What’s up Diva fans and welcome to this week’s NXT Redux! The culmination of Summer Rae‘s pep talks to Sasha Banks occur this week, with Summer urging Sasha to make an impact in her match against NXT Women’s Champion Paige in recent weeks. The match happens this week and I am so ready! Will Sasha turn to the dark side (I AM YOUR FATHER – Note: That was an impression of Darth Vader and not Tamina) or will she continue to be the happy go lucky girl that we
have come to find boring all know and love? TO THE VIDEO!
After a promo for the Total Divas mid-season finale, we arrive in the Full Sail Arena to hear the peppy sound of Sasha Banks’ theme song. She’s all smiles as she enters the ring and she gets a nice reception. That nice reception is then obliterated by the crowd reaction for the future Mrs. Diva Dirt Jack, the NXT Women’s Champion, Paige! During her entrance, Tony “Why are you still employed? You’re worse than if Mike Adamle and Claire Lynch had a baby” Dawson says some garbage that I want to address. 1. Paige is the Diva of Tomorrow and has stopped referring to herself as the Anti Diva. You should stop also. And 2. It’s a non-title match. ‘Title-free’ is the worst phrase ever. Nothing is wrong with saying non-title! It’s not broke, don’t try and fix it. I know he didn’t invent that as WWE.com did, but still, he deserves this verbal dressing down. Rant over.
The match starts with Sasha applying a wristlock to Paige, who then rolls out of it and headbutts Sasha. The Diva of Tomorrow then rams Sasha throat first into the top rope twice, a move that has became a recognizable element of Paige’s rough arsenal of moves. Sasha tries to give Paige a taste of her own medicine, yet the NXT Women’s Champ counters and launches Sasha into the ropes for a third time before shouting: “NICE TRY SASHA!” A nice bit of sass from the normally stern Paige who usually just screams! Paige gets a near fall before sweeping Sasha to the floor literally a second after she had stood up. Paige locks hands with Sasha and pins her for a few pin attempts before Sasha bounces off of Paige’s thighs to get up and maneuver into a lovely rolling cradle pin attempt for two. Paige looks to be surprised as she rushes at Sasha for a potential clothesline. Snoop Lion’s not so high cousin averts the move and applies a waistlock before being backed into the corner by her foe. Paige them nails Sasha with a flurry of banshee-esque elbows before stomping a mudhole in her grounded opponent, which she tops off with a major scream. I wonder were she gets that from?! Then out of nowhere, Sasha kicks Paige in the chest before schoolgirling Paige, making her head bounce off the bottom turnbuckle. Major momentum shift!
Back from the commercial break, Sasha is still in control as she has Paige in a camel clutch, which she then transitions into a sleeper hold complete with body scissors. Sasha then hits Paige with a few strikes before getting a two count. Sasha goes back to the well and applies her rear naked choke-style move again, sucking the life out of Paige… and me. Just kidding, I’m actually thoroughly entertained! Sasha is doing good! Sasha has Paige locked in her grasp for a lengthy period before Paige reverses a scoop slam into a schoolgirl for two. Right away, Sasha regains control with a stiff dropkick. Yet again, Sasha reverts back to her submission, hoping Paige will finally give up. Paige doesn’t, rolling Sasha onto her back, causing the referee to count. After a two count, both girls get to their fett, with Sasha attacking first, kicking Paige in the gut. Sasha then goes for a suplex, which Paige blocks. Paige then hits a snap fisherman suplex and both girls are down.
‘We Will Rock You’ style claps echo around the arena as Paige begins to pummel Sasha with ten ferocious knees to the face. Love it. I don’t love the fact Paige nearly loses as Sasha hits a small package out of nowhere. Paige goes for a dropkick, with Sasha scouts perfectly. She then tries to follow her offense up with a crossbody yet Paige uses Sasha’s momentum against her and reverses the move to get the three count.
After the match, Sasha is furious and visibly frustrated. Paige extends her arm for a handshake, which Sasha shrugs off. Paige looks to exit the ring and then gets blindsided by Sasha. Sasha goes slap happy before hitting a Straight Jacket Neckbreaker, making a major statement. After a WWEShop promo, Sasha is seen backstage with Summer Rae. Summer says she knew Sasha had it in her and asks how it feels? Sasha said it feels awesome and she would never have done it with Summer’s help. Summer channels her inner Bayley and hugs Summer without letting go as the segment fades after an awkward long embrace between the two.
Thoughts: Firstly, I’ll address the only negative. Sasha hugging Summer backstage? That seemed really childish and weird to me. A fist pump, handshake or high five all would have been more fitting, yet nevermind, I’m being picky!
Onto the positives, the match was fantastic! Normally people get bored watching a lot of rest holds, particularly if the same actual move is used over and over, yet I loved this match. It was physical, rough and both girls sold everything excellently. Sasha’s post match frustration was very believable and whilst I found her neckbreaker a little mediocre as a finisher, that can’t make me feel down regarding what took place this week. I didn’t miss Sasha’s highflying moves such as her top rope arm drag at all. Her ring work was solid, her acting was good and she looked the best I’ve ever seen her. The new attire is really nice.
As for Paige, a lot of people think she has a bland moveset, yet I love it. It’s basic yet effective and the roughness of the moves is what stands out for me; not everything has to be flashy and unique. Paige uses her mannerisms and body language to back up her moves and that makes her stand out to me.
Although I was negative about one part of the backstage segment, I’m glad we got follow-up. I imagine Summer will be gone from NXT now, with Sasha taking her heel spot, but we’ll see. I also look forward to seeing if Sasha’s rap gimmick she’s been using at house shows makes it to NXT TV now. Only time will tell. And with that, stay tuned, Jack will be back!