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NXT Redux (January 4, 2017): We come from a land down under

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Welcome to this week’s NXT Redux! This week NXT features another international live event, this time coming from Australia, Billie Kay and Peyton Royce‘s stomping grounds.

Billie Kay goes up against Ember Moon and Liv Morgan in a triple threat bout. Let’s watch.

All three make their entrances, with Billie receiving a notable pop from the hometown crowd. Commentary notes how Billie, Liv, and Ember have had issues in the past, attempting to carve out a bit of background for the match.

Billie rolls out of the ring right away. Ember and Liv tie up. Liv hits her with a shoulder block but out of nowhere Ember flattens Liv with a low headscissor. Billie fires in thinking she has an opening but Ember scares her off. Ember turns around to a dropkick by Liv. Liv then takes her down with a headscissor. Billie comes in and Liv and Billie engage in a rolling pin. Ember comes in but Liv takes her and Billie down with a double bulldog.

Liv tries covering Billie and Ember separately before smashing them both into each other. Liv leapfrogs over Billie to take Ember down. She gets knocked to the outside. Billie and Ember tie up. Billie boots Ember in the jaw. She clubs Ember. The crowd shows support but Billie heels it up and tells them to knock it off. Billie continues to strike Ember.

Liv tries to roll into the ring but Billie kicks her out.Billie continues throwing down with Ember as the crowd serenades Billie. She tries to swipe them off while grounding Ember in a modified suplex. Liv finally makes it back in and dropkicks Billie. She gets tossed out of the ring again.

Billie hits Ember with a rolling elbow. She clubs Ember again. Ember hits back but then goes through the ropes to the outside. Liv runs in from the opposite side of the ring but Billie throws her out again. On the way down Liv hits her back in a gnarly fashion. The ref hurries to check on her. Billie rolls Liv and Ember back into the ring. She goes for separate pins and then begins chopping both of them. They both chop her back down.

Liv and Ember start fighting each other. A flying crossbody by Ember takes Liv down. Billie comes in but Ember barrels her with kicks. She grounds Billie with a double underhook suplex. She goes for her signature back handspring elbow and then Billie rolls away. She sets up for the eclipse but Liv stops her. Liv tries to go for a top rope maneuver but Billie rushes over and power bombs her. Billie turns around and Ember flies off the turnbuckle for the Eclipse. Ember gets the win.

NXT then promotes Asuka via twitter for next week’s show.

Thoughts: Despite a lack of story, even though we’re kind of using the loose threads from their previous feud, this match was a good showcase for all women involved. This is the type of thing I would like to see more for the women. They were given ample time to make an impact, sometimes that’s all it takes in absence of a deep story. We’ve previously been getting underwhelming squashes and have been fighting for time again. This house show match is a step in the right direction.

Let’s start with Billie. I enjoy the Iconic Duo because I see so much potential in them. It’s there, begging to come out. We see more of it from Billie in this match. She shows more character against her hometown and she mixes it up a bit more with her moveset. It’s up to booking now to let them flourish. Billie can do more and I know it. Though she lost, she still looked very strong. She dominated most of the match while Liv and Ember fought back.

Liv definitely showed more improvement. She was faster but not sloppy and continues to experiment. I liked her rolling pin combination and her flashier aerial moves. Though her character still needs some more depth, getting thrown out of the ring but refusing to quit showed that determined, stay fighting, spirit that allows the crowd to further warm up to her. She also took a rather nasty bump when she fell to outside. I think working with veterans is definitely helping her grow. Even her dropkicks looked lethal this time.

Ember continues to be wonderful in the ring. I now want to see more from her aside from her signatures and I also want to get some backstory. We know she’s our warrior but, what is she about? Who is she? I want her to get some mic time.

Next week the focus is on Asuka and NXT’s next set of tapings are tonight. I’m thinking they will begin creating the next big match or matches for TakeOver, which takes place later this month. Unfortunately across the board I’m finding NXT really only steps it up 2-3 weeks before a big event these days. Hopefully we get more emphasis on the division so the women can enter meaningful feuds instead of floating around.

What did you think of last night’s NXT? What do you think Asuka will do next week? Sound off in the comments below.

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