Sunday, October 17, 2021

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NXT Redux (March 1, 2017): 150 wins and counting

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Welcome to this week’s NXT Redux! The Iconic Duo’s cutthroat rise to the top shows no signs of stopping as Peyton Royce aims to take down Asuka in this week’s episode. Is she successful or does she crumble just like the rest of the division? 

Before we get to the match though, Sanity, with Nikki Cross, issue a statement to Tye Dillinger. Their feud is far from over but, what happened to Nikki’s rage against Asuka? 

After that segment, our match is featured. The match starts off with quick, technical mat wrestling. They trade rest holds. Highlights include a back and forth evasion combo from both women, two jumping hip attacks that take down Peyton, and a devious strategy by Peyton as she targets Asuka’s injured arm.

Peyton works over Asuka’s arm and weakens her with submissions. Peyton controls the match before eating a vertical suplex from Asuka. Asuka recovers and takes down Peyton with a wicked dropkick. She strikes her some more. Peyton works over Asuka’s arm but Asuka reverses it into a pin. They trade pin reversals. Peyton continues to damage Asuka’s arm. She tries to hoist Asuka up for a vertical suplex but Asuka refuses to budge. She hits Asuka with a spinning heel kick instead.

Asuka strikes Peyton and then gets her into a running armbar into the Asuka Lock. Peyton taps and Asuka retains. After the match Billie Kay makes her way into the ring for a post match beatdown. Ember Moon rushes to the ring to make the save.

Ember and Asuka face off as Asuka raises the title in her face before leaving.

After the match an NXT interviewer asks Ember about the showdown.

Ember says Asuka knows who she is and yes, she works here.

Thoughts: I liked the match, it allowed Peyton to shine in a way that she hasn’t been able to before. I love Billie Kay and Peyton Royce and they both have a wealth of experience between them. Together they bring the best out of each other. However, I feel like the WWE style holds them back, Billie a bit more so than Peyton.

This match gave us more of an idea of what Peyton is really capable of. We saw hints during TakeOver that she’s the full package but here we see how fast she can really move. I really liked the back and forth mat wrestling, the reversals, and evasions. More of this please! When the women are allowed to work, shades of the revolution that put NXT on the map come through. This is what I’m constantly looking for as NXT settles for second best these days.

Asuka was Asuka, she’s more than capable at this point. Now I’m left asking what her alignment is. I do like characters with shades of grey, not really having a defined alignment but with this never ending streak and her historic title run, we should be getting more character development in how this has changed her as a competitor. She’s obviously more cocky and she thinks she’s too good for the division. Instead of disappearing for weeks, she should be stalking her next victims, something that keeps her visible to the audience. The title is prestigious, it shouldn’t disappear for weeks at a time!

We’re still lacking depth to all stories. I have no doubt that Ember vs Asuka will be fire, but, both women could really use some kind of narrative surrounding them. I’m also starting to get the feeling that Ember may not dethrone Asuka right away. WWE is now hammering home Asuka’s undefeated streak, even getting Goldberg, the first to have such a long streak in Sports Entertainment, involved. I’m starting to get the feeling that they won’t let this go until she passes his 90s streak of 173 wins.

What is it with WWE hammering streaks past the point of their usefulness? I really hope I’m wrong but this feels like something WWE would do and the division isn’t benefiting from it anymore at all.

As we wonder who Ember is and where all the other women are, Nikki is the only one getting any sort of character development. However, I’m annoyed that it seems like creative is dropping her budding story with Asuka? She called out Asuka several weeks ago and nothing has come of it. Why? Is it really that complicated to write a cohesive story that makes sense? Where is the follow through? That’s what keep asking myself.

As the next round of tapings start airing next week, I’m hoping that we get an inkling as to where the division is headed. Asuka vs Ember is in sight but, why should we care?

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

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