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Smark Hen-XT (3/27/19): The Dust Has Settled


It's kind of weird that they decided to have the finals of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic on a regular episode (we've still got another week of NXT TV prior to WrestleMania weekend) although I'm not complaining because I'm expecting some build-up for the NXT Tag Team Championship match on the next show.

I honestly would've preferred a seasoned tag team to battle it out with the War Raiders at NXT TakeOver: New York, however, looking at the finalists, I'm a little hesitant to get fully behind both of the teams since 1) the Forgotten Sons haven't really made that much of a mark on NXT and 2) you already know that both Ricochet and Aleister Black have been promoted to the main roster.



However, this does beg the question: what are they trying to achieve with the tournament? For one, it may be a send-off for Black and Ricochet on a high note. At the grandest stage of the year, it's hard to get a spot on WrestleMania so the next best thing might be to pad TakeOver with high-profile Superstars. The Forgotten Sons versus the War Raiders doesn't really scream "marquee match" on paper, so the better choice was to send the two (former) NXT main eventers to compete against the champions.

In this sense, it's still a good opportunity for the Forgotten Sons to get their name out. Being a part of the finals and battling Black and Ricochet could be a good rub because they really need a hard push and a momentum shift to build their reputation and following on NXT. Having them as finalists would add more to their character and send out vibes that they're a force to be reckoned with as they slowly climb the ranks and eventually vie for the championships in the future.


For Ricochet and Black, it's amazing how they've developed so much chemistry over the past few weeks that they've assimilated the tag team wrestling mentality. If you gave them matching gear, you'd probably think this wasn't a randomly mashed-up team. In fact, if you watch them on the main roster, you can see how strongly they're booked and how well they work together. It's a shame that the main roster push does come at the expense of the RAW Tag Team Champions (although that's a story for another time).

I wasn't expecting any less from these two and they were my pick when the finals were announced. Again, it's a travesty because I don't really believe that they're winning the NXT Tag Team Championships, but on the other hand, if (and when) the War Raiders defeat these two at NXT TakeOver: New York, it will help build the Raiders' stock and also could end up being a Match of the Year contender because we know it will definitely be (as good ole' JR would say) a slobberknocker.


I'm glad we were able to get the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic 2019 finals out of the way so we can focus on WrestleMania weekend. Although the episode was a step down from last week's, at least we can look forward to how NXT TakeOver: New York has been finalized and next week's show could be the build-up for all the matches slated to happen.

Grade: B+

Not-So-Full-Sails

  • Adam Cole was on point. What has Johnny Gargano achieved recently to deserve a shot at the NXT Championship? Remember, prior to this, he did lose the NXT North American Championship.
  • Other than that, everything Gargano said was true as well. He wasn't signed immediately. He made sporadic appearances back then. He didn't even receive a huge debut. He's a prime example of an NXT rags-to-riches story as he clawed his way up to rise to main event status.
  • Vanessa Borne and Aliyah now sport complementary gear as a tag team.
  • The Lacey Lane attire gives me serious Ember Moon and Mortal Kombat vibes.
  • While I'm hopeful for their improvement in the future, Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir suck the excitement out of me every time they show up. I want to love the faction but they need to get better at this soon.
  • Kona Reeves could pass off as Bizarro Matt Riddle. You know how when you play a mirror match in fighting games, the other player is a palette swap?
  • I love how wrestling and/or sports-entertainment has evolved to the point where there are more gray-area characters such as Velveteen Dream. You don't know whether to love or hate him because he's neither heel nor face.
  • When was the last time we saw the War Raiders in action?
Did you love Adam Cole and Johnny Gargano's exchange? Did you agree with Aleister Black and Ricochet winning the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic 2019? Hit us up in the comments section below.

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*****

Miguel “The Migz” Llado is your supposed style icon and NXT reviewer at the Smark Henry offices. A lover of everything music, wrestling, videogames, and food, he lives his life tweeting his mind off (@the_migz) and ‘gramming random food items and locations (@tha_migz) as he sets on his journey to completely do things spontaneously. You can also add him on PSN (MigzLlado) to show your WWE2K19 (or any PS4) skills. When not being a smark, he lives his life being (and trying to be) an awesome architect, musician extraordinaire and armchair fantasy booker.

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