Howdy everyone and welcome this week’s NXT Redux! Jack here, the voice of Diva Dirt’s Raw Redux and I am officially back to my old stomping ground as I am now covering NXT for you too.
I am majorly excited to be back recapping the action featuring NXT’s women’s division and what a week for me to jump back aboard this mighty fine developmental ship! A lengthy match between Charlotte and Emma is the opening contest and there is also an in-ring contract signing for TakeOver: Unstoppable between NXT Women’s Champion Sasha Banks and the challenger Becky Lynch. Add to that backstage segments featuring Sasha, Carmella and Dana Brooke plus a tremendous Becky Lynch video package and a ringside appearance from Bayley, we have quite the jam-packed show!
Emma’s unmistakable entrance theme blasts through the Full Sail speakers to kick off the show and she is giving the fans none of what they want. Wearing Bayley’s headbands and t-shirt, Emma mocks her dancing and dismisses her usual entrance yet she is still as socially awkward as usual. I like that her character has only been subtly tweaked. It really works for me.
Charlotte arrives next and I was genuinely over the moon when I heard her music hit as I forgot this was even happening after I had read the spoilers 34 weeks ago.
Emma throws the headbands at Charlotte to start the match yet she completely misses. Good job otherwise she may have been disqualified. I kid, I kid. The pair lock-up before exchange side headlocks. Charlotte takes Emma over yet then Emma locks her legs around Charlotte’s neck but then the Queen City native kips up. Stalemate.
Charlotte clasps Emma’s head and neck with a tight headlock variation and knees her in the temple a few times for good measure. Emma then counters by using the middle rope to flip her legs up to rebound with Charlotte’s face. The former NXT Women’s Champion fights back for a short moment after an elbow strike yet then Emma sends Charlotte crashing from the middle rope the mat. Rough looking yet actually pretty believable offence.
With Charlotte’s left leg now in pain, Emma has her opening. She stomps and dropkicks the injured bodypart before letting it meet the apron framing and trying to writhe it from the socket by draping it over the bottom rope. A makeshift bow & arrow/curb stomp combo is Emma’s next play, a tandem she follows up by pouncing on top of Charlotte’s knee when it was positioned on the second rope. I am loving everything about this.
Emma’s assault continues by kicking at the leg and driving the knee into the mat. Emma then locks in a cringe-inducing single leg crab that looks incredibly nasty. Emma’s offence is great here. Once Charlotte somehow musters the strength to make it to the ropes, she reverses an attempted crashing of her knee into the mat. Everyone’s favourite ‘Woo Girl’ hits a knee lift and successive chops before hitting a variation of a hangman’s neckbreaker followed by a spear! I appreciate that the spear didn’t look too impactful as it shows that Charlotte was selling the injury really well.
Charlotte goes for the pin and the win yet can only muster a two count. Emma trips Charlotte next and is shoved off when she attempts a jackknife cover. A flustered Emma is then taken out in lightning quick fashion with the Natural Selection and the genetically superior Diva proves that she lives up to her name after she got to her feet first and bagged that win.
After that match, Bayley helps Emma up and hugs her, seemingly letting Emma’s past taunting go. The crowd are red-hot for Bayley and that seemingly inspires her to give Emma a taste of her own medicine. Bayley hits the Belly to Bayley (Rich Brennan has changed it to Bayley to Belly which really annoys me) and she then mounts Emma and lays into here! Charlotte hold Bayley back yet Bayley makes sure that she grabs her headbands and t-shirt back first! If Emma wants one, she can buy one from WWE Shop and give Bayley a cut of the profits!
Becky Lynch is in the spotlight yet as Rich Brennan described her as “eclectic” before the VT is on screen. I wouldn’t say that Becky is a “diverse range of ideas” yet whatever. Commentary isn’t Rich’s strong-point whatsoever.
The package is similar to the one that aired last week and features captivating snapshots of Becky’s past working in England and Japan. I’m gutted her past with Paige wasn’t referenced yet at least we got to see Katarina Leigh on WWE TV again and Sarah Stock for the first time! Shame they are just in pictures though. Damn you WWE! Overall, this was a must-see promo and a tremendous way to bring to light how passionate Becky is.
