WWE NXT RESULTS: Osaka Gets a Homecoming, An Iconic Duo and a Returning Threat (December, 28th 2016)
With New Shows soon to tape, NXT was left with two weeks of pre taped content outside of the home base of Orlando, and this week showcases many women of the NXT Women’s Division, including one who had been an impactful part of the division earlier on. The NXT Brand traveled to Osaka Japan weeks before in what would be a homecoming for NXT Women’s Champion Asuka, who defended the championship against former rival and returning star for the evening Nia Jax, plus Liv Morgan and Aliyah squared off against their heated rivals Billie Kay and Peyton Royce.
First we have the women’s tag as Liv and Aliyah separately enter as the babyfaces to entertain the Osaka crowd. Entering together are the Heels, the Self Professed “Iconic” Duo of Peyton Royce and Billie Kay, who have been a thorn in the side of Liv Morgan in the past months by targeting the Jersey Native. With entrances complete, opening up for the respective sides are Billie and Liv.
Liv locks up with the slightly taller opposition Billie, who has the momentum early on by sending her to the mat via a fireman’s carry take-down. Billie runs the ropes, but on the way back, Liv re-cooperates, rolling herself towards Billie and managing to blindside her by tripping her to the mat. Liv jackknifes Billie for the early pin attempt, and with it being early, she only gets a one count. Liv sunset flips after running the ropes, getting another one count before wheeling Billie around the ring, resulting in many one counts and plenty of dizziness for Billie. A Final pin attempt after the stunning sequence gets Liv the first near fall on Billie. Liv then tags in Aliyah, and the two work with each other, bringing down Billie with a double jumping clothesline and kipping up together as the momentum further sinks in. Regardless Aliyah turns away from the celebratorys to try and pin Billie, getting a near fall on the heel.
Aliyah targets the left arm of Billie, doing a little whirl around as she does so. However there’s just so little distance that Peyton is able to make a tag, and she immediately strikes, clubbing Aliyah in the back, then applying a hammerlock before whipping Aliyah over to a corner. Aliyah floats to evade the oncoming offense of Peyton, executing a number of arm drags to Peyton once the heel turns. A Kick follows before Aliyah gets the crowd pumping with a top rope arm drag. Peyton makes use of Billies distraction to break off from the ropes and take Aliyah down, getting one more shot at Aliyah before Billie returns to the ring to do her work. However, Billie isn’t in long, getting some corner kicks in before tagging Peyton back in to further her assault. Peyton continues where Billies corner choke left off, forcing her foot against the throat of Aliyah. Peyton further strikes after taking Aliyah away from the corner, tossing her to the mat just as she starts to throw forearms. Peyton extends a free hand (having Aliyah in the other) to tag Billie in again, and the two double boot Aliyah in the front and back before Aliyah raises both her shoulders to escape a pin attempt early.
Billie prizes Aliyah in a stranglehold, but Aliyah counters by crashing onto Billie for another quick pin attempt. Billie goes to work on the arm and shoulder of Aliyah while cinching her away from her partner, tagging back in her own. Peyton and Billie outwork Aliyah again with the double team maneuver before Peyton tries with much strength to keep Aliyah apart from Liv. Aliyah throws forearms at Peyton but as she tries to make the desperate leap to Liv, Peyton snatches Aliyah by the foot, forcing her over to the heel corner as Billie tags back in, thus Liv is left to wait a little longer. Billie and Peyton drive down Aliyah to the mat via a stalled vertical suplex, getting Billie a near fall on Aliyah. Billie and Aliyah match each other up with elbows, but Billie eventually takes over, leading Aliyah back to the heel corner as Peyton tags once more. Peyton takes Aliyah near to the center after some aggressive corner kicks, snapmaring her before driving her elbow into Aliyahs right shoulder. An elbow then meets Aliyahs opposite shoulder, and Peyton resorts to wearing down Aliyah with a side headlock. Aliyah tries to make a comeback but is attacked again by Peyton, who drags her to the heel corner to tag Billie, who forearms Aliyah in the face. Billie suplexes Aliyah for a near fall, then turning her attention towards Liv, giving the babyface some smack talk before headbutting her partner with Liv onlooking. She even cheap-shots Liv and takes her off the apron for a little heat, before Peyton tags to deliver another kick to Aliyah. Peyton takes Aliyah from the corner a little for a pin attempt, though Aliyah uses the ropes to break it up.
