Simply put, I cannot think of a better WWE Women’s bout than this one between Charlotte and Natalya (well, apart from the Fatal Four Way Match for the NXT Women’s Match at NXT Rival, but the WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches only includes matches up to the 9th November 2014…). Charlotte vs Natalya is the only Women’s match in the Best 100, which is a shame. For example, back in the early 2000s, Lita and Trish had some great matches. Maybe some of those matches were deserving of being in the Best 100 list. However, the brains behind the Best 100 List obviously thought there was only room for one women’s match. And, quite frankly, Charlotte vs Natalya puts anything that Lita and Trish did to shame (my memories of watching Lita wrestle are always punctuated by a fear of her injuring herself or her opponent. No doubt, she put everything into her matches, but she was dangerous in the ring).
I had seen this match before, as I became a big fan of NXT after watching NXT: R-Evolution. It encouraged me to go back and see what I had missed, especially ravings about the Women’s matches. Charlotte vs Natalya is where I started. From the very beginning of the match, you know you are in for a treat. The presence of Ric Flair (in Charlotte’s corner) and Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart (in Natalya’s corner) give the bout a sense of history. It feels like a long, storied family feud coming to a head. With little exaggeration, the bout flows like one would between Hart and Flair in their prime. These ladies know how to wrestle and how to build a match up. Slow chain wrestling, submissions, counter submissions and reversals all lead up to the big moves that signal the ending of the match (in one particular big move, Charlotte pulls Natalya off the apron and on to the padded floor).
It is the match of NXT: Takeover. Wrestling seems to come natural to both of these ladies, and if you had the misfortune to watch their match on WWE Raw on December 8th 2014 you would be forgiven if you thought they couldn’t wrestle. But ignore that, they were only given a few minutes to wrestle. During NXT: Takeover, they are given freedom and time to put on a classic women’s match.
VERDICT: 9/10. Of course, in the name of equality, there should be more women’s matches in the Best 100 list. But, as it is, nothing comes close to Charlotte vs Natalya. Even deserving of a higher place.
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(Click here for #97 Shawn Michaels vs Michael Jannetty, May 17, Raw 1993)