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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

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NXT: Women's Wrestling Saving Grace

By @stevesignore 

Thank you NXT. Thank you Triple H and company. You have made women's wrestling something fans look forward to seeing on a weekly basis. The days of taking a bathroom break, and a quick one at that, have become a thing of the past. As one of those fans who took advantage of those five minute windows I could honestly say I never thought this day would come for me, even during the Lita/Stratus days. Call me a pig-headed male fan, I don't care. It wasn't worth watching until NXT made it that way. I, personally, was never a huge fan of the whole "puppies" era or having the "divas" viewed more as sex objects than in-ring perfomers. To me, those days are over (for the most part), and I could honestly say, I'm hooked on women's wrestling.

I'm sure I'm with a lot of fans when I say the WWE really hasn't booked the NXT callups the best it could. The matches have been solid, but the overall storylines have been disappointing. Nevertheless, I'm expecting that as the characters continue to evolve on the WWE stage things will come together. At least I'm hoping that's the case!

In the meantime, I will sit in awe of the unique style of Asuka on NXT. I'll watch Breaking Ground and marvel at what leadership Bayley has as a 26-year-old superstar. I doubted Eva Marie would ever make it as an in-ring performance, but she has has made sizeable strides, and is clearly poised to be used by Vince sooner than later. Dana Brooke and Emma have become a solid "mean girl" duo. Nia Jax has quickly evolved and her character is unique compared to the perception of women's wrestling under the WWE umbrella. Carmella's inclusion on Breaking Ground leads you to be invested in her character and I can see her emerging as another serious threat in that division as time moves on. Maybe almost to the point where she challenges Bayley in her last feud before getting the call-up. Those broken friendships always make great storylines!

Bayley gets all the praise in the world, and obviously she deserves it. People were disappointed when she didn't get the call up North at first, but anyone who has the WWE Network is probably glad that didn't happen. She's the rock of the women's division at NXT. And if you haven't watched Breaking Ground, you need to start. You're going to see someone who dedicates herself to being the best in all facets of women's wrestling, whether behind the scenes or in the ring.

One woman who has flown under the radar, in my opinion, is Emma. Did you ever think she was capable of a run as a heel? This is a tremendous repackage job. Instantly a comedy act with Santino in the WWE, I never thought she'd be able to shed that persona. But when you see clips of those days it's almost like two different people.

Nia Jax was someone who I discounted as "just another relative of the Rock getting a chance" at first. I was wrong cause she's definitely earned her keep, and in short order. The fact she just had a title match with Bayley at the most recent Takeover is a testament to her hard work and dedication. She's already the top heel force, and an unstoppable one at that. Also, she's evolved her look each week, which has added to her mystique.

As someone who doesn't really watch anything outside of the WWE/NXT, Asuka is a revelation. Whenever Asuka shows up on the screen I stop what I'm doing and watch. Her style is fascinating. I'm just a big fan. It's to the point where I'd argue she's probably the most must-see superstar for me at the moment, man or woman. Her whole package is worthy of a run in the WWE, but I'm not sure I trust that it wouldn't do her an injustice. I usually revert back to what happened during Funaki, Yoshi Tatsu and Tajiri's time on the main roster. It might be best if she stays in NXT.

I know Eva Marie has been criticized to death, self included, but she's improved in the ring. If you say, "she still sucks"
or "she'll never make it," you're wrong. She's looked more confident during her entrances and as a heel in the ring. The
promos need the most fine tuning, but other than that, she's made strides I never thought I'd see.

The future is bright in women's wrestling. WWE basically emptied out NXT, and NXT replenished in a flash. It's a factory of women's wrestling. They've made it relevant. Women's wrestling means something. WWE needs to take advantage of what they've been given. Don't change it as much as you have. If you get someone like a Sasha Banks let her be SASHA BANKS..... in the meantime, women's wrestling is here to stay!!!



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