By Darren Gutteridge (@DazaTheG)
Edited by Zack Zimmerman (@InVasionZim)
From Melbourne, Australia
In ring debut: 2007
NXT debut: November 2012
Finisher: Emma Lock (Bridging Indian deathlock stretch )
Signatures: Dil-Emma (Tarantula), Running crossbody to an opponent seated in the corner, Sliding rollup
Emma signed with WWE developmental in March 2011, but didn't move to Florida until June 2012 after undergoing shoulder surgery. She is one of three graduates of Lance Storm's Wrestling Academy currently on the NXT roster, alongside Tyler Breeze and Sylvester Lefort. Her first appearance on NXT TV was in a losing effort to the now-released Audrey Marie. Over the next few months, she made sporadic appearances as an annoying jobber type who was baselessly overconfident and did a bad dance. In spring of 2013, she began endearing herself to the Full Sail crowd, which would break out in her dance at the sound of her music and pop big when she would successfully skin the cat. She began adding more quirkiness to her act, including deploying bubble machines during her entrance, while also starting to act personably kooky in her promos.
Emma started to be taken more seriously as an in-ring competitor during the tournament to crown the first NXT Women's Champion. She advanced all the way to the finals, defeating Aksana and Summer Rae prior to losing to the winner and current champion Paige. A victory in a dance-off against Summer Rae earned Emma a title rematch, but 6 months later it has yet to happen, due to both women picking up injuries back to back. Since her return from a concussion, Emma has added another feather to her cap by defeating Natalya. Her title match with Paige will take place on the live February 27 NXT Arrival show on the WWE Network.
- In-ring work: Since the Women's title tournament, Emma has consistently put on entertaining matches with both the ladies of NXT and the Divas from the main roster. The growing consensus that the NXT women are a cut above most main roster Divas; this is thanks in no small part to the in-ring work of Emma.
- Charisma: Emma is one of many people to seemingly force a change in booking on NXT by fan response. Initially, her irritating music and stupid dancing were designed to make her an annoying heel, but the NXT fans took to her and she is now being booked as the top babyface contender in the division.
- Polarizing act: It can't be denied that Emma's character has a fair share of fans, but by its very nature, there are going to be detractors. She isn't going for straight forward, slapstick comedy, but instead cornering the market on “awkward” comedy. One comparison that could be made is to the Jackass movies. Santino is similar to the stunts – the humor residing in obvious, innate fun. Emma is more akin to the hidden camera pranks, wherein the laughs are meant to come from the awkwardness of an “old man” walking around with his balls hanging out. Look no further than Dot Net's two resident NXT guys for the “love her or hate her” dynamic Emma has created.
I really don't think I am the best person to ask when it comes to Emma. I'm afraid I'm a terrible comedy snob, and thus the character of Emma infuriates me. Awkward comedy has never been my bag, so when you don't find her funny, her main appeal is gone. I will say she is good in the ring, and can probably teach quite a few main roster Divas a thing or two, but again, I can't give her a ringing endorsement ahead of her main roster jump. ~Darren Gutteridge
Emma is main roster ready in every way; she comes across as confident, capable, and charismatic as any of the Divas on the main roster. That said, the main roster is not a desirable destination for the ladies of NXT unless there is a serious overhaul planned for the Divas division. Emma succeeded in NXT because she is good in the ring and exudes charisma, but it didn't happen overnight. After months of losses and a heelish-tweener character in her own little world, the Full Sail crowd embraced her and she made subtle changes to be a quirky and awkward, but personable babyface. Her character is polarizing, and WWE's propensity to go overboard in their attempts to promote catchphrases and trademarks don't have me feeling optimistic about Emma's main roster future. However, if she's given the chance to prove herself in the ring and somehow her character manages to connect with the completely unfamiliar mainstream crowd, she's capable of being a big player in a revitalized Divas division. ~Zack Zimmerman
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