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NXT JULY 2017 DISCUSSION

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Based on Twitter - it looks like Johnny Saint's 6 months are up and he is headed back to the UK

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I'd love a documentary on him at his time in NXT. Heck, on all the special guest trainers. Most of it can just be them interacting/busty balls of the rookies and I'll be fine.

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Guess this is the beginning of the set up for Ember/Asuka at Brooklyn III

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Technically speaking they have been setting it up since the end of their first match.

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After Asuka's work with Nikki Cross, Ember Moon seems like such a letdown. I'd rather watch more of Asuka and Nikki, while working Ruby Riot back into the mix.

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They're going to have to do something with Ember character wise to get people invested in her. The whole gimmick is basically pointless and she seems only half committed to it. Her promos are just generic destiny and dreams cookie cutter babyface stuff. I'd just ditch the whole Ember Moon presentation with the red contacts and the entrance lighting and just let her be herself. She's in the same place Becky was before she found the steam punk gimmick, and had her breakout match with Sasha. Hell of a talent, but she hasn't really connected with the fan base yet.

Asuka meanwhile is on fire in and out of the ring, and even though she's a year plus into her reign it still feels like there's momentum and life left in it. The problem is if she beats Ember you have to build someone new to face her from scratch. They could buy time between Takeovers with Sonya until the winner of the MYC gets built up.

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If they aren't going to pull the trigger on Ember (and they should) then my vote is for Sonya Deville.

I think if she can find a strong submission finish (Kimura?) and build up a knock out strike like Asuka's spinning heel kick (would a spinning backfist work?) then you could build a really great shoot style fight between the two. Spend the rest of the year having Sonya pick up wins by submission or TKO. No pins. Then at Takeover: Rumble or WrestleMania we could get another Women's Title match main event with these two.

Really though the story should be that Ember has Asuka's number with the Eclipse and that when she hits it at Takeover Brooklyn she will be the new women's champion.

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Ember Moon might be the worst choice to be Asuka. That would be like pre-Titus-Brand Apollo Crews beating Brock Lesnar. She has a cool finisher, but absolutely no story to invest in or connection to the fans. She's the epitome of empty workrate right now.

I liked Sonya's match this week. If she could sustain that over a few months, that would be a good program with Asuka. Otherwise just let the MYC play out and see if anyone jumps off the page.

The real solution that WWE will never do, as I've said forever, is Asuka going rogue. Being on NXT isn't doing her or most of the other women (Nikki being the first exception) any favors right now. Have her go to SD and wreck Naomi and Carmella's shit, then set her sights on Sasha for all 3 belts in a September/October non-gimmick ppv main event. They're already past the point of no return for having someone beat her credibly, they might as well go all out.

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That's a real shame. I wonder if they knew the extent of his injury before they did the big angle. Going nearly a year before they can have any kind of payoff for it is pretty long term planning.

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So Gargano will be going to the NXT title over Wrestlemania weekend then.

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A pity about Ciampa. I imagine when they made the turn they thought he would be out for six months at best.

On who beats Asuka, NXT has done a shitty job building Ember's character up. Its obvious they had no idea what the character was and just hoped looking cool and having good ring work would get Ember over. Only they even fucked up that by not giving her any actual matches or feuds where she could truly shine ring work wise. That said, they have built idea of Ember being dangerous to to Asuka somewhat decently. The Eclipse is well protected with Asuka being forced to cheat for the first time in her run to avoid it while Billie Kay is still out from injury from it. Asuka went out of her way to injure Ember so she couldn't be in the fatal 4-way, and Ember has been promising revenge for a couple of months now for both instances of Asuka screwing her. I think they avoid confrontation between the two a bit too much, but there really isn't a better choice at the moment to beat Asuka. Having her stick around so the MYC winner can be built up would waste of time and the division itself. They need Asuka gone for it to move forward which seems to be the plan just based on how many likely callups they are putting in the MYC. Basically not giving it to Ember at this point would just make things worse.

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3 hours ago, Go2Sleep said:

Ember Moon might be the worst choice to be Asuka. That would be like pre-Titus-Brand Apollo Crews beating Brock Lesnar.

 

Ridiculous thing to say. No one in NXT has been built up better and having Asuka jump to the main roster undefeated would only serve to bury the NXT women's division further at a time where they can't really afford to do that. 

