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Smark Hen-XT (06/03/15): Wednesday Night Wars


This week on NXT: Matches! And videos! And... not much more, really.

The war begins

To paraphrase JBL, on Wednesday nights, we wrestle. Among NXT, Lucha Underground, TNA and now ROH, it’s a stacked night for wrestling. This isn’t the night to have a meh episode. Hunter and co. fucked this one up by giving us a meh episode.

Here’s something my editor pointed out to me last week: Ever since the TakeOver specials started, NXT has operated as a mini-RAW. We’re seeing a lot of that now. It’s building up for a TakeOver special only with slightly better storytelling and wrestling, but it still suffers similar flaws as the main roster shows, like the lack of things to do for a good chunk of their roster. The whole show revolves around a feud or two, while everything else is just filler. This set of tapings has the Owens-Joe feud, and without those two actually being in the show doing something, it feels like the second hour of RAW where nothing of real consequence happens.

This has to be the worst time for an episode of NXT to feel inconsequential. With Lucha Underground churning out a high-caliber alternative to WWE, TNA still having some followers and now ROH directly competing at the same time slot, NXT has to pull out all the stops if they want to keep their tenuous hold as the best show on Wednesday night.

The rest of the show:

Tyler Breeze vs. Adam Rose



  • Adam Rose without his Rosebuds is sad, and now his mannerisms during his entrance look sadder than anything. It’s like nobody told him the party’s over and everybody left already.

  • I like how we’re seeing a bit more and more of the old Leo Kruger out of Rose. The way he carries himself now is less washed out party boy and more guy with a screw loose. This, I think, is a nice road to go with the gimmick. Ray Leppan can keep the party boy Rose gimmick, but it would serve him well to insert some of the intensity and ruthlessness of the Kruger gimmick into it.


Eva Marie’s promo

  • Full Sail really doesn’t like Eva Marie, and it’s one of those times when the crowd isn’t enhancing the viewing experience, but is bringing it down.

  • Here’s the thing: she’s been working with The Brian Kendrick. She’s been posting about it and I find myself a bit impressed. She’s probably not the best girl in the ring by a long shot, but she would at least not be too terrible any more. If we’re giving Divas a chance, we might as well give her one, too.


Carmella vs. Alexa Bliss


  • NO. NO. WHY DID THEY CHANGE BLISS’S ENTRANCE?! CARMELLA GETS HER OWN ENTRANCE THEME OUTSIDE OF ENZO AND BIG CASS AND BLISS LOSES HERS FOR THAT TERRIBLE GENERIC DUBSTEP?! WHERE ARE THE GLITTERS?!

  • That being said, I like Bliss working heel. She has a good trash talk game, and the rest holds gives her time to transition into her spots better.

  • The match itself was not bad. A little lacking, and it needs more polishing, but a pretty OK match between the two ladies.

The Vaudevillains vs. Jason Jordan and Marcus Louis


  • Corey Graves does a good job putting the returning Vaudevillains over.

  • Marcus Louis resembles insane Kane a bit more now, sort of like back when Kane had his mask removed. I wish they’d give him something more than “insane bald guy.” It’s fine, but it needs more depth.

  • I must say, though, Louis hits just the right amount of lunacy in his mannerisms because it’s over the top and fun. Reminds me of the creepy thin guy in the Charlie’s Angels movie that Crispin Glover played.
Close enough

  • Also, just pull the trigger on Shoot Nation already.

Rhyno vs Finn Bálor


  • Rhyno was dominant throughout the match, but Bálor got the roll up for the win.

  • That match itself was anticlimactic. It does very little to up Bálor’s credibility going into his feud with the champ Kevin Owens. Yes, he’s resilient, but the finish was weak and not all that satisfying.

  • What was satisfying was Rhyno’s Gore on Bálor on the stage. That was a hell of a Gore.

All things considered, it was a decent and relatively entertaining show. But in the grander scheme of things, it’s a filler episode. A good way to spend an hour of your week, but missing it wouldn’t be a great sin.

What do you guys think? Let us know and hit us up with comments.

*****

Jocs Boncodin is a Managing Editor of Smark Henry. He answers emails by day and watches wrestling by night. An aspiring writer, Jocs spends most of his idle time fantasy booking angles and overthinking wrestling storylines. A big fan of the WWE, his introduction to the local online wrestling community Smark Gilas-Pilipinas has opened his eyes to the wonders of puroresu and lucha libre. He currently handles Smark Hen-XT, smarkhenry.ph's weekly NXT review.

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