NXT didn’t hold back this week. It started off with a bang. Alexa Bliss and Carmella were booked to go one on one in the first match of the evening. They started the night electrically, setting the tone for the night.
Alexa Bliss walked out first. She hadn’t competed in television action since the Triple Threat Women’s #1 Contender match vs. Carmella and Nia Jax back in May. Commentator Tom Phillips reminded us that Bliss was never pinned in that contest and that she competed exceptionally.
Carmella entered next and was given a hero’s welcome by the Full Sail University crowd. Although Carmella suffered the pinfall in the aforementioned #1 Contenders Match, at the hands of Jax, she was coming off a fresh win over Tessa Blanchard.
It is becoming more and more obvious that Bliss and Carmella are two of the premier women’s wrestlers in NXT. The improvements they have displayed over the last few months are nothing short of incredible. They look like old pros in the ring at this point.
All elements of the match were on point: the grappling, the chain wrestling, the constant trash talk, the mind games, the precision and the psychological elements.
Alexa Bliss took the early advantage when she won the stand up battle with Carmella and sent her to the ground. With Carmella laying by the ropes, Alexa did not hesitate to stomp on her opponent square in the back and right into the mat.
Alexa is also becoming more aggressive and assertive. Her anger towards Carmella and the referee were ever-present, especially on near 3 counts.
Commentator Corey Graves noted the vast improvements in Alexa Bliss’ game ever since she departed Blake and Murphy.
Carmella would gain control with a head scissors takedown. In one of the coolest moves I’ve seen in a while, Carmela wrapped her legs around Alexa and gave her a snap mare from the position.
On three separate occasions Carmella was able to lock in grounded headlocks on Bliss. Bliss tried to fight out each time, but kept getting put in the same position by Carmella. It was like clockwork.
Bliss’ resilience caused Corey Graves to say, “Every time we see Alexa Bliss she gets tougher and tougher.”
When Bliss took advantage again she displayed my favorite part of her game: her tactical, sadistic offense. Carmella was lying helpless on the outside corner of the ring. Bliss landed an excess of stomps to the left arm and then landed a swinging armbreaker.
After a 2 count the Network cut to commercial…What gives? How could they cut here? This is the WWE Network! WWE controls everything! Plus, all the ads were for WWE! We want to see the whole match dammit! There’s no better advertisement than an amazing match played in its entirety…
Anyway when the action came back Bliss was still in control, grabbing and extending the tenderized left arm of Carmella. She delivered another ambreaker and then proceeded to stretch Carmella’s arm savagely behind the back .
One of the best things Bliss does is her holds. She might be the best in the game at it. The look on her face and the way she stretches limbs out is fierce.
I also love how Bliss alternates between flashy, precise offense into holds that further damage her target. For instance, the swinging armbreaker is a highlight-reel move, but the ensuing stretch hold allows her to capitalize on the offense and tire out her opponent.
Carmella started to fight back. Reversals. Bronco Buster in the corner. Hurricanrana performed while doing a handstand from the bottom rope. 2 count.
Carmella next attempted an arm lock, but by then it was too late. Bliss rolled with the punches and grabbed a hold of Carmella’s throat. Alexa shook her head. Her eyes may as well been filled with fire.
She stuck her foot behind Carmella and pushed her to the ground.
Alexa Bliss climbed to the top rope and unleashed Twisted Bliss and won with a 3 count.
The night wasn’t over for Alexa. She intruded on Bayley’s backstage interview. Alexa said, “You don’t deserve another shot at the NXT Women’s Championship. You had your chance and you blew it.
“I just destroyed your best friend [Carmella]. If you want another shot at Asuka you have to go through me.”
If Alexa Bliss wants to prove that she has made it to the top of the scene she’ll have to get past the former champ. It won’t be easy, but she may have all the tools to do it.
After all, she has proven that she brings a viciousness we haven’t quite seen in NXT since a certain Boss was wearing the gold.
by: Kevin D’Hooge