The podcast has reached double digits and is now allowed to stay up until 9pm! To celebrate this benchmark we watch the crowning of the NXT Women’s Championship in the episode of NXT that originally aired on July 24th, 2013. If you don’t have WWE Network, you can – and you should – watch the NXT Women’s Championship match, which is by far the best and most important thing we’re talking about, here.
Also in this episode:
The centerpiece of the 07/24/13 NXT, both in terms of in-the-moment quality and broader wrestling history, is the match to determine in augural NXT Women’s Champion. This is one you really should just watch for yourself. I know we say that every time we provide the links in the intro section, but seriously, if you’re at all interested in pro wrestling and women’s wrestling in particular, you owe it to yourself to check this one out. It was Miles’ first NXT match, it was a milestone for mainstream women’s wrestling, and beyond that, it slaps. And it slaps even harder if you were watching wrestling in the aughts and early ’10s and you know that women under the WWE umbrella weren’t doing things like counter wrestling, throwing knee strikes, and pulling out superplexes in 2013. It simply wasn’t done. This match is incredibly important for both the rise of NXT and the return of American women’s wrestling to center stage, and we just want to entreat you one more time to go watch it. It’s about 16 minutes long with entrances and the closing celebration, you can find the time.
Anyway, there are certainly still some things we can show you here in the VC, like the uncharacteristically aggressive opening salvo from Emma (she of the dancing and the bubbles):
Emma comes into this match with confidence, man. At point she has Paige in the Dilemma (her version of the Tarantula as popularized by Yoshihiro Tajiri):
After the ref breaks up the hold (because it’s illegal) Emma starts to do some dancing…
…and gets kicked right out of the ring for it.
Later on, when Emma does her dance in preparation for a big move, her dancing is more aggressive, more like your standard wrestling taunt. Her arms are stabbing the air like they’ve just encountered the world’s toughest bubbles.
In the video package hyping this match that airs even before the show’s opening credits, Paige promises she’ll beat Emma because “I’m the fighter. She’s the dancer.” The story of this match is Emma proving to Paige, the audience, and herself that she’s more than just a dancer. That she’s a fighter, too.
And the other part of the story of this match is that Paige is a better fighter.
Despite Emma’s best and most hostile efforts, and after an absolute BANGER of a match, Paige manages to hit The Move That Should Still Be Called The Paigemaster and become the first-ever NXT Women’s Champion. Again, just go watch it. We have many more shoddy screenshots where the competitors are a blur and we would have to string multiple stills together to give you a good sense of what’s happening, but this match is too good to deserve that kind of treatment. And also it’s on YouTube, so you really don’t have an excuse.
Afterward, the rest of the women’s division apart from Summer Rae (this is pretty much the whole group at the time — man, things have changed over the past six years) comes out in street clothes to congratulate the new champ. From left to right, we have Raquel Diaz, aka Shaul Guerrero (daughter of the legendary Eddie Guerrero), Bayey, Sasha Banks, Alexa Bliss (in what we believe to be her first televised appearance), Charlotte, and Alicia Fox, who apparently counted as an NXT wrestler even though Tamina and Aksana don’t? Whatever, don’t ask me to explain why she’s there, we have bigger problems with this picture.
First of all, this picture aged, well, huh?
Bob gets her first glimpse of Triple H in this episode, as he comes out for the first (but certainly not the final) time to congratulate a new champion. He’s the dude in the suit on Paige’s right, in case you were wondering. But more importantly, who’s the lady on Paige’s left? She didn’t come down to the ring with the other six. In fact, you have to be actively looking for her to notice that as the others are entering the ring, she comes in from the complete opposite side after…hopping the guardrail or something?
Miles has zero clue who this woman is or why she’s in the ring during this moment, so if any of you can enlighten us, hit us up on social media or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to know the answer to this unsolved mystery.
One last note on this match: The commentary team for this episode includes Brad Maddox and not William Regal, which initially upset both Bob and Miles GREATLY. But while Tom Phillips is his usual nothingburger self, Maddox actually does a really great job in the women’s championship match, making it seem incredibly impressive and important. And unlike some other commentators we could name, neither of these guys objectifies the women in any way or treats them as less valuable than the male wrestlers. Kudos to Maddox, and I guess Tom, too. I guess.
