NXT Redux (March 22, 2017): Ruby Riot debuts and Asuka sends a warning to Ember Moon

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Welcome to this week’s NXT review! We’re a a little more than one week away from TakeOver and Asuka has Ember Moon in her sights. This week she’s in action against Priscilla Zuniga, also known as Angel Rose. Does Asuka make quick work of her opponent?

Before we find out, we’re taken to a video package highlighting the big match coming up at TakeOver: Orlando. The video recaps Ember’s match against Billie Kay a few weeks ago. The Eclipse is put over as the possible weapon that could take out Asuka come next Saturday. 

Now let’s get to our match: 

Asuka makes her entrance while Priscilla waits in the ring. The crowd chants, “Asuka’s gonna kill you” before the match begins. Asuka then calls out Ember and says, “This is your fate” before kicking Priscilla in the head. Priscilla struggles to her feet, trying to fight back. Asuka pulls her up by her hair and Priscilla smacks Asuka across the face.

Asuka wipes her face and smiles sadistically before rushing at Priscilla and taking her down with a hip attack. Asuka tries to raise her up and continues kicking her. Asuka picks her up for a deadlift german suplex and kicks her in the face. She pins Priscilla but disrupts the 3 count in order to make a point. She continues beating Priscilla senseless. 

Asuka trembles with joy before putting Priscilla in the Asuka Lock for the win. Asuka calls out Ember again and speaks angrily in Japanese before switching over to English saying, “No Eclipse!”

Later on in the show Sanity, with Nikki Cross, takes on Roderick Strong, No Way Jose and Tye Dillenger

Towards the end of the match Nikki jumps on Tye, looking to overwhelm him. However, out comes Ruby Riot, formerly known as Heidi Lovelace! Ruby attacks Nikki and makes her flee from the ring.

Thoughts: Well NXT, it’s less than two weeks away now from TakeOver and this is what we’re doing? Let me first start with the positives. YAY for Ruby Riot! I’m excited to see her debuting so soon. Her name is bad ass and she has a great look. I’m not 100 percent familiar with her indy work but I’ve heard great things. She’s a welcome addition to the women’s division and I can’t wait to see what she can do.

However, while Ruby debuts, the rest of the homegrown women continue to train at the PC or appear on house shows. NXT has always been a place where the developing homegrown talent mingles with the more experienced vets of the business. This is typically great for both performers, the beginners learn the ropes from their experienced counterparts, while the vets continue to hone their craft. 

But NXT has been in a death spiral of just giving us “dream matches” with little to no story. That’s not to say that Sanity is lacking story, oh no, this is a pretty good build up for the group. Nikki is one of the few who have actually grown in NXT. Even though I don’t like how her feud with Asuka was abruptly stopped, she’s been showcased as this ruthless pitbull alongside this anarchist group that will not stop at anything until they eventually get their hands on a title, though I have a feeling they don’t really care for the gold. Nikki has always been visible, that’s more than I can say for most of the rest of the women’s division, including the champion.

While the match between Priscilla and Asuka was short, I did like how it was worked to send a sadistic message to Ember, and Priscilla did well as she made every hit from Asuka look so brutal. But, where is Ember? Why isn’t she firing back with hot promos or…doing anything? They are doing the least when it comes to building this feud. From what I can gather, since creative can’t be bothered to elaborate, Asuka is heavily underestimating Ember. This could lead to her downfall. 

I was previously predicting Asuka to retain, just so they can have her in the record books as beating Goldberg‘s WCW streak, but now, I’m not so sure. 

This is the best they can do for this “monumental” match up though? It’s embarrassing. 

I am glad that they finally remembered to call back to Billie Kay’s minor injury from the Eclipse. They are building that up as the biggest threat to Asuka. It’s a shame though, Ember can be given so much more to work with.

What did you think of this week’s NXT? Excited to see what Ruby can do? What do you think about the build for Asuka vs Ember? Sound off in the comments below.