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NXT Redux (August 19th, 2015): Signed, Sealed, Delivered

We’re mere days away from NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn, where Sasha Banks will defend the NXT Women’s Title against Bayley.

With this being the last stop before the big show, GM William Regal has staged a segment that surely has Bayley marking out: a good, old fashioned contract signing!

Regal is out first, introducing Bayley and Sasha.

Before she signs the contract, Bayley takes the microphone to thank Regal and the NXT fans. She says she wouldn’t be here without them. This is the biggest match of her life. She’s let this opportunity slip through her fingers before, but not this time. She can feel it, the fans can feel it and even Sasha probably feels it.

Bayley signs the contract, and Regal turns it over to Sasha. She takes the mic, patronizing Bayley. She accuses her of being scared and pauses to let the “Bayley’s Better/No She’s Not” chants simmer. Sasha vows to cement her legacy as the greatest NXT Women’s Champion of all time this Saturday, and says that Bayley is going to find out why she’s The Boss. Finally, she signs the contract.

Before Sasha can leave, though, Bayley takes the mic. She says she’s seen a lot of contract signings, including Sasha’s signing with Becky Lynch, and she knows it can’t end like this. She wants to fight. Sasha strikes back verbally, saying there’s a reason she’s on the main roster and Bayley isn’t: Bayley’s pathetic. She says she’s a real role model, because she’s going to teach all the little girls that not every fairy tale has a happy ending.

Sasha says she doesn’t have time for a fight tonight because Bayley’s not worth it. She leaves, and Bayley seems to accept that. After a few moments, though, she storms out of the ring and attacks Sasha. The two fight on the stage until officials tear them apart.

Later, we got a glimpse of Carmella, as she accompanied Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady to the ring for their Eight Man Tag Team match. I don’t have video of that, unfortunately.

Alexa Bliss did some managing too, heading to the ring for Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy‘s squash match:

Post-match, The Vaudevillains come out, microphones in hand. They attempt to make an announcement about their plans to neutralize Alexa at TakeOver, but she simply saunters up to them and slaps them both until they give up. Gotta love a heel with guts! Anyone think The Vaudevillains will show up with anyone other than Blue Pants? It’s gotta be her, right?

Lastly, we got confirmation that those additional Divas matches (the Fatal Four-Way and Carmella vs. Eva Marie) will be taped at the Barclays Center for next Wednesday’s NXT. I never expected them to air live during that special, so I’m just glad to know they won’t be pure dark matches.

Thoughts: This was a nice little segment, even if it wasn’t the most memorable Diva contract signing. These things always seem to follow the same format (signing, trash talk, brawl), so I loved that Bayley outright acknowledged that she wanted to have the “classic” signing experience. It totally fits her fangirl character. Of course she’d want to emulate some of the most memorable moments in the biggest WWE feuds. It was a creative way to explain why Bayley, the lovable babyface, wanted to instigate a fight. Sasha came across great as well, putting a spin on the “cowardly heel” schtick by hiding it behind cruel words and abundant confidence.

The resulting brawl doesn’t have anything on the Becky/Sasha fight earlier this year, but it was still cool. I mean, they had to fight, right? It also shows that Bayley isn’t afraid to color outside the lines a bit when pushed. She’s still the squeaky clean babyface, but when Sasha’s tossing out insults left and right, you can’t blame her for unleashing a sneak attack.

I covered most of my thoughts on TakeOver in last week’s Redux, but I’ll sum it up here: I’ll be absolutely shocked if Sasha wins. Predictable outcome or not, I’m excited for this match, mainly to see Bayley’s crowning moment – in what’s being billed as a co-main event, no less! Nice touch, WWE. We’ve really come a long way. Wow.. That reads as sarcasm, but it totally wasn’t. Seeing ads for TakeOver that place Bayley vs. Sasha alongside Finn Balor vs. Kevin Owens is spectacular. Maybe a Divas TakeOver main event isn’t as much of a pipe dream as I once thought…

Anyways, back to the match itself: Bayley’s worked for this for so long, I’m sure seeing her finally holding the NXT Women’s Title high will be an emotional moment. They say things like “it’s all lead to this” a lot, but that phrase describes this situation perfectly. Bayley’s rise has only come within the past few months, but really, her entire NXT career could be seen as a lead-up to this moment. She’s always been the affable underdog. She’s always been underestimated. Every struggle, every accomplishment she’s had could be seen as a step up the mountain. Thus, when she finally can call herself the Women’s Champion, what’s behind her will rightfully be seen as a hero’s journey.

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