Thursday, November 30, 2023

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NXT Watch (February 20th, 2013): One Diva’s Return is Another Diva’s Heartbreak

Welcome everyone! First off, let me start out by saying how great it is to be back on the NXT Watch. You guys may not have even noticed (and I don’t blame you haha), but it’s been a while since I’ve been able to bring forth the developmental greatness that’s been happening. A few weeks ago, I tried to write the post but no videos were available. Last week, Jack stepped in on a double header as school got in the way for me (thank him everyone!), and this week I almost didn’t get to be here as my Internet went out. I’ve got no idea how long it’s back on for, but hopefully long enough for me to do this recap.

Since I was last here, NXT has become the treasure I had always hoped it would be when FCW took over. They’re giving people storylines, they’re giving people characters, and they’re giving people time to actually wrestle good, lengthy matches. What surprised me even, though, is how high profile they’re treating Paige and Summer Rae‘s feud. Unlike most of the happenings on Raw or SmackDown, these two are getting a consistent week-to-week build thus far, and I really hope it continues.

Not only that though, but we’re getting TWO… yes, I can’t even believe this, but two storylines for the women on one show. And not only that, but a show that has about 42 minutes a week for their entire roster. We can barely even get some semblance of a feud on the actual shows and they’ve got 3 hours of Raw, 2 hours of SmackDown, plus 1 hour each for Main Event, Superstars, and Saturday Morning Slam to devote. As if you can’t tell, I’m insanely impressed with NXT’s actions, so let’s delve into this week!

This week, Sasha Banks‘ secret admirer gets revealed. We’ve been seeing the notes for the past few episodes now, and while my hopes are still set on it being the debut of Anya in some sort of odd couple pairing, I’ve got open eyes to accept pretty much anyone. Banks also competes in a match against the returning, Audrey Marie, who’s been out with injury for quite some time now. Additional appearances by Paige’s doctor, Dr. Sampson, and the First Lady of NXT, Summer Rae, and that all adds up to us having quite a lot to discuss. In that case, I will waste no more of your time. Ahem…

Skip to 4:15

*Note: This didn’t air first on the episode, but because the other segments are all in one video and it needs to appear before one of them, I’ve decided to change things up a bit*

We head backstage to still relatively new, yet already improving interviewer, Renee Young. She’s standing by with Paige’s doctor, Michael Sampson, and for some reason I can see these two as an on screen couple. (Side Note: The Sasha Banks love storyline may have taken over my abilities to recap without pairing up every duo that appears on screen.) She asks for an update on Paige’s injury, and after a lot of words I don’t understand, he says she might have Biceps Tendinitis or an A.C. Separation. Overall though, Paige is coming along and they will continue to evaluate her. Inquisitive Renee beats around no bush, and insists on a time frame from Mr. Sampson, but he claims they need a few more days of testing to see where things stand.

We’re back with Renee Young once again, who proudly introduces her guest in that of Sasha Banks. She cuts to the chase once again (which I love about Renee), and gets right into the goodness that is the secret admirer. Sasha is very excited to meet her note giving prince (or princess if it’s Anya like I hope), and here comes another love note on the side of the camera! Sasha reads it out loud:

I can’t wait for you to see the desire in my eyes…

Here comes the big surpri

BAM! Someone lays her out from behind and I spy a pair of female legs. Anya?! They look a little dark to be our six foot Russian, but maybe she went to a tanning place or a beach the night before? Why, it’s actually Audrey Marie. She bends down and grabs Sasha by the hair and jaw, while placing her knee over the back in a trick I’m going to assume her grand-mama taught her on the farm back when she was a cowgirl a few years ago and they needed to round up some dinner. My favorite thing though, is that you can see Renee just standing there in the background because she knows Audrey isn’t in the mood right now and would probably throw her into a camera lens at this rate with all the anger she’s built up.

Audrey states that she’s been out injured, and she can’t believe that Sasha Banks of all things is what they replaced her with. Her new mission in life is getting Sasha out of NXT, and reveals that Banks’ hope at finding true love amongst the locker room is over because the secret admirer was none other than her! (Dun-Dun-DUN!) Marie heads off laughing, as I’m going to assume when the cameras stopped rolling, that Renee then walked over like a reassuring mother and told Sasha that no man or woman is good enough for her, concluding with letting her know that she’s smart, she’s kind, and she’s important.

Out to the arena we head, with the entrance of the devilish love game player, Audrey Marie. Ever since she shed her daisy dukes and cowgirl hats, Audrey has not been the same fun and bubbly gal we knew and loved — but that’s okay because she’s 10 billion times better playing a heel. The crowd whistles at her, quite a lot, which is a boost of confidence she desires heading into this upcoming bout. After flipping into the ring, the club type music of Sasha Banks hits, and she walks out furious. There’s no posing, smiling, or audience interaction, and the lack of all of that shows both emotion and that she’s been affected by Marie’s actions. Thumbs up!

