WWE Backstage coverage

WWE Backstage Report: April 21, 2020

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It’s a WWE Backstage Watch-Along!

We flashback to May 29th, 2014, the ORIGINAL NXT TakeOver event! Renee has Beth and Natty with her to watch the NXT Women’s Championship match! The Queen of Harts has been a strong part of the Women’s (R)Evolution, and that even goes for her first-ever showdown with Charlotte Flair. In fact, this match is the first one players take on in the Women’s (R)Evolution game mode in WWE 2K20. For historical context, this match was for the vacant NXT Women’s Championship after Paige had to relinquish it because she had become WWE Diva’s Champion.

Natty had Uncle Bret Hart in her corner while Charlotte had her father, Ric Flair. The two circle and tie up, go around and Natty throws Charlotte down with a hip toss! Cover, TWO! Natty grins as Charlotte gets up in a huff. The two go around, tie up, and Natty gets a waistlock. Natty trips Charlotte, floats along her back, and gets a facelock. In the present, Natty speaks to the importance of this match. This first TakeOver obviously led to all of the great TakeOver events we’ve had the last five years, but that match specifically was like Natty’s personal WrestleMania Moment. She knows it was only in front of the 200 or so Full Sail crowd, but it was a game-changer. Natty could feel it before the match, and knew it after. She even told HHH that from that first lock-up, she and Charlotte had natural chemistry.

In the match, Charlotte slips out of the facelock to get Natty with a hammerlock. The two stand up, Natty reaches back and drops down to fireman’s carry throw Charlotte. Natty has the arm and cranks back but Charlotte kicks and flails. Charlotte reaches up to headscissor and bring Natty down. Natty moves around and manages to kip out! Natty in the present continues to speak to a conversation she once had with Beth. On the main roster, she was so ready for the Women’s (R)Evolution. Beth was ready, the entire locker room was ready! So the TakeOver match with Charlotte, in which Natty currently headlocks Charlotte for a takeover, this showed the world what both of them could do.

It was also paying it forward. Everything Natty learned in the Hart Dungeon and from traveling around the world, she gave back to build the Women’s Division as a whole. There is no Women’s Division if they aren’t giving back to each other. Giving Charlotte “that kind of match” was a crowning moment for Natty, regardless of the result. In the match, Charlotte throws Natty off the headlock and the two have a stand off. They circle and tie up, and Natty gets the arm. Charlotte cartwheels through to wrench her back, and drag her down to a Fujiwara armbar! Natty endures as the fans rally up.


Renee says Natty has given back to so many women in the WWE. Natty is the unsung backbone of the Women’s (R)Evolution. Both Natty and Beth laid down the ground work that helped so many have the incredible matches we’ve seen. Does Natty remember how nervous Charlotte was going into the match? Yes, she was so nervous. HHH and Natty talked beforehand, and she asked how much time they were being given. He said there is no time limit, so they can “tell the story that you want to tell.” All HHH wanted was for Natty to keep Charlotte calm out there, because that’s how nervous she was. Natty loves when people are that nervous because she is the same. That is the energy she needs, and channeling it the right way is the best feeling. It means the match matters to you.


Speaking of the match, Natty rolls and gets to her feet to then roll and handspring. Natty gets a leg and trips Charlotte up for a toehold! Natty cranks back on it but Charlotte endures. Charlotte reaches with her leg but Natty resists. Charlotte keeps trying, and manages to bring Natty down! Natty lets Charlotte go and the two reset again. They circle, approach, and Natty kicks! But Charlotte blocks it to clamp on. Natty pie faces Charlotte so Charlotte pie faces back! Natty rolls and brings Charlotte down! She laces the legs for a modified deathlock! But Charlotte reaches back to wrap around Natty’s head and drag her off the hold! Charlotte has a headlock but Natty pops out to facelock again.

Meanwhile, Beth speaks to the build to this match. She could tell so many stories about Natty right now, but she’s earmarking a lot of them for Natty’s Hall of Fame induction. Not to sound cliche, but Beth says the WWE Women’s Division “is on fire right now.” This is the hottest it has ever been, and this NXT Women’s Championship match lit that flame! Beth remembers watching this match, and she couldn’t have been prouder. She couldn’t have been more emotional, either, because it was so amazing. For one, Beth knew Natty was capable of so much more than she got to show on the main roster.

Beth speaks for both herself and Edge, and just about anyone who knows Natty, in saying that Natty isn’t just one of the best women wrestlers. She is just one of the best period. That is why Beth loves this match. It was the perfect showcase not just for Natty, but a platform to see what Charlotte could become. And again, the emotion of this moment was great, because it was a generational match-up of two wrestlers with pedigrees behind their names. There was something so special about the timing, because the world was ready to see this. The world was ready to see that it’s not just men who can come from wrestling families and succeed. There are women just as hungry and can do the exact same thing. For Beth, this match is truly the start of the (R)Evolution.


In the match, Charlotte reverses the facelock but Natty powers her way up. Natty wrenches free of the facelock to whip. Charlotte reverses then drops down. She hurdles over Natty on the return, but Natty wheelbarrows to a victory roll! Cover, TWO! But Natty gets Charlotte in a body scissors! Charlotte endures but Natty pulls hair to bring her into a chinlock. Charlotte elbows free of the chinlock, but Natty body scissor clutches! TWO, but the body scissors stay on. Charlotte manages to move around and throw some hands! She starts thrashing and bouncing Natty off the mat! The ref reprimands but Natty reaches back with a leg. Charlotte gets away to avoid an armlock and scrambles to the bottom rope. Natty gives chase but the ref keeps her back.


Renee says that from the look on Natty’s face, this match really gives you something to chew on. This match had Natty salivating because it was something she wanted for a long time. Natty says she can still go back to that moment, it is ingrained in her memory. It is a warm and wonderful feeling associated with the WWE. Having Ric Flair and Bret Hart ringside, what nuggets of wisdom did they give? Looking back, there was no real story going. They had one video package for that match. Now there’d be a build that starts with the Royal Rumble and then the following months would just add and add to how big the match felt. But back then, just one little video told the whole story of what the match was.

The story was built more in the match, and it was Natty wanting to prove she still had it while Charlotte wanted to prove “she could hang.” It was about them both coming from wrestling families with big shoes to fill. Having Bret and Ric around made for nice accent pieces. In the match, Charlotte SLAPS Natty! So Natty SLAPS her back! Charlotte rushes Natty but Natty waistlocks to attempt a suplex. Charlotte blocks so Natty rolls her up, TWO! WWE Backstage takes a break but there will be more of this flashback to come!

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