I mean, if only.
Not sure what’s dumber — the fact that the Gadsen flag even exists anywhere anymore, the fact that it’s the backdrop for this racist-ass dog whistle promo about Zeb Coulter’s belief that Sami Zayn isn’t a “real American,” or the fact that WeThePeopleZeb is still an active YouTube account, has a grand total of 11 videos, all from the first half of 2013, and has more than 12,000 subscribers. That’s insane. And let’s be honest, these videos absolutely red-pilled SOMEBODY, right? Like, at least one person, for good? Jesus. This is why we can’t have nice fucking things.
In slightly less problematic news, this episode marks the official debut of Tyler Breeze (under that name, at least), and like most fans watching at the time, Bob isn’t quite sure about this. She’s reserving judgement for now, mainly just commenting on how NXT reached for “high fashion” and got “cyberpunk trying too hard for a job interview.” She also praises Breeze’s “Blue Steel” variation, which is honestly better than the original:
Breeze is scheduled to take on Angelo Dawkins in his debut, but he’s more interested in taking selfies than wrestling. Poor Dawkins has to badger the ref to badger Breeze to put his damn phone down for two minutes and do his actual job.
Somewhat surprisingly, when Breeze does finally put down his phone, he turns out to be, in Bob’s words, “kind of a beast.” He kicks Dawson’s ass and puts him down with a spinning heel kick in less than two minutes. He even Blue Steels while making the pinfall:
Kind of iconic, to be honest. We’ll see how Bob feels about Breeze as we continue forward in our journey.
After making us sit through the exact same, slightly mangled pre-taped promo from last episode, The Ascension are making their debut as a tag team (at least with this particular lineup, which will become the best known one). Their opponents?
These jobbers get music and an entrance for some reason, but they remain jobbers nonetheless. Keegan doesn’t even get the chance to step into the ring, and English has a…well, let’s say a unique style.
That guy really needs to find a tag team partner who shares his interests, you know? Hopefully that happens for him someday. For now, the Ascension are cradling him in their arms so they can pick him up and throw him at the ground.
And this is BEFORE they share a lovingly primal scream and hit the Undisputed Era’s finisher to take the contest. #GothHusbands forever.
Yep, that’s how that name is spelled in WWE, presumably because they feel like they can’t trust Americans to pronounce it properly. Could be the right call. Note the “t-shirt and underwear” combo that makes him look like a dad relaxing on the couch after work, and do it quickly before he takes the shirt off and blinds you forever.
Sheamus is here ostensibly to have a match with Luke Harper, who we suppose is just the member of the Wyatt Family who is the most mad about the way they lost the tag titles last episode. He is also here, however, to give us our latest #ButtWatch:
It’s kind of cute, to be honest.
This match isn’t bad, but it’s mainly a whole lot of various types of punching, so there’s not a whole lot to show you here. Except, of course, the only thing that matters:
A picture truly is worth a thousand words. Sheamus wins or something, we stopped paying attention.
Tune into this episode for another edition of Pride and Pinfalls, which is what we’re calling it when Bob’s fanfic involves the ongoing story of the Darcy/Bennett tag team. For our purposes here, it’s just an excuse to once again show you this picture of Professional Wrestler Fitzwilliam Darcy, lovingly referred to by Miles as The Ten Thousand Pound (per annum) Man. We’ve thanked him for this already, but thanks again to Vladimir Duran for this picture, which we shall cherish forever.
That’s all for the Episode 10 visual companion! Still trying to catch up on these before Episode 14 drops, so keep an eye out for more hopefully every day this week! Thanks so much for being a fan!
By the way, that is, in fact, our music! It’s called “Learnbuckle” and it was created by the uniquely talented Rafael Medina, whose work you can and should follow via his Twitter account, @EarthMeauxFaux! You can also follow Miles @mjschneiderman, MeganBob @meganbobness, and the show itself @nxtwrestlingfan.
Additional music and sound credit to:
“Eyes Gone Wrong”, “Greta Sting”, “NewsSting,” “Samba Stings,” “The Snow Queen.”
Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0