This isn’t Blayze’s best match, nor is it Nakano’s. This isn’t even their best match together. Remember that when you watch, because seriously, this match rules. While Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect in 1991 may occupy the top spot as my favourite SummerSlam match of all time, this one isn’t all that far behind. Twenty years to the day, and it still holds up as a solid bout.
There are a lot of things to love about this match. I love the way Blayze just goes all in on everything. I talk a lot about the important of effort when I’m writing about Impact each week, and in that aspect, Blayze would get an A. Look at the way she struggles to get out of the submissions Nakano puts her into. Most wrestlers, male of female, don’t even do that today. A lot of what can bring down a match is the set up and waiting for a move to happen. Why doesn’t anyone ever fight to get out of a Pedigree or facebuster variant or a Neutralizer? Little efforts like that can elevate a match to the next level. Speaking of submissions, you know we’ve gotta talk about this one:
Some of you may have seen this for the first time when Paige used the Scorpion Crosslock to defeat Emma at NXT ArRIVAL during her NXT Women’s Championship defense. And that’s pretty cool. If it wasn’t your first time seeing it, you were probably popping as hard as I was to see a Bull Nakano submission back in the WWE. Knowing your wrestling history means that a lot of the time you get tired of retreads and exhausted tropes, but seeing something special that you loved once pop back up unexpectedly like that? It’s wonderful.
Nakano doesn’t win the match with it, but is forced to begrudgingly break the hold. She doesn’t want to stop murderizing Blayze. When Nakano steps in the ring, she is going to hurt you, and she’s going to use her strength and her skill and everything she has at her disposal to do it. When I say she’s a lady hoss, I really mean it. Look at the way she tosses Blayze around. Her chokeslam is so nasty it’s got some stink on it. Blayze takes it, and goes back for more.
You can go away from this match thinking it’s a pretty good wrestling match on it’s own. What I hope you can take away from this match is that if you treated this like a bathroom break, or something to be fast-forwarded through, you missed the story of someone couldn’t get what they wanted on their own, so they got fed up and brought in a monster to help take it away. You missed two strong competitors of differing styles throwing everything they had at each other for something important.
If that doesn’t match up to your ideal of what wrestling should be, you just might be beyond help.