10 Wrestling Matches Much Better Than Their Reputations
10. Asuka Vs. Emma (NXT TakeOver: London)
A hidden gem buried beneath the boatloads of bangers WWE's Women's Revolution has yielded since its inception, this bout, more than anything else, highlights the underrated talent Vince McMahon let go by cutting Emma two years later.
In a building pulsing with energy, the duo created what still stands as one of the best matches of Asuka's legendary streak. Their workrate was off the charts, with Emma particularly effective in the early stages, grinding 'The Empress Of Tomorrow Down' with smart, methodical heel work. Believably controlling a performer of Asuka's presence is difficult, but Emma looked great, never once losing the crowd during her dominant periods, generating tremendous sympathy for the Japanese star in the process.
They enraptured London with a stunning 4-5 minute closing stretch, and while Finn Balor and Samoa Joe would later wrestle a heated mean event, they couldn't outdo this white-hot opener.
A referee bump, interference, and weapon spot hurt the bout's reputation. They worked in this context, but many still dismiss any form of sports entertainment shenanigans as overbooked bullsh*t. Such techniques are, and always will be, situational, like anything else in the game, and they fit Asuka vs. Emma.
A caffeine-dependent life-form from the frozen wastes of north east Scotland. He once tried to start a revolution but didn't print enough pamphlets, so hardly anyone turned up. Give him a follow @andyhmurray. You'll have a great time. Maybe.