What’s up everybody?! And welcome to a special episode of NXT unlike any other I’ve ever recapped. For you see, tonight, the yellow colored brand primarily took the evening off and labeled the show as a best of year in review. That’s all fine and dandy, but what they also chose to do is to present to us one match… a Divas match! And not only that, it’s also a Womens Championship one to boot.
I guess you can say this is sort of like Team W.O.O. versus Team B.A.E. Which three letter abbreviation will reign supreme?
Scroll on to find out.
Up first, we head backstage to see Rich Brennan approach Bayley as she sits on a sofa at the performance center watching the new Triple H DVD. Lovable Bayley relates Triple H’s historic knee injury/return as being related to hers, telling Rich that her rehab is going well. She plans to come back bigger and stronger than ever before, and asks him to tell both Sasha and Becky that.
Following this, we’re out to the ring as JoJo announces the following contest being for the NXT Womens Championship! The very song I just finished listening to a solid 4 or 5 times before sitting down to write this, “Sky’s The Limit”, hits and out struts Sasha and Becky — collectively known as Team BAE. Sasha blows on a fresh manicure and steps inside the ring, looking as determined as ever to take what she feels rightfully belongs to her.
Up next comes… not her opponent, but her opponent’s legendary father, Ric Flair! He says that with his two Hall of Fame ring’ed retirement, he didn’t pass the torch… his daughter took it! Ric gives some deserved high praise to their first match at TakeOver a few weeks ago, even going as far as to call it one of the best matches in WWE history. He goes on to give Sasha Banks the admiration she deserves… but claims she just wasn’t good enough that night to take the title. From there, Ric introduces his daughter… the NXT Womens Champion, Charlotte!
Charlotte’s music hits and out she walks, Ric looking on like a proud papa. Sasha looks ready to come to blows with the champ, but Charlotte isn’t phased. She does nearly get attacked while completing her entrance though. As ref Drake restrains Banks from going off, JoJo provides the special ring introductions in front of a mixed crowd as we get started with the bell ding! Sasha immediately goes for some right hooks, as they throw down from the get go. Charlotte targets the knee, but Sasha gets a boot up. She scores with an elbow as well, but Charlotte slams her right down and continues working over the body part.
Charlotte now brings Sasha over to the corner and slams her knee into the ring post. Banks thinks quickly on her feet though, sliding backwards and slamming Charlotte right into that very post in the process. After we return from a commercial break, Sasha is beating the tar out of Charlotte. She bashes her face in the corner and executes a little scrapping, just gaining a two count. Alex Riley is now namedropping the Internet Wrestling Community on Reddit and I don’t know what to do with myself, but Sasha certainly knows what to do next in this match as she locks in a chokehold with added knees for more pain!
Charlotte fights out, then getting a huge boot up. Sasha doesn’t let that stop her madness though, nailing her patented double knees for another near fall. This frustrates Banks, who then transitions into a cross arm choke, again with added knees! The crowd gets behind the champ, as she fights out and hoists Sasha on her back, dropping her with the running stunner! Ric wills her on, as Charlotte connects with a pair of huge fists to the face! She follows it up with a chop, then hitting the move I CANNOT praise enough because I love it, where she suplexes Sasha into a standing position and then twists with a neckbreaker.
Charlotte soaks the crowd response in, running off the ropes but missing a knee drop. Sasha goes for and completes a backslide, but just a two count. Neckbreaker! Just a two count. Sasha now showing about the same reaction as me up in the bleachers, pulling at her hair and making faces of frustration. She lands the Bank Statement! Sasha has the submission locked in! But Charlotte grabs the rope. Banks has to break the hold, eventually kicking Charlotte outside. She fires herself up and runs off the ropes, but Charlotte decks her right in the skull during her attempt at the TakeOver suicide dive. The champ heads up top, only Sasha stops her! Sasha scales the ropes and nails a superplex! She covers! One… two… NO.
Both women are groggy as the crowd cheers them on. Sasha tries to gain the upperhand, but gets DRILLED with a Glam Slam after attempting a wheelbarrow maneuver to catch Charlotte off guard. From there, Charlotte grabs onto the legs and locks on the… NO. Small Package! One… two… NO. Charlotte locks in a figure four. BRIDGED! My Christmas wish has come true in the form of Charlotte turning this into a finisher! Unfortunately my other Christmas wish of seeing Sasha Banks hold a title did not come true, but what we did get was another phenomenal match between these two and I could not be happier.
Thoughts: Love. Love. Love. I cannot say enough good things. This was such a great way to end the year and I think it speaks volumes about how well received their TakeOver match was that they were chosen and trusted to be the final match of NXT’s breakout year. They did not disappoint one bit, and to me, this was one of the best matches we’ve seen from the brand (obviously not counting the live specials where they’re alotted more time and no commercial breaks).
Sasha and Charlotte just mesh so well together, and I think now that we’ve seen two such strong performances from them, we can solidify it wasn’t just a one-off great showing. I’m so glad we got this match because, even though it’s only been two weeks since the first, I want their showings to be remembered as being special. There are other matches that were great this year too, and they’ve gotten a lot of credit. To me though, Sasha and Charlotte have stolen 2014 and I don’t want that to be forgotten about in the years to come.
The match was great. Obviously it wasn’t going to compare to their first as the emotion and live aspect was at an all time high, but I thought the two of them performed so well with one another. My favorite part though, would have to be that they didn’t repeat their high spots from TakeOver. It makes TakeOver continue to feel important because I don’t feel like we just saw the same match twice. Taking spins on some of their spots, such as almost doing the spear again and this time transitioning it into a wheelbarrow/Glam Slam, as well as actually doing the Superplex instead of having Charlotte slam her down and finish off, were absolutely the right call to make.
The inclusion of Ric and Becky also helped too, even though they didn’t really get involved at all. I think having them out there added a sense of specialness that might have been taken away by the match being prerecorded, because we don’t see Ric out with Charlotte minus one or two occasions in the past, and so it feels like a big deal instead of just another singles match so to speak.
Also, Charlotte… Please. God. Keep. That. Finisher.
I think this is the first time she’s actually won with it, but I hope it won’t be the last. It’s 100% perfect! Incorporating her father’s move with the modernized twist, will surely get over instantly, and also has less chance of something going wrong compared to Natural Selection. I do respect the aspect of only busting it out on special occasions, similar to Paige with the PTO, but I just want to know she’s keeping it as a finisher. Send us a tweet or something Charlotte, this is all I ask!
That’s it for this week, and since this will be my last redux of 2014, I want to wish everyone a happy new year. To me, this has been 100% the strongest year for female wrestling in WWE for such a long time. That might not be universally shared, but I think so much good has come out of 2014 and I just hope that in 2015 we see those trends not only continue, but maximize into even better scenarios for the women.
Hopefully in 2015, we get Sasha Banks and Bayley Womens title reigns, Charlotte, Bayley and Sasha on the main roster, and a lot of debuts (*cough* Dana, Devin, JoJo *cries*, Leyvonna, Zada pleaaase) to shake the division up. I also can’t wait to see where girls like Alexa Bliss and Carmella are at this time next year, and hopefully ol’ Blue Pants gets a deal and joins us as a full fledged roster member!
Goals, y’all. Goals.