What’s up Diva fans and welcome to this week’s NXT Redux. It’s double duty day again here at Diva Dirt and as promised, I’m back! After Main Event’s awesome showing, NXT has also provided some excellent stocking fillers for everyone. In backstage segments, we get appearances from Emma, Natalya, Devin Taylor and Lana. In the ring, NXT Women’s Champion Paige takes on one third of the BFFs, Sasha Banks with Alexa Bliss on ring announcing duty. As always with a Sasha match, Summer Rae is not far behind and yet again, Charlotte is keeping a low profile – the bloody coward! Without further ado, let’s jump right in.
TO THE VIDEO!
The first segment this week featured Emma and Natalya. Emma danced around as Nattie was looking at a monitor backstage. Nattie says she is watching Tyson Kidd‘s match and Emma nearly poked her eye out. Emma, whilst being mega annoying, was nowhere near Nattie’s eyes and Natalya, the match just finished – I guess you’re on a delay! Nattie re-iterates that she is watching the match when she clearly isn’t and Emma says it’s her bad, how dare she interrupt the big reality TV star that no longer cares about NXT, unless she inserts herself into a title match! Tal retaliates by saying that Emma can’t talk, she won a title shot thanks to a “silly dance off”. Emma and Nattie say that dancing and wrestling are in their bloody respectively before Natalya issues a challenge to “tango” with her in a match to see who truly deserves a match against Paige. Emma accepts before both girls trade adjectives before walking off and I scratch my head at what the hell I just witnessed.
We’re out into the Full Sail Arena next as Sasha Banks sasses her way to the ring. Her and her fellow BFF Summer Rae click together, showcasing the FIERCE that is within their team name. Alexa Bliss is also doing a great job on ring announcing duty. Kendall Skye and Veronica Lane better watch out! Out next is the Sally to my Harry, the NXT Women’s Champion, Paige. Paige as usual, laps up the amazing reception she gets and as usual, I’m air guitaring to her entrance music.
The match starts out full of aggression. Paige goes ballistic on Sasha’s weave before ‘The Boss’ retaliates with a mega slapfest to the chest. Sasha runs toward Paige in the corner and gets hoisted to the apron. Summer makes her presence felt by distracting Paige, which allows Sasha to snap Paige’s neck over the top rope. Sasha stomps Paige like the art of kicking arse is going out of fashion and then she mocks Paige’s trademark banshee scream. Paige tries to mount a comeback but Sasha stays on her, locking in a vice-like sleeper hold complete with body scissors. Paige writhes in pain for some time before finally getting back to her feet and breaking free by ramming Sasha into the tunrbuckle. Sasha fights back with a slap to the chest and she then looks set to hit her springboard armdrag. For the second week in a row though, the move is countered and Paige has the opening she needs!
Paige brutalizes Sasha with a flurry of consecutive clotheslines before taking her out with a sweet dropkick. Paige runs across the ropes, yet her arch rival Summer trips her up. Sasha then charges at Paige, only to miss and kick Summer in the face. Paige hits a hard thrust kick before transitioning a backslide position into the Paige Turner for the win.
Our final Diva segment of the night sees Devin Taylor interview Kofi Kingston. I proceed to watch paint dry whilst Kofi drones on and then I put my paintbrush down when Lana pops up on screen. The Russian Diva speaks in her native tongue before Kofi is all diplomatic and is like “I’m so sorry lovely lady, I can’t understand you.” Kofi, grow a backbone and a personality please! Lana then says that her client Alexander Rusev wishes to crush Kofi in the ring next week. Kofi accepts as the mysterious Lana departs. Video of the segment isn’t embeddable, so click here to see it.
Thoughts: First up, let’s address Emma and Natalya’s interaction. Like Nattie’s segment with Paige a few weeks ago, things seemed a little off here, with both characters acting like tweeners. Whilst Natalya raised some good arguments (about Emma winning a dance off to become #1 Contender and her amazing line: “you think I haven’t earned it?”), some moments left her coming across as a right prude and totally annoying. “I’m trying to watch a match.” THE MATCH HAS ALREADY FINISHED! I am really excited to see these two clash next week though. It should be a masterclass!
Sasha and Paige’s match was one of those bouts where although it’s short, it felt really long. Nothing dragged for me, they had excellent chemistry and it was action packed, with dramatic aggression, interference from Summer and intriguing miscommunication between the BFFs. I loved the way Paige didn’t let go of Sasha’s wrist when she consecutively clotheslined her and the transition into the Paige Turner was really unique. It’s great to see that the girls are coming up with new ways to make finishers stand out and not seem like they are creating the same moment over and over again.
Finally, I loved Lana. Although Kofi Kingston’s mic work was horrendous, Lana still made the segment enjoyable. Her latest WWE.com interview has made me fall in love with her character and I can’t wait to see her and Alexander debut their new sports team look on NXT TV. Lana is definitely a one to watch in 2014. And with that, stay tuned, Jack will be back!