Episode: NXT #198
Recorded: 19 May 2016
Aired: 25 May 2016
Duration: 8:50 minutes (plus one commercial break)
Since Bayley wasn’t medically cleared to invoke her re-match clause for the NXT Women’s Championship against Asuka at NXT TakeOver: The End on 8 June 2016, this Triple Threat match between Carmella, Alexa Bliss and Nia Jax took place to gain a worthy opponent for champion Asuka and the special event in Orlando, Florida. Still, Bayley had the time to wish her best friend Carmella good luck backstage before she headed for the ring. Most noticeable here was that Carmella didn’t introduce herself but was introduced by the ring announcer. As for Alexa Bliss she didn’t came out with her boys Blake & Murphy because she’s tired of them always losing right now, so she separated herself from them one week before. There were no changes for Nia Jax during her entrance.
A Triple Threat match usually starts with only two opponents in the ring first. Sometimes the third one is thrown out of the ring quite early or – like in this case – Alexa Bliss rolls out of the ring herself to escape early punishment from Nia Jax. Great heel move and brilliant strategy early on. Also, Alexa Bliss made a great transition from the cute babyface girl to the manipulative and cheating heel. Kudos to her for such good work.
Now Carmella had to face Nia Jax on her own. She was placed onto the top corner but withstood a few first pushes. A following cross body went wrong when Nia Jax just caught Carmella. Then she tried for a sunset flip but Nia Jax was still unimpressed. She simply pushed Carmella away and then turned around. There Nia Jax saw Alexa Bliss standing on top of the corner, ready for a flying attack on her monster opponent. But she changed her mind after a little stand-off to climb back outside the ring. Very funny to watch.
After the commercial break, Nia Jax was still alone inside the ring with Carmella, but somehow the much smaller woman was able to finally counter to throw Nia Jax into the ring corner. And while Nia Jax rolled outside the ring, Alexa Bliss saw her opportunity. She finally went inside the ring to a worn out Carmella but Carmella was able to kick out from the first cover. Still fresh like a fawn, Alexa Bliss now further attacked Carmella viciously, got another cover but Carmella kicked out. Alexa Bliss then kicked Nia Jax, so the big woman stayed outside the ring. And Carmella got a cover on her because of the distraction.
Alexa Bliss still kicked out but was even more furious now. Carmella had to take a lot of punishment now including two knees to her midsection from a back flip by Alexa Bliss. But the second cover was broken by a finally returning Nia Jax. But Alexa Bliss kept being her vicious self, now attacking Nia Jax with two knees to her midsection and also hitting her finisher, the Sparkle Splash, on her. But this time, Carmella broke the cover. And Alexa Bliss went mad.
Now, Carmella and Alexa Bliss went for each other first, then Nia Jax joined and Carmella and Alexa Bliss finally tried for team work to wear Nia Jax down. But the big woman just countered both of them. All three competitors needed a few seconds of rest but very quickly, Carmella and Alexa Bliss went for each other again, just to show that team work wouldn’t last long for them. Nia Jax tried to attack both of them but Carmella and Alexa Bliss went out of her way, so she threw herself out of the ring. And Carmella got a slight upper hand here when she kicked Alexa Bliss out of the ring, too.
The following suicide dive though didn’t work because Nia Jax just caught Carmella and dragged her back inside the ring. But before Nia Jax was able to join her, Alexa Bliss kicked her down again, just for Carmella doing the same to Alexa Bliss. So, Carmella being alone inside the ring again, he went for another suicide dive on Nia Jax, and this time she was able to bring Nia Jax down. But Carmella celebrated a little too much because Alexa Bliss attacked her from behind and soon enough, both smaller women went for each other again inside the ring.
Carmella got the upper hand and went into her end-of-match routine with the “How ya doin’?” scream, the moonwalk and the Bronco Buster on Alexa Bliss. But when Carmella had Alexa Bliss in her finisher, the Triangle Choke, Nia Jax was there to break the hold. She tug Alexa Bliss out of the ring, headbutted Carmella to come back inside. Carmella still made it hard for the big woman with choking her from behind while sitting on her shoulders plus a Thesz Press from the top rope. But when Carmella went for the Bronco Buster, Nia Jax countered, hit her with her own finisher, the leg drop to win the match to be the number one contender against Asuka for the NXT Women’s Championship.
Winner: Nia Jax
The women’s division in NXT still continues to build itself back to former greatness in the aftermath of The Four Horsewomen leaving for WWE’s main roster. The diversity is already better than before with Nia Jax being a monster heel that NXT didn’t have before. I still hope for someone else of similar statue like Nia Jax in NXT. But since then the big woman has to make herself into the feared force of the NXT women’s division. Something is still missing with her but it will come with further work and experience.
Just recently quite some new women’s wrestlers were introduced to NXT, so that could be an indication for the installation of a women’s tag team title / division in NXT. To be honest, I’ve already read a lot about this opportunity, fans are open to it, and especially the female fans crave for it.
As for this match and its inclusion to my little collection of Best Matches of NXT 2016, I think it was fun to watch, especially because of Alexa Bliss and her early antics. She’s very small and objectively not a serious competitor for most of her opponents but she’s got a athleticism and the acting talent to once be a big star. Teaming her with another small female in Carmella against the biggest women in NXT so far, was a great move. You would have thought that both small women would team up at some point against the big woman but Carmella and Alexa Bliss stayed true to their characters for the entire match, which was great to see.
In the end, this was a fun match with a great story told from start to finish. So, it well deserved its spot in my collection.