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Asuka and Ember Moon have been on a path to collision ever since Ember debuted last summer. Meanwhile, Nikki Cross and Sanity continue to destroy everyone else in NXT.

Nikki stopped taking the fight to Asuka several months ago and instead stuck to fighting alongside her group, proving that she isn’t afraid of any woman or man. She’s ruthless and everyone is her play thing.

Cue Ruby Riot. Ruby made her debut two weeks ago, targeting Nikki to even up the numbers game.

While the rest of NXT lays to waste. The women’s division lies in a pile of rubble. Ember has made her way up the ranks to the detriment of the Iconic Duo. Asuka has sat at the top of the division as its champion for a year as the rest of the division fights among themselves. Before even encountering Ember, she oozes a new air of smugness and dismisses the competition completely.

Last night all four women fought in two separate matches. Who came out on top? Sanity and Nikki Cross vs Tye Dillinger, Roderick Strong, Kassius Ohno and Ruby Riot are up first:

Before the bout even began Sanity dismantled No Way Jose, who was set to join Dillinger, Strong, and Ruby. So, in his absence newly signed Kassius Ohno, formally known as Chris Hero, would join them.

The bout began with Nikki against Ruby, with fists flying all over the place. It wasn’t long before the match broke down entirely, leaving Dillinger to fend for himself. Each teammate would get his shots in before being taken down by a member of Sanity.

Several times Nikki and Ruby clashed with each other and with the men.

But the face team was no match for Sanity’s intense overbearing will and Killian Dain would pick up the win for the destructive team.

After the match it’s time for Asuka vs Ember as a very effective hype video starts us off:

Before the bout begins we’re introduced to the newly designed NXT Women’s Championship.

Then the match would start off with Auska refusing to shake Ember’s hand. We’ve seen shades of this when she faced Mickie James last year!

Then both women would go back and forth, engaging in an all out mat wrestling affair before both would become easily matched at the get go. Asuka would hit Ember with her hip attack three separate times in an attempt to take her down early. Ember battled back each time. She then took to the air for a beautiful cross body as the match spilled outside.

She’d attempt the Eclipse but saw Asuka barrelling toward her and would out maneuver her.

Ember would then get caught in the Asuka Lock but manage to power out at the last moment. She would then dominate Asuka with strikes, falloway slams, and suplex variations. She’s pull off low flying headscissors twice and do her signature back handspring.

However, the bout would come close again and again before Ember would attempt the Eclipse for a second time. Asuka would get up at the last moment and toss the ref at Ember, making her fall and allowing Asuka to retain the championship via shady tactics.

After the match Asuka takes photos with the new title:

She also gets asked, who’s next?

She laughs and says, I’m still champion!

Thoughts: After a very weak buildup, I’m pleasantly surprised that this event still was able to deliver. Let’s start off with the Sanity vs team mid-card match.

I thought the match was fun. I was completely wrong in predicting the good guys would win, which I was happy about. It makes more sense to have Sanity continue to demolish everything in their path. They are indestructible and I feel it’s only a matter of time before they begin to capture titles. I’m all for a desolate NXT. At this point in time, something needs to reboot the promotion and I think Sanity could do it across the board.

I’m thrilled that Ruby and Nikki got time, even if it was sparse, to go at each other and briefly fight the men. I completely hate how segregated the women are from the men though in these matches. It’s baffling to me that they won’t even let them fight, it looks bad all around. Ruby wants to scrap and Nikki is already free to do so without any repercussions? What?

Regardless of their backwards rules, I’m eager to see Nikki and Ruby in a one on one match now. I also LOVE Ruby’s punk rock/hxc/heavy metal look. That’s my aesthetic and it’s so fresh to see a new type of character here.

I have a feeling since Ember lost it’s now time for Nikki to go after Asuka again. I enjoy Nikki’s work alongside Sanity. Your mileage may vary but she has benefited immensely from being paired with this stable when most of the women in the women’s division are completely MIA. I’d be very satisfied if Nikki is ultimately the one to dethrone Asuka. Nikki is truly the one to watch.

Now onto Asuka vs Ember.

Creative did the least while building this feud. They did so little, I was truly dreading this match yesterday. Part of me was extremely excited to watch them lay it all out on the table but another part of me fears for the rest of the division. Asuka completely outclassing the rest of the women makes everyone look bad. I’m unsure how the division is going to recover.

But I’m pleased to say that despite a very flimsy build, the match told the correct story! It’s truly been all about Asuka, which is why Ember’s character is unfortunately still paper thin.