My new NXT favourite Sasha Banks cutting a promo backstage is the next segment of the night. Sidenote: I have her theme on my iPod and it is a great one to strut around to in the street and pretend you have some 2007 Kanye West sunglasses on. Don’t judge me!
Sasha is turned towards a picture of The Fabulous Moolah and said that she was the greatest Diva in WWE history… until she came along. *faces the camera* Sasha says she respects that Becky has travelled the globe to try and make it, yet as quickly as she helped make Becky, she can also make the fans forget about her, “like that”. *clicks fingers* Sasha says that if Becky wants to make NXT her “empire”, she needs the crown jewel, yet there is no way she is taking that from The Boss.
I am in love with that woman.
Our next sighting is of the self-proclaimed “Hottest Chick in the Ring” Carmella. She is scheduled to accompany Enzo Amore and Big Cass to the ring for their match yet they don’t quite make it. After their entrance music plays twice and they don’t arrive, cameras catch up with Carmella backstage who is totally beside herself. She berates Blake & Murphy, who have ambushed her boys in the backstage area. Certainly not F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S!
William Regal is standing by in the ring in-front of a massive table, so I presume we’re about to have an NXT hot dog eating contest with Jason Albert and Bull Dempsey? Oh no wait, it is time for Becky and Sasha’s contract signing. My bad.
After entrances Becky takes to the mic and cuts a very tweener-ish promo. Bex talks about travelling the world and then pursuing careers in stuntwork and even as a flight attendant after she questioned whether she could make it to the big time. She said that thankfully, she has managed to claw her way to this stage, yet she isn’t here to take part. She is here to take over.
Sasha keeps her mouth shut for once and lets her actions do the talking. After using a ‘BOSS’ stamp to sign the contract (amazing touch) Sasha attacks Becky! She throws the clipboard in her before punching Becky, throwing her across the table and smashing her face into. She then stands on-top of Becky’s neck and the table and raises her belt high!
Not one to go down lightly, Becky takes advantage of an ‘in-the-moment’ Banks from dishing out more punishment and she applies her newly-established armbar finisher! Sasha taps out as the referees pull the two apart. Becky just put Sasha on notice. You make your own luckm and the luck (and skill) of the Irish was on full display.
Dana Brooke is the final noteworthy name of the night. And Devin is there. Devin says that Dana has been on “quite the roll since”…
“Since I was born!”
Killer line from the Killer Barbie! Dana gloats about her win last week before moving the conversation onto the recent WWE/Tap Out advert. The ‘Total Diva’ (stop calling yourself that) says that it was total wack that WWE chose Charlotte to star in the commercial instead of her, much like Devin’s wack body. You forgot to mention her wack performance in The Bachelor too Dana! I wouldn’t be seen dead being eliminated in the first round of a TV show…
Dana says that now that she is around, it is about time that she sends Charlotte packing from NXT. Holy foreshadowing!
Thoughts: Much like last week, this week’s NXT was another phenomenal episode for the NXT Divas. NXT has always given Divas a chance and this week was no different. The booking and editing of NXT has seemed so much tighter in recent months, allowing for so much more content to be included. This week was a perfect example of that as we got to see eight women on screen with two feuds continuing with a major hint being dropped about a potential third starting up.
I wasn’t a fan of Dana Brooke’s promo a couple of weeks ago yet I thought her performance this week was excellent. Her use of the word “wack” was pretty annoying, yet Dana is a cocky heel so the fact she annoys me is great. Her line when she interrupted Devin was hilarious too. Dana’s character is more of a deluded-level of cockiness as opposed to the brash attitude seen from Sasha and the sassy ways of Carmella. Whilst all heels, each Diva is still managing to come across a little different and I think that is a fantastic thing to see.
If only Devin could get a little more personality. If someone just said that my body was wack, I would have a right face on for the entire rest of the interview, not a scowl for a split second. When the graphic on the TV has more presence than you, that’s when you know you need to switch it up and give people some more.
