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NXT Redux (April 5, 2017): Peyton Royce reminds the competition that she’s still here

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Welcome to this week’s NXT review! What a week for wrestling! We had TakeOver where Asuka cheated to retain the NXT Women’s Championship, three women’s matches at WrestleMania and the crowning of a new SmackDown Women’s Champion, surprise redebuts on Raw, and the closing of one chapter in the women’s division on the blue brand, a Superstar shake-up is on the way, and then there’s…NXT.

NXT is typically light on its TakeOver fallout shows, instead opting to mainly focus on recapping the event that was a few days prior.

This week all eyes are on the devilishly delightful Peyton Royce as she takes on Aliyah. Let’s watch the match:

Peyton makes her entrance with Billie Kay by her side. Peyton receives a nice pop as she slinks to the ring. Aliyah makes her way to the ring to new entrance music (this is her third new theme now?).

They tie up with Peyton dominating off the bat. The crowd cheers for Peyton as Aliyah makes a comeback with a hard kick and flipping neck breaker type move. Peyton crawls over to Billie where she tries to drag her out of the ring. Aliyah stomps on Billie’s hand but turns around to a hard high kick by Peyton. Peyton stomps on Aliyah in corner.

Peyton controls the match and then ties Aliyah up in the ropes. She poses for the crowd after. Peyton continues to dominate Aliyah while commentary puts Aliyah over as a former circus performer?

Aliyah arm drags Peyton a few times and the crowd pops for it. Peyton takes out Aliyah’s knee and kicks her in the jaw before putting her away with a Perfect Plex, a fisherman suplex.

Thoughts: I don’t really understand why NXT doesn’t capitalize on its fallout programming. I know they tape a match prior to TakeOver but, can’t there be backstage segments that replace this unnecessary recapping?

I miss the days of NXT where the brand would world build its divisions with backstage segments. It gave the women’s division life and made NXT feel like a living, breathing place.

Instead we get this, a five minute match that basically doesn’t have too much of a purpose except for reminding us that the Iconic Duo is still coming after Ember Moon and Asuka.

Haven’t Aliyah and the Icons faced off before? There are so many women waiting at the PC for a spot and yet…NXT doesn’t know what it’s doing.

I enjoyed the match but wish it was a little bit longer so both the girls could really work. Aliyah is coming along fine in the ring but her character definitely needs to be explained. Commentary was honing in on her previous work as a trapeze artist. If this is where she’s going with her character, shouldn’t she be more agile or more apt to try some aerial maneuvering? She also lightly references Catwoman so it’d make more sense if she really incorporated some feline like movements as well.

She’s so young and has plenty of time to figure this all out. I want to see her engage in a long term story and drop some promos so we know who she is and start connecting to her.

Speaking of connecting, the audience was eating out of the palm of Peyton’s hand. It was really nice to see her get this recognition. I enjoy the Iconic Duo so much and really hope they get their due. Peyton was as smooth and was vicious as ever. She truly embodies her character and I want to see her take it to the next level. I’m hoping the set up for the next TakeOver involves the duo in some way with Ember and Asuka.

Now, I’ve seen the spoilers and all I can say is yikes. I want to hold off on my full judgement until we see everything play out but, the title scene is getting completely lost.

I don’t know what to think anymore when it comes to advancing NXT and getting us out of this slow moving rut. The brand takes 2 steps forward and 10 steps back with almost every taping. This is getting old and it’s really exhausting.

What did you think of last night’s NXT? Sound off in the comments below.

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