Skip to main content

Smark Hen-XT (5/11/16): Beating a Dead Horse


This week, former NXT Champion Finn Bálor returns to Full Sail and lays down his challenge. Also on deck, Shinsuke Nakamura faces Alex Riley.

One More Time


Finn Bálor returned to NXT TV and reminded us about his hard-fought wars with Samoa Joe. He emphasized that all those matches could have gone either way, only to be interrupted by Elias Samson. The Drifter’s antics lead to him eating a Pelé Kick and a match with the former champ in the main event.


The match itself was fine. Samson got some offense in; but was clearly over-matched. Bálor got going quickly and put away his opponent with the 1916. After the match, he called out Joe and demanded his rematch. He claimed he no longer was simply obsessed; he’s possessed to reclaim what belongs to him. The Samoan Submission Machine came out and jawed with Bálor, but was stopped by NXT GM William Regal, who told everyone that the rematch will happen on the next TakeOver on June 8th.


Now, on paper, this make sense. Former champions should get their rematches. But honestly, tell me you aren’t tired of this feud. The dynamics are different, yes. The roles are reversed, but are we honestly expecting this to be any different from the previous two matches we’ve seen (we didn’t really see the Lowell, MA match)? It’s going to be a great match—both guys are too good right now not to have a great match—but seeing them main eventing another TakeOver gets tiring. I cannot wait for this feud to end and have both guys live their own lives. I want to see Bálor get called up already, and Joe put on great matches with someone else. Let this be the end of things.

The Rest of the Show:


American Alpha def. Corey Hollis and John Skyler



  • The new NXT Tag Team Champions dominated their opponents to pick up the win despite the interference from the Revival.

  • Man, Creative is really pushing the comparison between American Alpha and the Steiner Brothers. It was one thing with the singlets, but now having Corey Graves calling Jason Jordan a ‘genetic freak” isn’t all that subtle.

  • It’s fun to see the champs dominate their opponents and have fun doing so, but their confidence is dangerously close to being cocky heels. They can be really good as a heel team, but I’m not sure Full Sail will buy into it unless they do something too dastardly.


Shinsuke Nakamura def. Alex Riley



  • The King of Strong Style utterly destroyed the future-endeavored Riley.

  • I’m a bit surprised with how they booked this match. Riley’s offense pretty much was just mocking Nakamura, and it did not bode well for him. Seeing Swagsuke just lose his cool and try his best to murder someone reminds me that this guy was once one of the biggest heels in Japan and can legitimately fuck people up.

  • In my head canon, I now firmly believe that Nakamura kneed Riley out of a job. No one can convince me otherwise.

Alexa Bliss def. Rachael Ellering



  • Bliss won the one-sided match with the Sparkle Splash.

  • I’m digging this new development in Alexa Bliss’s heel work. The way she worked on Ellering’s arm and shoulder is basic ring psychology and allows her to move around the ring easier, since her moves have purpose now. I’m still not sold on the Chokehold STO because it’s weird and doesn’t really work with her size.

  • I like Alexa’s face during the backstage segment with Blake, Murphy, and Austin Aries. It’s obvious she’s not happy with her boys’ slump, and her disdain for being dragged into this is clearly shown on her face. Her boys are obviously going to lose next week, because Aries isn’t going to lose anytime, and I wonder how she’s going to react to it. Is this a foreshadowing of a break up?

*****

A lot of focus on this episode was spent building up to Bálor-Joe IV on the next TakeOver, and the former champ carried his weight. The matches were short and mostly one-sided, but they did tease a good deal of stories, with American Alpha’s business with the Revival clearly being far from over, and showing Bliss succeeding when her boys aren’t. Watching Nakamura kneeing Riley’s head off is worth the watch. This episode gets a B-.

Looking forward for Bálor-Joe IV? Thoughts on this week's episode? Let us know and drop us a comment.

Photos from WWE.com


*****

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, smarkhenry.ph's weekly NXT review.

Trending This Week

#ThemeSongTuesday: Good Day For A Swell Battle... Now Go!

#FinisherFriday: The Sharpshooter

The Smark Henry Pay-Per-Review: TLC 2018

31 Days of Wrestling (12/13/18): A Dream Ricochets

31 Days of Wrestling (12/18/18): 100 Percent