WWE NXT RESULTS: Does The Title Go Down Under? Or Does Another Path Await It? (March, 1st 2017)




Last Week saw the redemption of the Icons, as Peyton Royce managed to secure a spot as Number One Contender to the NXT Women’s Title per overcoming fellow NXT Talents Liv Morgan and Ember Moon. With Promises to take the title “Down Under” Peyton meets Asuka again inside the squared circle this week for the first time since Asuka laid her out at San Antonio in order to retain the championship. Can the Aussie truly get that redemption in order to end the Undefeated Ones lengthy winning streak?

Before we even think up that scenario, or before we can even get to the physicality, we get an eerie segment featuring Nikki Cross and her fellow Sanity Members. The Stables Leader, Eric Young, looks over his sure fate for Tye Dillinger and his allies, wishing only to end “The Perfect Ten”. If Tye does not follow this fate, then Nikki says “The World will Burn”.

We Return moments later to the venue of Peyton’s Title Match, and out comes Peyton herself, alongside Billie Kay, for her most recent shot at the NXT Women’s Title. Per Tradition, the Defending Champion, that being Asuka, enters second, and once the “Empress of Tomorrow” stands before the NXT Universe, stood in the squared circle, introductions can be underway for this championship showdown. Introduced first is one half of the Aussies, the challenger Peyton Royce, then the reigning champion Asuka. Once introductions are closed, the bell is rung and the Iconic Duo’s difficult task to end the long standing reign of the Empress of Tomorrow begins.

Peyton locks up with Asuka, quick to overtake her with a side headlock into a take-down. Asuka follows with various reversals, but Peyton manages to find her way out of each, leading to both having a standoff in the conclusion. Peyton takes a while to regroup before trying to lock up with Asuka again, this time with the champion overtaking with a side headlock of her own. Peyton reverses into her own and is whipped to the ropes by Asuka. Asuka is barely moved by a shoulder block from Peyton, to the challengers dismay. Asuka throws forearms, then running the ropes, as does Peyton to keep up and attempt her own counter strike, but Asuka gets the upper hand, and appears quicker as she arm drags Peyton to the mat. As Peyton is seated in the middle, Asuka goes for her kick that had KO’ed Peyton on first go at San Antonio, but Peyton ducks it, with some warning from the supporting Billie at ringside. Both miss swift roundhouse’s to each other, and there’s a secondary standoff.

Asuka mocks Peyton in the closure of this standoff, enough to aggravate Peyton as to charge towards her. Asuka avoids Peyton, then planting her in the rings center with a hip attack. Theres a second from Asuka as Peyton regroups on the apron, leading to Peyton crashing to the ringside floor. Asuka heads to the floor also, readying to attack Peyton further, but her shoulder gets yanked into the ring post by Peyton. Peyton takes advantage of the damage done to roll the champ back to the ring, going for her first pin attempt, but its not even a two count as Asuka breaks free at one.

When we return from the commercial break that followed Peyton’s failed pin attempt, we see the Aussie challenger still in control, having Asuka seized in a hold. As Asuka tries to break off from Peyton with elbows, Peyton takes her by her hair and sweeps her backwards to the mat. After a quick kick, Peyton resorts to targeting the left arm of Asuka. After an arm drag, Peyton dashes over to Asuka for the next pin attempt, but Asuka raises herself before the ref can even make a count. A Vicious Peyton chucks her armband at Asuka before unloading on her with forearms, keeping up with the lethal maneuvers as Asuka tries to find a way to escape Peyton. Asuka begins to fire up, ducking a second roundhouse kick by Peyton and suplexing her, though the pain in her arm is evident. Both women get back to their feet, soon exchanging forearms between one another with Asuka using the right arm for leverage. Asuka has a whip reversed by Peyton, but Asuka aerials to the second turnbuckle and dropkicks Peyton off of it. More offense follows, including the back fists that floor Peyton. Asuka connects with the kick that took out Peyton before at San Antonio, but this time Peyton finds it in her to kick out, forcing herself from the mat after the count of two.

Asuka goes for a roundhouse, but Peyton ducks and executes a jawbreaker. Peyton blocks a kick by Asuka, snapping the pre targeted left arm of Asuka and hitting her signature knee strike to Asuka in the middle of the ring. Asuka rolls up Peyton within seconds to get a one count, Peyton matches with her own roll up, with a mirrored result. Peyton axe handles the shoulder of Asuka, then executing an elbow to the back of the neck, only enough to get a near fall. After failing to bring down Asuka with a fishermans suplex, Peyton turns it into a roundhouse, and right to the face, though the follow up pin attempt ends at two to Peyton’s dismay. Asuka stumbles around but sees Peyton coming regardless, sending her back with a kick to the side of the head, swooping right into the Asuka Lock. Despite a great display, Peyton soon taps. Asuka wins the match, retaining the women’s championship.

The Heels aren’t going to be accepting of that result however, as Billie Kay slides into the ring and immediately pummels Asuka with forearms. The Fallen now former contender Peyton joins her bestie for the continuation of the assault, though Ember soon emerges from the back to deal with both ladies. After Peyton and Billie are dealt with, eyes turn to the NXT Women’s Title, and Asuka, and Ember engages in a fairly intense staredown with her recent critic, signalling a inevitable match on the horizon.

(Peyton Royce w/ Billie Kay vs Asuka; NXT Womens Championship Match feat Ember Moon)

Thoughts On This Match:
We saw a fair bit but not the full extent of Peyton at San Antonio, and this match showed exactly what Peyton’s capabilities are, and you know there’s a good amount of trust in WWE on the responsibilities they had put on Peyton over that night at the NXT Tapings, working three matches, including one with Asuka, and putting over Ember Moon in the closure. It truly feels like WWE see Peyton Royce as the locker room leader that Bayley has referred to her as, putting those responsibilities on her while allowing her to flourish. I Worry from here that despite Peyton’s capabilities that the Duo of Peyton and Billie will become enhancements for Ember and any other new/recent signings that may be propelled into the title picture in the way that Joe and Kevin Owens were, but hopefully thats not the case because even though the Duo show the typical mean girl gimmick, it doesn’t take away what they can do in the ring, adding their pre WWE indy experience on top. The other worry is that while Ember is heading into the title picture, its come too late because now WWE have to try and define Embers character rather than just put her there because she has a streak like Asuka and because shes just Ember Moon. Sure this match is sure to take place right before Mania as a money match, but Ember Moon is the same performer she was in the Indys but under a different character and name, and thats what people who haven’t seen her work need to identify. Regardless of all that, im excited to see the match itself and im hoping Peyton is involved at Takeover in some way or in the division minus being the female Dillinger. The Same with Billie too, though its unknown at this point after she suffered some form of injury at the tapings following a match with Ember.

– Catherine


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