Saturday, May 18, 2024

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NXT TakeOver 2 in Review: Survival of the Fittest

It’s Takeover time! Let’s not waste a minute with some intro nobody will want to read and get right to the fun you guys.

Following a hype video package on the pre-show for Takeover, we head to the panel where Renee Young welcomes Sasha Banks to join them! Sporting an “I’m Not Ratchet” shirt, which she had to custom make because WWE refuses to give her merchandise while almost every other Diva has something. She is NOT happy. Renee asks Sasha if Charlotte has what it takes to retain her title, but Sasha cuts her off and claims that she taught Charlotte everything she knew. She wouldn’t be in the spot she is if it wasn’t for the guidance of our Boss. Sasha made her!

Tensai brings up Bayley‘s wins over Sasha and asks what Bayley has to do to beat Charlotte, but Sasha is SICK of hearing that name. She wants people to talk about Sasha Banks, not Bayley, and Alex Riley tries to calm her down which does no good at all.

“Do not TOUCH me”, she yells, as he continues to try and calm the matter. This only makes it worse as she now gets in his face! She demands to know what people think Sasha is jealous of Charlotte over? Her clip-ins?! Her fake smile?! Sasha is the Head Boss in Charge and she is jealous of nobody. Alex Riley is not about to sit here and tell her to relax. Her spotlight will come and that women’s championship will be around her waist!

She asks Riley if he understands her one final time and brushes it off as we head into the big show!

… Not that big show, I mean NXT Takeover.

Some peppy new tunes hit and out spins Macho Woman Bayley Savage and I absolutely love it. Bayley walks down the ramp and goes on to hug a little girl named Izzy on her way inside the ring, as I’m just now noticing the side of the ring apron lights up the same as the titantron and that is SO badass. Bayley spins around in the ring as the crowd goes ballistic for her until she gets cut off by her opponent in NXT Womens Champion, Charlotte! Charlotte struts out looking incredible as ever in a new pink & black variation of her ring gear. She gymnastically flips and splits into the ring as JoJo now gives the pair a main event style ring introduction post entrances!

The crowd is firmly behind Bayley tonight as referee/king of the world, Drake Wuertz raises the title up to display what’s on the line. The fans break out a “Bayley’s Gonna Hug You” chant as Charlotte offers up a handshake. Bayley questions whether to accept it or not, but they finally start arguing and Bayley decides to shove Charlotte back into the corner and go psycho! Charlotte now with a stiff knee and some chops, sending Bayley off the ropes who runs forth with a crossbody! Bayley scores a nice elbow/kick/clothesline combo that I have trouble describing how cool it was, and now she’s fighting back and going for a backslide. Youch! Charlotte simply counters with a sick neckbreaker and begins to enter domination mode.

She chokes Bayley on the ring ropes as the crowd gets right back in Bayley’s favor. Figure four headlock now locked on as Bayley counters into a set of roll ups. Charlotte with a nice dropkick as she pings Bayley’s headband around and gets the crowd to gasp in horror! She throws Bayley into the corner and levels her with a rousing set of kicks, but Bayley fights back! Only briefly though, as Charlotte starts to target the head with some hard knee drops. They exchange chops with one another with Charlotte then transitioning back into the figure four head lock and flipping around three times. Awesomeness!

Bayley tries hard to fight out, eventually reversing a unique pin attempt into one of her own. Sunset flip! Charlotte rolls through and signals for the Figure Four but Bayley small packages! Just a two, and now Charlotte nails another one of her vicious dropkicks. Charlotte continues to enter domination mode, but Bayley fights back again! And again, she’s cut off as Charlotte scores with a huge knee for a two count. Our champion now begins toying with the challenger, continuing to break off all of her comeback attempts until she finally makes a big one! Bayley misses her corner elbow and gets slammed into the the ring canvas WITH a knee to the head to boot.

Charlotte now looks to go for a moonsault, however, Bayley stops her and sits her on the top rope. Bayley is heading up… HURRICANRANA! BAYLEYCANRANA! The crowd can’t believe sweet little innocent Bayley just executed such a flawless move from the top, but Charlotte, while also stunned, doesn’t stay down for the thee. The two are back up as Bay goes for a Hugplex that gets countered into a near fall. They jockey for position and now it’s Charlotte who SLAMS Bayley’s head into the bottom turnbuckle. She sets her up in position, heads to the top and hits a moonsault! Bayley kicks out! They exchange vicious glares and Charlotte immediately hits Bow Down to the Queen (now known as Natural Selection) for the victory.