Asuka has been champion for a year now and she’s developed a devious ego. Her work has been god tier. Her promos, her body language, her wrestling (despite having the finishes usually be a let down) have been the best NXT, and probably all of WWE, has ever seen.

She can play a face, she can play shades of grey, she can be hilarious and innocent, she can be brutalizing. Asuka is the real deal and it’s going to take everything NXT has, literally, to take her down. I enjoy her work immensely but it’s also tarnished a division that used to have a strong reputation for creating rich characters and narratives.

This is where Ember comes in. Ember matches Asuka in everything, except character for now although I liked Ember’s werewolf/warrior gear last night. Ember is an amazing wrestler. She pulled out moves that we haven’t seen before, moves that have been dormant since Taz, the original suplex machine, was around.

Asuka and Ember were so evenly matched that Asuka finally had to cheat to win. I’m hoping this is the complete start to Asuka’s heel turn. If it’s not, I’ll tell you right now, I’ll be pissed. We’ve already seen signals that Asuka is too cocky for her own good and it’s about time she starts doing shady stuff in order to keep her precious title.

What I hope NXT does moving forward is include Billie Kay and Peyton Royce back into the feud. We still haven’t seen any more movement in their campaign to ban the Eclipse. This will help build Ember’s character. A rematch between Asuka and Ember must happen too. William Regal should show everyone the footage of Asuka cheating to help build a case for another match.

Nikki should also get involved. This would keep the division busy for the next few months while Ruby helps develop other talent in feuds on the side. I’m not expecting too much, honestly. I still believe NXT needs to be doing more across the board or else we’ll still be stuck in this slow moving cycle of matches with no story.

Lastly, the new title. I LOVED the old design so I was very upset about this new change. The old title was the perfect mix of feminine and strength, with the pink/purple not overpowering the sleek design. I’m still on the fence about the new change. NXT/WWE is striving to make the women equal to the men and this new design makes the two main championships uniform, basically, in that regard.

Otherwise NXT still has a lot of work to do with women’s visibility. Moving forward, I hope creative dedicates more time to building the women so they can continue to stay on par with their male counterparts like they deserve.

What did you think of TakeOver last night? Satisfied with the winner? Do you like the new women’s title? What do you want to see NXT do now? Sound off in the comments below.

  • #Hooligan ?

    I hope the ending of Asuka vs Ember will lead to a rematch with Asuka as a heel and Ember as the babyface. This way, they can build their feud properly cause before this match, there wasn’t much interaction between them. Great match though, I bet the next one will be even more intense.

  • #BrieForPeace ?

    The Asuka vs Ember match was a strikefest and that was that. I was so disappointed because I thought that despite the lack of booking the girls would still have an awesome match even if it wouldn’t fix the division. However i’m left feeling like it was so anticlimatic and not exactly what they could’ve both done with eachother. The pace of the match was weird and it felt like it never got off the first gear. The whole ” what you can do I can do better” or one-womanupship fell flat as a story because we simply don’t have motives enough to believe Ember as credible to dethrone Asuka to the extent they were trying to portray. This feeling that the women have been holding back for past takeovers or been told to hold back is seriously hurting the division that needs atleast one standout match again in order to regain the spark it once had. Instead we’re left with anticlimatic match after anticlimatic match that is favouring no one. The division at this point is divided in two: Asuka-Ember and the rest of the girls.

    Ruby Riot really impressed me, she looked like she belong and should’ve been in NXT a long time ago. Always like her work from OVW and to see how much she’s evolved and her transition to the WWE is really great. Can’t wait to see more stuff from her. Nikki… I still can’t get into her, her booking has been tragic.

  • conan_kun

    Is it possible that Asuka vs Ember vs Nikki vs Ruby vs Billie vs Peyton in 6 Pack Challenge ever happen.

    • Darren C. #Anti-Marks ?

      Nah, that would be terrible. Let Peyton, Billie, Nikki and Ruby grow away from Asuka and Ember.

  • Troy Rochester

    The Ember vs Asuka match was a great solid wrestling match I enjoyed watching it . It’s obvious with the way Asuka cheated to win that this feud is not over between them at all . I disagree with whoever wrote the review that Billie/Peyton and Nikki should get involved I think they just need to keep it Ember vs Asuka until the next Takeover with Ember winning any finally dethroning Auska !

    • Darren C. #Anti-Marks ?

      I completely agree to leave Asuka and Ember alone. I love Peyton and she’s my favorite on NXT, just as I hate Asuka and Ember, but putting them together would just make a mess.

