Episode: NXT #228
Recorded: 03 December 2016 (Osaka, Japan)
Aired: 28 December 2016
Match duration: 15:39 minutes (plus one commercial break)

Match analysis

From the first second, Asuka tried to play to her advantage: her fast pace, against the strength and height of Nia Jax. And it worked for two kicks. Then, Nia Jax had been able to grab Asuka and she threw her immediately against the turnbuckles in the near right corner. And she did it again before Asuka again came forward to get right into physical contact with elbow strikes to Nia Jax’ head. But, again, Asuka ended up being thrown into the corner.

And now it was time to show the people in Osaka, Japan, Asuka’s hometown, about Nia Jax’ actual strength when she threw Asuka two times around the ring. But Asuka was able to put Nia Jax into an Octopus hold. And when Nia Jax got out of it, Asuka went for a Guillotine. But Nia Jax just got her opponent up and was all for punishing her again. But this time, Asuka was able to wiggle free.

From her run against the ropes, Asuka gained momentum that only helped Nia Jax grabbing her to plant her into the mat with a spine buster. Nia Jax kicked Asuka in the back, then grabbed her by the hair and put her into the ropes to use them against her opponent. And after she had to break the hold, Asuka went down, so Nia Jax kicked her for another couple of times against the ropes.

But there was still life in Asuka. Because she was still lying on the mat but when Nia Jax was close enough, she kicked her twice onto her legs. That was nothing that hurt Nia Jax much, so she got Asuka up who still fought back, this time punching. Until Nia Jax had enough, grabbed Asuka again and now threw her into the turnbuckles with lot of momentum. And while Asuka held the ropes to be save for a few seconds, we went to the commercial break.

After the break, Nia Jax was pushing Asuka against the turnbuckles until the referee broke up the offence. Asuka tried to get up but before she had been able to, Nia Jax ame flying right into her. And Asuka was down again. When Nia Jax came closer again, Asuka tried her all to fight back though, first with kicks from a still lying position, then with punches all against Nia Jax’s body. But one headbutt from the big lady was enough to put Asuka down again.

Now, Nia Jax kept Asuka down with a kick and a punch but demanded her afterwards to come for her again. Asuka did so and tried again with kicks and elbow strikes to hit any lasting effect into Nia Jax. But the latter just grabbed her opponent when she had enough to powerbomb her into the mat for a lazy cover. But Asuka kicked out and Nia Jax seemed surprised about it.

It probably dawned on Nia Jax that it needed more to put the champion down. So, she went for Asuka’s air supply and a neck hold. But Asuka fought to stand up again and wiggled herself on the shoulders of Nia Jax, but only to get powerslammed to the mat again. After a knee strike to Asuka’s head, Nia Jax went for another lazy cover. But Asuka kicked out at one.

When Nia Jax bent both of Asuka’s arms behind her back, it took the Women’s champion a bit longer to stand back up. She finally did but only at the expense of another push to the mat. Asuka then tried to save herself a few seconds by grabbing the ropes. But Nia Jax only rubbed a forearm against her face until the referee interfered.

After Asuka finally went up again, she got a few elbows to Nia Jax’ face but rather quickly had to take a Samoan drop with another cover. But Asuka kicked out and immediately afterwards kicked out against Nia Jax. But the big lady didn’t want to take much of it, so she got up her opponent for a sideward slam and another cover. And Asuka kicked out again.

Now stepping slowly closer to her prey from behind, Nia Jax waited for Asuka to stand up on her own. And since just enough needle pricks can do as much damage as one hard blow, Asuka tried again for several punches and spinning back fists to her opponent’s body. But Nia Jax just watched and finally headbutted Asuka to the mat again. But this time, Asuka didn’t stay down but got up furiously and went after Nia Jax but the big lady countered for Asuka to meet the mat once again.

A few fists to Asuka assured for her to stay down this time. And when she kicked out at Nia Jax again, Nia Jax hit her with a hard elbow drop. But once again, Asuka kicked out from the following lazy cover. So, Nia Jax grabbed Asuka from behind to trap her into a crossed arms lock. Asuka got back up though but was hit by a heavy lariat and brought down to the mat.

