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Smark Hen-XT (3/6/19): Let The Games Begin


On a night dedicated to the first round of this year's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, I expected nothing less than the best from all the Superstars involved and NXT did well in providing great quality sports-entertainment especially with how the matches turned out.


The tournament kicked off with Aleister Black and Ricochet against the team of Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel. At first glance, you would already assume who's pegged to win this match but it's actually surprising that Bartheland Aichner especiallyput up quite a fight and had some great near-falls.

As much as the Ricochet/Black team-up is a callback to WWE's penchant for putting two random Superstars together in a tag team, the two individuals actually make up a great duo. The good mix of styles and the complementary moves they pulled off made me believe that they have a high chance of ending up in the Finals. Their win here puts them one step closer to the trophy as the night went on to see the other slots in the semifinals be filled up.


Moustache Mountain and The Forgotten Sons also advanced in their respective matches to secure a semis spot in the tournament. I just find it unfortunate that considering how entertaining the Street Profits are, they still can't get a championship opportunity on NXTespecially since they were former EVOLVE Tag Team Champions. The match between them and Moustache Mountain was very enjoyable at least so there's still hope in the future for a solid push.

The final first round match saw #DIY and The Undisputed ERA face off in a surprising pairing. Yes, I know, that's the way tournaments go, but I somehow wished this could've been booked in the second round. Nonetheless, it was a highly amusing showing from both teams and was befitting to close out the round and the actual episode.



Ciampa and Gargano, whether against each other or teaming together, still have the crowd in the palm of their hands, which is a wonder, considering that they've jumbled back and forth between being rivals and partners. It's a testament that these two men are the biggest contributors to NXT's success and that the possible loss of one of them could change the state of the brand.

Sadly, we can't say the same for The Undisputed ERA. If we're talking about pops, cheers, and heat, well, yeah, the ERA elicits the reactions that they aim for. However, they've had a really unlucky 2019 so far, and it has continued into the Dusty Classicwith them failing to move on to the next round. One has to wonder how this will play off in future storylines and whether their success is looming elsewhere.



With that, we have our updated bracket, which poses interesting matchups moving forward. #DIY versus Black/Ricochet is puzzling since all four men have actually made their main roster debuts. The Forgotten Sons and Moustache Mountain match still has me on the fence but I seriously hope one of these teams wins the whole thing so they can get a rub and a championship opportunity. My money is on Moustache Mountain but we'll have to wait and see if that will hold true. Grade: A-

Not-So-Full-Sails

  • Fabian Aichner is an impressive specimen that could benefit from a singles run.
  • Minus the Jaxson Ryker presence, The Forgotten Sons don't really strike me as a team (or stable) that I could get invested in yet. I feel that they still lack heat or even interest except for the few short angles they've done in the past.
  • It looks like we'll be getting Velveteen Dream versus Matt Riddle for the NXT North American Championship soon. It's a very random yet interesting development on Riddle's part but I'm not complaining.
  • What in the hell was Montez Ford wearing during the Street Profits' entrance?
  • I would've preferred a Street Profits win but Moustache Mountain seems pretty alright as well. That short tease between Trent/Bate and the War Raiders was intriguing.

Who's your bet to win the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic 2019? Are you excited for Velveteen Dream and Matt Riddle facing off? Send us your thoughts 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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