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Smark Hen-XT (11/16/16): Northward Bound


NXT TakeOver: Toronto is on this Sunday morning(Manila time). With NXT’s adventure to the Great White North this close, that only means one thing: PREDICTION TIME.


  • Bobby Roode vs. Tye Dillinger: This is one of my favorite feuds on the card. Roode as a revisionist douchebag is awesome but still dastardly. Dillinger has grown into the role of beloved underdog. I think Roode wins here, but a great match will up both guys’ stocks.


  • TM61 vs The Authors of Pain in the finals of the Dusty Classic: I’m not all that excited for this match. We’ve seen this play out before Brooklyn, and neither team have really changed significantly in the past 3 months to expect anything different. I’m also not sold on the necessity of the stipulation of Paul Ellering being locked in a cage so he won’t interfere. Here’s the thing, AoP is pretty freaking dominant on their own, and they’ve won all except two of their matches without Ellering doing anything. They’ve beaten TM61 without interference. This is pointless. AoP wins.


  • Asuka (c) vs. Mickie James for the NXT Women’s Championship: With the current crop of superstars in NXT’s women division embroiled in a high school clique war, creative went deep into the well and picked up a big name for our Empress’s new victim challenger: Mickie James. The former WWE Women’s Champion is a great hand in the ring who’s a recognizable veteran, so a big win will only help raise the champion’s stock. Asuka retains here.


  • The Revival (c) vs. #DIY for the NXT Tag Team Championship in a 2-out-of-3 Falls match: NXT have made something special with 2-out-of-3 falls match, and based on history alone, this match promises to steal the show. There wasn’t much of a build up here, but the match in Brooklyn is enough to salivate for a rematch. I think #DIY finally gets the gold here, and Toronto will blow the roof off Air Canada Center when it happens.


  • Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs. Samoa Joe for the NXT Championship: The escalation of this feud is perfect. Joe upped his mic game and carried the feud for most of the build. Nakamura dropped the goofy eccentric act and got down to business. This is the King of Strong Style doing what he does best: kicking ass and and taking names. This will be a brutal match, but Nakamura will retain here.

This is a pretty solid card. All of the matches feel important here, and there’s reason to get into each one of them. Even if you were disappointed with how the Dusty Classic played out, it’s still being treated as a big honor. Dillinger vs Roode is a match made for a Canadian crowd. The championship matches are filled with great talents. You cannot ask for more from a wrestling card.

*****

The Rest of the Show


  • Liv Morgan def. Peyton Royce (w/ Billie Kay): Surprisingly fine match from both ladies, but the post match brawl was the highlight here. Royce and Kay looked good here, and Ember Moon being inserted in this story makes things more interesting for the whole division. Whoever the Aussie duo pick as their third member for the inevitable 6-women match-up, it’ll give us a good look of what the Women’s division will look like in the foreseeable future.

  • Elias Samson def. Nathan Cruz: Turns out Samson was the “return” that’s being hyped up the past couple of weeks. Man, that was a downer. Rather than take the time to improve on the Drifter gimmick, Samson pretty much returned unchanged. It’s still a rather annoying character, and not in a good way. It doesn’t help that Corey Graves, the heel commentator, is shitting on him at every opportunity.

  • Andrade “Cien” Almas def. Cedric Alexander: With a bit more build up, this would have been a great match for Toronto. That we got in the go-home show is still fine though. This is the Cien we’ve been waiting for. He’s still pretty athletic and creative, but now he’s controlling the pace and just upping his douchiness. He pulled off Tetsuya Naito’s Tranquilo spot, so it was brilliant. Alexander got to show his stuff here as well. He had fire here, and he held his own. That his lost because of shenanigans doesn’t hurt his stock. This mini-feud was a great way to solidify both guys’ spot in the midcard scene.


*****

This was a good, not great, episode to lead up to TakeOver: Toronto. The video packages for the card were solid, and aside from the disappointment that was the Drifter, the action was fine. It got me plenty excited for TakeOver, and I can’t wait for Sunday morning to come. This episode gets a B+.

Excited for TakeOver? 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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