Moments ago on the WWE Network‘s live NXT Takeover event, Charlotte pinned Natalya in the next generation battle of “Flairs vs Harts” to win the vacant NXT Women’s Title. Under the watchful eye of her illustrious father Ric Flair, Charlotte battled for almost seventeen minutes against Natalya before hitting the Bow Down To The Queen (somersault cutter to a kneeling opponent) to pick up a pinfall in a match that had been looking most likely to end in submission following multiple reversals and versions of the legacy Sharpshooter and Figure Four Leglock moves. Daddy Ric was overcome with emotions after the bell, as were Charlotte and Natalya, in fact – who embraced after Charlotte thanked Natalya for the match.
As noted, running almost seventeen minutes, this was far longer than anything you’ll see the Divas on Raw or Smackdown do, and given Charlotte’s relative inexperience, it’s a tremendous credit to her that she really brought her career best performance – and really, the match was everything WWE could have possibly wanted. Natalya did exactly what she had to do – raise Charlotte’s game and make a star, and she did it admirably.
The first five or six minutes were all chain wrestling and countering armlocks and leglocks – and really, while Charlotte had moments of heelishness, the match remained primarily a sporting contest throughout – albeit one where the competitors were slapping each other in the face multiple times. As the match escalated, Charlotte used her athleticism to pull out a moonsault which ate nothing but mat. Towards the end, Natalya had Charlotte in the Sharpshooter, Charlotte had Natalya in the Figure Four Leglock (and, at one point, a Sharpshooter, right in front of Uncle Bret) before a momentary opening saw Charlotte hit the Bow Down To The Queen for the win.
As noted many times, Charlotte is probably the most athletically gifted female performer they’ve ever had – and as Triple H was pointing out yesterday during the NXT Conference Call, he was just waiting to see her make that transition from someone playing at being a wrestler to actually becoming one. She took a massive step towards that tonight. A superb, near faultless performance by everybody involved.
– Stew Allen