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Smark Hen-XT (06/17/15): Back on Track

This week on NXT, Samoa Joe gets his hands on NXT Champion Kevin Owens, the Realest Guys and Gal in the Room duke it out with Dubstep Cowboys (and Cowgirl), and we take a look at Finn Balor’s life before NXT.

The man behind the paint

NXT delivers a great video package for the number one contender Finn Balor. They’re showing who Finn Balor, or actually who Fergal Devitt is and his beginnings. This is a great move to gain sympathy for Balor going into his championship match in Tokyo. Beyond the grandeur of his entrance and paint work, there’s honestly very little for the fans to connect with. By showing his roots, you show a deeper side to the character.

This also provides a great jumping point to discuss the dichotomy of the Finn the human, the mild mannered, soft-spoken, nice guy and the mysterious painted up demon. It would do well for Creative to explore this duality within the Balor character. They don’t necessarily have to force a supernatural edge to the gimmick; they just have to point out the differences when he dons the paint. That would be a step up to just asking whether he’ll wear the paint or not.

Not this Finn the Human.
Also, I ship Becky Lynch and Finn Balor so hard. Let them have beautiful Irish fiery demon babies.

Violence is the name of the game

The main event showcased two of the most dangerous men to have ever stepped in the NXT ring, Samoa Joe and NXT Champ Kevin Owens. And boy was it violent.

Right now, Joe is the only person that believably matches up with Owens punch for punch. He’s not a nice guy, like Sami Zayn and John Cena, so he doesn’t have any qualms to bring on the pain. You can see in every move he makes and the expressions he shows a credible anger towards his opponent and it pays off by delivering a highly entertaining match.

The DQ finish might turn off some people, but when they say that it’s one kind of finish that can protect both of wrestlers’ stock, it really did this time. Both guys came out looking strong and hungry for more violence, and we got that from the post-match brawl. Very few things make me smile than a good old-fashion brawl—complete with the pull apart—to show animosity between two guys.

I’m excited for their next match. It’s going to be a bloody good fight.

The rest of the show:

NXT kicked things off with a Dusty Rhodes tribute. No matter how many times I watch it, I cannot contain the feels. The production team did a great job with the tribute.

Enzo Amore, Colin Cassidy, and Carmela vs Blake and Murphy and Alexa Bliss

  • Not sure whose hair looks worse, Amore’s undercut or Blake’s pigtails. Either way, their stylists should be fired.

  • Fuck you Blake for elbowing Bliss, your own teammate.

  • I hoped for Bliss and Carmela got involved a bit more in the match. Aside from that, it was entertaining. The match at Takeover was better but this match was pretty decent.

Charlotte vs Black Shorts

  • Hey, Black Shorts’s back! And apparently she has a name, Cassie.

  • Charlotte plays heel so well. Great to see she’s learning from her dad, who’s one of the best cocky heels. It’s a bit confusing though that she’s working heel. Isn’t she a babyface?

  • Charlotte’s ring work is really improving. A lot of her moves are crisper now, like her spear, and – while she’s still no ring general, she looks more comfortable calling the shots. She’s not perfect, and she’ll need some more seasoning, but she’s getting better.

  • DAT BRIDGE on the Figure 8 leglock. It’s a thing of beauty.

This was a fun episode. The best part had to be the Balor videos and the main event. This is a good return to form by NXT creative, who’ve been quite lackluster lately. I’m excited for the upcoming tapings, and I’d like to see how they work around the July 4th championship match between Balor and Owens.

What do you think? Excited for more Joe and Owens? Hit us up in the comments section!

Photos from and Adventure Time wiki

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,'s weekly NXT review. 


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