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Smark Hen-XT (7/29/15): Tag Life

The NXT tag team division gets some love in this episode. Also up, another feud in the women’s division meets its abrupt end and Kevin Owens finally gets on the win column.

Ganging up

I’ve spent a huge amount of space the past few weeks on the women’s division. This time, with the NXT Tag Team Championship on the line, it would be the perfect opportunity to talk about the brand's other division, the tag teams.

Let’s be honest, NXT's tag division isn’t shining as bright as the singles’ and women’s. They haven’t really brought out many standout matches and if anything, the division falls behind the other two in terms of pecking order. So what’s happening with the division?

Simply put, confusion runs amok among the tag teams. After the tag champs, Blake and Murphy, we don’t really have any clear direction. The champs are great; they are arguably the best of the pack right now. Their new cocky attitude, impressive in-ring work, coupled with a valet who brings out the heels out of her boys, the Dubstep Cowboys with Alexa Bliss are sufficient in their roles as top dogs in the division. It’s really just everyone after them that’s really a mess.

The second surest thing in the division would be the Vaudevillains. The manly and chivalrous team of Simon Gotch and Aiden English are talented, entertaining and tenured enough to come across as believable contenders, but this current run for the title feels forced. Their title match was good, though, and the finish allows the feud to continue and actually build into something. Their next match should be better. For now, the Vaudevillains find themselves firmly as team 1A.

The opposite can be said about the previous challengers Enzo Amore and Colin Cassidy. It seems the Realest Guys in the Room are in a slump, and found themselves on the wrong end of the finish against Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder, the Mechanics. Nothing against the Mechanics, but this does nothing for them. This episode’s match just showed how far the wildly popular team has fallen. If they can’t get their groove back, a breakup seems like their likely destination.

An interesting dark horse in the championship race would be the team of Jason Jordan and Chad Gable. They’re natural athletes and both can work the mic decently. Gable even surprises with his charisma and natural flow. It’s just they have yet to place themselves in the face-heel axis and that ends up being confusing. Their mic work before their match screamed heel, their ring work made them look like faces—complete with Gable playing face in peril. Once they finally decide what the fuck they are, everything should be smooth sailing for the former amateur wrestling standouts. I see a championship win before the year ends.

Outside the four? We have the aforementioned Mechanics, the Hype Bros (Mojo Rawley and Zack Ryder), and two or three jobber teams. At this point, while they have more or less the same potential of women’s division, it appears they don’t enjoy the same level of backing from the higher ups. Still, though, if they can find a team they can build around and produce a string of quality matches, the division’s stock should rise. They have the tools. It’s just about making it all work.

The rest of the show:

Baron Corbin vs Jesse Sorensen

  • Hey, wasn’t that other guy from TNA?

  • LOLCorbinWins

Charlotte vs Dana Brooke (w/ Emma)

  • Dana Brooke annoys me. From the way she overacts everything to her half-baked ring work, she just gets on my nerves. Part of me wants to say that’s good heel work, but I really just don’t like her. But even with that, I must admit that she did her part for this match. Easily her one of her better showings.

  • OK, so Emma and Dana just finished their respective feuds, albeit abruptly. This does two things, both of which I am very thankful for: (1) Dana doesn’t have to team up with Emma now and is no longer required to be on my screen, and (2) it frees up Charlotte and Bayley to match up for the right to face the Boss at Brooklyn. Honestly, the Emma and Dana pairing lost steam weeks ago. The two of them quietly breaking up and going their separate ways would be a great way to freshen up their respective gimmicks.

Kevin Owens vs Danny Burch

  • Fun fact: This is the first televised win for the former NXT Champion since June 16. Let that sink in for a while. The biggest call-up, the next big star, Kevin Owens, had a 7-week win drought. Granted, he still ended up looking strong, but when you want to build up your main eventers, winning still matters.

The tag team division might not be the most exciting division on NXT, but episodes like this week’s gives us hope that they can get their shit together. The main event shows good potential in the feud between Blake and Murphy and The Vaudevillains; and seeing Jordan and Gable finally work their magic on TV is great. With the women’s division in a bind right now, this is the perfect moment for the tag teams to explode and gain people’s respect.

What do you want to see from NXT's tag team division? Drop us a comment and let us know!

Photos from and Tumblr

Jocs Boncodin (@caboncodin) is a Managing Editor of Smark Henry. He answers tweets 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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