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Smark Hen-XT (6/13/19): The Brit-Am Brawlers Finally Win


NXT is at its best when they not only put up good matches but also acknowledge the continuity of storylines on a regular basis. This week was a good example of that balance when they presented a solid matchup in KUSHIDA vs. Drew Gulak, along with continuing the Io Shirai/Shayna Baszler feud and also highlighting The Undisputed ERA in the show.

With every bad post-TakeOver show, NXT normally follows that up with a show that starts to set new rivalries in place (or develop the existing ones.) This week, the focus was on the women's and also on the tag team's storylines as they play off on the fallout from TakeOver XXV.


The Shirai/Baszler saga continued by pitting Io and Candice LeRae against everybody's least favorite team of Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir. Maybe this wasn't a really technical contest but it did its job in moving the parts forward without oversaturating their rivalry.

It's great that LeRae is getting exposure because she's a top-notch talent. At the same time, it's also good that Duke and Shafir are gaining experience with credible opponents. Shafir may be doing better than Duke is but at least they're both making progress.


KUSHIDA facing off against Drew Gulak was a good palate cleanser. KUSHIDA has been getting a consistent push over the past few weeks and it's great that he got a dance partner who could help showcase his technical skills. Sadly, it looks like Gulak may be relegated to stepping stone status but at least he'll be able to square off with the big names of NXT.

The main event saw The Undisputed ERA (Roderick Strong and Kyle O'Reilly) face off against Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan. At this point, I'd lost all faith in the Brit-Am Brawlers because of how they've eaten up losses left and right so it was a surprise that they won this onealbeit via a roll-up after a Jaxson Ryker distraction. Still, a win is a win and this makes things interesting.



My guess is that this will factor in for determining the #1 contenders for the NXT Tag Team Championships so expect that the Forgotten Sons to show up and stake their claim soon. If I were a betting man, I'd still say Burch and Lorcan just got lucky and that it's a toss-up between The Sons and The ERA on who will be the next #1 contenders.

For what it's worth, this was a better show than what we've seen over the past weeks. I can't wait for KUSHIDA's first PPV-worthy storyline and I'm looking forward to seeing what's next for Shirai/Baszle, as well as who the Tag Team Championship contenders are going to be.

Grade: B

Not-So-Full-Sails

  • Shayna Baszler's reaction when Shirai stepped on Duke's elbow didn't fit her character. I know they're stablemates and friends, but Shayna isn't the type to be shocked by these kinds of things.
  • What's up with Marina Shafir's gear? It looked silly compared to her usual choice of clothes.
  • After beating Bianca Belair, Mia Yim is facing off against... Aliyah? Vanessa Borne? Seriously, this women's roster is pretty thin right now.
Who do you want to see KUSHIDA face off with next? Who should be the next NXT Tag Team Championship contenders? Do you agree that the women's roster is lacking at the moment? Hit us up in the comments section below.

Photos and videos from WWE

*****

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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