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Smark Hen-XT (10/10/18): Triple The Pleasure, Triple The Fun


Welcome to another late edition of Smark Hen-XT! This is becoming a bit of a habit these days, but when you've got a schedule that's fuller than Full Sail University, something's really gotta give. Honestly, I feel horrible enough as it is that I can no longer watch NXT on Thursdays and then subsequently write about it, but them's the breaks. Hey, when the gigs keep coming, you take as much as you can and shuffle schedules around however you can. That's the biggest lesson I've learned as a freelancer. Anyway, on to the review!

This week's episode was really just about the Triple Threat NXT North American Championship Match between Ricochet, Pete Dunne, and Adam Cole (BAYBAY!). Frankly, that's exactly how I wanted it to be. I was psyched for this showdown because all three guys are amazing in the ring and I wanted them to have as much time as they wanted/needed to tell their story. There was so much to go on from Adam Cole cashing in on his rematch against Ricochet, to the tension between Ricochet and Pete Dunne following their tag team fiasco against The Undisputed ERA, to the beef between UE and Dunne, which stems all the way back to the United Kingdom Championship Tournament.

We saw all those dynamics come into play during the match. Dunne and Ricochet started teaming up against Cole, only to turn on one another not long afterward. It then became a story of one-upsmanship among all three men, which also allowed them to display the in-ring styles that make each of them distinct and unique. Adam Cole was his usual brash and arrogant self, showing off every opportunity he could, while playing spoiler for whatever pinfall Ricochet or Dunne tried to get. The Bruiserweight was every bit as vicious as he's always been, attacking limbs and appendages with the intent to hurt. And Ricochet was stellar throughout the bout, playing the part of underdog and endearing himself again to the NXT Universe.

There was a lot of innovative offense in the match, and the spots that were there didn't feel like they were included just for the sake of popping the crowd. You know what, let me just go ahead and shout out some of my favorite moments from the match.

  • Ricochet's dropkick to Adam Cole, while he was in a surfboard stretch applied by Pete Dunne
  • Pete Dunne's double single-leg crab on Ricochet and Adam Cole
  • Ricochet getting caught with a double superkick from his opponents as he was going for a springboard moonsault
  • Ricochet's DOUBLE. TOP ROPE. FRANKENSTEINER.
  • Adam Cole's superkick to Pete Dunne and Last Shot to Ricochet, which I thought would've ended the match right there
In the end, Ricochet stunned us all with a 450 Splash from almost three-fourths away to break Dunne's pinfall attempt on Adam Cole, covering the Bruiserweight in the process for the W. My god, that was exhausting, but it was absolutely worth it. What a fucking barnburner.

This episode was definitely worth looking forward to, if only for the main event alone. I'm glad they gave it as much time as possible. With these next few months just being bloated with wrestling content, I'm sure it would be easy to just check out, then just pick and choose what you want to see. If that's where you're at mentally, then let me recommend this week's main event as the one match you should see this week. It's too bonkers for you not to.

Based on the strength of this main event alone, this week's episode gets an A for "Are you kidding me?!"

Not-So-Full Sails

  • I didn't know I wanted to see Tommaso Ciampa vs. Velveteen Dream until I saw them go face-to-face on the mic this week. Dream's popular enough to be a pseudo-babyface, and it's a fresh matchup that should keep Ciampa busy for the next few weeks. What's at stake, though: the NXT Championship or does the winner get to claim innocence in this whole "Whodunnit?" angle?
  • I just want Nikki Cross to stop teasing and spill the beans. Her saying, "I know," while silly and cute, is beginning to grate on me the same way Kairi Sane's, "You know it, I know it," did.
  • Kassius Ohno demanding to face Matt Riddle—at least, as he implies—is funny because it seems Ohno's forgotten that these days, a lot of the big indy signings make their debut at TakeOver. Come on, man. Haven't you been watching NXT?
  • Gotta appreciate how Keith Lee got more than a typical squash match when he faced Kona Reeves, who made for a fun little punching bag against The Limitless One. I'm no fan of Reeves, but I love how they used the time they got to (1) allow Kona to show a little character in the loss, while (2) really putting Keith Lee's Supernova over. That move looks like a custom finisher for a CAW in WWE 2K. Damn.

Image from WWE

*****





Stan Sy (@_StanSy) is the Editor at Large of Smark Henry, and is also a radio DJ on Wave 89.1, an events host, a freelance writer, and one of the hosts of The Smark Gilas-Pilipinas Podcast. He also used to be one of the hosts and writers of The Wrestling Gods on FOX. He enjoys watching WWE, NXTLucha Underground, and the occasional New Japan match. You can ask him questions about wrestling, Survivor (yes, the reality show), or whatever you like on his CuriousCat account.

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