Billie tags back in, assisting Peyton with a second suplex that Aliyah breaks free from, landing on the mat with both feet. She makes her needed tag to Liv, who zooms right in, taking Peyton first to the mat with a cross-body, then rebounding and clotheslining Billie. A Second clothesline follows by Liv to Billie before Liv plants the heel with a running bulldog. Liv lays out Billie with an STO, only getting a near fall in the upcoming pin attempt due to an intervention from Peyton. Aliyah drives Peyton to a corner to try keep her out of Liv’s way, and as the next attack leads to her floating to the outside, Peyton takes advantage and sends Aliyah to the floor via the roundhouse. Liv, meanwhile, grasps Billie in a waistlock, with Billie running the ropes as she does so, making a tag to Peyton. An unsuspecting Liv is forearmed by Peyton, separated from Billie. Peyton snatches Liv and drives her face first into the knee of Billie to get the pin-fall victory. Billie and Peyton win the match.
The Other Women’s Match as mentioned for this 2 hour Osaka Special sees Asuka return home to defend her championship against her former rival, Nia Jax. Nia enters first, followed by Asuka, who receives a welcoming from the Osaka Attendees. Nia even tries to attack Asuka as she overlooks her home country audience, to no avail per the referee getting involved. Mike Rome is on hand to introduce the challenger to the title, Nia Jax and of course the defending champ, Asuka, who gets her home country ovation. Nia stares down Asuka, who shes had experience in dealing with before, cutting off Asukas attempt to ambush as she watches her pace around the ring to begin the match.
Asuka rolls under the opening clothesline from Nia, immediately striking with a kick to Nia, though it barely moves her, but more so may agitate. Nia attempts to go for Asuka, though Asuka’s quickness is quick to come into play as she rolls again and strikes with a kick, mirroring the last sequence. Asuka locks up with Nia, forced to the corner by the stronger opponent, shoved back into the same corner upon her attempt to escape. Nia is partially knocked by a kick from Asuka, and the champ squares up to Nia with some big forearms before stumbling back in the corner per Nia’s retaliating headbutt. Nia now has momentum reversed as she tosses Asuka with ease, and with much viciousness, into an opposite corner of the ring. Asuka tries to rope Nia into the Asuka Lock on two occasions by trying to seize Nia’s arm, but Nia reverses both times. Asuka reverts to a new strategy as she locks Nia in an octopus hold, leaping back onto Nia after her counter to try lock in the guillotine, a move Nia had faded out from before at the hands of Bayley. Nia nearly counters into a vertical suplex, but Asuka makes a landing. Asuka gets back to her feet, sneaking in a behind kick on Nia, though her speed is brought to a mass halt when Nia comes back with a sudden spinebuster. Nia takes advantage of Asuka’s temporarily weakened state to choke her against the ropes, receiving heat from Asuka’s supportive audience. Asuka tries to make a rebound with kicks and forearms but is driven into the corner by the powerhouse.
When we return from a small commercial break, Nia remains in control of the champ Asuka, choking her on the ropes. As the ref checks on the condition of Asuka, seeing if shes able to continue on, Nia continues her work and squishes Asuka in the same corner with a running hip attack. Asuka climbs back to her feet, aiming with many forearm shots to Nia as she can but taken back down with one singular headbutt. Nia clubs at the head of Asuka, waiting shortly for the champ to return to a vertical base, and she does with seeming confidence, bringing back her flurry of kicks and forearms, but like before, Nia’s power brings her back down. Nia goes for her first pin attempt of the match on Asuka, getting a near fall. Nia resorts to a chin-lock after, then taking Asuka just as she gets to her feet and slamming her. Nia goes for another cover on Asuka, this time getting a one count as the fighting spirit of the champion suddenly seems to kick in.
Nia quickly reverts to a stretch hold on Asuka, smothering her in the corner after breaking the hold mid way and hitting her additionally with a forearm. Asuka retaliates with forearms but ends up on Nia’s shoulders for a possible Samoan Drop but she loses grip, tilting into a cover but unable to pin the champion. Nia hits a sidewalk slam but again cant keep the champion down as Asuka kicks out at two. Asuka executes spinning back fists, but much like the previous comeback moments, its derailed as Asuka is brought to the mat when Nia hits a headbutt. Asuka gets right up, goes for a forearm, but Nia’s own sends her back down. Nia throws forearms downward at a defenseless and fallen Asuka, and deals the extra damage with one elbow drop. Nia covers, but again gets a near fall on Asuka. Nia revels in her own enjoyment and moment of domination as she easily floors Asuka with a short arm clothesline, before continuing on the offense by wearing down Asuka in her follow up hold. Asuka evades a clothesline by Nia, bringing her to the mat for the possible Asuka Lock, but instead sinking in a knee-bar to try deal damage to the targeted leg of Nia. Nia tries to power through, though Asuka’s kicks render that attempt useless and undone. Nia looks to retaliate with a fist, missing and being hit by Asuka’s own. Asuka forearms her in the face continuously, reverting back to the same kicks though Nia seizes her foot, sending the back of Asuka’s neck to the mat after driving her off the ropes. Nia charges towards Asuka for the next move, but Asuka yanks at the ropes and Nia meets the ringside floor, but landing using both feet.