Nia Jax granted Asuka a few seconds of rests but then grabbed her by the hair and got her up. Asuka tried to wiggle free from the hold and somehow she did. She went for momentum from the ropes and also got Nia Jax down to put her into a knee bar. Nia Jax tried to roll out of it but only put herself into a reversed knee bar. But also this wasn’t enough to put Nia Jax down entirely. Because she just got up with carrying Asuka with herself. But still, this cost a lot of strength. So Asuka was able to get free and now let kicks and elbows rain on the body of her opponent. For a few times, Nia Jax went down to her knees but didn’t go down. Instead she was able to shove Asuka against the ropes and then slammed her down to the mat.

After another short rest, also for herself, Nia Jax grabbed Asuka by her hair and then pushed her against the ropes. But the following attack was cut short because Asuka had been able to get hold of the ropes and plant a boot to Nia Jax’ face. Nia Jax though went for another attack, but only for Asuka to send her through the ropes on the outside of the ring. It didn’t have much effect on the big lady, but with the help of the ropes, Asuka got Nia Jax trapped for just enough time to hit her with the hip attack. And now Nia Jax landed against the barricades and on the floor at ringside.

Asuka now probably thought, she had Nia Jax in a perfect position for a flying attack from the apron. But Nia Jax just caught her opponent and threw her against the apron. So Asuka landed outside the ring on her back. Nia Jax made it back inside the ring and let the referee count. At six, Asuka entered the ring but immediately had to take a leg drop. And then she was shoved out of the ring by Nia Jax again.

But this time, Nia Jax didn’t want to wait. She followed Asuka outside the ring but got kicked into her body. But still, Nia Jax didn’t go down from it; instead, she got Asuka up and threw her into the apron again. And Nia Jax went back inside the ring. Asuka followed at the referee’s count of eight and Nia Jax went for another leg drop but failed this time because Asuka rolled away to avoid it.

Asuka had Nia Jax in a perfect sitting position now for some kicks to her head. But Nia Jax managed to stand up again and grab Asuka by her leg. Asuka though came free and landed some overhead strikes to Nia Jax’ head plus another hip attack that brought Nia Jax down to the mat. But from the following cover Nia Jax kicked out.

Both women went slowly up again and Asuka went for another attack that was cut short again because Nia Jax caught her and prepared for a powerbomb herself. Asuka was able to wiggle free and land an elbow to Nia Jax’ head. She then got momentum from the ropes but only ran into Nia Jax’ like into a brick wall, fell into the ropes and to the mat.

When Nia Jax bowed down to grab Asuka again, she got kicks to her head though and Asuka was able to stand up herself. And when Nia Jax went for Asuka, the latter was faster again, brought Nia Jax down to the mat and into an arm bar. Asuka had to try for a triangle but she wasn’t able to prevent Nia Jax from getting both of them up. Asuka came free though and got Nia Jax into a head lock. But she couldn’t hit the Asuka lock on her opponent. Instead, Nia Jax took Asuka on her back and shoved her backwards into the turnbuckles.

But it wasn’t much power left behind that move. Because Asuka immediately climbed on top of the corner, jumped on Nia Jax and put her into a sleeper hold which Nia Jax countered into a powerbomb. From the following cover, Asuka kicked out though.

Asuka now crawled into the far left corner and let Nia Jax ran into it. She also got kicked into her back but then tried to get a hold on Asuka, possibly telling her not to stand against her fate anymore. Asuka wasn’t up for listening to her and instead hit the big lady with some spinning back fists. Eventually, Nia Jax got Asuka up on her shoulders, possibly thinking of the Samoan drop. But Asuka wiggled herself free and even hit a German suplex on her opponent.

That clearly had been the spot and turning point of the match. Because when Asuka stood up again, she did so with all remaining power in her. Both women yelled at each other before Asuka hit a last vicious kick to Nia Jax’ jaw for the win.

Winner: Asuka

This was a classic David vs Goliath match but booked in a good way. I feel that Nia Jax still has got some work to do when it comes to selling. Her facials aren’t always spot on. She needs a bit more confidence and her storytelling abilities need to be better. But the recurring spots in this match, up to the powerbomb by Nia Jax and finally the German suplex by Asuka, added much to the excitement of the story.

Both women had time enough to shine and make people draw into this match. It was easy for Asuka, since this match happened in Osaka, Japan, her hometown. While Nia Jax did enough to make the crowd being interested enough in her to hate her. Of course, we knew before the match that Asuka would win. But the way she did was impressing. An all around interesting match. Not too much good wrestling but a nice story.

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