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Welcome to this week’s NXT everyone! After a few weeks of slow progress in the women’s division, we are treated to three women’s segments! As we inch closer to a TakeOver in June several competitors look to step up to the plate in snagging the gold from our women’s champion.
To kickoff the show we have Blake and Murphy, accompanied by Alexa Bliss, taking on Austin Aries and Shinsuke Nakamura. Lets watch the bout.
After Blake gets rattled by Nakamura, leaving Murphy to take all the punishment and get pinned, Alexa storms off, utterly furious that her boys have lost again. Blake trails behind her, turning his back on Murphy. Does this spell the end of BAMF?
Before we get to our next match, Cathy Kelley stands by with Bayley.
Bayley says though Nia uses her size to strike fear into her opponents, she is not afraid of her. She says she’s out to prove to Nia that “you can’t bully people into giving you what you want.” She admits Nia is very tough but if their match in London is any indication, she will beat her again tonight and she vows to reclaim her title.
As we make our way to the next match, we see Nia walking the halls of NXT preparing to face Bayley.
Carmella is up next to face a returning Peyton Royce. Before we get to the match, Carmella gives a shout out to her boys on the main roster. She sends Enzo her well wishes, since he’s recovering from a recent concussion, and says she’s very proud of Big Cass for “killing it right now” and for living his dreams. Though she hopes to join them soon, she says her aspiration is to become NXT Women’s Champion first.
The “Princess of Staten Island” makes her signature entrance to the ring. Then we are greeted by the returning “Venus Flytrap of NXT” as she slithers to the squared circle. The two tie up and Peyton forces Carmella into the corner. She stomps and hits Carmella in the corner before snapping her to the ground where Peyton continues to viciously strike her in the neck. Peyton then chokes Carmella and starts grounding her to the mat with a headlock. Carmella breaks free and attempts two pins that Peyton quickly kicks out of. Carmella then flips Peyton down to the mat and begins a lethal attack of her own, striking her several times. She moves off of Peyton to get to her feet but she’s quickly grounded again when Peyton grabs her by the ankle and drags her down to the mat. She stomps on her and attempts a pin but Carmella fights her off. Peyton then suplexes Carmella twice before planting her down in another bridging suplex. As Carmella kicks out, Peyton looks anguished and exhausted and begins to slap Carmella. Another striking fight ensues with forearms and kicks. Carmella grounds Peyton again with a Thesz press. She then pulls Peyton into the corner and takes her down with a top rope headscissor. She superkicks Peyton, gets fired up, and traps her in the bronco buster. Carmella faceplants Peyton into the mat and gets the win with an inverted triangle submission.
We’re then taken to a video package hyping our NXT Women’s Champion
After watching Asuka‘s meteoric rise, NXT gets ready for its main event, a rematch between the hugster and Nia.
After making their entrances, the two tie up with Nia forcing Bayley down to the mat. Bayley tries to grab Nia but gets quickly shaken off. Bayley seems shaken but tries to work Nia’s arm and lead her into the ropes but Nia winds up pushing Bayley into the ropes, forcing her to run them. Bayley runs into Nia’s arms where Nia picks her up and tries to scoop slam her. Bayley squirms out and begins choking Nia from behind. Nia flips her to the ground and tries to stomp on her but Bayley evades the attack.
Bayley again latches onto Nia’s neck, forcing her into a side headlock. While she tries to wear Nia down, Nia attempts to shake Bayley off, eventually using Bayley’s momentum against her to spike her face first into the ground. Nia quickly pins her but Bayley kicks out, trying to collect herself. Before Bayley can form another strategy, Nia throws her into the corner and starts thrusting into Bayley with her shoulder. She throws Bayley into another corner and repeats the process until Bayley begins fighting back. Nia overpowers her and scoop slams her. She drags Bayley over to the ropes and begins to use the top rope to choke Bayley as she taunts her. Nia continues to slam Bayley in the corner. Bayley continues to try and fight back but Nia slams her down, pinning her again. Bayley refuses to give up, kicks out and creates some space. She starts fighting back and slams Nia’s head into the corner. Nia reverses it and throws Bayley into the middle turnbuckle.
