Episode: NXT #207
Recorded: 13 July 2016
Aired: 03 August 2016
Match duration: 2:29 minutes

Match analysis

Backstage, Asuka invited Bayley to come out and watch her match, so she might have an idea that Bayley can’t ever be prepared for Asuka. Later on, Bayley sits down on commentary but Asuka placed a chair in front of the ring and commanded Bayley to sit there. Bayley actually gave in to go there but not to sit down. Instead she threw the chair away and preferred to stand. Then the match between Aliyah and Asuka started.

Asuka instantly went aggressively for Aliyah, kicking at her opponent’s left knee, finally wearing Aliyah down and kicking her backside. But Aliyah, don’t wanting to just be the punching bag to the champion, hit back with a few punches to Asuka’s upper body that ended in a little fist fight. But Aliyah couldn’t win this, so soon enough she’d been on the receiving end again. The only thing she gained was having an even more aggressive Asuka against her.

A flying hip attack brought Aliyah down to the mat while Asuka used the time to show Bayley what’s coming for her at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn on 20 August 2016. After another few but vicious kicks to Aliyah’s body, the woman tried to save herself temporarily by reaching out for the ring ropes at Bayley’s side. But that was just another invitation for Asuka to use the ropes to her advantage. Strikes to Aliyah’s mid-section and a series of punches to her head, followed by a tangled hold inside the first two ropes demonstrated the dominance of the champion. Like an exclamation mark, Asuka hit another hip attack to Aliyah into the ropes that finally made her fall back inside the ring.

With another small try to overcome the odds or at least show some kind of competition, Aliyah countered Asuka’s attack with two feet to her face. But already her next move, when Aliyah went for an attack from the top of the ring corner, was met midway by Asuka. In a rather arrogant way, Asuka got the first cover of the match on Aliyah but broke the count herself, so she’d been able to give her opponent another few brutal strikes, every one of them met by eye contact between Asuka and Bayley.

When Asuka thought that Bayley must have seen enough to get an idea, she put an end to Aliyah’s misery by taking her into the Asuka Lock. Aliyah tapped out immediately for Asuka to win, but only when Bayley entered the ring, Asuka actually broke the lock.

Winner: Asuka

Aliyah was not even a sparring partner in her match against Asuka; she was just a victim to the current NXT Women’s Championess. The whole story was about Asuka and Bayley. Starting from the confrontation backstage when Bayley promised her fans and herself that she’s more focused now, that she’d watched every one of Asuka’s move, that she’s prepared for her now and Asuka just appeared to invite Bayley to her match of the night to see that she isn’t prepared at all.

So, Bayley came out to sit on commentary, probably talking her mouth about Asuka. But the championess suggested for Bayley to have a seat right in front of the ring, commanding her rival around, being confident and arrogant at the same time. Bayley still had the last word in this pre-match battle with throwing the chair away, simply standing were the chair was before. But within those cunning few ideas, NXT created a rivalry between Bayley and Asuka that’s already more captivating than their first encounter ever was. It also shows the ability of Asuka to switch between a face and heel character within a snap. I think it can make for a far better re-match and maybe Bayley causing Asuka her first loss plus making Bayley the first two-time NXT Women’s Championess.

This scenario actually is the only one that’s logical for me. People might moan and cry because it would mean that Bayley could be part of NXT a bit longer. But this feud with Asuka currently holds the women’s division in NXT alive while the newer girls still need more experience and have to build a decent fanbase to be relevant to make people care for them. So, Bayley needs to stay a bit longer and wouldn’t it be great for her to be the first two-time NXT Women’s Championess?

I also liked the fact that we were able to see Aliyah in one of her first televised match in NXT. She had been a main part of Breaking Ground and I was curious about her progress and if she’d ever make the step out in front of the NXT crowd and the television crowd all over the world. Now, this match obviously wasn’t much more than a huge splash. But, at least Aliyah was part of a major storyline and she also wasn’t crushed with under one minute. Aliyah is definitely the future that hasn’t started so far but she’ll make her way if she works as hard as she already does.

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