Yes, that NXT Women’s Debut Was Like A Religious Experience

I know I’ve been slacking around here lately. Pro Tip: Don’t fall into a financial related depression while you need to be responsible for other things if you can avoid it. It sucks. I will try to be better.

I’ve been slacking on getting an actual review of Orange is the New Black done because I have been so underwhelmed by this season that I haven’t even watched the last two episodes yet and Joy Williams’ album awaits me still. I figure I’ll be reviewing Hawkeye #22 on Friday. However, today is going to be another wrestling post day because it just gave me one of those life affirming moments last night and it was made even better because I was there when it happened.

I knew I was going to be going to the Battleground go home Raw for a couple of months. I kept looking at the slated card, feeling mixes of excitement (my Shield boys were going to be there, broken up as they might be) and apathy (Sheamus and Brock Lesnar don’t do much for me). However, I felt extremely disappointed that there were no slated Divas listed. That’s a common thing, but I started resigning myself that we were probably going to get a five minute match between Paige and Nikki Bella and an announcement of a Battleground match that would probably just end up being “Nikki Wins LOL.” I’ve started coming around on the Bella Twins/Team Bella and enjoying the chemistry that Nikki and Paige have been cultivating, but this latest story hadn’t been hitting too much traction since Paige came back when it should have been Naomi as the champ when she did.

As rumors started to swirl that Charlotte was going to be moving up the the main roster and helping Paige against the Bellas, I started thinking, “Hey, wouldn’t it be funny if she showed up at my Raw?”

My mom says I have good intuition.

It's like you can hear the sound of

It’s like you can hear the sound of “WOO!” wherever she goes. [WWE]

Cut to last evening in the CNN Center as I was waiting on the last of my party to show up. I mention that I was disappointed in the lack of Divas announcements to my friend and his brother. They get these sly grins on their faces. Friend said that Cageside Seats was reporting that Charlotte and Sasha Banks were rumored to debut that night. Brother said that Charlotte and Sasha were missing from the last NXT Jacksonville show. We silently flail at the idea, but don’t want to get our hopes up too much. It’s just rumors after all.

The show starts and it’s pretty good. Paul Heyman cuts a hell of a promo and Seth Rollins stumbles over his words and saves it with a “SHUT UP.” Randy Orton mocks Sheamus and I swear I’ve never laughed so hard in a lead up to an RKO. I stand in awe of the lights of the Fireflies before Roman Reigns FINALLY gets the drop on Bray Wyatt as Dean Ambrose looks on before parading off with a weird look of satisfaction on his face. The night is hilarious and magical so far.

Finally, The Bella Twins’ theme hits and my group holds its collective breath. I shout “WOO FOXY!” a few times for Alicia Fox, but I’m mostly sitting on the edge of my seat, wondering what’s about to happen as Nikki Bella brags about owning the Divas division. Stephanie McMahon’s music hits and the anticipation grows. The Queen Bee of WWE doesn’t address the Divas unless something is about to go down. Clearly, she’s not just here to tell Nikki to stay in her lane.

It was right at this moment that the evening went to truly magnificent.

As McMahon goes on about how women are revolutionizing sports and that it’s about time that the WWE gets in on that and calls out Paige to commend her efforts so far, I’m already overflowing with glee. We’re talking about how awesome women are on live national TV. How can I not be happy?

It wasn’t until Becky Lynch was announced and her music hit that I officially popped like a kernel. I start jumping up and down, alternating screaming like a madwoman, singing along with the “WOAH OH OH OH OHs” of ‘Celtic Invasion’ and just trying to chant “N-BEX-T” in the space of about 45 seconds. Oh, and throwing up the devil horns, of course. It occurs that maybe we all got swerved, but I literally do not care because Becky Lynch and her terrible puns are the best.

There she goes... One of the few people in Steampunk gear I still like. [WWE]

There she goes… One of the few people in Steampunk gear I still like. [WWE]

Of course, not just satisfied with making the audience lose their minds over Lynch, McMahon announces that it won’t just be them. They’re being joined by someone “bred for this business.” I swear, she didn’t even make it to her Ric Flair impression before the WOOs started. Out comes Charlotte and the pops just escalate. I feel like I’ve officially died and heaven is just Team Paige hugging in the ring in front of me.

Once Naomi’s theme hits, we all know what’s coming. Some guy who sounds like one of Jamie Noble’s more terrible cousins talks over Naomi with “QUIT YER COMPLAININ’,” but I tell him to shut up because you don’t speak when Naomi is talking. Naomi and Tamina want their fair shake too, which McMahon respects. She’s got someone for them too. Someone who calls herself “The Boss.” Maybe it’s my own head being an unreliable narrator, but McMahon doesn’t even finish saying “Boss” when Sasha Banks gets a pop that could rival Dean Ambrose.

Sasha’s music hits and me and my group have just officially and completely lost it before she even fully struts down the ramp. It’s at this moment I’m extra thankful I don’t really have to talk too much at my current day job because I know I’m going to be hoarse from this.

I think what makes the melee that proceeded even more iconic besides Team Paige and Team BAD surrounding Team Bella on all sides was that it started because Nikki Bella dared to bump Sasha Banks. It was the Divas Champion trying to assert herself over the NXT Women’s Champion and the NXT Women’s Champion not having ANY of it.

BAM! []

BAM! []

The next bit is a flurry of kicks, chops, running knees, PTOs, and a lot of screaming. Well, the screaming was mostly me. You seriously try to keep up with chanting while you’re losing your mind over all of your favorites throwing down at once while three of them are doing it for the first time on this stage. When the NXT Divas got Team Bella into their submission maneuvers, including Banks putting Nikki Bella into a Banks Statement, that was when I finally just broke from happiness. I was chanting “THIS IS AWESOME” along with the crowd, but awesome didn’t feel like the right word. It was transcendent.

The rest of the night was pretty awesome after that. R-Truth’s plunger got a bigger pop than King Barrett, Cesaro, Kevin Owens, and Rusev put on a killer triple threat to face John Cena, Stardust came back, I got legitimately emotional at Rollins dismissing Kane, and I got to see my Shield boys in a dark match that included Rollins rolling his hips. It was an amazing night all around, but I feel like I could have walked out and gotten on the train after the Divas takeover and been completely satisfied with how my night turned out. I was absolutely speechless after it because my brain was overloaded with joy.

This really says it all. [WWE]

This really says it all. [WWE]

I would have marked hard if I had been at home watching it on my computer, but seeing it in person took it to another level. It was this weird, beautiful, chaotic, life-affirming thing that maybe there is a sea change happening in this silly sports drama that I like so much. That these women are being taken more seriously and that maybe girls of all types can watch this and feel like they can chase that dream too. I hope they can keep the momentum up and that Bayley will be able to join them at some point in the future because her presence was so dearly missed last night, but I just want to encase the moment on July 13th, 2015 when I saw the NXT Women take over the main roster and stand toe to toe with the Bella dynasty in my mind forever.

Best night ever.

Best night ever.


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