WWE NXT TAKEOVER TORONTO RESULTS: A Generational Competitor Returns to Step in the Champs Dominion (November, 19th 2016)
Welcome All to the NXT Takeover Toronto report as WWE resided in Canada’s Own over the Weekend for two nights of immense in ring action. Of course we had Survivor Series that Sunday, showcasing the hopeful best of the main roster talent, but the Saturday before came NXTs first Televised event in Canada as the Superstars of Today and the Future landed in Canada to give the viewing folks a glimpse of the ever so praised action of NXTs best. On top of that, Triple H had brought in one of the very best from WWEs women’s division back in the day, Mickie James, to battle a dominant and undefeated NXT Women’s Champion Asuka.
If watching back old spectacles wasn’t enough for the WWE Universe, they get to hear Mickie’s James theme play as the returning competitor enters per tradition as the challenger to the NXT Women’s Title, hearing out a number of Welcome Back Chants from the Toronto Audience. As Should, Asuka enters second as the defending champion. With both competitors stood in the ring face to face, doing Greg Hamilton’s job back in the day is Mike Rome to announce challenger and champion. Even some Asuka supporters are on display at front row and further behind with Asuka Masks held up. Once those introductions are out of the way from Mike, its time for the match waited for for many weeks, as Mickie James competes in the WWE ring for the first time in six years against Asuka.
Asuka Opens the Match with an attempt to swiftly kick Mickie, but Mickie seems to have seen the quick opponents offense coming and moves in the nick of time before trying to lunge herself, but Asuka matches. The Usual match opening lock up follows, leading to Asuka forcing much strength to take Mickie to a corner. Mickie uses the turnbuckles to turn herself around, but is still caught in Asukas grip. Mickie keeps Asuka held despite an arm drag, and has Asuka against the mat for the first pin attempt, which just gets her a one count. Asuka arm drags Mickie also, having her against the mat right after in a mirrored strategy, only she gets a near fall from it. Asuka and Mickie eventually break off from one another, staring each other out prior to and after a handshake. Asuka isn’t impressed with some of Mickie’s taunting towards her and they lock up again. Mickie grounds Asuka in the center of the ring, a side headlock applied to the defending champ. After some elbows, Asuka moves Mickie over to the ropes, and Mickie stays standing after Asuka’s offense, with Asuka rearing for more. Asuka and Mickie go back and forth with Asuka eventually gaining the upper hand as she starts applying pressure to the left shoulder of Mickie.
Mickie snapmares and kicks Asuka in the face after breaking loose from the submission. Asuka is shown rolling outside and she takes time to regroup, evidently rarely shown by the champion. The ref begins counting and only as Asuka starts pacing to another side of the ring, does Mickie offer to help her respectfully back to the ring. However Asuka shows little respect for Mickie’s courteous moment and ducks under another rope rather than under the top rope. Asuka and Mickie lock up once more, this time with Mickie taking hold of Asukas left arm. She wraps it behind Asukas back, but Asuka reverses and takes possession of Mickie’s left arm herself, tying it behind the challengers back. Even a snapmare doesn’t break the grip of Asuka, who stays applying pressure as she resumes a standing position. Mickie nails a fireman’s carry take-down after the roll out attempt fails, resuming the strategy of targeting Asukas arm. Asuka counters into a head-scissor, but Mickie kips up, only to turn and take a devastating kick from Asuka. Mickie stumbles just slightly but remains standing, looking to fend her off with her own. Asuka goes for an elbow, missing Mickie as she moves, but Asuka soon utilizes the ropes to run back to Mickie and execute the running hip attack. Mickie is sent outside and Asuka looks to mimic Mickie’s graciousness as to welcome her back into the ring with rope held down, but Mickie gives her a taunt along the way, which the champ doesn’t take too kindly to. Asuka grasps Mickie by the hair then punishes her for her mimicked disrespect by sending her back to ringside via the second hip attack.
