WWE Divas – May 1, 2014 NXT Results:
Well last week on NXT we got some shocking news – Paige was officially stripped of the NXT Women’s Championship. This means that the vacant title is to be won in an eight-Diva tournament. And WWE aren’t wasting any time with it, as two of the quarter final matches are happening this very episode. Sasha Banks represents the BFFs as she takes on the Dr of Huganomics Bayley. Also Total Divas star Natalya goes head-to-head with Fandango’s newest dance partner Layla. Also announced is the debut of a brand new NXT Diva in the tournament.
Bayley vs Sasha Banks [Quarter-Finals for the NXT Women’s Championship]
Bayley has a brand new addition to her entrance – two inflated characters on the stage. Charlotte is sporting an interestingly coincidental t-shirt which reads “You Can’t Sit With Us” – since it is the ten-year-anniversary of the movie Mean Girls. Sasha rams Bayley into the corner and snapmares her for one. Sasha goes for a scoop slam but Bayley rolls off and school girls her for two. Bayley follows up with a backslide and Magistral Cradle – getting two on both attempts. Sasha knees her downstairs but Bayley comes back with a lucha arm drag from the middle rope. Bayley leap frogs over Sasha and hugs her…while also ramming her into the corner. Bayley then chops Sasha in the back, reminiscent of the Boss’s own chops. Bayley now delivers an Exploder Suplex for two. Sasha slaps Bayley in the face and dropkicks her into the corner. Bayley pushes Sasha into the ropes and is able to get a back body drop. Bayley then gets a couple of Polish Hammers and a big splash in the corner. She hits the Belly-to-Bayley but the momentum sends Sasha to the apron. The Boss jawbreakers Bayley on the ropes and climbs back into the ring to deliver the Bankrupt. Bayley kicks out! Bayley attempts her finisher again but Sasha counters with a Back Stabber into a crossface – and Bayley taps out.
Winner: Sasha Banks via crossface submission
Layla vs Natalya [Quarter-Finals for the NXT Women’s Championship]
The second Women’s Championship tournament match also gets underway immediately. Natalya and Layla both get pre-filmed promos inserted into their entrances – presumably to explain why they’re even competing in the tournament. Natalya’s is a rather generic babyface promo while Layla delivers a pretty good one. Layla gets an early lead with an arm drag takedown. She kicks downstairs and wrist locks Natalya. The 3rd Generation Diva nips out into a northern lights throw for two. She tries to scoop slam Layla, who rolls over and pulls her down by the hair. Clothesline from Layla as what sounds like a “we want Maxine!” chant starts. Layla applies a surfboard stretch. Natalya tries to power out but is slammed back to the canvas. Natalya tries a school girl pin but it gets completely botched. Layla knocks her down with a back elbow and puts the surfboard stretch back on. Natalya powers out and gets a clothesline – that Layla bumps horribly off. Snap suplex from Natalya followed by a discus clothesline. She goes for the Sharpshooter and Layla kicks her foot away. Layla goes for a sunset flip but Natalya counters into the Sharpshooter this time. Layla taps and Natalya advances.
Winner: Natalya via Sharpshooter submission
Well WWE aren’t wasting any time at all with this tournament. But unlike when they had one to crown a new Divas’ Champion (when Melina was injured) this one is faring much better. It wasn’t really given much fanfare but we did get a small mention of a new Diva making her debut in the tournament – Alexa Bliss! I had a sneaking suspicion Alexa would be the next to debut, judging from how she’s been wrestling more frequently at live events and since she appeared at WrestleMania. I’m looking forward to what we see from her.
Anyway that Natalya/Layla match was not that solid. It seems that ring-wise Layla as a face and Layla as a heel are different as night and day – and that is not a good thing. As a face Layla looks like she belongs in the ring. Her bumps, her selling, her execution of moves…I counted her among the most improved Divas in her time. As a heel however she seems more like the Divas of the past like Maria, Maryse and Rosa. There were so many screw-ups in this match that I wouldn’t expect from someone who has been wrestling for six years. I’ve always preferred Layla as a face because she seems like an actual wrestler and not just a model playing wrestling. I’ll give her credit and applaud some of the things she did in this match. But she and Natalya had some truly brilliant matches with the face/heel roles reversed, so this incarnation of Layla feels incredibly watered down. I’m relieved that she’s less of a clown in the ring now and is opting for her vintage Mean Girl persona. However she still kept going back to the silly prancing around that just doesn’t look natural. We did see some flairs of that great Natalya/Layla chemistry from the past, especially in the ending. Natalya advancing in the tournament does make more sense, given that she has appeared a lot at NXT in the past year.
The Sasha Banks/Bayley match that preceded it was a lot better. It was fast-paced, aggressive and action packed. It pretty much was everything a tournament match should be. It felt like a big deal, like Bayley and Sasha really wanted to be NXT Women’s Champion – as opposed to Natalya and Layla who were just ‘business as usual’. Bayley was just on fire; I couldn’t wait to see what she was going to do next. I’d probably say this is her best match on NXT so far. If Bayley does end up properly challenging for the title in the future, these are the types of performances I want to see from her. Sasha wasn’t really in control for that long and I was okay with that. Bayley is the bigger wrestler and she’s more believably going to overpower Sasha. Plus she was going to lose the match so it was necessary to give her plenty of offence. The girls really went all out, kicking out of each other’s finishers and everything. Sasha pulled out a new combination to win and I like it. I also like that she got a much-needed win after weeks of losses. This means she’ll also be facing Natalya in the semi-finals – a match I really want to see. Plus we’ve also got Alexa Bliss’s debut and even more matches to look for. NXT has become its usual exciting self again and I look forward to next week.