The hills are aliiiiiiiiive with the sound of a Redux chaannnge!~
Yeah, that’s not Jack quoting The Sound of Music… it is I, Bobby, returning to my roots of reduxation (We’re going to pretend that’s a word if it’s not), in NXT. My baby, if you will — well… at least the Redemption stage — but it’s still NXT! As Jack explained last week, we’ve swapped spots so when you ultimately read this, hate every word of it and want my neck on a stick for taking him away from this beloved show, just remember you can find him on Raw and please spare my neck from any torture.
Besides, I actually leave my forsaken town almost every month to attend these tapings, so maybe it can add a fun aspect to the redux, right?
Oh, and yes, before you ask, I am very hit or miss with the crowd as well. In fact, I cackled, cheered and clapped when Charlotte popped off on them last week. It was magical.
Ahem… this week, we have a match we’ve seen before in the Goddess of Crowd Pop-Off’s, Charlotte taking on resident Glitter Blizzard, Alexa Bliss, but I think it’s only happened once. And you know what that means?! In the land of Sasha vs. Bayley‘s best of 857 series (all of which are phenomenal and my frustration with the repeated bout is of no means discrediting their amazing work ethic and ability to differentiate each of their 857 face-offs), this is about as fresh as we can get!
So ladies and gents, like it or love it, it was us against the world and now let’s get started.
~Bloop, bloop bloop bloop I’m a wearin’ all my bling bling- a bling bling~
The arena goes very dark for a brand spankin’ new titantron promoting the one and only Alexa Bliss! She pops out, but there’s no pixie dust blowing going on which both saddens me as well as makes me hope it’s just because Alexa knows taking on Charlotte is such a big task she wants to come off as being serious-ish. That’s right you guys… I make my own theories/stories for things even when I have no given reason to. It helps.
Alexa twirls and spins down to the ring, sliding inside as Renee Young praises her adorableness. Okay, JoJo and Alexa greeting each other might be my favorite thing to happen in NXT. Back to business though, her opponent’s guitar riffing music strikes and out struts Charlotte, rocking her second finest gear (I’m a sucker for the blue variation first and foremost), as she smiles and gymnastically flips/splits into the ring. Charlotte holds her title up, as the brilliance known as Referee Drake Wuertz tries to separate the two of them until the bell sounds and we get things started.
Charlotte seems to underestimate Alexa right off the bat, but the two lock up and Alexa quickly fights out of Charlotte’s genetically superior holds! This includes climbing to the second turnbuckle and doing this insane flip into an arm drag into a bridge pin that I can’t even attempt forming a name for if I tried, but it was freaking awesome. In fact, I’m just going to call it “The Freaking Awesome” until we find something official out because why not? Bliss ducks a clothesline attempt and hits a really nice headscissors, but Charlotte quickly takes control with an equally nice flip into a gutbuster.
She then chokes Alexa on the ropes and begins Diva Domination over the Glitter Blizzard, but Alexa shows signs of life with some fists and a dropkick! Charlotte quickly takes control again though and goes for a powerbomb(?!) but Alexa rolls through into a sunset flip! Just a two though, as Charlotte takes her back down and… kablam!~ Bow Down to the Queen connects for the three count as JoJo announces our winner.
We get a quick replay of some of the highlights (minus The Freaking Awesome, c’mon NXT replay squad…), but she’s then interrupted by Bayley! Bayley smiles and struts down to the ring where she’s handed a microphone. The crowd erupts in a “Bayley’s Gonna Hug You” chant (Note: This is when I like them), as Bayley says she’s earned this chance against Charlotte even if she won’t treat her as a threat. By beating Sasha Banks twice (Bayley is neglecting their other 855 matches, but I’ll let it slide this once), she feels she has more than proven she’s ready for the challenge. With that, Bayley vows that at NXT Takeover, Charlotte needs to take her seriously because she is seriously taking that title!
Bayley eyes the belt down and extends her hand again, as Charlotte debates whether or not to accept the gesture. She looks to be doing so, but instead piefaces Bayley into the ropes! Charlotte tries to attack her, but Bayley ducks and counters a rope rebounding Charlotte with a Hugplex! Bayley holds the NXT Women’s Title up to a cheering crowd while the current champ does NOT look amused with her upcoming opponent.
Later on, Charlotte responds to what Bayley had to say, claiming that she’s just “too nice”:
I always like to try and put a different spin on the thoughts section of my reduxes now as it makes things a little more fun. With Raw, I would separate the good/okay/bad sections, but NXT doesn’t really have a lot to go by so I don’t feel like I would be able to mix it up as well. Therefore, let’s invent a new system to split the show up!
