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Hey all, welcome to this week’s NXT review! We’re just a few days away from TakeOver: Brooklyn II and NXT is starting to put the pieces in place to further strengthen the division.
Last week we saw Bayley promising to overcome Asuka, dethrone her, and make history. We also saw Billie Kay continue her winning streak over the likes of up and comer Liv Morgan. Billie’s on a roll after debuting on SmackDown a month ago, is she next in line for a title shot or will someone come along and smash her ego?
This week we’re treated to not one but three debuts in the women’s division, further deepening the roster and giving us a glimpse of what the future holds.
But before we get to our match, General Manager William Regal stands by in his office to deliver a special message about TakeOver. He goes on to say how special the event is but it’s not long until he’s interrupted by Billie. She says the event won’t be good enough until she’s featured on it. Regal obliges and sets up a match between Billie and the debuting Ember Moon!
— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) August 18, 2016
Throughout the night before the match we see both the face and heel team warming up with their respective leaders, Carmella and Alexa Bliss, pumping them up. Carmella brings Liv and Nikki Glencross into the fold, while Alexa oversees Daria Berenato and Mandy Rose.
All six ladies make their entrances, with commentary noting Nikki, Daria, and Mandy’s previous achievements. Nikki having a strong wrestling and international background, Daria being a decorated MMA fighter with several other combat disciplines under her belt, and Mandy having looks that kill and the drive to back it up.
Nikki starts off the match against Alexa. Alexa immediately pushes Nikki down and taunts her, Alex’s dominance doesn’t last long before Nikki pushes her back and they each run the ropes before Nikki takes her down with a cross body and drop kick. Alexa rolls out of the ring to compose herself, her team mates checking up on her.
Daria tags in and we go to commercial. When we get back Liv is now in the ring and she takes the brunt of the punishment. Daria controls most of their exchange with a headlock. She makes her way out of it but Alexa distracts her long enough so Daria can take her down again with a boot.
Alexa tags in and stomps Liv’s face into the mat. The heel team then takes turns overpowering her with Daria landing stiff kicks and knees, Mandy with snap mares and holds, and Alexa with continued kicks.
Liv eventually manages to trip Alexa and makes the hot tag to Carmella who rushes in and close lines Mandy. She plants Mandy with a top rope headscissor and then a super kick. She goes for a pin but Alexa breaks it up. Each woman then gets their moment to shine with Nikki taking down Alexa, but then eating a spear from Daria, who then gets taken out by Liv.
Carmella then capitalizes on the chaos by submitting Mandy with the Code of Silence to get the win for her team.
NXT also highlighted Bayley vs Asuka II with an emotional video package.
Thoughts: I wasn’t too crazy about this match and not because of the set up but more so the outcome. I’ll explain why once I get through the good things.
NXT has a way of making everyone look good, something the main roster still struggles with in some feuds. Nikki looked incredibly strong and this tells me sooner rather than later she’ll be a tough face to beat. Liv is our sympathetic baby face, she’s spunky, fun, and always adds new maneuvers to her arsenal.
For our heels, they are positioning Daria to be a complete fighter. The way commentary played up her training in combat sports tells me they will take her seriously and push her as a legitimate threat that shouldn’t be underestimated. I’m intrigued as to how they’ll handle her moving forward since we haven’t had too many characters come through like her. And Mandy, while a beautiful face, still has to work on some of her moves, but holds promise already with her mannerisms and force. I can see them pushing her in an Eva-like role where of course Corey Graves will pine on her aesthetics but also drive home how she is someone to watch out for.
It was nice to see Alexa and Carmella back too. They are both KILLING IT on SmackDown. Carmella has gotten so much more fluid and smooth in the ring in recent weeks. Unfortunately she wasn’t as fluid here but this was taped a month or so ago and it’s quite possible she was toning her pace down to work with the new girls. I’m very proud of both of those girls and how far they’ve come.
However, I’m a little bit confused at the outcome of this match. Why was Carmella the one to win for her team? I think it would have been better if Nikki or Liv got the pin. Carmella is permanently on the main roster now so the win doesn’t really do anything for her and she didn’t really have anything left to prove. If Nikki or Liv won for her team I think this would have sent a stronger message to the rest of the division. It would begin to weave the narrative that these girls are here to take the torch and run with it, continuing to make the division a hotbed of competition. The ending takes a bit away from what was an enjoyable match. I’m very much looking forward to what comes of these alliances though.
We need more stories outside the title chase and with these three debuts they have just bolstered the division in a big way.
Speaking of possible side feuds, I’m so pumped for Billie vs the debuting Ember! I was hoping they would do something like this and they did! A few weeks ago I had fantasy booked a situation where Billie, high on her SmackDown debut, would demand a match at a high profile event, and it happened just about the same way I wanted it to! Amazing!
The match should be a great back and forth bout, continuing to make both women look good. I expect Ember to win in her debut, but, I don’t think it would kill Billie’s momentum. I hope they continue the feud and Billie comes back in a big way, very pissed and volatile.
Lastly, the video package for Asuka vs Bayley part two was very good. I think no matter what the outcome will be, it will be a very emotional night. I believe Bayley deserves to make history, becoming the first two time women’s champion. That would further cement her legacy and dynamite run in the developmental. On the other hand, her story is over so if she did win, she wouldn’t really have anywhere else to go or anything else to do.
The next stars are poised to rise now and Bayley’s got magic that brings out the best in everyone. She could possibly stay behind for one more month to help the new women become comfortable.
However, I think the fight will be very close and Asuka will prevail, sending Bayley up to the main roster in an emotional and bittersweet way. Who will dethrone Asuka remains to be seen. That person will make an immediate impact though and send shock waves through the division.
What did you think of last night’s go-home NXT? Who do you look forward to seeing in the division after last night’s six woman tag? What are your predictions for TakeOver? Sound off in the comments below.