Hello one and all, and welcome to this week’s NXT Redux!
Last week, essentially everyone and their mother were featured on our weekly televised episode, which culminated in the women taking center stage by main eventing a full episode for the first time ever. This week? We see the return of a fiery underdog in Alexa Bliss as she takes on the Princess of Staten Island, Carmella.
First up, we head to the ring where Carmella is getting her groove thang on to her own theme song right after cutting a promo and making her entrance. Before long though, she’s interrupted by the returning Alexa Bliss! JoJo (PLEASE LET HER… eh, you know the drill by now) announces her to the ring as Bliss steps inside and prepares for her first match back.
The bell rings as they circle around and lock up. Alexa with the early advantage, hitting a variety of side headlock takeovers until Carmella is able to one-up her. Alexa nails an elbow, then hopping into the second rope and leaping off with a beautiful arm drag into a roll up! Just a two. She transitions right into a headscissors takedown, but Carmella levels her by tossing the recently healed nose into the turnbuckle.
Carmella now with a choke on the ropes as she slams Alexa down with a hairpull, but again, only for a two. Bliss hits a huge fist, however; Carmella keeps gaining momentum. The princess now has a leglock around the stomach region applied as the crowd cheers Alexa on to escape. Carmella ends up just breaking the hold and continuing her one woman assault, shoving Bliss into the turnbuckle and pounding her cranium into the abs.
Kicks follow suit, but Alexa catches her leg! She drills Carmella with a series of shots, then sweeping the legs and nailing the Glitz Flip! After that fails to attain the three, Alexa heads up top and leaps off with the Sparkle Splash! One… two… three! Alexa is back and Alexa is victorious!
Thoughts: I have to be honest… I really enjoyed this! I think it was a welcome change of pace for NXT since I can’t even remember a time we’ve had two sole WWE trained women against one another down here. The moves weren’t as fluid or groundbreaking as the four involved in our last Takeover match, but I don’t care. I was invested in this. They’re building Alexa up as a perfect underdog and after so, so, soooo long of her losing, she finally seems to be getting some spotlight.
Carmella was also pretty great, especially in her character work. I think we can all see she’s still improving, being so new and all, but I think she’s playing her role perfectly. I’m not entirely sure whether they want her to be a face or a heel unless she does end up leaving Enzo & Cass for Blake & Murphy, but I’m okay with either happening. She works in any role they put her in and I can’t wait to see where her ring work has progressed to in another year. As long as they continue to consistently use her (unlike they did with Alexa although I guess that was maybe due to injuries?), she and Alexa both could easily be stars.
Alexa feuding with Sasha would be great in my opinion, as I think she would really step up if she got a chance to do so. Bliss has already improved leaps & bounds from when she started last year against Alicia Fox, and it’s super impressive to me that she and Carmella were able to go out there and put on a lengthy match with no assistance from anyone else. It felt like a test, so to speak, for the company to see how their homegrown Divas can do against each other in the NXT environment as opposed to main roster, and in my opinion, both Alexa and Carmella passed with flying colors.