#6 Natalya vs. Charlotte — NXT Women’s Championship Match (NXT TakeOver)
Was 2014 the year we stopped grading women’s matches on a curve? The ignorant responded to even the best Divas bouts with dismissive compliments like, “That was good — for girls.” Then Charlotte and Natalya put on a wrestling clinic at NXT TakeOver and now the whole dynamic has changed.
A lot has been written about their bout for the vacant NXT Women’s Championship since it happened in May, but what’s too often missed is how amazing both women looked after it was done. Natalya — a competitor who’s all too rarely given the opportunity to show what she’s capable of — was immaculate on the mat and gracious in defeat. And Charlotte? Who else besides Beethoven and Tiger Woods has been as gifted at something as quickly as the second-generation Diva? Two years into her career and she’s already been part of perhaps the best Divas match ever.
Still, the most telling part of the bout’s greatness may be in the fact that WWE Hall of Famers Bret Hart and Ric Flair were at ringside to add to the gravity of the contest. However, by the time the match hit its stride, you forgot they were even there. — RYAN MURPHY