Friday, December 8, 2023

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NXT Redux (May 22nd & May 29th, 2013): Introductions and Farewells

Hello everyone, and welcome to a colossal double header of an NXT recap I bring forth to you this weekend. Being that last week’s show featured only a backstage segment (which was actually used to set up this week’s match), I figured it would be better to combine the two and thus give us more to talk about.

Starting out with the May 22nd episode, we had everyone’s favorite Canadian maple leaf, Renee Young attempt a scheduled interview with the now departed, Audrey Marie, only to be interrupted by the dancing queen known around the world as Emma. That, in turn, set up a match between the two for this weeks show that also featured a very special announcement by none other than Stephanie McMahon! (Yes, I actually get to tag Stephanie McMahon in an NXT Watch, which is a day I never thought would come). Okay, I’m finally starting to grasp that you all want to get to the action so let’s kick things off with a little slice of Canada, shall we?

And we start with some backstage action as Renee Young stand, microphone in hand, seeming to be about ready for an interview if I do say so myself. Before she can introduce herself, Emma hilariously pops up on the opposing side, smiling and ready to speak. Unfortunately, it seems Emma has the wrong idea and the interview isn’t with her (causing me to die inside as I thrive on all forms of Emmatainment). Audrey Marie pops into the screen and treats Emma like a poor little dog that seems confused and wandering around, but Emma gets the upper hand by angering Audrey in the form of referring to her as both Amy and Alicia. I personally would see that as a compliment that one is being mistaken for Alicia Fox or Amy “Lita” Dumas (allegedly), but Audrey isn’t having the same vibes as me.

Marie starts to get a bit angry at the constant mispronunciation, which sparks the always hip and happening Emma to simply tell Audrey that she has no need to begin yelling. Emma feels that if Audrey’s stressing out a bit, she should partake in the Emma dance! Not only does it help Emma herself to calm down, but it also helps America… scratch that, it helps the world. Audrey claims nobody likes the Emma dance which causes Emma (and secretly myself) to place the hands on the hips and question where Audrey got this inaccurate information. She dubs the dance as being stupid, which Emma feels is the new hipster word for totally cool so she appreciates the support. Renee seems speechless, but Audrey certainly doesn’t as she threatens Emma to either leave, or she herself will take her out. Emma (emmazingly) mistakes this as an invitation to be taken out for dinner, but this seems to be the straw that broke the camel’s back as Audrey just begins telling her to leave at once. Emma obliges, but not without executing the dance one last time and bopping Audrey square in the forehead on her way out!

The sound of an angelic harmony begins to swoon in on their various harps as THE Stephanie McMahon pops onto the screen. She claims that she’s here to make a historic announcement tonight as she visits the program which helps maintain the success and growth on future Superstars and Divas, NXT. This announcement though, will be centered solely on the women’s division and help continue shaping the next wave of women to enter the billion dollar company’s squared circle. With that being said, Stephanie introduces….

…. an NXT Women’s Championship!

Divas from NXT, SmackDown, and Raw will do battle in a tournament starting next week that culminates in one woman remaining as the first ever NXT Women’s Champion! Stephanie wishes them all luck, as we fade from a glimpse of she and that top notch looking championship to the upbeat, perky anthem of Emma! Emma dances down the entrance ramp as bubbles of all things begin to take over. The crowd partakes heavily in Emma’s dancing, and pops huge when she successfully flips herself into the ring! More dancing ensues until Emma gets cut off by the final time I’ll ever get to enjoy this southern rock anthem of Audrey’s.

Once Audrey steps inside the ring and we get a recap of the interview segment, the crowd begins chanting for Emma. This sparks our dancing queen to request her music start up, as she starts jamming with the entire crowd! As she turns around though, Audrey shoves her back down and awesomely starts screaming at her. “Who do you think you are?!” Marie sends Emma into the corner, but Emma slips out through the ropes, does a bit of dancing, slides under Audrey and gets a near fall. Audrey now with a wrist lock into a slam to the canvas, but Emma fights out with a jacknife that Audrey bridges out of and nails a gutwrench suplex for a two.

Emma goes for the backslide, but Audrey again bridges out and tries to flip Emma over… only Emma counters it beautifully into the DilEMMA aka tarantula. From there, Audrey crawls to the corner and Emma runs forth with the crossbody! She then catapults Audrey over and applies the Emma-lock for the tap out victory! (Side note: Audrey Marie is perfect for horror movies with that screaming) Emma culminates in a celebratory dance alongside the crowd members, and again interacts with the emmazing bubbles being blown near the entrance ramp.

Thoughts: I absolutely loved everything about this, but I guess I’ll go one by one in order. The backstage segment seriously cracked me up, and I love Emma’s sort of nerdy, yet hilarious old-school “not really hip, but tries to be” feel (if that makes sense). And I like it all the more especially when she’s matched up with the anger ridden Audrey to play off of. (Maybe AJ should rethink the buddy cop drama idea for these two?) I will never get tired of that dance, and plopping Audrey in the head was a great way to set up the match. However, I must say line of the segment has to be Emma mistaking Audrey taking her out as being an invite to dinner. So perfect.

Stephanie introducing the Women’s Championship made the title already feel extremely prestigious and it hasn’t even crowned a champion yet! We all know she has a way with words, but wow did she ever truly make it seem like such a huge focus of the show. I love how much emphasis NXT places on their division, and now that we’re finally getting a championship things are only going to go up from here. I really hope Stephanie makes an actual appearance at the arena for the tournament finals in the way Triple H did when Seth Rollins won the NXT title back last year as it would really be the icing on the cake.

The match was short, but so much fun with what we got. The audience is REALLY into Emma… so much so that I’m starting to question if she’s actually managed to top Paige in the reaction department. Who would’ve thought something as simple as awkwardly flailing your arms around could be what works?! When it comes to Audrey, I finally really connected with her in tonight’s match. Previously, I wrote that I didn’t understand why she would do all of these creative things and scream/interact with the fans on live events, yet completely seem to ignore all of it on the actual shows, but tonight felt a bit different. She really incorporated her screaming, and the pre-match shove to Emma was perfect. It sucks that the week she seems to find her groove since coming back from injury is the last week she’ll be on the show, especially hearing the commentators put over how both of these women are looking to impress before the tournament due to pre-recorded commentary. After being there so long, the fact she got cut literally a few weeks before they were finally getting an actual title is pretty disheartening.

With the title tournament, I honestly think what would be really cool is to have the final come down to Paige and Emma, even if just to see which side the crowd takes to considering they’re both so over. It would give that final match so much extra emphasis with the crowd being forced to choose and I’m really anxious to see who everyone would go for. Of course, I won’t be upset with any combination for a final two, but I feel like that might be the most intriguing to see since we’ve only really seen it as a short-ish match before Emma’s dancing skyrocketed. Nonetheless, I’m extremely looking forward to the tournament and hoping to get a little Charlotte debut and some fresh match ups. Being that we kick things off next week, join me again soon on the road to titlemania!

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