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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

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NXT Redux (September 21st, 2016): Confidence is key

[media-credit name=”WWE” align=”alignnone” width=”620″]billievsaliyah[/media-credit]

Welcome to this week’s NXT review everyone! This week our patience is finally beginning to pay off. After the draft and NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II, NXT had a monumental task ahead of itself in rebuilding the brand while continuing to develop veterans and homegrown talent to take the spotlight. It’s been trying and frustrating while NXT began slowly sowing the seeds that are now about to start growing.

Liv Morgan challenged Asuka last week and first up is an interview with the spunky Jersey girl. Charly Caruso stands by.

Charly asks Liv how she intends to prepare for a possible match with the women’s champion. She says she’s not intimidated and isn’t about to go anywhere or bow down to anyone in the division. Before she can reveal her training regimen, Asuka interrupts and says, “You think you are ready? Let’s find out.”

Our first and only match of the night is next as a returning Billie Kay takes on Aliyah. Let’s watch!

Both women make their entrances as commentary puts over Billie Kay’s unwavering confidence. Though she lost to Ember Moon at TakeOver: Brooklyn, Billie is still putting on airs.

Billie and Aliyah tie up for a bit before Billie slams Aliyah down. They go through a reversal as Billie hits Aliyah with a shoulder block. However Aliyah catches Billie and ties her up in the ropes. She works her arm in a headlock submission in the ropes before kicking her down and springing over the rope to hit Billie with a leg drop.

She works Billie into another rest hold. Billie reverses it into a front chest breaker maneuver and then stomps Aliyah in the corner. She gets Aliyah up to her feet and into a fireman’s carry/torture rack, where she disorients Aliyah before slamming her into the turnbuckle.  Aliyah regains her strength back enough to hit a neckbreaker on Billie. But as Aliyah looks to finish Billie off, Billie takes her down with a big boot.

After the match we are joined by Dasha Fuentes now who is standing by with Mandy Rose.

Dasha asks Mandy about her issues with Ember. Mandy says Ember doesn’t fit in NXT. She likens Ember to a mix of “hunger games and red little red riding hood.” Mandy says she is what a real NXT women’s Superstar looks like. Mandy says when she finally gets into the ring with Ember, she’ll make sure Ember gets “total eclipsed.”

Their beef continued on twitter:

Before the show ends, commentary notes that Liv will take on Asuka next week.

After the show, WWE.com catches up with Billie, asking her what her win means in gaining an upper hand in the women’s title chase.

Billie says it helps her greatly. Though she lost to the “incredible” Ember Moon, she’s here to get back on track and that’s starting with booting Aliyah in the face.

Thoughts: This is what I’ve been waiting for! This is the first promising step of many for the division to begin flourishing. Our key theme for this episode is definitely confidence.

Liv and Asuka received a promo getting us ready for next week’s match. Liv is putting the cart before the horse in believing she could take down Asuka when other seasoned women couldn’t.

Asuka’s performance here continues to steer the division into a frenzy. You respect her but you also want to see her put on a big show and get pushed to her limits, elevating the title even more. Asuka doesn’t have to have a match every week to be effective, she needs more screen time like this.

Billie and Aliyah’s match did not disappoint. Aliyah’s move set is coming along nicely. She’s continuing to get creative with her submissions and boosting her follow through with that smooth neck breaker. The only thing Aliyah needs now is to start honing in on her character. What sets her apart from the other women in the division?  Billie is always on point with her maneuvers and it’s with this brass attitude that she’s above everyone that gets her noticed and gets her the win.

Mandy thinks she’s the hottest thing since sliced bread in NXT and is calling out Ember, saying Ember doesn’t belong here because she’s not like everybody else.

All these plays are going to begin setting multiple story lines in motion. I’m over the moon that they have begun putting pen to paper in constructing some character beats that will begin getting us familiar with each woman in the division and what they stand for, how they’ll react, change, and why they are even here.

It’s with these side feuds that characters can really begin to show off, give us glimpses of their potential, and give us show stopping moments. This is what NXT is all about and sometimes, though painful, it takes time getting here. I’m glad NXT is picking up and judging from spoilers, things are about to kick into high gear.

What did you think about this week’s NXT? Will Liv survive next week’s match with Asuka? Billie Kay is coming back strong, who do you want to see her face next? Do you think Ember will respond to Mandy on NXT TV? Sound off in the comments below.

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