She celebrates her win as Bayley looks freaking crushed and distraught, much like me. She is so likeable and I just wanted her to win even though I love Charlotte as champion. Our champion makes her way up the entrance ramp, but she’s cut off by Sasha Banks! The Boss is here to make a statement as she runs into the ring and immediately starts pounding away on a downed Bayley. Charlotte watches on the titantron and seems conflicted on what to do, but ultimately after such a hard fought battle, she runs in and throws Sasha off to save Bayley. Gasp! Sasha can’t believe what she’s seeing as Charlotte stands tall between her two top challengers and creates the PERFECT triple threat picture that I’ve been begging to get for months. Success! Victory!

We head to ringside as Renee Young welcomes Bayley back out for an interview! Renee congratulates Bayley on an amazing match and asks for her thoughts, which Bayley claims she should’ve won and feels like she let down a lot of people. But no matter what, it won’t stop her because Charlotte is a great champion and she needs another chance at the title. This has been one of the coolest experiences of her life, and having everyone here makes her so happy.

Following a photo recap of the match, we head back to the ringside area where Renee asks her how it feels to be out here because she represents so many young girls watching at home. This starts to break Bayley, who can’t even form words because she’s so overcome with emotion. Young brings up her mom being here, which gets Bayley to collect herself and jokingly claim her mom drove her crazy, but there was also a little girl named Izzy in the crowd who had tears in her eyes when she lost. And that’s exactly who she’s going to fight for when she eventually wins the title AND gets revenge on Sasha. Ruh roh… suddenly, she’s cut off by our Women’s Champion!

Charlotte pops at a crowd member again which is my favorite thing in the world next to Bayley’s side pony. She asks why it was so surprising that she won, but admits that Bayley earned her respect. She has guts and Charlotte is very proud of her. Bayley shares the respect and is glad that Charlotte finally takes her serious. She says that she hopes when she beats her, she hopes they can share the respect still… but Charlotte doesn’t want to get crazy. Double ruh roh… out comes Sasha Boss Banks! And her theme which is my jam.

Sasha asks Charlotte really thinks this is over, but Charlotte cuts her off and asks if she knows how to spell BIT-TER! Sasha is not about to get cut off again, and admits this has only just begun. The NXT Womens Title will be around her waist, “and you can take THAT to the bank, sweetheart”. Charlotte does not find that name appropriate, and demands Sasha to say it again. Banks does as taunted and Bayley eventually has to separate the two… only she gets told to shut up in return by Sasha! Charlotte sticks up for Bayley! She tells Sasha to say it again, and Sasha asks what Charlotte will do if she doesn’t? Go and cry? Call her little daddy?

I am done.

The crowd gasps and Sasha bounces, leaving the scene and the two women.

Later on, Charlotte was interviewed about these incidents:

She promises that if Sasha goes after Bayley again, her punishment will be bigger than a hair pull.

Thoughts: I absolutely loved this match. And I’m not going to do the injustice of comparing it to the past womens matches NXT has had because I think those are just impossible to top and I want to judge it on its own merits. First of all, Bayley and Charlotte meshed so well together and the story it told with Bayley continuing to prove that she’s not someone to be taken lightly and continuously pushed aside was genius. You can tell these two knew they needed to step it up and that they did, but the one thing I didn’t like was the ending. It was such a good match and it felt like we were waiting for Bayley to finally make that one big comeback to ultimately lead to the finish, but Charlotte just hit Natural Selection and it was sort of abrupt feeling. I’m honestly so gutted that since Charlotte was to win, it wasn’t by this amazing bridged variation of the figure four that I saw a photo of. That would’ve been such a badass finish supremely fitting of her, taking on her father’s move but putting a new spin on it to make it look all the more devastating.

High spots of the match would have to be Bayley’s Hurricanrana because I was so never expecting to see her bust that out. She’s legitimately so freaking good at playing this role that I always forget she’s a trained wrestler from the indies who can do these sorts of things, but they are very much appreciated. And as far as the aftermath goes, LOVE it. I said in my prediction I wanted this to be a triple threat feud because it feels huge since we never get anything but singles matches it seems, and both Bayley and Sasha now feel like legitimate winners after all of the airtime they got tonight. I would honestly have no idea which would leave as champion and those are the best kind of matches to watch as they keep you on the edge of your seat.

I had seen Triple H answer a question on Twitter yesterday that NXT would probably do another special before the year’s up and so I think we’ve found our Divas match! At least I hope so because this has money written all over it and all three of them deserve it.

By the way, speaking of airtime… those promos. Man, Sasha Banks is KILLING it. Her promo ability has always been the one thing holding her back from being the total package in my opinion, and tonight proved how hard she’s been working to turn that around. She absolutely destroyed it in both the pre and post shows and I have never in my life seen her do better than that. It was so good, her deliveries were on fire, and I cannot wait to see where this is heading.

So that’s NXT Takeover in a nutshell you guys!~ They majorly stepped it up and gave the women a lot of fun stuff we usually don’t get to see them do down here, all while building to the money match that we still have a few months to possibly get to anyways. I. Am. Excited!

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