The referee has to separate them until the bell rings, as Banks goes right to work trying give Audrey a reality show style beatdown. Unfortunately for her, Marie gets a knee to the abdomen and takes her down by the hair. A failed pin attempt, followed up with an arm lock as she taunts Sasha by screaming at her which is my favorite part of heel Audrey. The Scream Queen continues to target the arm and yell hypothetical questions at her downed opponent, but the crowd starts to get behind Banks. Audrey goes for a sidewalk slam, but the ever-so quick Sasha Banks counters into a headscissors takedown! She follows with some clotheslines and a nice dropkick. Banks then attempts a wheelbarrow type move, but instead of hitting it, she hits the canvas face first because Audrey simply drops her down in a sit out facebuster. Ouch… she hooks the leg and that’s all for today ladies and gents. Audrey screams for Sasha to go home, adding in a “bye bye”, as well as claiming this is her house now! It seems that Sasha will have to plot her revenge another day.

If that wasn’t enough for our palette, Renee Young is back once again for a trifecta of appearances. This time she stands with Michelle Obama’s First Lady competition, Summer Rae. With a hand on her hip and the other looking like it’s probably judging Renee on every level since no female can compare to Summer in her own eyes, she doesn’t seem to be in the mood for any fun and games this evening. Renee lets Summer know that she talked to Paige’s doctor and Paige basically has no range of motion in her shoulder. Rae hilariously blurts out that Paige simply has no range of E-Motion in her life. Summer doesn’t get why everyone thinks she’s supposed to feel bad for what she did last week to the fair skinned lady with raven-like hair.

In case we forgot, Paige is the one who demanded the match last week — not Summer. As far as the blond bombshell is concerned, she got exactly what she deserved. The only regret Summer Rae has about last week is that in the midst of slapping Paige around the ring, she chipped her delicately painted nail and now will have to take time out of her busy schedule to get it fixed. However; Now that her top priority competition is out of the way, she is going to set all of her focus on becoming the greatest WWE Diva ever. Before ending the interview, Summer instructs Renee to ONLY refer to her as the First Lady of NXT in the distant future. Following a very chipper spoken “kisses”, Rae walks off to likely plan her next victim. Sasha? Audrey? Renee?! The end of this interview leaves one burning question on my mind:

When is the entire division being called up to NXT?

Thoughts: NXT… you complete me again. I love how much emphasis is being given to everyone on this show. I’ve probably said everything earlier on, but the fact we can get two consistent, separate storylines for the females on a 42 minute weekly show is astounding. I love that Sasha’s admirer was used to reintroduce Audrey as opposed to just having her come back for a match like nothing had happened in terms of injury. While I do really like Audrey, she seems to be the Diva who needs a persona to really showcase herself. Ever since I saw that one live event video, I’ve been questioning why she was kept a face for so long since she does the heel role much, much better when it comes to angering the crowd and showing off charisma in the ring.

Speaking of the match, it was kind of short and mostly a showcase for Audrey, but I’m okay with that considering everything else we got tonight. Audrey winning was the perfect decision because it continues the feud in that Sasha is going to need to get her revenge sooner rather than later. It’s the same way I felt about Summer beating Paige last week. I think if the face wins right off the bat, then there’s nowhere to go in a feud. This gives both storylines some momentum going forward that I hope is not dropped. Part of what I’m loving about NXT right now is the consistency each week. Summer Rae has only had one match in the four weeks this feud with Paige has been going on, but she’s been featured in each of the four episodes. Same goes with Sasha and the love notes. It’s so refreshing to see, and I love it.

Summer Rae’s promo was hilarious. She’s fast becoming one to watch after spending so long as a ring announcer, and I couldn’t be happier for her. She’s got charisma, and from what we saw last week as well as what I’ve seen at a few live events, she can also hold her own very well in the ring. I can’t wait to see her take part in more matches, as well as check out how they can up themselves in the feud with Paige. That opening segment last week was brilliant, and this week was more focused on Sasha and Audrey so I’m good with Summer and Paige’s doctor getting interviews just so we continue to be updated with what’s going on. I’ve got such high hopes for them due to NXT’s writers seemingly not being afraid to give the Divas spotlight and I’m excited to find out where we go from here in terms of both the Summer/Paige and Audrey/Sasha storylines.

And just so I don’t leave you with all positivity since I know everyone wants a little negative in their lives — give Emma more matches because I thrive on seeing that dance!

That’s all for now. Until next week — peace!

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