Asuka goes for an aerial maneuver off the apron but misses, instead being kicked by Mickie. Mickie grasps Asuka with both legs and sends her for a whirl with a hurricanrana, then giving her a slap, forearm and kick before almost being caught in the ankle lock. However rather than secure it into place, Asuka embraces Mickie and turns it into a German Suplex, which keeps Mickie on the floor for a while. The Official has stopped his count to check on Mickie out of belief she may be KO’ed but it doesn’t seem the case. As Asuka takes in the crowd, the ref has restarted the count for the challenger, whose back in the ring at the count of seven. Asuka returns to manhandling Mickie once shes back in the ring, and she sends Mickie down to the mat with a running dropkick to Mickie executed toward the corner. Asuka goes into the pin attempt and gets a near fall. The Vicious side of Asuka is back on show as she forearms Mickie repeatedly against the mat, even giving the official a mouthful. Mickie creates a little separation by pushing her away, but only just tries to help herself to the height of the top rope when Asuka attacks from behind. Asuka mocks the officials count as he starts counting while Asuka chokes Mickie between the ropes, but her follow up hip attack in direction of the ropes falls flat when Mickie dodges, leading to Asuka being caught in the ropes.
By time Asuka has released herself from the ropes, Mickie hasn’t even come close to recovered from the last minute spring from the ropes. Asuka delivers her kicks to the front of Mickie, though despite the many taken, Mickie yells for more. Mickie dodges a last one off the ropes, countering into a single leg crab. If it wasn’t evident enough that Asuka was in trouble, Mickie blocks the chance for Asuka to reach slightly by reverting to a Muta Lock. Asuka eventually seizes the nearby bottom rope and Mickie is made to break her hold. Despite earlier grogginess, Asuka finds the fight in her to go back and forth with forearms to Mickie. After a Kick, Mickie takes Asuka head first into a corner top turnbuckle, but before she can do this a second time, Asuka reverses and Mickie ends up hitting the opposite corner turnbuckle. Its back and forth between the two in another forearm battle, this time in the center of the ring, and Mickie eventually has the momentum as she fires a number of them straight at Asuka. Asuka retaliates with chops, and the fury on the face of Asuka can be seen once Mickie delivers a vicious slap to the champions face. Asuka has her next attack blocked by Mickie, who drives her to the mat with a neckbreaker. Mickie has begun to find her momentum as she delivers clothesline after clothesline to Asuka, whipping her to a corner moments later. Along the way Asuka hauls herself onto a turnbuckle, leaping off the turnbuckle to avoid Mickie’s corner attack. Mickie then hauls Asuka upward and connects with the flapjack, and a top rope maneuver, that being the seated senton, only gets Mickie a near fall on Asuka, to her surprise.
Mickie kicks Asuka, roping her in for her signature Mickie DDT, but Asuka counters, prizing her into a cross armbreaker that Mickie is quick enough to break from by having her foot under the rope. Mickie connects with a kick just as Asuka drags her back to the rings center, and she additionally ducks under a quick kick from Asuka to deliver her own. However the follow up pin attempt is soon cancelled when Asuka smartly places her foot on the rope. Mickie takes her away from the ropes, looking to pin again and getting a near fall. Mickie goes for the Mickie DDT once again but Asuka answers with a counter, trying many times to lock in the Asuka Lock. One counter by Mickie gets her a near fall on Asuka. Asuka rolls into a crossface and Mickie soon taps. Asuka wins the match, retaining the title and flashing the gold she still prizes in the face of Mickie on the way out.
(Mickie James vs Asuka; NXT Womens Championship Match)
Thoughts On This Match:
While i was worried how Mickie’s return would end, its honestly great to see Mickie back to show her potential at its complete best, to remind all of the division forgotten by WWE in the Women’s Evolution documentary, where the likes of Melina, Michelle etc that Mickie had worked with had gone the extra mile to put on matches that had to be altered for being too equal to the men. I Can see why Mickie was the opponent now as the other women are developing in side angles and it gives them extra time to be developed on their way into the title picture, though knowing Billie and Peyton’s in ring ability and longevity as well as Embers, they are arguably ready. This was a brilliant match, with Asuka once again retaining heel mannerisms shown in and before her previous match with Bayley, and while the crowd still chant for her because of her explosive offense amongst other things, WWE may have just cemented her role as a heel with the post match boastful show of the title to Mickie, breaking away from the post match hugs that break kayfabe. As for where the division goes now Asuka continues to hold the gold, i believe a four or five way featuring Liv, Ember, Billie and Peyton or just one of the Aussies to make them not fight each other early into their partnership is next, but its also safe to say it may just be a singles encounter with Ember next, who you will see on next weeks episode by the way. Congratulations to Asuka and Mickie on a Top Level Match and to WWE for allowing a member of a division they’d seemingly forgotten to show her full in ring ability and capabilities that some of her fellow women had shared.