Sunday, October 17, 2021

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NXT Redux (February 8, 2017): Tit for tat

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Welcome to this week’s NXT Redux! Last week it was Ember Moon who showed up to prove why she should be the next in line for the Women’s Championship. 

This week it’s Liv Morgan‘s turn to try and take down the Iconic Duo and continue her own mission to prove she belongs. Though Billie Kay and Peyton Royce didn’t come out of TakeOver with the title, they remain closer than ever as they regain their footing in the division.

Before Liv can square off with Billie, Nikki Cross calls out Asuka.

After Killian Dain and his partner take down the Bollywood Boyz, Sanity signals that they are coming for everyone. Nikki yells Asuka’s name incoherently into the microphone several times, relaying a message that she’s not done with the Empress of Tomorrow. 

Now onto our match:

Liv makes her boisterous entrance as usual. Billie then makes her way to the ring with Peyton, the duo now sporting a new cute titantron. Peyton is also representing the team with an Iconic shirt (please make this official merch WWE!).

Commentary begins to put over Liv’s background, finally, as the two square off. Billie takes control right away, forcing Liv into the corner. Liv breaks free and begins to take control with a headlock to Billie. Billie reverses it but lands on the mat. Liv runs her over. They transition into Liv’s rolling pin combo.

They break free and Liv looks to take down Bille. She runs at her but Billie catches her and slams her midsection down into the ropes. Billie uses her strong boot to knock Liv down. Billie continues to dominate with stiff kicks to the midsection. Liv attempts a roll up but gets a two count. Billie then takes Liv down with a wicked clothesline. 

Billie grounds Liv again with some kicks before dragging her up to her feet by her hair. She yells at Liv before taking her down with a modified suplex. Billie continues to take control. Liv begins to make a comeback and hits an assisted headscissor from the ropes. 

Billie crawls over to Peyton for some help but Liv knocks them into each other and rolls up Billie for the win. 

The Icons are pissed. 

They meet with William Regal after the match:


Peyton says Liv’s win was illegal. They demand a rematch against Liv and a partner of Liv’s choosing. 

Thoughts: The match was OK, though I question the booking choice to have Liv go over. Liv did need a win but after establishing the Iconic Duo as a serious threat during TakeOver, I don’t think the win had to come at the expense of Billie. It puts her credibility at stake.

However, Billie still looked very strong and Liv continued to showcase her evolving moveset, so the match wasn’t a total loss. Liv rolling Billie up also signals that Billie is still too tough for her even though Liv tries to pull out all the stops in her matches. I also appreciate the new details NXT has added in cementing Billie and Peyton as a tag team, with the new tron and Peyton’s tee.

Liv still needs a bit of work. She’s doing much better and the fact that she always fails to cinch a win puts her in the overcoming baby face category. I was pleasantly surprised that commentary finally, finally, started to reference her past in order to further build her character. I really wish she’d reference her family more or her upbringing. Have it grab the audience so we can relate to her more. She’s still lacking some depth in my eyes. She doesn’t need to be another, “this is my dream” babyface either. She can still be scrappy and announce that she’s trying to prove why she belongs, which is what I think is happening. It’s just a shame that I have to try and put the narrative together because she’s still lacking one though. 

I’m glad they are using backstage segments again to flesh out the roster. The Aussies interrupting William Regal’s announcement was a nice touch to display how Billie and Peyton don’t care about anyone else and want to get their way, always. It also serves to build the Icons and Liv simultaneously, although we all know her partner is going to be Ember, right? Liv and Ember really need stronger stories to latch onto and this will help them, at least I hope.

Last but not least, let’s not forget Nikki. I was a bit disappointed that her calling out Asuka was met with no follow up. I believe she’s still the one to watch. She’s not done with Asuka yet and at this point, we need someone to really match Asuka in a way we haven’t seen before. 

NXT seems to be moving in the right direction again. We still need deeper stories and character development but, at least this time we aren’t moving completely in slow motion. 

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

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