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#MustWatchMonday: Charlotte vs. Natalya at NXT TakeOver


As we celebrate new Divas Champion Charlotte's win over Nikki Bella at Night of Champions, let's look back at one of the turning points in the career of one Ashley Fleihr.

Often referred to as the equivalent of Brock Lesnar in the Divas division due to her superior athleticism and physicality, Charlotte's ascension to the top of the ladder has been unbelievably quick.

While there was some initial skepticism towards whether or not Charlotte could actually live up to her family name, she proved that she didn't need it to make a name for herself. Sure, it did help her get a foot in the door, but having excellent matches on great shows within your first year or two in the world's biggest wrestling promotion is no accident either.

Today's #MustWatchMonday is Charlotte's star-making match from May 2014's NXT TakeOver. It features her in the NXT Women's Championship Tournament Finals against Natalya.

You'll remember that shortly after Paige won the Divas Championship, then-NXT General Manager John "Bradshaw" Layfield stripped her of the NXT Women's Championship, effectively taking away her double champion status as well. As a result, the vacated NXT Women's Championship was put up for grabs in a tournament and the finals took place at the first NXT TakeOver special.

Here's the match in its entirety for your enjoyment:


Having both Bret Hart and Ric Flair at ringside to support Nattie and Charlotte respectively was supposed to add another layer to the match. Sadly, Bret Hart was about as enjoyable as a dust bunny throughout the match, becoming a virtual non-factor. In contrast, Ric Flair played his part well and the post-match celebration with Charlotte just capped off what was an amazing match from both women.

This match may not have been the first women's match to receive that much time on a major WWE event in the modern era. But this match was one of the first to make casual fans (1) take notice of NXT and its talent, and more importantly, (2) begin to take women's wrestling seriously.

Charlotte would go on to have an impressive reign as NXT Women's Champion, eventually losing her title to Sasha Banks at NXT TakeOver: Rival. Oh, and in case you didn't know, this happened today:

For real, this time. No takebacksies.
Also, look at Paige. You just know she's about to turn on Lotlot
As for Nattie, we hope she and husband Tyson Kidd are doing fine as Kidd recovers from surgery. We just can't wait to see Nattie back and figure a way into this #DivaRevolution angle.

Photos from WWE.

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