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Smark Hen-XT (11/18/15): Seeing Red

This week, the NXT Women’s Championship is on the line and an unwelcome challenger rises up.

Anyone but you

This week’s episode was headlined by the NXT Women’s Championship match between champ Bayley and the devious challenger Alexa Bliss. As far as championship matches go, this was decent. It’s not the instant classic that was the last few Women’s Championship matches, but I think no one was expecting that it would be. Bayley started out strong, showing a lot of aggression. Bliss delivered her best match to date, dominating the middle portion of the match and nearly surviving the champ’s late resurgence. In the end, she met her downfall after a Bayley-to-Belly.

As a main event, it was fine. Probably nothing to gush about unless you’re an absolute mark for either of the ladies. What is interesting was what happened after the match. Eva Marie came out as Bayley was celebrating and challenged her to a Women’s championship match next week.

Everything about this segment was bad. First, as I’ve always said, Eva Marie should be kept as far away from that title as humanly possible. She is nowhere near ready enough to earn that title match, much less work it. She can barely work a squash match without looking too bad, and she’s going over in those matches. This match isn’t inevitable; it’s unwelcome. I would welcome almost any other title feuds, but not Eva Marie. Anyone but her.

Second, man, there are very few people who could’ve handled the vitriol thrown at Eva Marie when she got on the mic. The boos were raining down and she couldn’t control it. Telling the dorks to shut up and be quiet isn’t going to cut it. She looked lost. She could barely get her words in. While one could possibly blame Full Sail for being a bit unruly, it was understandable. They’ve always been a vocal crowd, and they’re going to let you know how they feel about you. And nobody wanted to hear the words Eva Marie was saying.

At this point, I think we’ve given Eva Marie her chance. Her time on NXT has shown me that she’s not ready to work matches on TV, much less title matches. She’s years away from being ready. This is just Creative forcing someone down our throats, and it’s just not right. We’ve seen what happens when people recognize this (i.e. Reigns, Royal Rumble 2015). So unless she suddenly becomes Trish Stratus in between tapings, this is going to bite Creative back in their asses.

The rest of the show:

Nia Jax def. Carmella

  • This isn’t really the step up in competition I was asking for from Jax, but Carmella is a known commodity, even if she’s pretty much a jobber on NXT. When you’re beating down someone who got beaten by Eva Marie, you’re not really doing much to raise your stock. Beautiful leg drop though. I think there are better finishers, but for now it’s OK.

  • I’m still somewhat surprised that Carmella is over as a face. I remember seeing her debut and she was so unlikeable. But just by sheer association with Enzo and Big Cass—two guys whose gimmicks wouldn’t have worked as faces if they weren’t so damn charismatic—she’s gotten surprisingly over that the fans care about her. What she does need is a way to stay relevant when her boys are out.

Jason Jordan and Chad Gable def. The Ascension

  • Full Sail sure loves them Ascension boys, and Konnor & Viktor aren’t shy of showing them love back. It’s sad that Orlando might be the only place people will ever care about the former NXT Tag Team champs, as they’re wasting away on the main roster.

  • Jordan is coming close to becoming one of my favorite hot tags. Just seeing him throwing people like ragdolls is fun. Gable’s no slouch, though, as he looks to be the more technically sound grappler to Jordan’s powerhouse style. That ippon seoi nage on Viktor was a thing of beauty.

Emma def. Mary Kate

  • Squash match for Evil Emma. As I’ve said, this run as a heel is just working wonders for her. She’s heading to a program against Asuka, so I’m interested to see her work with someone of the joshi legend’s calibre.

  • It looks like trouble is brewing though, as Emma was seen plotting with Dana Brooke after the latter challenged Asuka to a rematch. This should be interesting.

NXT Tag Team Champions Dash & Dawson def. Corey Hollis and John Skyler

  • Yet another squash match, giving the newly crowned champs some momentum for their upcoming rematch against the Vaudevillains. They destroyed some poor bloke’s knee before delivering the Shatter Machine on the other guy. This pretty much is their MO at this point, and it’s not a bad one.

This week’s episode was a downer. There were only two good matches, one of them was six minutes long and the other spoiled by the closing promo. Give this episode a D.

Thoughts on Eva Marie’s upcoming title match? Drop us a comment and let us know!

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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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