From a woman in Dana who NXT seemingly know what to do with to Carmella, NXT’s answer to Natalya. Carmella is a heel in matches yet a face when managing her cronies and it is starting to irritate me. I was very impressed with Carmella’s acting and dialogue this week yet I really want WWE to let her sit on one side of the fence instead of on top of it. At least Carmella said statements like “Stop that right now, I swear to god” and “Are you serious?” that are quite feisty and defiant as opposed to generic ‘damsel in distress’ spiel such as non-stop screaming or “Oh no! Someone get some help!”. Despite her blokes getting their arses whooped, Carmella stood her ground and verbally wasn’t afraid of the NXT Tag Team Champions. At least now she knows their true intentions. However, do we know Carmella’s? I hope she turns on Enzo and Cass at TakeOver yet not align with anyone else. She needs to stand on her own two bad girl feet and then use them to make people tap out. Bad-a-boom, bad-a-bing.
WWE’s video package for Becky Lynch was absolutely fantastic. I love that WWE referenced Becky’s horrendous character direction when she debuted and it was really refreshing to see them actually use history to elevate Becky instead of just ignoring the past. The images of her days in England and Japan were excellent too and really cement her as a hungry, passionate challenger. I can’t say I am a fan of her turning face on a whim though. Moments of heeldom were displayed in the video package and contract signing, yet her in-ring promo was indicative of a face character. Let’s hope WWE care to give us a reason as to Becky’s sudden softening around the edges. She isn’t yet playing up to the crowd, so hopefully that is a sign that she is to remain a heel and is only a tweener for this program.
As for the contract signing, I was a really big fan of it. Having William Regal involved intensified the mood of the segment. This was going to be a big deal. Both Becky and Sasha were so strong on the mic too which I was very impressed with. When is Sasha not though? Becky being given more mic time as of late is definitely paying off though. Also, Sasha’s ‘BOSS’ stamp? Brilliant.
As for the physical element to the aforementioned segment, I am so glad it didn’t end with Sasha standing on the announce table. That would have been so unrealistic. Whilst she did rough up Becky pretty hard, she wouldn’t stay down after a cocksure kick to the head (which was more like a push to the ground if anything) and a few hits to the face. I thought the segment was going to end without anything majorly emphatic, yet it was Becky who delivered that, recovering and making Sasha tap out. All-in-all, that was a B+ segment – a very strong showing indeed. And Sasha stood with her title held high would make for a great social media cover photo.
Did I say how good Sasha’s promo was backstage? Oh yeah I did, yet I love her so let’s chat some more about how epic it was. I cannot believe how far Sasha has come. She is like an entirely different entity to the woman she was when she first debuted. I honestly found her so boring, yet now she can do no wrong. She is absolutely fantastic and one of WWE’s most exciting prospects.
Now that we have discussed the good, the bad and the indifferent, let’s talk about the moment of the night, the match between Charlotte and Emma, plus Bayley’s subsequent beatdown. The Bayley/Emma feud is really picking up pace and both of them plus Charlotte were used perfectly in this segment. I can only fault one thing, which I’ll get out of the way.
Charlotte needs to get a new finisher. The Natural Selection this week looked terrible. For a woman so athletic, gorgeous and talented, you would think her finisher would represent those qualities a little better. Her finisher is essentially Adam Rose‘s Party Foul with even less impact as her opponents don’t fall from as high a height. But other than that, this match was so good.
It has been a while since we have seen Emma dominate in anything so being reminded that she can in fact wrestle was awesome. Her viciously methodical dissection of Charlotte was great, and she certainly didn’t hold back. Her array of ways to work over Charlotte’s leg was impressive; from the initial game-changing trip from the second rope to whacking it off the apron beam and that wickedly clamping single leg crab, I was very impressed with Emma.
Bayley’s post-match attack was also unreal, and I love the relationship that Bayley and Charlotte have. They have had quite the history, yet Charlotte is always watching over Bayley and is willing to help her out. Bayley was killing it yet again with her character and I cannot complain about her performance. I just hope that she eventually gets to have that NXT Women’s Title.
Having said that, Emma cannot keep losing. If she and Bayley do clash at TakeOver, Emma needs to win, otherwise her heel turn has been a waste of time for her personally. She was meant to adopt a new attitude to put an end to her losing and being made fun of. Since she has turned on NXT, she has lost both of her matches. I’m all for Emma winning before then eventually losing to Bayley again in a #1 Contender’s match.
And who said Bobby’s ‘Thoughts’ sections were the longest?! I would love to hear your thoughts on the latest NXT drama in the comment section below. Despite her having nothing to do with NXT, you should also praise the almighty Tameezus Christ too. On that note, see you next week for Raw and hopefully some more superkicking!