Women’s division center stage on NXT
Women’s wrestling once again reigned supreme at Full Sail University, with three single’s matches featured on Wednesday’s NXT television program.
Fan-favourite veteran Carmella challenged the juggernaut Nia Jax. Emma continued putting over her new conceded, heelish ways in a match against development talent. To close the show, Bayley defended her NXT Women’s Championship against number one contender, Alexa Bliss, but was then met with a new challenge.
Carmella vs Nia Jax
To open the program, Carmella roused the crowd, moon-walking and giving her own version of Enzo Amore’s entrance rant: “Badda-bing, hottest chick in the ring. How you doin’?”
Nia Jax continued the absolutely wonderful work she’s been doing since her debut in NXT. She could easily work the Goliath gimmick, no-selling everything her opponent dishes out, but she doesn’t. Instead, she comes off as vulnerable, allowing many spots to land before she comes back and wins in decisive fashion.
Her style in the ring allows whoever she faces to get over, instead of burying them. It is generous, and she obviously has respect for the business of wrestling and her fellow performers.
Although coming up short in this match, Carmella looked great. Time will tell if she is main event contender material or whether she will remain a mid-card character, but her prowess both on the mic and in the ring is greatly improving.
Emma vs Mary Kate
Jobber of the night, Mary Kate, received no entrance as Emma walked out without the usual presence of her ally, Dana Brooke.
Emma seems to have adopted Brooke’s Narcissus poses, incorporating an egomaniac element into her already disrespectful heel gimmick.
Mary Kate landed some offense, crude as it was. To her credit though, she displayed some real showmanship, preening to the audience. Unfortunately, the crowd was fairly cool to this contest, offering nothing but a few scattered chants.
A nice development match for Mary Kate, who appears to have potential but could use some work in her selling. Emma got over as the accomplished veteran she is, but could have used a bit of a stronger build considering she’s headed for a showdown with Asuka.
NXT Women’s Championship Match:
Bayley vs Alexa Bliss
The match was provided adequate build throughout the program with vignettes, promos and plenty of mention from the announce team.
(The big match feel suffered, unfortunately, from neither wrestler finding their marks for the planned spotlight during the introductions.)
The match itself delivered. Alexa Bliss played her heel character expertly, making it difficult to believe she ever tried to get over as a face. Her in-ring skills appear on-par with the best NXT has shown thus far, and she has the makings of a future champion. Perhaps the only area she could improve upon would be her mat wrestling fundamentals and submission skills.
Bayley is riding the crest of a wave of fan support and making the most of it, but she doesn’t rely on it. She also doesn’t make the mistake of resting on a one-note baby-face facade, she’s continually showing glimpses of aggression, frustration, self-doubt, and fear. This makes her a fallible champion, one very human and capable of making mistakes, which is so much more compelling then an incorruptible super-heroin.
Bayley successfully retained her championship after hitting her belly-to-belly suplex for a clean pin. At first it seems a shame that her program with Bliss has come to such a conclusive end so abruptly, when the feud seemed to show such promise. The NXT crowd has definitely not seen the last of Alexa Bliss.
Post-match, Bayley’s celebration was cut short by Eva Marie, who challenged her to a match for the NXT Women’s Championship next Wednesday.
Actually, what she said – once the raucous crowd allowed her to speak unhindered – was, “I had to come out here to let all you guys know that the inevitable is happening. Bayley, next week you are gonna defend the woman’s championship title in a one-on-one match verse me.”
It appeared as though the closing segment was supposed to contain a bit more. Eva Marie seemed genuinely thrown off by the crowd’s overtly negative attitude towards her and failed to make it work. Instead, she decided to bail on the script and get to the point.
Regardless of how the segment ended, began, or floundered in the middle, it set the stage for next week on NXT: Eva Marie challenging Bayley for the NXT Women’s Championship.
One can bet that Nia Jax, having been seen in backstage confidential talks with the Total Divas star, will make her presence known.
But what effect will she have on the match? Could Eva Marie be conspiring a plot to injure Bayley, forcing her to vacate the championship? It seems unlikely Jax would aid Marie in her quest to become champion, unless such a plan benefited Jax as well.
It will be interesting to see what transpires next week, as evil plots are potentially a-plenty on NXT.