We go to a commercial break and when we return Nia continues to dominate Bayley, this time she’s struggling to break free from a crossface. Bayley starts mounting a comeback but finds herself on the receiving end of a shoulder breaker by Nia. She pins her but Bayley kicks out. Nia throws Bayley into the corner, this time working over her arm. Bayley falls to the ground and Nia continues her attack on Bayley’s arm. Bayley continues to try and fight but Nia again throws her into the corner and kicks her in the back as she falls to the ground.
The ref checks on Bayley as she gathers her breath. Nia grabs Bayley into a chokehold of her own. Bayley elbows Nia to the face to get out of it but eats a clothesline before falling to the ground. She’s pinned again, but Bayley doesn’t quit as Nia throws her into the corner. She hits her in the gut again before holding Bayley in a choke, trying to get her to the ground. She strangles Bayley into a bear hug and traps her injured arm, continuing to work it over. Bayley tries to fight back and lock in the guillotine but Nia shakes her off, ultimately freeing Bayley. She tries to sunset flip Nia into a cover but she pulls Bayley out from underneath the pin. Bayley launches Nia into the corner with her feet and begins headbutting her in the corner.
She tries chopping Nia down by kicking her left knee and drop kicking her twice. She uses Nia’s running momentum against her as she falls out of the ring and drops down to the floor. Bayley collects herself and begins running towards the outside of the ring. She attempts a Bayleycanrana but Nia almost powerbombs her out of it before Bayley kicks her off. She attempts a Bayleycanrana again and this time it’s successful. She rolls Nia into the ring and flies off the top turnbuckle into a diving crossbody pin.
Nia powers out and Bayley goes crashing to the other side of the ring. Bayley tries a Bayley to Belly but gets pushed off. Nia then plants Bayley to the mat with a spinebuster. She pins her but Bayley refuses to give up. She tries to spear Bayley into the corner but Bayley escapes before it can connect.
Bayley puts Nia into the guillotine again but her injured left arm doesn’t allow her to lock it in. Nia lifts Bayley up into the air but Bayley manages to escape and plants her with a DDT. She pins her but Nia pushes her off. Bayley begins wobbling on her left knee. Nia then rushes at Bayley in the corner, squashing her. Bayley falls to the ground and Nia leg drops the back of Bayley’s injured knee. She leg drops the back of Bayley’s neck and puts her away.
Before the end of the episode we see Bayley being tended to by refs and medical staff, leaving the audience in despair as the hugster crumbles.
Thoughts: WOW! Before I get to the main event, let me run down what we’ve seen first. There’s so much untapped potential in BAMF, so I’m a little bit on the fence about them possibly splitting up. I know they’ve been enhancing the tag division for awhile so a change might be needed but there’s something interesting about the possibility of Alexa having them as her valets during matches, something we don’t see too often. If she strikes out on her own, what’s her next move? She is still high on a winning streak and is no doubt on her way of staking her claim for a number one contendership for the women’s title.
She could target Carmella or Bayley again, after Bayley recovers, perhaps? It will be notable to see where we go from here. We are still lacking the build up to side feuds here, which is something I’m a bit perturbed by. Hopefully they’ll begin crafting some soon as we get a clearer picture of the title scene.
Onto Carmella’s match with Peyton. The “Venus Flytrap of NXT” should be our next focus moving forward. Peyton showed so much potential here. She’s working out a vicious, slithery heel character that can ground opponents with furious strikes and intense power moves. Carmella is also growing. The only downside is she needs to work on her striking and pacing a little bit more. Make those fists look believable, once that comes into play, she will be more rounded than she was before. She can still be a little slow in the ring but she does have the fire inside of her, she just needs to let it out.
Our main event was an interesting one. Nia tapped into a variety of moves trying to ground Bayley and I’m so proud of her! She’s really coming along nicely in her role as a dominating hoss wrestler. She was able to show that she can hang longer than those three minute squash matches, which weren’t really doing her any favors lately. With more matches like this, she’ll be able to strategize against her opponents instead of just completely overpowering them, which should make for more riveting, edge of your seat matches.
Bayley continues to shine in her role as our ultimate underdog. It really hurt to see her lose here and continue her downward spiral. It will be compelling to see where she goes from here, if she taps into anger or resilience in her quest to hold the women’s title once again.
Where do you see the division moving forward? Who do you think will face Asuka at the next TakeOver? Sound off in the comments below.