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Smark Hen-XT (4/5/17): Graduation Time

Man, I hate it when people get called up to the main roster. I understand that it’s a big deal for everyone down at NXT, but as a fan, knowing that my favorite guys are only sticking around a finite time sucks. That said, I've come to accept this fact of life. Let's look at each call-up this week and see if they went to the right show.


The biggest call-up has to be Shinsuke Nakamura going to SmackDown Live. This is a win-win for both Nakamura and SD Live. The blue brand gets arguably the best new wrestler in the pool and adds another main eventer to strengthen the top of the card. Nakamura joins a brand with well-rounded and better-utilized wrestlers anchored by AJ Styles and complemented by a solid writing team. If there’s a show that can make the most out of the King of Strong Style, it’s SmackDown Live.


Joining Nakamura on SD Live is Tye Dillinger. The Perfect 10 had done a good job at cultivating the underdog persona, and there’s no better fit for him than SmackDown. Dillinger will be a dab hand in the ring and bolster the midcard for the blue brand. With SD Live catering to a more hardcore fanbase, he’ll have a great following that he’s pretty much over with already.


The Revival going to RAW is a bit of a head-scratcher at first, but the more you look at it, it’s a good place for them. The RAW tag team division is in better shape at the moment, with guys like the New Day, the Hardys, and Sheamus & Cesaro as great possible new feuds for the Top Guys. Yeah, SmackDown probably needed them more, but RAW offers a more interesting path for the two-time former NXT Tag Team Champions.


Last but not the least, it looks like Oney Lorcan is going to be spending some time with the cruiserweights down at 205 Live. Again, this is a bit odd, as Lorcan hasn’t really picked up any steam from his run down at Florida, and the roster is too crowded that they can’t even find time for Gran Metalik, a finalist of the Cruiserweight Classic, on the show itself. Still, he’s a solid technical wrestler who can hang with the best the Cruiserweight division has to offer.

I like all of the guys who got called up, and I think they went to the right brands. NXT lost stars, yes, but it wouldn’t be like last year. We didn’t lose a lot of people, and we have promising newcomers like Aleister Black and a certain sinister Scotsman that’ll slide into their spots. All in all, it’s not a bad trade for NXT.

The Rest of the Show:


  • Peyton Royce def. Aliyah: This match was the reason why I’m happy nobody from the Women’s division got called up. Asuka is still needed to anchor the division since everybody needs more time to develop. This wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good.

  • Heavy Machinery def. The Bollywood Boyz: Heavy Machinery is fun. They’re athletic big guys who look like they’re enjoying themselves. They might have a midcard ceiling, but if there’s anyone who can bring out the most from comedy acts (Tyler Breeze, I’m looking at you), it’s NXT. The Bollywood Boyz were working heel a bit here, and they were channeling a slightly racist version of Miz’s gimmick. I hope they stick around NXT, as there isn’t really any space for them on 205 Live.

  • Oney Lorcan def. El Vagabundo Elias Samson: This might be the Samson gimmick that I can get behind on, mainly because I don’t want him around anymore. I even said nice things last week in the hope that I never see him again. That said, seeing him trying to get back into the roster will probably give us some nice comedy spots. I might hate him, but I’m willing to give this a shot.


*****

The show itself this week was your typical post-TakeOver dark matches, so it’s not all that great. It’s watchable, but you can miss this week. This episode gets a C+. That said, NXT had a good week, with a solid TakeOver and the call ups went to the right brands and more importantly, wer received really well. It’ll force NXT to transition into new storylines and create new stars. We’re in for a good new year.

Thoughts on this week's episode? Comments on the latest NXT call ups? 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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