing but turnbuckle when she goes for the attack. ODB, having rolled out of the way, captures Brittany in a belly-to-back hold. Brittany quickly frees herself with an elbow to the face. ODB returns the favor with some strikes of her own, but when she goes for an attack off the ropes it’s Brittany who connects, taking her down with authority. Brittany goes for the pin, but ODB kicks out.

ODB reverses a whip into the ropes, but on the return Brittany takes her down with a headscissors, knocking her a bit loopy. Another pin attempt by Brittany, another kick out by ODB.

ODB fights off another attack by Brittany, taking her down with clotheslines and a fallaway slam. She kips up and goes for the pin, earning a two-count. She whips Brittany into the corner with such force that she slumps to the mat, perfectly in position for the Bronco Buster. ODB hits it then drags Brittany to the middle of the ring and goes for the pin. Brittany kicks out.

Brittany is sent to the opposite corner, but dodges an attack from ODB, hitting her with a suplex and a going for a standing moonsault propelled by the ropes. ODB rolls out of the way, though, and Brittany hits nothing but mat. ODB immediately takes hold of her and hits the Bam, and it’s enough for the pin and the win!

Thoughts: It wasn’t the most exciting match, but I like how it explored the psychology of both Knockouts, as should happen in these kinds of babyface/babyface matches. There’s no typical good vs. evil thing to exploit, so they’ve got to go a bit deeper to express themselves.

You’ve got Brittany’s happy-go-lucky flashiness that’s almost devoid of viciousness – I mean, even her headbutt was peppy – and ODB’s characteristic impatience, which takes over after she grows tired of the show of good sportsmanship at the very beginning.

I was kind of surprised to not see Brittany take the win here. Granted, her win over Gail Kim was sold as a fluke, but given how little we’ve seen of her since, she could use a bit of a push. As it is, her character is kind of forgettable, so having her lose, even in putting up a great fight against a former Knockouts Champion, doesn’t do her a lot of favors.

I’m glad to see Brittany back on Impact in some capacity, even if it’s playing third wheel to Madison Rayne and Gail’s reunion. I just hope she gets a chance to step into a more memorable role soon.

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