To me, this was Alexa Bliss’s best showing. My problem with her ring work in the past was that it felt like all of her matches consisted of the same moves and not too much variety. This time though, she really mixed it up well and incorporated some things we’ve never seen her do before, as well as perfected that dropkick. I still think you can see some parts where she stops for a second and has to think about what to do next, but she is still very very new to working TV matches so I feel like she will get better with that in time and you can tell she’s definitely working to step her game up. Getting a spot on NXT TV is clearly not as easy as it was in FCW, and I think as long as she continues to show improvement as she is, her spot is by far deserved. I do have some worries that she isn’t connecting as well to the crowd as some of the other Divas, but hopefully when she starts to develop and maybe get promo time, that can grow as well.
Charlotte is just Charlotte. She is very good, and I think this showed she has the capability to really do well at taking other girls movesets. You know how like some women, they can be great wrestlers but they aren’t really built to bump well? I feel like Charlotte has the best of both worlds because she’s both tall and jacked therefore she has the height and strength to be able to take pretty much anything. I also kind of loved that this was kept on the short-ish side as well because Charlotte needs to look strong heading into Takeover 2, and the finish really, really utilized that dominance brilliantly as she just decided it was time to end the match and set up Bow Down to the Queen both quick & effortlessly while still letting Alexa display some of her moveset so that it wasn’t just a quick absolute squash. I loved it and felt it did everything it needed to.
Last week’s in ring promo was my favorite, but I liked this weeks too. The one problem I have with the story is that these promos have been set on Charlotte refusing to shake Bayley’s hand, but right after she beat Sasha in the #1 Contenders match, the first thing Charlotte did was shake her hand. I think you can tell they decided to go in a different route with this story after the taping which featured the contendership match, but as a viewer it is a little confusing.
Nevertheless, I’m really glad we’re getting all of these ring promos because I feel like Bayley and Charlotte really needed them to help make this feud feel important. They have the story dating back to Charlotte’s debut, yes, but NXT hasn’t really tapped into it on the shows. This is also the first match on one of their live specials to be strictly contested between two NXT Divas, as opposed to having someone from the main roster come down so they definitely need to get viewers of NXT that have seen the two face off a few times already hyped for the big showdown. Between last week and this go around, I do think they achieved it but I still want a pinch more. Maybe a video package played during Takeover 2 and some backstage segments spread throughout the show like they did for Paige and Emma? I’m not sure, but what I am sure of is that they’ve got me hyped.
The Overall Picture:
Overall I think the Bayley and Charlotte feud has greatly been helped the past two weeks and I’m excited to see what they do at Takeover. They’ve been working live event matches against each other for almost three months now so their chemistry shouldn’t even be in question, but I do hope to see them pull out some big memorable spots that haven’t been shown live just so that it feels special to everyone in the crowd since I’m assuming majority of them also go to houseshows as well. This is a huge test for them because like I mentioned earlier, this doesn’t have the huge show hype that Paige and Emma were apart of during the inaugural event and it doesn’t have the veteran star power of Natalya like the first Takeover. This is two NXT Divas finally getting a chance to shine by themselves on a live special where all eyes will be on them and they should definitely be able to hit it out of the park as far as I’m concerned.
Carmella, as everyone finally got to see in the segment that was put out earlier this week, is a star. She reminds me of Maxine in that her promo ability is seriously awesome, she’s gorgeous, and her wrestling is coming along great. She’s got a character nailed, but my only concern is that if she’s paired with Cass and Enzo… that makes her a face right? She is too good of a heel so I don’t know how I feel about that, but we’ll see what they decide to do. All I know is that judging from her dark match with Natalya at the last taping and the amount of heat she received by cutting a promo all on her own with no one to play off of or anything, this girl deserves a spot on the roster pronto.
With Kendall, she is such a badass. She has a video game-esque/kickboxer type look and her kicks are some of the stiffest, most beautiful things I’ve seen. They kind of portrayed her as a force to be reckoned with in the tag match I saw her in a few weeks ago, as she overpowered the smallish Alexa fairly easily and took her down with ease while not succumbing to Bliss’s attempts at a comeback. All I ask is that they DO NOT touch her theme song because it fits her identity to perfection and really commands your attention when she enters. I am not about to settle for some watered down CFO$ version (sorry I like you guys, but just leave the Santigold song alone okay?).
Dana Brooke could also eventually be brought in soon to mix up the babyfaces in my opinion (and JoJo if you’d stop wasting her as an announcer!!!), but being that Carmella and Kendall are the ones wrestling on live events lately, I’m guessing they’re next in line which would definitely spice things up in a good way.
All I know is that Takeover 2 looks to be a revamp period for the division and I’m insanely excited to see where we go from there. Titles could change, Divas could debut… it’s an exciting time in NXT so until the big event next week, this is Bobby signing out!~
That exit was so lame, I’ll try to work on something better.