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Welcome to this week’s NXT review! We’re in for some explosive action as Asuka defends her title on a weekly episode, in what feels like ages!

Before we get to the Triple Threat Elimination match, however, a video package hyping Ember Moon‘s return is showcased!:

Ember faces off against Peyton Royce next week!

After the video Nikki Cross scuttles into the ring as Ruby Riot makes her entrance. Asuka makes her entrance to her typical fanfare as commentary hammers home her undefeated streak.

Nikki throws Ruby into Asuka and goes straight for her with fists thrashing. Asuka starts shouting and striking her back. She goes for a hip attack but Nikki barrels at her to stop it. Ruby then runs Nikki down as Asuka enters the fight.

They trade kicks until Ruby dropkicks Asuka hard to the ground. Asuka comes back with a kick to Ruby’s midsection as Ruby turns to eat a missile dropkick by Nikki. Asuka then takes out Nikki with a dropkick before taunting her opponents.

Nikki and Ruby team up to beat down Asuka. They manage to throw her out of the ring. Nikki goes full force at Ruby and they start to trade blows. Asuka attempts to climb back in but Ruby knocks her off the ring apron.

Ruby continues dominating Nikki in the corner. Nikki rolls out of the ring to catch her breath as we go to a commercial. When we return from break, Asuka is manhandling Ruby in a standing full body rest hold.

Asuka rolls her up but Ruby escapes. A low flying hip attack takes Ruby down. As Asuka postures, Ruby makes it to her feet. She kicks Asuka in the face and tosses her with a Ruby-canrana. Nikki then gets back into the ring and jumps on Ruby.

Ruby tosses her overhead and kicks her in the face. Asuka rushes into the ring to break up a pin attempt but Ruby catches Asuka’s foot. Ruby slaps Asuka repeatedly in the chest. Asuka then makes Ruby run the ropes before hitting her.

Asuka tries to go for another hip attack but Nikki catches her foot and drags her out of the ring. Ruby makes her way to the apron where she does a front faced dropkick on Asuka and Nikki, taking them down.

Ruby tosses Nikki back into the ring. She attempts a Ruby-canrana but Nikki comes at her. She jumps off the turnbuckle and dropkicks Nikki into the corner. Ruby goes up top again but Asuka throws her off. Asuka tries to dropkick Nikki but completely misses. Nikki grabs Asuka in a spinning neckbreaker but Asuka rolls out of the ring to recover.

Ruby gets back into the ring and tosses Nikki with a backdrop driver. Ruby goes for a pele kick again but Asuka rushes in, Ruby pele’s her instead. Nikki takes advantage and eliminates Ruby with an avalanche spinning neckbreaker.

Nikki laughs in Ruby’s face as we go to another break. When we come back from break Nikki is sizing up Asuka with slaps. They start screaming and striking each other. Asuka hits Nikki with spinning backfists. She tries to put Nikki away with a deadlift german but Nikki refuses to stay down.

Asuka continues her assault on Nikki. They trade blows and eventually end up outside the ring. Asuka takes Nikki down with a hip attack off the apron. Asuka headbutts Nikki and throws her into the barricade. They continue fighting each other on the ramp!

The ref begs them to take it back inside the ring. They take their fight backstage! The ref rules the match a no contest as Asuka and Nikki continue fighting backstage. Asuka throws Nikki into a wall outside. Nikki throws Asuka into a steel garage door. Asuka takes control and bashes Nikki’s head into the steel garage door. Asuka drags Nikki back inside and throws her into coolers. Asuka opens one up to start drowning Nikki but Nikki avoids it and throws Asuka in instead.

They take the fight back into the arena by commentary. They continue fighting by the tech area. Nikki scratches her nails down Asuka’s back as they make their way to the edge of the tech stage. Nikki crossbodies Asuka off the stage and they both fly through a table below.

After the brawl officials tend to Nikki and Asuka:

WWE also uploaded a video package hyping Sonya Deville for next week:

Thoughts: Wow! See what happens when NXT actually tries and dedicates time to showcasing the women, we actually get something worth watching. Who would have thought.

I’m quite taken aback by the outcome. At first when they set up this rematch, I was a bit skeptical despite reading the spoilers for it. There’s still not a whole lot of explanation as to why there was a rematch between them in the first place, Asuka beat Nikki and Ruby by pinning both of them at TakeOver: Chicago. With that said though, it wasn’t truly Asuka who did the damage to both the women during that time, it was Nikki and Ruby’s rivalry that destroyed them.

This match though is what we really should have gotten at TakeOver: Chicago. The intensity between all three was really nice to see spread out for more than 20 minutes! WOW! When was the last time the women got 20 minutes on a weekly show?!

Ruby continues to knock it out of the park in her role. She’s so calculated and sharp, she has quickly become one of my favorites in the brand. I really want her to go up against Asuka one on one. She has already proved that she can withstand her and I want to see Ruby go far, this loss shouldn’t hold her back at all even though she hit the Asuka ceiling already. I can’t wait to see Ruby against some of the other women as well. I can’t believe how much of a fan I am of her already when she’s only had a few matches too.

I’m more than happy that NXT finally, finally pulled the trigger on Nikki and Asuka. This is far from over, especially with Nikki’s ferocious, unhinged demeanor. I would like to see Nikki mix it up in the ring more but I really enjoyed the backstage brawl. It’s about time we get to see this for the women. The men have participated in so many blood feuds, I’d love to see this go farther and become a feud that begins a series of stipulation matches before involving Ember.

Speaking of Ember, I’m pleased NXT decided to split her match with Peyton from this week’s show so it can be properly showcased away from the title picture. We all know Ember is coming but, she still needs proper development. I’m also glad they referenced the previous “ban the Eclipse” campaign the Iconic Duo were touting a few months ago. NXT should really get back into displaying a sense of continuity again.

Though NXT still has work to do, and I say this every week these days, this week’s show really spun the division in the right direction.

If NXT continues to showcase what the women can do in lengthy matches, creating memorable feuds, the only thing left to do is put pen to paper to craft some compelling stories. If NXT can get that last part right, we’ll be set moving forward.

What did you think of this week’s NXT? Do you think the feud between Asuka and Nikki is far from over? What do you want to see next? Sound off in the comments below.