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NXT Redux (September 6th, 2017): Thank you Asuka

Hola NXT fans and welcome to this week’s NXT Redux. It’s an emotional one guys, as this week marks the end of Asuka’s NXT run! In between Asuka’s NXT farewell, we’re also treated to a fresh match-up between Sonya Deville against Zeda, some spotlight on señorita Zelina Vega and building blocks for an upcoming women’s tag match. Not bad for week for NXT’s Women division.

We start off the show with Andrade “Cien” Almas taking on Cezar Bononi in a rematch from earlier this summer. Almas’ business partner Zelina Vega joins the commentary table and explains her relationship with Almas. She says she met him seven years ago in Mexico and that he brought her in to help him with his career. Well hey, the move has been good for his NXT run so far!

Vega turns the commentary team’s attention back to the ring which sees back and forth action between the “new and improved” Almas and Bononi. Towards the end of the match, she instructs her client to “acabalo, finish him” which Almas obeys, putting Bononi away with a Hammerlock DDT for the win.

Post match, Vega continues to praise the “new” Almas, guaranteeing that Bononi will never get another win over her client.

We move to Sonya Deville vs. Zeda:

The match turns out to be a quick one. Deville slips behind Zeda for a waist lock takedown. Zeda gets to her feet and rolls up for a one count. She follows up with a high kick but Deville avoids it and tackles Zeda down to the mat. Zeda rolls to the outside for comfort but Deville is on her trail, tossing her back to the ring and striking Zeda down with a roundhouse kick. Deville hits a running knee shot and locks in an arm bar submission which Zeda immediately taps out to. Sonya Deville is your winner!

Ruby Riot meets up NXT GM William Regal during a training session with full intentions of getting some payback against the Iconic Duo Billie Kay and Peyton Royce. Riot goes as far as asking for a handicap match to assure no outside interference will take place. Regal denies Riot’s request and instead books a tag match for next week’s show. It’ll be the Iconic Duo taking on Ruby and a partner of her choosing.

And now, the for moment of truth, Asuka’s final bow on NXT:

William Regal introduces Asuka to the ring and out comes the historic reigning NXT Women’s Champion to a tremendous ovation from the NXT Universe.

Mic in hand, Asuka starts off by saying in her almost two years in NXT, she has competed against some great Superstars. She loves and is grateful for NXT for allowing her to grow as a performer. Regal interrupts to praise Asuka for defending each NXT Women’s Title match with honor.

He continues by announcing that there have been ongoing negotiations between the Raw and SmackDown General Managers for Asuka to make her main roster debut. Due to this, Asuka will be stepping down as NXT Women’s Champion but the good to come from this bittersweet decision is now the rest of the world know that “no one is ready for Asuka”!

Our night concludes with the rest of the NXT lockeroom coming out to applaud Asuka. Asuka’s longtime rival Ember Moon meets with Asuka in the ring one more time and shares a very cute moment with her. We even get an appearance from Triple H who too embraces and celebrates Asuka. My heart is smiling big time at this! Thank you Asuka!

In a exclusive, William Regal addresses the future of the NXT Women’s Title and says he will let the rest of NXT Universe know in a few weeks how we plans to crown a new champion. A few weeks, eh? So does this mean we can rule out the rumors of crowning a new Champion during next week’s Mae Young Classic live finale? Stay tuned!

Thoughts: OK so a couple things to get to on this week’s episode.

I’m really enjoying the Zelina Vega and Andrade Almas. I think Vega’s character has a lot of attitude with the main objective of furthering Almas’ career to the next level. She’s the boss and is taking full credit for her client’s success. I do sense some Lana vibes when hearing the acabalo line but Vega is a character on her own. I am interested in finding out more of her character’s past given how quickly she shun away the commentary team when they began asking deeper questions of her relationship with Almas.

This week’s women’s match was basically a squash match. Sonya Deville had the hype video and pretty much dominated the match until forcing her rookie opponent to tap out. While I’m glad to see NXT begin to utilize/introduce more of their women’s division (finally!), I hope we can them used in more outside these squash style matches.

Continuity is important on NXT and we’re seeing that in the Ruby Riot/Iconic Duo feud. Finally we’re seeing pieces of a story come together. Ruby Riot is ready to take on NXT’s mean girls by any means necessary.

Finally there’s Asuka. It is safe to say that Asuka has already earned her spot as a future Hall of Famer. She has been a superb talent who has always dazzled fans whenever she defended her NXT Women’s Title at every TakeOver event she was featured in.

Her farewell ceremony was beautiful, real and just so fitting as Asuka graduates on to the main roster. Aww, at the Ember/Asuka hug! Again, I’m conflicted here – I know Asuka can do great things against some of the other Superstars on the main roster. Her undefeated streak will continue and be a big play when she officially jumps on to Raw or SmackDown.

I just hope that WWE can utilize Asuka the same way she was used in NXT. But given some of the history with other NXT call ups, I am concerned. Don’t disappoint us Triple H, Vince, creative or whoever will begin booking Asuka!

I’m still not sure how or when a new NXT Women’s Champion will be crowned but with the Mae Young Classic finale approaching, we’ll see if those rumors come true. If not, then hey let’s set up a second tournament again.

What did you think of this week’s episode of NXT? What have been some of your favorite Asuka moments during her NXT run? What do you think are the current plans to crowning a new NXT Women’s Champion? Let us know in the comments below!

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