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Smark Hen-XT (10/5/16): Tranquilo


The Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic kicked off this week with a bang with two matches this week, including a great main event match between NXT Tag Team Champions The Revival and the team of Andrade “Cien” Almas and Cedric Alexander. It was a solidly booked match showcasing the strengths of both teams, and the finish was just killer.

The Top Guys of the NXT Tag Team scene got to do Top Guys stuff, and that’s always fun. I’ve said it over and over again, but they’re the best team in the company right now. They get tag team wrestling, and it’s nearly impossible to outshine them in a tag team match. But dammit, the finish did.


Cien jumping his partner after the match was perfectly executed. You couldn’t have asked for a better time for this. The former luchador enmascarado was floundering as a face in NXT. He wasn't connecting with the crowd. It didn't help that he was facing two of the most over guys in the brand, but to have the audience just not caring about him as a face means something's going wrong. Having him turn heel against such a well beloved face in Alexander instantly got him heat. He's gotten more reaction from the crowd about him in that last minute than the past 4 months. It also put over the DRTTC as such a big deal if people are losing their shit over it. Just seeing Cien kneel down on the ramp and soak in the boos was a fantastic way to close out the show.

Things can only get better for everyone involved in this match. The Revival have punched their ticket to the second round of the DRTTC and a potential date with rivals #DIY. Alexander got even more sympathy from the crowd than I thought was possible. And Cien finally gets the chance to show his stuff as a rudo, a role he was successful with in his CMLL run.

Tranquilo, mis amigos. The fun’s just getting started.

*****

The Rest of the Show:


  • The Authors of Pain (w/ Paul Ellering) def. The Bollywood Boyz in a First Round match of the DRTTC: I’m not a big fan of racially-driven gimmicks, but the Sihra brothers are really owning it. I’m not sure what a “buttered chicken beatdown” is, but it makes me think of food, and that’s a good thing in my book. Too bad they were eaten alive by AoP. Expect Ellering’s new wards to steamroll through the tournament.

  • Rich Swann def. Patrick Clark: Rich Swann was fine, but Patrick Clark was brilliant. Gone are the “‘Murrica!” tights and he’s now rocking a blazer with ruffles in a Prince-inspired gimmick. He walking a fine line with this schtick—the WWE doesn’t really have a great track-record for anything anti-macho—but with the right opponent and crowd, he could maybe pull this off. I’m not optimistic, but I am intrigued.

  • Peyton Royce (w/ Billie Kay) def Danielle Kamela: Royce is back on TV, and that’s a good thing. The Women’s division needs established talents, and Royce is a known quantity. Not sure why NXT is rehashing the mean girls gimmick used by almost every heel women in NXT, though.

  • Dan Matha debuts, sort of: #LOLDanMatha. I love what they did here. They build up the guy with vignettes as a big deal, and he got fed to a rampaging Samoa Joe. Matha didn’t even stand a chance. It hurts this a bit that NXT General Manager William Regal isn't actively participating in this angle at the moment, but it's been loads of fun seeing Joe destroy people. Hopefully we get a response from either Regal or NXT Champion Shinsuke Nakamura soon.


*****

This episode was a great way to kick off the DRTTC. We get to see two early favorites get into the second round in the AoP and The Revival. Cien’s heel turn was well done, and it sets him up with a big feud against a popular babyface in Cedric Alexander. Even Joe got into the fun by wrecking Matha apart. Good stuff all around. This episode gets a B+.

Thoughts on this week's episode? Let us know by dropping a comment below!

Photo 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.

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