What’s up Diva fans and welcome to this week’s NXT Redux – the first of 2014! In my opinion, the top TV show for Divas last year was NXT (not that I’m biased as I recap it on a weekly basis) and I really, really hope 2014 is another outstanding year. Luckily, NXT kicks off 2014 in a monumental way, with a #1 Contender’s match for the NXT Women’s Championship. Even though Emma is still strictly the #1 contender, she’s trying to prove the doubters wrong and showing she can win the contendership by wrestling as opposed to being involved in a ‘Dance Battle’. Let’s hope if she wins this one, she won’t have to wait another 8 months, 25 days, 12 hours and 4 minutes to cash it in. Keep watching your back Emma, you’re always getting beaten up off screen and it needs to stop if you want to get your mitts on that gold… err… silver… or is it chrome?
Anyway, following their backstage segment two weeks back, Emma will be facing off against old lovable sourpuss herself, Natalya. Will the Queen of Harts dash the dreams of the bubbly Australian or can the leader of the Emmalution prove that no one is bursting her bubble in 2014? Let’s take a peek.
TO THE VIDEO!
The first Diva sighting of the night is of Lana, who accompanied her man, Alexander Rusev against Kofi Kingston. Lana riles up the crowd at the start of the video and then for the first time ever, Lana gets involved in a major way, distracting Kofi as he was on the top rope later in the match. Mini thoughts: Finally, Lana is inserting herself into the action and I loved it. Such promising stuff from her!
The next Diva to grace the Redux this week is Devin Taylor, who has the unfortunate task of mentally handling doing an interview segment with Sylvester LeFort, some bloke in chains so irrelevant I can’t be bothered to re-check what his name was, and BATISTA! Oh no wait, it’s just his cardboard cut out version, Mason Ryan. Thank god I couldn’t find a video for this. Next!
It’s match time now and out first this week is Natalya, ready to earn her second chance at the NXT Women’s Championship. She poses with Diva Dirt NXT spoiler provider, Jordan (I saw you!) before entering the ring. Out next, it’s Emma and I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve heard her theme song, which is my guilty pleasure. DU DU DU DU DU DU DU!
The match begins with a lightning quick headlock takeover from Nattie. Emma fights back with a headscissors which Natalya nips up out of. The girls grapple yet again almost immediately and they put on a chain wrestling clinic; waistlocks, side headlocks, wristlocks and hammerlocks are a plenty here and I’m loving it. Natalya stops the hold-for-hold stalemate with an inverted fireman’s carry takeover before a cover gets her only a one count. The girls reverse Irish whips before exchanging waist locks, an exchange Emma wins before going for a cover. Emma taunts Nattie saying how close she was to winning and that fires Nattie up!
Natalya rams Emma into the corner and bashes her with a few knees before the Aussie goes all Sweet Brown on Natalya’s ass; she ain’t got no time for this! Emma shoulder barges Natalya in the stomach before going for a pin, which is unsuccessful. Undeterred, Emma avoids Natalya running at her and locks in the Dilemma! The back and forth nature of the match continues to entertain me as Tal dodges Emma’s Emma Sandwich and then she decks Emma with her discus clothesline!
Natalya goes for a cover yet after it was as much use as a chocolate teapot, Natalya brings the pain with a fantastic abdominal stretch, complete with that amazing extra leg hook! Emma cries in pain yet elbows her way out, only to get her head smashed to the mat. Then, Natalya celebrates the new year by bringing back a classic submission that really should get more wins than it does… Pin-Up Strong! Emma once again does the unthinkable and gets out of the move or Natalya had bladder issues again and needed to stand up (love you really Natalya!) Natalya hits a scoop slam yet misses a leg drop and is Emma back in this? Not just yet. Natalya tries to go for a third submission with the Sharpshooter yet Emma reverses it and nearly gets the win with a small package. Natalya kicks out yet Emma positions her to where she wants her and faster than Usain Bolt, she locks in the Emma Lock and god forbid, Natalya taps out!
Thoughts: By the looks of things, 2014 will be the year of Emma! As much as I love Paige, I truly believe Emma will be the one to take the belt from her and WWE officials have done an amazing job of pushing Emma by getting her to feud with the BFFs and have great matches with the likes of Nattie. We’ve felt for her when she got bubble water thrown in her eyes, we’ve been entertained thoroughly in her matches with Summer and Paige and we are all warming to her character which let’s be honest, we all thought we flop so hard at first. Thankfully for Emma, she’s made it work and I for one wouldn’t mind seeing her win the belt, as long as it means Paige moves up to the main roster. Make it happen, WWE! And with that, stay tuned, Jack will be back!