Bittersweet best describes the emotions of Cody Silagyi during a moment in the exciting main event of WWE’s NXT TakeOver: Respect on Wednesday, Oct. 7.
As a longtime wrestling fan, seeing his 8-year-old daughter become involved in that historic Iron Man match between NXT women’s champ Bayley and former champ The Boss Sasha Banks made him feel proud.
But as a father, seeing how his 8-year-old daughter became involved and her reaction, just heartbreaking.
During the match -- the first time women main evented a WWE special -- Banks smashed Bayley into the NXT-tron atop the rampway. That’s when Banks went old school heel. Seated in the front row, the Silagyi family, which includes cute little Izzy, a Bayley superfan.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Miami Herald
After Bayley won the NXT women’s title by defeating Banks at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn in August, she returned with the belt in September to Full Sail University’s Full Sail Live -- home of NXT tapings for the WWE Network in Winter Park, near Orlando. Bayley invited Izzy, dressed identical, into the ring to excite the crowd, which they did as each hoisted a title belt.
Earlier that day, Bayley gave Izzy a tour of the WWE Performance Center. Banks knew all this as did the rest of NXT Universe, who watched Bayley and Izzy in the ring celebrating with the Full Sail Live audience on the WWE Network and WWE.com.
Bayley and Banks stole the show at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn, earning a main event opportunity at NXT TakeOver: Respect.
With Bayley being counted out from the attack and smash, Banks turned her attentions to Izzy. She peered at Izzy and began trash talking, saying as she pointed toward a battered Bayley, “That’s your friend.” No one wants to see a little girl cry, and the waterworks began. Hey, if that wasn’t enough, Banks took it to another level. She reached out and grabbed the headband with silver bow off Izzy’s head. The audience gasped, stunned. Hands cupped over mouths. Banks returned to the ring, wearing the special headband while mocking Bayley and Izzy.
Now fans were really emotionally invested. At one point, the live crowd chanted: “Izzy Slap Her.”
Heel heat accomplished.
The back-story on the headband with silver bow. Izzy made two headbands, each with a silver bow to represent the NXT women’s title. She wore one and gave the other to Bayley.
Bayley’s dad, also seated front row with the Silagyis, felt so bad that he held Izzy, who rained tears. It marked his first time in-person watching his daughter wrestle for NXT at Full Sail Live. Bayley grew up watching wrestling with her dad.
Izzy’s friend Aiden, an Enzo Amore and Big Cass (SAWFT) superfan, sat opposite side of the entrance ramp from Izzy and saw the whole thing develop. He had his friend’s back, ready if needed. Izzy’s father and mom, Jenny, then comforted her, telling her to be strong for Bayley.
Izzy regrouped and so did Bayley. The match continued, and Bayley won this epic battle with a few seconds to spare, but in the end, everyone was a winner.
Afterward, many crying, but this time tears of joy.
Bayley cried, Bayley’s dad cried, Izzy cried, Banks cried, Banks’ mom cried, fans cried, co-workers cried, friends cried. The locker room emptied with NXT talent (men and women), bosses, staff, and trainers packing the stage on the rampway to applaud both combatants -- a great sign of respect.
Bayley and Banks took women’s wrestling to the next level, continuing the evolution of a Divas Revolution, and Izzy became part of it, helping to emotionally capture the crowd.
Each WWE and NXT diva is a role model in her own way, and Bayley is a good one, encouraging fans, especially girls like Izzy, like Alexa, who attends every NXT show in Fort Pierce and traveled (via dad Neil Glaze) to Winter Park for NXT TakeOver: Respect.
Izzy, Aiden, Alexa, men, women, more kids, all fans in attendance witnessed something special, a match, when reminisced, you can proudly say, “I was there.” Those watching around the world via the WWE Network also loved the match, giving it Match of the Year praise through social media.
Nearing the end of the broadcast, an emotional Banks and Bayley received flowers from WWE Executive Vice President Talent/Live Events/Creative Paul Triple H Levesque, a proud mastermind behind NXT. When the stage cleared, the Four Horsewomen (Banks, Bayley, Charlotte, Becky Lynch) were left standing. They embraced, and then Charlotte and Lynch stepped aside, leaving Banks and Bayley alone/together to receive another well deserved standing ovation.
Banks proceeded to walk toward the front row. She looked at Izzy and then handed her the flowers, and they fist bumped.
After the show, Banks and Bayley -- bruised, sore, tired -- went above and beyond again by signing autographs and posing for photos with fans waiting outside Full Sail Live. While making those fans’ day, Banks wore Bayley’s Hugger shirt, and Bayley sported Banks’s Boss jersey. How’s that for respect.
Banks then spoke to a smiling Izzy and her dad, who were also there. Peace made for sure.
At their home in Tampa after attending NXT TakeOver: Respect in Winter Park, Izzy’s dad sent a Twitter message to Sasha Banks from Izzy which read: “#ThankYou #Respect.” He included a photo of Izzy holding a sing that read: “SASHA, Just ask to borrow my headband next time.”
All’s well that ends well.
NXT TakeOver: Respect
YouTube Video Package
jim varsallone (jimmyv3 channel)
Pre-NXT TakeOver: Respect:
Interview with Izzy and Parents (0:00-8:12)
Post-NXT TakeOver: Respect:
Sasha Banks making peace with Izzy; Bayley and Banks signing autographs and posing for photos with fans (8:13-12:33)
Post-NXT TakeOver: Respect:
Interview with Bayley (12:34-20:15)
- WWE NXT is 8 p.m. Wednesdays on WWE Network.
- Pro Wrestling On The Web
YouTube jim varsallone (jimmyv3 channel)