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NXT Redux (June 21st, 2017): Ember Moon returns

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Welcome to this week’s NXT review. Ember Moon returns to action this week and she’s looking for some retribution against the Iconic Duo.

Billie Kay and Peyton Royce have been targeting her on and off for months, recently lobbying to ban The Eclipse.

This week’s episode has her taking on Peyton Royce in an effort to get the women off her back once and for all as she sets her eyes on challenging Asuka again in the near future.

Let’s jump into it:

The Icons make their entrance and they playfully tease each other in the ring. Ember makes her entrance sporting cool warrior shoulder pads. The crowd supports her right off the bat as Peyton grimaces at her.

They aggressively square up into a few reversals and mat wrestling. Dueling chants ring out from the audience as Peyton slaps Ember across the face. She tosses Ember into the ropes but Ember winds up catching Peyton in a reversal and tosses her over.

Ember dropkicks Peyton and she crawls into the corner. Billie comes to her aid from the apron. Ember hits Peyton with a backhandspring punch and Peyton goes down.

Ember climbs up to the top rope early but Peyton rushes at her. She attempts a super fisherman’s suplex but Ember pushes her down. Ember situates herself on the top turnbuckle again but Billie winds up tugging her arm down and she tumbles off the top rope. Peyton capitalizes on this by throwing Ember into the ring post. She throws Ember into the post a second time as Peyton takes control as we go to a commercial.

When we come back Peyton continues to target Ember’s formerly injured shoulder. She continues wrenching it and punching it. Ember rolls her over for a pin but Peyton kicks out. They go toe to toe again, with Peyton in full on assault mode as she hits Ember again and again.

Peyton goes to run the ropes but Ember runs right at her and hits her in the throat with a right arm. Peyton tries to grab hold of Ember but she gets kicked repeatedly instead. Ember then hits a flying cross body for another two count. She continues fighting Peyton off. She goes for another backhandspring but Peyton kicks her in the midsection.

They trade covers and kicks again but Ember gains the upper hand with a low flying headscissor. Ember goes up for The Eclipse again but Billie yanks Peyton out of the ring. Ember launches herself at Billie and takes her down outside the ring. Peyton throws Ember into the ring and they trade pins again. Peyton traps Ember in the Widows Peak! However, it’s still not enough.

Ember crawls to the corner and they continue fighting. She throws Peyton face first into the turnbuckle with a wheelbarrow reversal. She goes up to the top rope and finally catches Peyton with The Eclipse for the win.

Our second women’s match of the night pits rising star Sonya Deville against Rachel Evers, also known as Rachael Ellering.

Sonya starts off striking hard and fast, completely catching Rachel off guard. Rachel tosses Sonya over but it’s not enough to put her away. Sonya continues to take control with rough strikes to the midsection. She continues pounding away with kicks to Rachel in the corner. She then grounds Rachel with a body scissor, while smashing Rachel’s face about.

Rachel stops Sonya’s momentum with a jawbreaker and a kick to the face. She hits her again but Sonya just glares at her. Sonya comes at her with a hard kick. She takes her glove off and starts punching Rachel in the stomach. Sonya puts her away with a double wristlock submission.

Thoughts: Wow, a good night for the women overall, which is very welcome after many months of on/off focus on the division.

The match between Peyton and Ember was so stiff and fast, I could watch them work together all day and I wish they got some more time. Peyton has really come into her own, she’s so slick and experimental when she wants to be. She’s cunning and I enjoy her work immensely. I’m just wondering where the Icons go from here now…

Ember was fantastic as usual. I really wish creative would tap into her “Warrior Goddess” mystique. I really, really want to see her character develop so much more before Brooklyn. It’s obvious she’s heading there, unless next week throws us a curveball, which I want to believe but, it’s almost always wishful thinking at this point.

I’m happy to see Sonya already out there and being featured as such a threat. I find her character so unique and since she’s new, the short match up isn’t as detrimental as it would be otherwise. She’s supposed to embody a strong MMA type striker and if you’ve ever watched MMA, those fighters typically come in fast and hot, with match ups rarely going all rounds or even 10 minutes. This works in her favor for now.

It’ll be interesting to see where she goes from here. WWE is desperate to create a wrestler/MMA hybrid. Ronda Rousey is the company’s wet dream, already Sonya will go far just based on preferences but I can also tell Sonya is more than ready. I want to see her engage in a long term story with someone after she proves herself in more matches.

That’s what’s missing for the undercard in the women’s division. We’re slowly moving in the right direction and all the pieces are coming into play, we now need compelling stories again outside the title picture.

What did you think of last night’s NXT? Where do the Icons go from here? What would you like to see Ember do next? How do you feel about Sonya? Sound off in the comments below.

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