Monday, September 27, 2021

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NXT Redux (March 2nd, 2016): A Display of Dominance


Welcome to another NXT Redux! This week, we take a slight break from the Women’s Title scene and check in with Emma and Dana Brooke, who are out to prove that they’re the most dominant duo in the division.

The other pair claiming dominance – Eva Marie and Nia Jax – make a quick appearance, but it’s not one that will leave them feeling as triumphant as they did last week.

We kick it all off with Emma and Dana, who are interviewed backstage by Alex Reyes:

They’re asked about correctly predicting Deonna Purrazzo‘s loss to Asuka, prompting Dana to call Deonna a “nobody.” She says that when they say something will happen, it happens.

Emma predicts that she will make an example out of her opponent tonight and that Alex will be emasculated by Dana’s head pat. That second thing happens, but the first claim won’t be tested until after a commercial break.

Then, it’s time for Emma to put her money where her mouth is against Santana Garrett:

Off the bell, Emma and Santana tie up, Santana backing Emma into the ropes. They trade control until Emma traps Santana in the corner, holding her there until the referee forces a break. She slams Santana’s face into two neighboring turnbuckles before backing her into the ropes. Santana shoves Emma off, but Emma stays on the attack, slamming her face-first repeatedly into the third turnbuckle.

After a bit of showboating, Emma goes for the same attack, but Santana blocks it with her boot. Emma makes her pay for it with a sharp kick to the back of the knee. She takes Santana down with a double underhook suplex and celebrates before standing on Santana’s hair, yanking it by the roots when she pulls her arms. Emma then snapmares her to the mat, swiftly kicking her on the back.

Santana starts to battle back when she gets to her feet, but Emma answers with a dropkick that flattens her. Emma pummels Santana with right hands and then wraps her in the ropes and yanking her by her hair. Emma sends Santana to the mat and locks in a submission, a knee planted in her back and her arms stretched back. Santana starts to power out, headbutting to gain freedom. Emma doesn’t let her get far, though, driving her back-first into the corner.

Santana blocks Emma’s next two attacks and then goes on an offensive streak, hitting clotheslines and a side Russian leg sweep before taking Emma out with a handspring elbow. She climbs to the top rope, but Emma stops her, dropping her into a tree of woe position and stomping her midsection. She then lifts Santana up to expose her spine, which she pelts with kicks.

Dana gets in on the action, pulling the trapped Diva’s hair while the referee is occupied with Emma. Emma frees Santana, toying with her. Santana finds an opening, dropping Emma to the mat and flipping into a bridge pin. Emma kicks out and immediately grabs hold of Santana, hitting a curb stomp and locking in the Emma Lock! Santana taps out.

Immediately following this, Eva Marie and Nia Jax are seen backstage in conversation with NXT GM William Regal:

Regal says Eva made a compelling case for the duo’s dominance last week, agreeing that they are big stars and must be treated accordingly. He says he’s arranged for their next tag team match, which will pit them against Bayley and Asuka. Needless to say, they’re not psyched about this development…

Thoughts: This was a rather slow week for NXT, but I’ll never object to seeing Emma get a little development. I would have liked to see Santana get in a bit more offense here, since she’s so fun to watch, but I understand that the need to make Emma look strong trumps that. Sure, her win over Santana wasn’t revolutionary, but it’s a nice reminder that she and Dana are a dominant duo, even if they’re not setting their sights on the Women’s Title right now. Once Dana gets back into the ring, they’ll be an even greater force to be reckoned with.

I’m intrigued that they mentioned Deonna’s loss from two weeks ago, because it almost feels like they’re developing a feud there. Deonna’s not signed, of course, but it’s interesting to see them not only establishing continuity with indy talent, but calling back to them even when they’re not there. Truly, we’re a long way from the “local talent” squash matches of old…

The Eva/Nia vs. Asuka/Bayley match will surely be a treat to watch. With Asuka primed to be the one to face Bayley for the title, it’ll be interesting to see how much the two babyfaces can co-exist. Eva and Nia could certainly exploit that, but it’ll take a lot to hand Asuka her first loss. My gut feeling tells me that if/when that loss happens, it’ll be in Dallas, and one she’ll have no reason to be ashamed of.

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