  • I think Asuka should’ve lost to someone in their first try, like in the previous two takeovers.

    Now that she beat Ember, her mystique is gone and we are most likely seeing a rematch, which means Asuka’s loss is predictable and I don’t like that.

    I want the person who beats her to catch me, and Asuka, off guard and take over. Now, it’s only a matter of time before Ember beats her and it’s just not exciting imo.

  • Kvngbalor

    Asuka has done more harm than good by being signed yes she represents something we haven’t seen in wwe women’s division she’s great but NXT has basically tarnished their women’s division image it’s been all about Asuka nothing but Asuka her reign her dominance her streak no one else is being used booked properly given time more character work nothing it’s the Asuka division the Asuka championship and im over it the just think NXT started the women’s revolution now look where it’s at and anyone who saw Athena aka Ember and Asuka/Kana matches can see Ember held back and Asuka is being protected at this point im nervous for a main roster debut where she’ll run through all the women and destroy the credibility they all have been building over the lasy yr or so

    • howie_ruhl

      How can Asuka do harm when she’s practically doing her job well? Shitty creatives behind such bookings are the ones to be blamed here; not Asuka.

      • Kvngbalor

        I felt ppl would know what i meant

  • Gabriella Panajotova

    I loved the match, but felt underwhelmed by the finish or more the way it was executed. It was about time Asuka cheated, but why didn’t the ref DQ her when she put her hands on him? DQing her would’ve made sense, she still would have retained and she could’ve still hurt Ember post-match.
    The post-match interview was stupid. The reporter didn’t question Asuka’s actions and the segment left me think they won’t continue this feud.

  • Lily #BuyCrazyIsMySuperpower

    Amazing match. A story was built from the girls out of nothing but trash booking. I’m happy that Asuka finally showed vulnerability and needed to cheat to win. 1) makes Ember look like Asuka’s biggest challenge yet. 2) Asuka is FINALLY full-blown heel, the teasing became tedious. 3) They can now build an actual story and feud for their next TO match.

    Also, the match was only 11 minutes. What happened to 13-15 minute Takeovsr matches? Ugh.

  • Nxt takeover was awesome from start to finish 5*

  • Don ???

    Did anyone notice how Asuka and Ember Moon (possibly Creative too) subtly indulged into the theme of the Sun versus the Moon for their match?

    · Ember Moon’s entrance video prior to this match has always displayed a red-orange moon, or the lunar eclipse, panning across the titantron. In this match her moon is changed from the eclipse to a luminous blue moon, or a full moon, representing the astronomical body in its purest form. I haven’t seen Asuka’s ring entrance yet for this match so I’m unsure if any notable motifs lie within it.

    · The change in each woman’s ring gear parallels one another as well as further personify characteristics from the Sun and the Moon. Asuka switches from her usual tacky, feline print ring attire to a red and gold colored attire symbolizing the dominance of the Sun while Ember replaces her signature red contacts with blue colored ones, has a gray/silver colored ombre instead of the orange, and decorates herself in a blue and silver colored attire symbolizing the celestial beauty of the Moon. Asuka also dons silver (Moon) colors on her top and boots; Ember has dashes of red (Sun) on her trunks. Are they counterparts to one another? Asuka being the Radiant Sun; Ember being the Mysterious Moon?

    This could most definitely be looking too deep in the feud, but I love the illustrations it paints. It’s a unique form of art. Regardless, I’m pumped for the future of this rivalry. I just hope backstage officials don’t screw it up and work on their continuity issues.

    • Gabriella Panajotova


    • Aye Mate

      Both Ember and Asuka’s ring gear and overall look was sensational.

    • Wrestling.fan.from.France

      Yeah, they build this quite well this narrative with the video package and both girls with their look.

    • Jorge Hernandez Moran

      Dude you just gave them more character then creative did

    • PYM #TheRoadTo5

      you could very well have been right

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    • Miguel Orona Rodríguez

      Yes you looked too deep but you are also right, Ember was displayed as full moon while Asuka was the sun. Ember came out with blue eyes and everything, this look is better than the whole eclipse thing they were doing before. Now her name still Ember, unless we call her moon now. LOL

  • What?

    Ruby Riot looking like Steve Buscemi in drag and shit

    • MrBoo

      She is one ugly woman.

  • Aye Mate

    On second viewing I’d be inclined to say that the title match is probably just behind Asuka’s great clash with Emma in London. The video package told a much better story than creative had over the last few months, and although the heel move in the finish was crummy, both Asuka and Ember delivered an excellent story in the ring. I really hope they continue this rivalry.

