Episode: NXT #197
Recorded: 28 April 2016
Aired: 18 May 2016
Duration: 3:26 minutes

Match analysis

Right before this short match started, Carmella made her intentions very clear. She wanted to make a statement to get another chance for becoming NXT Women’s champion. Her man Big Cass is already living the dream on the main roster in WWE. But she is still in NXT to get what she dreamed for. Peyton Royce now was standing in her way.

Both women didn’t have much time to prove themselves, so when the match started both went for it. A little show-off from Peyton initiated her showing her mean side when she trapped Carmella in the corner and hit her with a few kicks and an impressive foot to her face. A few ferocious elbow strikes from behind to Carmella’s neck allowed Peyton to further show off her evil side. Good move for her Venus Fly Trap gimmick as well.

Carmella was then able to free herself into two covers on Peyton but she survived very quickly to get the upper hand again. After a vicious kick to Carmella’s face, Peyton got her first cover but Carmella kicked out. A series of three suplexes with the last one ending into a bridge for another cover by Peyton was great to watch. But Carmella kicked out again.

But now Peyton got a little frustrated and impatient. She slapped Carmella and they had a little fist fight in the centre of the ring. With two Lou Thesz Presses Carmella started to get in control now. A Bronco Buster by Carmella prepared her for the win when Peyton Royce finally tapped out to the inverted triangle hold by Carmella.

Winner: Carmella

This match being included into my NXT – Best Matches of 2016 collection might surprise some people. It’s a short match, not a main event – it’s not even part of a storyline. But I’ve chosen it for two reasons:

  1. It’s a women’s match.
    This collection only included men and tag team matches so far. So, at some point I needed to chose one women’s match from NXT. The so-called Four Horsewomen are almost entirely part of the WWE circuit now, only Bayley remained. But I’m sure that she’ll head to the main roster after NXT TakeOver: Revenge. So, what I’m doing here is to look at the next generation of women in NXT. And both, Carmella and Peyton Royce, have all the tools to become great.
  2. Peyton Royce surprised me.
    And only for the good part. I’ve certainly seen her before and I wasn’t that much convinced by her. But she got me during this short match with some great moves, obvious development to her Venus Fly Trap character and good amount of heel heat for her. So, Peyton Royce just deserves to get a bit of attention. I’ll certainly continue to take notice.

What a potted plant is for a man, a flower is for a woman. Also: the potted plant still lives (unless it’s used as a weapon to smash someone’s head, of course!) while the flower of Peyton Royce is dead (or made of plastic). Anyway, together with the Venus Fly Trap gimmick, Peyton Royce has got some mysterious charisma and a hidden danger to her that makes for a good character. She still needs to get more edgy and mysterious at the same time. But I already like her in-ring style. The longer matches will come as well as the more important ones.

As for Carmella, I already said a few times that I like her. She’s one of the very few women in all NXT / WWE who is able to cut a good promo without sounding forced. Being on her own now with Enzo & Big Cass on the main roster can only help her to further improve and stand for herself in NXT. I don’t see her as NXT Women’s champion yet but I’ll be surprised if she won’t be champion until 2016 calls it a year.

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