Full Sail University (Winter Park, Florida)
NXT Women’s Championship
This match took place at the end of May and chronologically, it is the first 2014 women’s match I have written about. That is largely on purpose. For one, I had to draw the line in the sand somewhere and forgoing Shimmer, Shine, and whatever Joshi pops up online seemed like a small concession to make in order to keep myself from overdosing on current wrestling. The secondary reason was that woman’s wrestling as never appealed to me all that much. I haven’t given it a lot of thought why and I know some people might view that as me being unenlightened, but stylistically it is not my cup of tea.
Charlotte and Natalya’s meeting for the vacant NXT Women’s Championship was as talked about of a match as any through May. The pre-match video package had something to do with that. The title bout was not only treated as a big deal but it was presented in a way distinctly different from how WWE usually presents matches. For lack of a better term, it had a “pure sports build” focused on each of the competitor’s desire to win the match and title. Charlotte sought to uphold the Flair family name – not only for her father but for her deceased brother Reid who in a perfect world would have been the one to carry on the Flair name in wrestling. Natalya wished to add additional support her claim as the unofficial best woman’s wrestler in the world’s top pro wrestling promotion. It was simple but so very effective.
The match itself could be described much the same way. While both women accomplished what they sought out to, the credit for the highly acclaimed match should go largely to Natalya. She was the maestro here, leading the athletically gifted but inexperience Charlotte through what was a good match by any standard. The match focused on holds in a manner totally unique in the modern WWE. They didn’t do anything all too complicated but they didn’t need to because what they did do was so solid and effective. Natalya brought the action up on occasion and when Charlotte’s inexperience sometimes showed itself in the form of somewhat sloppy or unpolished transitions, Natalya covered for it brilliantly.
The two wrestlers had their famous relatives in their corner, which added an extra sense of importance to the bout. Charlotte, of course, was cornered by her father, while Natalya had her uncle Bret Hart watching her back. Flair was really good working as a second for his daughter to the point that I think he could be a truly valuable asset as the manager for her the right person. Bret as usual was far more reserved but his presence alone added to the big time feeling of the proceedings.
The ending was really good in that it came off like a sudden – but totally legitimate – finish. Natalya escaped a pinning predicament. She didn’t reserve anything but rather immediately noticed an opening and took advantage of it with a pinning combination to get the three count and win the title. It was a different but effective (in part because of its uniqueness) finish.
In general, that is why this match worked so well and has received so much praise. It was a different and better WWE women’s match. It might not be in the Match of the Year discussion if we are to apply the same objective criteria to all styles of matches, but that’s okay. It was a unique and well-executed WWE women’s match that undoubtedly stands out as one of the best efforts in that particular style.
Women’s Singles | Watch It | Hype & Quality