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Smark Hen-XT (9/9/15): Not Enough Time

This week on NXT, the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic continues in the worst way possible and we get a glimpse of the future of the NXT Divas division.

An hour is not enough

As my editor Ro had always argued, NXT needs more than the hour a week it’s given. And if anything, this episode is the best example of why it needs more time. Part of the Classic was taken from house shows, and they didn’t even show the full matches. Granted, a lot of the first round matches are easily predictable: all of them are between a hot team and jobbers or old guards. But to not show the rematch between new NXT Tag Team Champions Vaudevillains and Blake and Murphy as part of the tournament sucks balls hard. It feels like a cop out when you’re promised a whole tournament, and they barely show you highlights.

An extra half hour could have given them the time to show those matches in their entirety. Just an extra half hour could give them more time to develop story lines better beyond one or two main event/championship matches. Or even develop more characters outside the main guys in each division. I think NXT has proven itself deserving of extra time. And we can trust NXT to actually not waste that time and deliver on their compelling stories.

The rest of the show:

Carmella vs Peyton Royce 

  • Carmella needs a bit more polishing as a babyface. Her ring work may be lacking, but as a heel, her psychology was better. As a face, as much as she’s doing the Staten Island Shuffle, she’s not resonating as someone I’d like to cheer for.

  • Peyton Royce, though, even while jobbing, showed some smooth ring work. Find the right character for her and NXT won’t need to extend their rebuild for the divas division.
Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa vs Tyler Breeze and Bull Dempsey

  • Maybe it’s the hype, but Gargano and Ciampa’s debut didn’t wow me as much as I thought it would. Gargano showed why he could be a great star in NXT and Ciampa has potential as a great main tier heel, but their actual match felt lacking. They got the win, though, so we’ll be seeing more of them in the future. If they sign one of these guys full time at least, it’ll be a great pick-up for the brand.

  • Post-match beatdown from Prince Pretty to the reinvigorated founder of Bull-Fit felt like we’ve been there and done that. Breeze is stuck in NXT, and he has been since TakeOver: Fatal 4 Way, so my hopes of an NXT Era of Pretty are slowly draining away. Nonetheless, both guys can work, so this shouldn’t be a bad feud going forward.

Dana Brooke vs Billie Kay

  • Okay, first, as much as I’m pained to say this, Brooke’s heel work is good, just mainly because I really want to hate her. And a lot of what she’s doing in the ring—like using her acrobatic abilities in her moveset—is interesting on paper. It just doesn’t translate well in the ring yet. But she’s getting there.

  • I’m repeating what I said about Peyton Royce with Billie Kay: give her a good gimmick and you’ll have another cornerstone for the rebuilding Divas division.

Samoa Joe and NXT Champion Finn Balor vs Lucha Dragons

  • I want to say I feel bad for Full Sail because they aren’t seeing this match, but they got a different main event (judging by the tapings spoilers). And seeing Balor’s entrance on a bigger stage, even without the paint, is awesome even if half the crowd didn’t know what to do. Also, sweet leather jacket, Balor.

  • I don’t understand why Kalisto is not getting good ring time on the main roster. The guy’s really good and really exciting. Yeah, he’s probably the smallest guy in the roster (outside of Torito and Hornswoggle), but he makes up for it with his skill and speed. He needs a singles push, even if it means doing it in NXT, or by having the Lucha Dragons actually do something meaningful on the main roster.

  • An impressive showing for Balor and Joe. Not really much working as a team, but as individuals in the match, they were good. Great match.

  • Can I just say, I can’t wait for the two of them to get in the ring for the title. If either of them turn against each other for a feud against each other, it’ll probably be in the next few rounds of the tournament and cost them the win. Now that’s a feud I can’t wait to see.

The Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic delivered on excellent matches again while the women of NXT are brimming with new potential, though I really wish they had more time to showcase everything. We hope the powers that be realize this, but for now, they’re making good use of their limited time.

Do you think NXT needs more time? Any bets for the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic? Drop us a comment!

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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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