    Mixed tag was a wasted opportuntiy to position Nikki Cross as the star of Sanity, I reckon. She’s easily (for me anyway) the most interesting personality in the group, and her wrestling (in her own words) is the best in the whole galaxy. Looking forward to seeing more from Ruby Riot.

    • Wrestling.fan.from.France

      Oh, I watched back Emma vs Asuka as well and wow, I forgot how amazing that match was! Definitely Asuka’s best match with this being a close 2nd.

    • Darren C. #Anti-Marks ?

      The reason why this mixed match happened was to introduce Ruby to feud with Nikki, building both characters out of the title picture.

  • YonceLuvsDivas

    The match was great. It’s actually the first NXT women’s title match I’ve really enjoyed since Asuka vs Bayley at Takeover Brooklyn. Ember gave me Storm t’s last night. I’d love for this feud to continue with maybe an inclusion of Nikki Cross. Give us that epic triple threat that they did at a live event months ago.

  • KellyKellyisbeast

    I really liked the match and I LOVE the new title thanks Paige

  • Wrestling.fan.from.France

    I honestly don’t understand some complaints here.
    They are building an actual story here. Ember had no character and there was no story before the actual match and this will set up a future match between the two as Asuka didn’t beat her clean but she used dirty tactics to beat Ember. Success has gotten over her head and it will cost her the title over the time and Ember will get her revenge. This loss right here doesn’t make Ember look any weaker as we all saw how she lost to Asuka.

    Developping a story out of this is gonna create interest and people are gonna support Ember during her chase for the title (IF they keep that direction and book the rest well enough). Chase is what’s so fun about babyfaces.

    The match itself was fantastic and the girls did a fantastic job selling this idea of Sun vs Moon with their look and the video package really built the match well enough. Good job ladies.

  • Cathy Kelley.

    I won’t really mind Ember vs Asuka as long as the booking is good and we get SIDE FEUDS, do they know what those are? They have a lot of women waiting to debut or just to have a match on TV, do something about it. They should introduce a Women’s Tag Titles already.

    • For the single female tag team across three brands?

  • Luigi Anthony

    only thing that annoyed me was the crowd LIKE SHUT THE FUCK UP and watch the damn match goddd

  • Miguel Orona Rodríguez

    The women’s match was amazing! I don’t think is over between Ember & Asuka. I don’t see Nikki getting the belt soon, Asuka is turning heel and a face champion will emerge. I still think it will be Ember!

  • If they were going to have Asuka retain, they could’ve had Nikki take the L. They’ve been teasing a rivalry with those two for months; even at the end of the Fatal 4-Way where Nikki was technically never pinned. Plus, as generic as Nikki’s character is, it’s still a character; so they could’ve had her face Asuka and used this last three weeks of nothing to establish Ember’s character. Even if she beat Ember by cheating, the fact that Ember’s been undefeated for so long only to take a random L from Asuka kinda ruins what little mystique she had. Now she’s just a good wrestler with a decent finisher. When Ember and Asuka wrestled, Asuka should’ve already been heel, and Asuka should’ve eaten the pin.

    • Geek God

      I agree

    • Darren C. #Anti-Marks ?

      Ember was not defeated cleanly and the story between them was great. This match made Ember looks strong and feared by Asuka. I don’t know what you’re talking about.

  • Stef’

    Has Billie ever had a singles match against Asuka ? Why couldn’t she be next in line ? Peyton did well so I wonder how Billie would deliver.

  • A One of a Kind Collectible

    When you know in you’re heart of hearts it was smart booking to not have an underdeveloped character as Champion, but you HIGH KEY want Asuka to leave NXT already and stop burying the division.

  • Asuka has had a series of competitive matches. Nia looked strong against her, Bayley looked strong the second time against her, Mickie looked strong against her, it looked like the Iconic Duo might beat her at the last takeover, she cheated to to beat Ember. Remind me how she has buried the division.

    She is the most compelling female athlete on any brand, I feel like they haven’t done anything but capitalize on that.

    The match was great, I liked the matches with Mickie and Emma’s matches better, but they’re obviously saving somethings for their next encounter.

    I was far more underwhelmed with the right person tag match.

    Just really wanting Nikki to have the opportunity to prove how good she is both on the mic and the ring. I’m ready for white chocolate cheesecake.

    • A One of a Kind Collectible

      Personally I believe they haven’t capitalized on that at all. Not only should she have turned heel after her match with Mickie, but she is never at the NXT taping’s. She appears once a month basically, has a squash match, has a has a contract signing, beats her opponent at Takeover and does the same thing.

