Saturday, April 13, 2024

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NXT TakeOver: The End…in Review: An unstoppable force meets an immovable object

[media-credit name=”WWE” align=”alignnone” width=”620″]nia-jax[/media-credit]

Last night we saw Asuka fend off Nia Jax during the fight of her life, the first time we saw The Empress of Tomorrow in a compromising position.

However, before we get to the match, we are taken to footage of both women preparing for the bout. We also see Bayley backstage offer Asuka a handshake of solidarity, reminding Asuka that she is next in line for a shot at the title.

Now let’s watch the match!

Before we begin we’re shown a fantastic video package highlighting Asuka’s championship win and Bayley’s devastating loss to Jax a few months ago. Being deemed unfit to compete against Asuka, a number one contendership triple threat was made, with Jax emerging the victor. Jax’s fearless rise to meet Asuka was shown, putting over Jax’s devastating power and unrelenting devastation.

Now we get to the match as both women make their entrances. To start the bout they approach each other, Asuka teasing Jax with strikes, while Jax instinctively  dodges. Jax immediately begins to dominate with her brute force though, throwing Asuka across the ring, keeping her close so she can continue to dish out punishment. Jax is able to get Asuka to the ropes and chokes her, she brings her over to the corner and wraps Asuka’s body around the pole, bending her backwards.

Asuka starts fighting back, trying to lock in a variety of submissions including the guillotine, octopus hold, and arm bars. But Jax’s strength is no match for her. Jax overpowers her with a series of slams including a back breaker, vertical suplex, a powerbomb, and mat slams.

However, Asuka keeps plugging away, striking her in between out maneuvering Jax’s muscle. Eventually Asuka’s kicks begin to wear down Jax as she’s taken to one knee. Jax begins to rally again, screaming one last battle cry before Asuka knees her in the face and puts Jax away.

After the match caught up with Asuka who went full Goldberg circa late 1990s, as she says she will keep hold of the title and she issues a challenge, who’s next?!

We then catch up with Jax who is rendered speechless and frustrated by her defeat.

But, she took to twitter today to say she’s not done yet.

Thoughts: What a match! This is the first time Asuka was manhandled by another superstar and it was so intriguing to watch, I mean this in the best possible way. The cracks are beginning to show in Asuka’s armor. Who will be her next challenger and ultimately who will usurp her and win the title? She is a force to be reckoned with and it will be interesting to see how the other women learn from this to try and take her down. I really liked how she sold Nia’s overwhelming strength. I thought the ending was a little abrupt and meh, but how else was she going to take Nia down? We know Nia has learned from her previous fights and she has adapted to quickly force her way out of holds.

And I must say I am so, so proud of Nia! This match was truly her coming out party. I am now more confident in Asuka as a champion when she can work matches like this with girls like Nia who are still developing and reaching their potential. Nia has come a long way in such a short time, she is evolving and planning for each fight. I really hope they never put her in squash matches again and just let Nia showcase her power in lengthier fights that have each woman strategically out maneuver the other. I can see her used in a role where she is a stepping stone while others fight to try and reach Asuka. Nia can only get better from here and I’m ready to see her continue to breakout and adopt new monster moves into her repertoire.

This match continued to also prove that the NXT developmental system works and sometimes the brand slows down and has to show this. By new talent working with experienced indy vets, they learn and grow more than just throwing indy darlings or inexperienced wrestlers at each other would. Yeah, it might get stale for awhile but, sometimes everything comes together and we get magic like the four horsewomen or magic like our new emerging crop of women in Nia, Alexa Bliss and Carmella.

The question on my mind is, where do we go from here? If this really was “The end of the beginning” we should hopefully see a new group of women enter the fold. I can’t wait to see newcomers step up to our established stars.

What did you think about the event? Who do you think will step up and challenge Asuka next? Where do you hope the division goes as we enter this new beginning? Sound off in the comments below.

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