Nia takes herself to the apron, stopping Asuka’s next onslaught with a forearm. Asuka kicks to block Nia’s shoulder tackle, and the hip attack from Asuka sends Nia to the floor again. Asuka goes for a hip attack off the apron but is caught by Nia, who rams the front of Asukas body against the ring apron. Asuka climbs back in for the count of six, only to have one giant leg of Nia’s meet the back of her neck. A Wounded Asuka rolls back out, and Nia, knowing winning the championship means not winning via count-out, heads outside and seizes Asuka, choke-slamming her into the apron. She returns to the ring, awaiting Asuka’s hopeful return, all a part of strategy as Asuka does, leading to Nia immediately going on the attack. However she misses the opening leg drop, facing Asuka’s hard kicks once again. Nia catches Asuka by the foot as she carries on doing so, going for an elbow but Asuka ducks, connecting with a spinning back fist to Nia’s jaw, and after her assault does enough to bring Nia to one knee, Asuka sends her fully down with a running hip attack. Asuka tries to capitalize with her follow up pin attempt, leading to her getting a near fall on the challenger, as Nia kicks out at two.
Nia tries to reverse momentum with a powerbomb set up, but Asuka makes her way off the shoulders of Nia, running the ropes and then running into a charging Nia. Asuka prizes Nia in an armbar out of nowhere, lifted off the mat in the midst of Nia’s oncoming reversal, but Asuka gets back on her feet, out of Nia’s grip and she ropes her arm around the neck of Nia to try lock in the Asuka lock. This attempt is diverted as Nia runs Asuka back first into a nearby corner, but Asuka recovers in time to clamber up the turnbuckles and leap onto the back of Nia. Nia counters a sleeper hold by Asuka into a powerbomb, and believing the finish is there, Nia goes for the pin, but Asuka is resilient and somehow makes it out at two. Nia gets back to her feet after taking in the result, missing her corner assault and taking Asuka’s kicks one more time. Asuka uses spinning back fists to block a choke-slam attempt, additionally escaping a samoan drop attempt and connecting with a roundhouse kick. Out of nowhere, Asuka sends Nia flying with a huge German Suplex, and as Nia tries to show her possible never say die attitude with a primal scream, she suffers the similar fate from her NXT Takeover clash, as one kick to the face does it. Asuka pins Nia and retains her NXT Women’s Championship.
(Aliyah and Liv Morgan vs Billie Kay and Peyton Royce)
(Nia Jax vs Asuka; NXT Women’s Championship Match)
Aliyah/Liv vs Billie/Peyton: Obviously the shorter of the two encounters but a continuation in an angle used to build up various performers at a time and a great showing of heel teamwork from Billie and Peyton, a characteristic needed for them to be branched out as the ones to watch in the division, as teamwork can work to outmaneuver even the biggest of foes. Aliyah was thoroughly dominated but got a fair load of offense in also, while Liv was given the Ember Moon treatment with the hot babyface placement, the popular one that everyone wants to see, but mainly because of how she has been built as an underdog against the mean girls, as the victim, and i truly feel that she should be continued to be built as an underdog, show all her naysayers wrong like Bayley did upon her rise because whether one wants to remember or not, she still has a rematch with Asuka owed like any other contender. While nowhere on Asuka’s level at this time, Liv has unique athleticism and speed that draws similarities that i feel would work well if she went up against Asuka, which is one of a few reasons why i hope she continues to grow through NXT rather than zoom up to the main roster.
Nia/Asuka: While i do question the amount of times Asuka got to slip through Nia’s potential big moves, or why Nia tried to get Asuka counted out in a match where the championship is the matter, this was another coming out outing for Nia, like her takeover match with the said opposition and her triple threat vs Carmella and Alexa. It allowed Nia to work a lengthy showcase, showcase the monster that she is as to be barely moved by even Asuka’s well known offense and last so long by looking like a legitimate threat against one of the biggest stars of modern day Japan. The match, while capitalizing on Asuka by having her win in her home country to give Osaka their proud viewing moment, showed the evolution of Nia Jax, why she isn’t as green as some make her out to be as to last so long for one and as to show her flurry of offense that had started off so minuscule before her eventual debut push. My Hopes are that on the main roster this isn’t treated as Asuka’s squash match and that their history is played up to give them a rivalry that makes Nia look truly dominant and a force but with the main rosters focuses on a particular brand only being on particular people, one can wonder who Asuka will have to face up once up there and whether the opponents she brings the best out of in will be allowed to showcase such ability. Time will tell but after seeing this match, Nia’s placement as the original house show opposer to Asuka wasn’t so random after all.