      Whilst she is the best wrestler, she is booked horribly. People want an NXT champion like Charlotte, Sasha and Bayley. Back in the day when they were champs they appeared almost every week and constantly defended even if was just on a tapped show.

      • I think if Asuka was on the weekly programming then she really would be burying the division and she would have a lot less viable opponents.

        • A One of a Kind Collectible

          She doesn’t have to be competing every week, just as long as we see her in segments once a week that would be enough. She’s hardly ever there

          • I think that could go either way. I think I would certainly enjoy it, but most people on here would be bitching about it I’m sure.

            But, I can respect your opinion and see where you are coming from.

  • Maddox

    Did anyone else watch the Tag Team match before the women’s title match? Maybe they changed the titles cuz of the whole Paige incident you know?

  • John Finnie

    No ember will get a rematch because of the screwy Finnish as it shows Askua has met her match
    Nikki & Ruby will continue to feud but the Askua & Ember feud is not over
    Love all the belts

  • Raekon

    Hmm it seems the writer didn’t watched the preshow cause the iconic duo wasn’t covered at all. I found them hilarious. :)

  • John Finnie

    A couple of things 1 this match was missing 3 things that would’ve made this the best woman’s NXT match in takeover history
    1 Embers Character once she is a true babyface
    2 Askuas heel turn needs to be full on heel
    3 when both rolls are revealed the match they are going to have is going to be fking amazballs

    The 4hw matches weren’t as good till all 3 things I mention were totally clear to the universe

    Also wouldn’t it be cool if askua uses the white skull mask in her matches not just her entrance

    Ember showed more fierce personality than she ever has I ??? this match

    • Darren C. #Anti-Marks ?

      Success has made Asuka arrogant and she no longer takes her opponents seriously. This is a good storyline for her heel turn.

      • John Finnie

        & the matches these two will have when full blown heel & face Askuas reign may just be a breath of fresh air as a heel

  • Darren C. #Anti-Marks ?

    They made the right choice, Asuka has been undefeated for almost two years while Ember still has not made any impact even having a great gimmick and also being undefeated. Ember needs to show more. She’s just not coming off as a serious challenge and her character work needs to improve. I don’t like undefeated gimmicks and now I might start having an interest in Ember’s matches because her mic and acting skills are bad as fuck.

    A lot of people were hyping this match up saying that it will be the greatest womens match ever and it didn’t live up to the hype. How did Asuka not immediately get disqualified wen she blatantly assaulted the ref? but I loved this cheap. It was decisive but the fact Ember never had a chance to do her move suggests they’re saving a superior match for another event. I thought it was a very good match. Great action, good sequences, but it does hurt the match that the build was rather non existent.

    Success has made Asuka arrogant and she no longer takes her opponents seriously. This is a good storyline for her heel turn. Although like all of Asuka’s matches, it ended anticlimactically. She must leave the title vacant, they have enough women for a tournament (so they can show a little of each women). Ember, Nikki, Peyton, Daria, Billie, Liv, Mandy and Ruby. I also have to say that Ruby has made more impact in one match than Ember has ever come close in her entire career.

  • Jamal

    The chase will do wonders for Ember. And can I say that I live for cocky Asuka.

  • Bev.duo

    rematch is definitely coming. Ember wins the title and asuka goes bat shit and gets her rematch and paints her face like her Japan days look it up!!! It look intense and definitely should be incorporated into her heel turn. Psycho asuka!!!

  • Miguel Orona Rodríguez

    The Sanity’s match was a bit of a let down from the women, the match overall was good. I just expected the women to really mix it up with men, to perform moves on the men and also get their ass kicked by them too. They didn’t even had much time to wrestle each other.

    Ember vs. Asuka was a dream match coming true, it didn’t dissapointed even with the little build up NXT did. It didn’t looked like the last time they would battle, it was very much the first and we saw changes on ASuka’s character. Ember was set up as being in the same level as Asuka and performed new moves. I was really pleased with the whole match and if this turns into a feud we would get development for Ember and Asuka finally.

  • B J

    Did they change the title due to the last one being “tainted” haha

  • I complain about this NXT special, because was one of the most weak to built up storylines and feuds. The result was predictable but I really hope, they stay with this rivalry and put some storyline in it; Like the Sun Vs The Moon thing, more interactions and fire.
    In the other hand, Nikki and Ruby could create some amazing things together, really into it.

  • knothat

    Thought it was going to be good. Glad it came out that way. Will this result in a series of bouts between the two? Remember those Best of 7 matches?