Sunday, December 3, 2023

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NXT TakeOver in Review: Nattie and Charlotte Steal the Show

Ladies and gentlemen… You are not seeing things! I have made it all the way from Orlando, FL to…..Orlando, FL! I’m honored to be able to review the second ever NXT live special on the WWE Network. Last February they arrived and now, they TAKEOVER! A new NXT Women’s Champion will be decided in a clash of famous wrestling families as Charlotte takes on Natalya ! Ric Flair and Bret Hart are in their respective corners so it’s sure to be one of the most anticipated women’s matches of the entire year! Who is going to become only the second ever NXT Women’s Champion? Let’s find out!

Onto the video!

I would know that screaming theme song anywhere! It’s the current Divas Champion & the first-ever NXT Women’s Champion, Paige! Paige looks absolutely amazing in her “Think Again” t-shirt and a pair of shoes that look absolutely badass. Paige takes the microphone and thanks the NXT fans. Paige goes on to say that the NXT Women’s Championship is the key to the WWE Divas Championship. I personally thought it was really cool to have Paige there, not only as the current Divas Champion but also the first-ever NXT Women’s Champion, her presence made this match seem even more important.

Now, onto the match!

Charlotte makes her entrance first, complete with a new theme song. While I like her new theme and especially the tie-in to her father’s theme song, I certainly am going to miss her old theme as it was one of my favorites in all of wrestling! Charlotte is wearing what appears to be new gear and looks absolutely fabulous. Natalya making her entrance with Uncle Bret and I thought that she looked fantastic as well. After the in-ring introductions we are underway! The ladies start out by exchanging basic holds. One thing that I need to point out right off the bat is the ” big fight feel” that you can sense as soon as the bell rings. It’s so rare these days to have that kind of a feel in a women’s match in a major promotion. In the rare occasion that you do get that feel, you can usually sense it as soon as the bell rings- and you absolutely could here. The dueling crowd chants, the shots of Bret & Ric, as soon as the bell rang I just got the sense that this was going to be something REALLY special. It’s such a rarity to see chain wrestling in a Divas match that I’m almost taken aback as soon as I see it. Both Nattie & Charlotte’s counters looked fantastic and Nattie catching Charlotte and turning it into a leg vice looked absolutely amazing.

“WOO!” shouts Natalya as she looks at The Nature Boy. The two ladies then begin exchanging leapfrogs as Charlotte catches Nattie and Nattie performs a amazing roll-through for a near fall. The two ladies continue to mat wrestle until it turns a little more serious and a slap battle ensues! First it’s the slaps and then it turns into the chops (WOOO!) as Charlotte’s father makes sure to let out a Woo! in the face of a fallen Natalya. I should point out at this rate, that I am still shocked to this day that my home state of North Carolina has not wrote in Slick Ric for a term as Governor, but I digress.

Nattie pops back up and lands another chop of her own. The ladies end up in the corner and Nattie jumps on Charlotte’s back for a sleeper! Charlotte counters into a Backpack style Stunner, which I am taken aback because it was actually called by name! Women showcasing their athletic styles in a high profile match where moves are actually called by name? What is this alternative universe I’m watching!?!?

Charlotte takes control and is able to lock in a Figure Four style headlock. Charlotte rolls through and slams Nattie on her back in a beautiful maneuver. It’s abdominal stretch time as Charlotte locks one in, but Nattie is able to counter into one of her own! Charlotte then reverses that and nails a dropkick for yet another two count.

The action is really starting to heat up now as Charlotte stomps away at Natalya in the corner. Nattie turns it around and hits a butterfly suplex and starts taking it to Charlotte. I love Natalya’s step-over dropkick and this one is no different as she nails it to perfection. Nattie sends Charlotte into the corner and I started having flashbacks of tapes of her father because Charlotte goes flying over the top rope the exact same way her father did 25 years ago! Charlotte lands on the apron but she doesn’t stay there for long as WHACK! Natalya with a huge forearm sends her crashing to the outside.

Charlotte grabs the leg of the Queen of Harts and sends her from the apron to floor! Ouch! Charlotte sends Nattie back into the ring and after a near fall she goes up to the top rope…. goes up to the top rope! Bryon Saxton says it better then I could, ” I’ve never seen Charlotte do this!” as Charlotte takes flight with a picture perfect moonsault! But, Natalya moves out of the way! Ric & Bret both cheer on their girls as a “This is Awesome” chant breaks out inside the NXT Arena.

Nattie hits “Nattie By Nature” for a two and locks in the Sharpshooter! Charlotte crawls towards her father but Nattie drags her back in! Is this it!?!? No! Charlotte rolls through! Figure Four! Natalya rolls over and reverses the pressure. The two Divas keep rolling back and forth, reversing the hold over and over! It gets more intense as there’s even a slap battle whilst this is going on! Charlotte rolls towards the outside and has Nattie in the hold whilst Nattie is still the ring!

Once Charlotte breaks the hold Nattie rolls to the outside and her leg gets sent into the steel steps by Charlotte! Charlotte throws Nattie back into the ring and goes for what I thought was the Figure Four! No, it’s the Sharpshooter! Bret Hart looks in as Charlotte locks his niece in his family’s very own hold! Natalya yells out in pain but is able to reverse the hold. Charlotte reverses that and nails Bow Down to the Queen! One, two, three! Charlotte has won the NXT Women’s Championship! Ric Flair rolls into the ring in tears hugs his daughter. Natalya and Bret do the same as all four embrace in a absolutely incredible moment for the entire Diva’s Division.

Thoughts: Wow. I went into this thinking it would be great. And I’m happy to say, it was well above my expectations. I’m not ashamed to say I had tears in my eyes at the end of the match, the moment with Ric Flair hugging his daughter and then both of them embracing with Bret & Nattie after the two Divas had been through a war. It was a highly emotional moment and it’s one that I think all of us watching will remember for a long time. I enjoyed all the matches on NXT Takeover, I really did. However, I have no problem saying that I think Nattie & Charlotte absolutely stole the show.

A lot of fans were frustrated with the decision to have Natalya in the finals of this tournament, and a lot of their concerns were very much justified. However, after this performance you cannot deny that Natalya is one of the best damn workers in the business and Charlotte is a star that is starting to shine extremely bright. These two left it all in the ring and have set the bar that not only all the girls in NXT, but all the girls in the entire WWE need to try to raise. This match was proof that as Stephanie McMahon said at Arrival; Woman can do everything can men can do- only better. I commend both Natalya & Charlotte because it’s very rare in this day in age that a wrestling fan can suspend their disbelief and just have fun during a match and just enjoy watching it- they did exactly that. Both of their families should be proud, the legacies that both women carried on their shoulders into this match are both in very good hands. And if this match is any example, so is Women’s Wrestling.

The question I leave with is where does Charlotte go from here? Storyline wise she’s certainly had her disagreements with BFF teammate, Sasha Banks in recent weeks. Do we see a split between the BFFs? As for Nattie, what happens with her & husband Tyson Kidd now that they both lost their championship matches at Takeover?

We’re leaving Takeover with those questions, but we’re also leaving with one very big answer. Can the Divas steal the show? Hell. Yes.

Thank you all for joining me as I steered through this week’s episode of NXT! See you next time.

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