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Smark Hen-XT (8/19/15): Go Home

NXT delivers on a good go home show as they round up the card for TakeOver: Brooklyn.

Main Events

NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn is unique in its way that it claims to feature two main events, the NXT Championship match between Kevin Owens and Finn Balor, and the the NXT Women’s Championship match between Bayley and Sasha Banks.

This is nice for two reasons: first, it tells us that the two matches are, in a way, treated equally by the company. If we take a look at the build up of both matches, this seems to be true. Bayley’s road to the title made her a legitimate contender and Banks’ dominance have never been questioned. Their contract signing was an excellent example why one should be pumped for this match.

Owens, on the other hand, has been booked to remain a threat to anyone while Balor gathered momentum going into his first title defense. This week’s promo from the challenger showcased his excellence on the mic, including calling Full Sail the John Cena's of wrestling fans, and Balor’s surprise “run-in”—he pulled out an Undertaker-esque trick of appearing out of nowhere on the turnbuckle—created excitement for their eventual rematch.

Here’s the second reason on why I like the double main event billing, it’s treating a women’s match as a main event and not just another match in the card. One would think it’s because of the whole #DivaRevolution, but one has to remember, in most NXT specials, the Women’s Championship bout has stolen the show. They’ve been churning out high-quality competitive matches. It’s great to see they’re getting their props by being billed as a co-main event.

Here’s the thing, though. Only one match can close the show. So which do you go for? History will tell us the NXT Championship match will go on last, because, more than anything, it’s supposed to be the title that represents the brand. But does it really deserve to go last? Owens and Balor will deliver on a highly entertaining match, no doubt, but Bayley and Banks are both dependable workers and are motivated to pull out a great showing. There is that possibility that their match will overshadow the NXT title bout. We’re not even talking about main event pay here. So who deserves to close the show?

Personally, I would like to see the Women’s Championship match to go last for two reasons: first, I like the feud more. It was built up organically, and it just makes a lot more sense. Second, historically, it would do a lot more to the #DivaRevolution than the last month of women’s wrestling in WWE had. This is, for all intents and purposes, an NXT PPV and to have women close the show and deliver a stellar performance would move women’s wrestling more than anything the main roster has done for them.

The rest of the show:

Tyler Breeze vs Rob Ryzin

  • Mr. Ryzin may or may not be related to a certain Terra Ryzin. We’ll have to check first.

  • Prince Pretty comes out with a Jushin “Thunder” Liger mask and proceeds to beat the other guy with the Supermodel Kick and a post match Beauty Shot. 

  • For all his faults, Breeze delivered on the uneviable job of telling a story for his upcoming match all on his own. Calling himself the new face of Japan might have been a too much, after only beating one Japanese guy, but I can get behind a cocky heel who’s actually doing a decent job at it.

The Hype Bros and the Realest Guys in the Room vs 4 guys, including Dragon Ball Z guy

  • The four faces goes over as they head to Brooklyn for their match against Dash, Wilder, Jordan, and Gable. I’m not entirely sure why they’re pushing the latter two as heels, when they clearly work face and get great positive reactions with the crowd. And c’mon, Gable’s catch phrase is awesome.

  • This was oddly fun to watch. The faces worked well together. I want to see how the 8-man tag match goes next week.

Samoa Joe vs Steve Cutler

  • Joe chokes out Cutler. Corbin comes out and lays Joe out with the End of Days.

  • This works. Two big guys just going at it. I don’t need promos. Just them beating each other out.

NXT Tag Team Champions Blake and Murphy (w/ Alexa Bliss) vs Angelo Dawkins and Sawyer Fulton

  • Another squash match as the Tag Champs warm up for their match against the Vaudevillains at TakeOver.

  • The challengers came out after the match but before they could get their 2 cents in, they are met by resounding slaps from Bliss. She makes the whole Queen B act work surprisingly. Her taking advantage of the challengers’ chivalry is an odd choice to go in this feud, but when that’s basically the jist of the Vaudevillains’ face gimmicks, it’s understandable.

With TakeOver: Brooklyn just around the corner, NXT delivers on a satisfying go home show, even if it was full of squash matches. All of the matches for the special got time on the show and I for one am excited for the show this weekend.

Thought's on the episode? Who'd you want to see close the show at Brooklyn? Let us know and drop us a comment!

Photos from and Twitter

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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