Tuesday, August 3, 2021

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NXT Redux (February 22, 2017): Peyton Royce slithers into number one contender territory

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Welcome to this week’s NXT Redux! Last week Billie Kay and Peyton Royce enacted some revenge on Ember Moon and Liv Morgan. This week Peyton faces off against both Liv and Ember in a triple threat to determine Asuka‘s next opponent.

Let’s watch the match: 

The bout starts off with Liv going after Peyton and eliminating Ember from the ring. Ember’s not down for long as she comes back in the ring and after Peyton. The fight continues outside after Ember launches herself from the ropes. Liv gets caught in the crossfire. Peyton then throws Ember into the steel steps. NXT goes to a commercial (come on, really?).

After the commercial break Peyton is dominating Liv in the corner, choking her with her foot. They trade pin attempts. Peyton then ties Liv up in the ropes. She blocks an attempt at Ember trying to get back into the ring. Peyton continues stomping on Liv and chokes her in the ropes again. Peyton stops Ember from entering the ring again.

Liv counters Peyton in the corner and grounds her with a corner headscissors. They trade blows before Peyton kicks Ember out of the ring again. Liv starts making a comeback with punches but Peyton kicks her in the midsection. Peyton throws her into the corner where she kicks her and Liv falls down to the bottom turnbuckle.

However, Liv comes back with a drop toe hold and double stomp, laying Peyton out. She does her signature bulldog and tries to get a three count. Ember finally makes her way back into the ring. Liv counters Ember’s strikes with a headscissor that sends Ember rolling back outside of the ring to recover.

Peyton and Liv once again trade blows. Peyton sets her up for a top rope superplex but Liv refuses to give in. Instead Ember rushes in and drops both of them with a sunset superplex.

Ember sets up for the Eclipse but Billie rushes in to stop her. Billie gets eclipsed instead. Liv tries to capitalize on the distraction and throws Ember out of the ring. She turns around and eats a knee from Peyton. Peyton catches Liv in the Perfectplex (a bridging fisherman suplex) for the win.

After the match the iconic duo is joined by an interviewer who asks her how she feels about facing Asuka.

Peyton says she would have won the championship at TakeOver if it wasn’t for Nikki Cross. She says when she wins next week she’ll be taking the title “down under.”

Thoughts: The match was OK. Peyton was dominant but I felt like her and Liv were moving in slow motion. It was a sound strategy to take out Ember. However, I feel like the match wasn’t as smooth as it could have been.

Yeah, heels tend to want to slow down a match as much as possible but I feel like matches can still be fluid with some stops and starts. This didn’t feel as fluid to me as it could have been.

Liv continues to add more moves to her repertoire and she’s coming along, even if she was the weakest link here. But this is developmental and it has to be done. She needs more experience and I know she’s going to get better by working with veterans Peyton and Ember. I do like her headscissor moves. She can mix it up between being scrappy and agile.

Peyton looked like dynamite. She’s very expressive and embodies her sultry, venomous character. I want to see her whip out some more power moves though.

Ember was down for most of the match but I’m always impressed by her strength. The sunset flip superplex was a really nice spot. It’s still just hard for me to care about her when her character is still so shallow. Can someone write a story surrounding her? Anyone?

I’m excited for next week’s matchup. It will be fresh, despite the obvious outcome.

Now, I’ve seen the spoilers regarding the next few weeks and I am not impressed. I don’t want to condemn the next round of shows yet because we don’t know if there are going to be backstage segments, and there better be backstage segments, but on paper the division is being treated like an after thought.

That’s unacceptable. NXT all across the board stopped developing it’s homegrown talent and started poaching from the indies and TNA, focusing heavily on them without introducing men and women who are waiting patiently for a spot. The brand isn’t growing anyone outside it’s NXTNA talent and it’s hurting all divisions. What should be happening to keep all divisions healthy is equal spotlight for the experience and inexperienced. That way, it creates depth and interesting characters.

Where are the other women? The women’s division is still in shambles and creative has completely lost itself in creating “dream matches” for it’s top men’s title while neglecting creating compelling stories that would further grow characters into rich and complex heroes or villains we could root for.

I’m just so tired of it. What’s it going to take to get broad narratives again? Because right now, everything is barren and formulaic, relying too much on matches without any context. Why should anyone care?

What did you think of last night’s matchup? What do you think will happen next week during the title match? Sound off in the comments below.

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