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Smark Hen-XT (11/23/16): Insanity in Toronto


Post-TakeOver episodes are usually bland affairs. With a mix of highlight films from the event and pre-show matches, there’s usually nothing worth noting that happens in these episodes. NXT tried to buck this trend this week with mixed results.

During a short match between the always fun Rich Swann and Kona Reeves, who can’t seem to stick to a name, new stable SAnitY interfered. After beating down both competitors—including Eric Young nailing Swann with Youngblood—Young took the mic to explain that they’re done playing by the rules and will start taking what’s theirs. When No Way Jose decided to get payback for his Dusty Classic teammate, he got beaten down too.


Now, I’m a fan of big bad stables, and I’m also a fan of making sense, so this development is welcome, though a bit late. Purpose is one of the necessities of the pro wrestling narrative. Without answering the question of why someone is doing something, fans don’t really have something to latch on to. With a mission statement, even as vague as SAnitY’s is, we now have at least an understanding of who they are—outside of a bunch of Mad Max cosplayers who are a year late to the party. I wish they did this angle before the Dusty Classic started.

That being said, I’m still not completely buying into SAnitY right now. They’re looking like a post-apocalyptic millennial Wyatt Family. They haven’t quite looked dominant in their debut, seeing as they got eliminated in the Dusty Classic in terrible fashion. Plus, with the Authors of Pain looking like the next big bad heel team in the Tag Team division, they’re not in a great position to make much of an impact. Time will tell if they succeed, but it’ll be a tough task to make up for a rocky start.

*****

The Rest of the Show:


  • Video packages galore: This is still your post-TakeOver episode, so this is not unexpected. There are people without the Network and watch the shows on syndicated TV, so it’s good to catch them up and entice them to get a subscription. The big news coming up from it though is that Shinsuke Nakamura gets his rematch against Samoa Joe for the NXT Championship at the Osaka show.

  • Liv Morgan, Aliyah, and Ember Moon def. Peyton Royce, Billie Kay, and Daria Berenato: This match felt a bit rushed and looked a bit sloppy at times, but I’ve come to expect that with Morgan, Aliyah, Royce, and Kay. Still, this group still shows promise, so there is reason to be optimistic. Berenato didn’t look too terrible, even after eating an awkward Diving Corkscrew Stunner from Moon. Speaking of Moon, now is the time to build her up as the next contender for Asuka’s NXT Women’s Championship. Start making her feel like a legitimate threat to the Empress, NXT.


*****

This week was a welcome change of pace for NXT. While this was not a must-watch episode, it’s not something you can easily miss as well, which is more than what you can say for other post-TakeOver episodes. They’re starting to set the pieces for the next big angles, and it’s a good move considering the shake-up from TakeOver: Toronto. 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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