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Almost no one in the NXT women's division has been built up at all, but even so, Nikki is in a better position to beat Asuka because she's established a character that might do something so crazy it works. Ember is a generic "living my dream" babyface with a good finisher and not much else right now. Asuka's more popular and not enough fans want to see her lose or Ember win right now to make it work.

And Asuka is exactly the type of person who should leave NXT undefeated. Instant hype for someone who isn't gonna cut a lot of promos when she gets to the main roster, the rest of the division in NXT is no longer being measured against an unfairly high bar, and the door is still open for "unfinished business" feuds when more get called up.

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 If they have real plans for Asuka on the MR post Summer Slam then cool bring her up and let her do her thing after dropping the belt. If not let her keep the belt and defend against the next wave of challengers. If those challengers include Kairi, Io, Toni Storm etc it'll be the best competition Asuka has had.

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Paige gave up the belt when she went to the main roster, and things worked out ok.  

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11 hours ago, MORELOCK said:

having Asuka jump to the main roster undefeated would only serve to bury the NXT women's division further at a time where they can't really afford to do that. 

That's not really true. With the MYC coming up you could easily do a hard reset of the entire division. 

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56 minutes ago, JonnyLaw said:

Paige gave up the belt when she went to the main roster, and things worked out ok.  

Apples and oranges - there was no real women's division to speak of at that time. Doing the same thing with Asuka and doing a Russo-esque "hard reset" would essentially be saying that Ember, Nikki, Ruby, Peyton, and all the other women being built up are failed experiments. They aren't - Ember in particular deserves the win after the way the last match ended. This board is just full of Joshi fans that either want Asuka to dominate forever or hold off and drop the title to Io or Kairi. 

ETA: What exactly do y'all think is the endgame if Asuka goes to the main roster undefeated, anyway? Dropping the streak to Charlotte and helping no one? People have been complaining for 20 years about how Goldberg's streak wasn't ended effectively and you guys want the idiot main roster writers to get their hands on this instead of completing a well-built storyline and making a new star in NXT?

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Ideally Asuka would have her streak end and drop the belt to the next face of the NXT women's division. I don't see Ember Moon as that person. I don't think she'd be a terrible choice, but I'm not the least bit excited to see it happen. Having the Iconic Duo, Nikki Cross, and a few other get called up and doing somewhat of a restart doesn't mean those women are failed experiments. Alexa, Carmella, and Nia never won the NXT women's title and are doing just fine. The problem is there's not really enough spots on the main roster for several call ups right now.

As far as being a Joshi mark I'm just a good wrestling mark, and I want to see Asuka finally wrestle some opponents that are on her skill level.

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I am thinking at this point they may just be better off having whoever wins the Mae Young Classic steamroll Asuka to take the title in a surprise upset like with last year's Goldberg-Lesnar Survivor Series match.

Ember Moon is fine but whoever brought up the Apollo Crews comparison is dead on. She's a fine in-ring performer but there is an intangible that is missing, and she doesn't have the ultra mega baby face fire that the person who finally defeats Asuka should have.

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At some point, Ember really has to own it and just tell them she needs a hard reset. Have Asuka destroy her at the big match, making it the last straw; she dumps the 1/2 hearted gimmick and re-debuts with new gimmick that fits.

As for who should break Asuka's winning streak... I say Mandy Rose. Let Mandy pick up where Eva Marie left (the few times she has been on TV, she already was leagues ahead in charisma alone). Pair Mandy with a bruiser/ monster who isn't just her bodyguard, but who is creepy obsessed with her. Build a stable of mean gals around her cult of personality (all of whom are clearly better than her ring-wise).

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I feel bad for Ember, she came in at a bad time.  If she was like this in the mid 2000s she'd have huge support just because she isn't a traditional Diva like the others were.  Even without a personality she could have stood out for being very talented in the ring.  But coming in now where she's not the exception to the norm but is the norm has greatly hurt her chances.  She'd need to find something about her that people can support and I just don't see it.  At the most it's possible her "character" is based off of some D&D game that she played.  But that's not going to cut it.  I know very little about her as Athena, all I know she was good in an ROH match I saw and her finisher was called the O Face.  But if somebody's more familiar with her did she ever have some kind of character or more personality then?  Or was it usually what we see now.

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I think her character now is just 'grown woman who still likes Sailor Moon'. It's hard to cheer for.

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They should just go the rest of the way down that path and have her think that she is Sailor Moon. That'd work better.

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