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Smark Hen-XT (11/20/19): NXT, The A-Show


It has been difficult to review NXT ever since Crown Jewel. That's not a negative comment. I mean it in a good way. It's because I can't actually focus on which I'm more excited for. We've got an interesting NXT TakeOver: WarGames, however, the RAW/SmackDown Live/NXT brand warfare from Survivor Series is also happening, so that muddles things a bit.


The reason I brought it up is because it's crazy to see all NXT Superstars put on a united front during RAW and SmackDown Live, but to then see them duke it out on Wednesday nightsNovember is a weird month. But this is also what made the ending segment of the night slightly better for me. With all the brands duking it out and bodies on the floor, Tommaso Ciampa still found the time to stick it to his WarGames opponent, Adam Cole, by hitting him before moving on to number one invader, Seth Rollins.

Speaking of Rollins, his appearance made a huge impact. Seth hasn't really been on anybody's good side lately so being cast as the invader helped the angle a lotwith Ciampa ending up as the babyface savior of NXT. It's crazy to imagine that just a year ago, Ciampa was the most hated man on the roster.



It's crazy to think that the best moments of the night involved either NXT Superstars or NXT alumni. This proves once again that the main roster is beneath on the black-and-yellow brand. While names like AJ Styles, Roman Reigns and such have the most value in the company, in terms of name recall and popularity, the most entertaining show is NXT because of how they perform. It was also a good decision for them to limit the matches because all bouts in the card were actually worth watching and very enjoyable.

Speaking of my last point, it's crazy to think that probably half of the big names in the roster right now is composed of NXT alumni. I swear, the week's episode could've passed off as a regular one because of the names involved. Becky Lynch? Carmella? The Revival? Viking Raiders? Even Seth Rollins himself is a former NXT guy. It's no wonder I strongly believe it's the real A-show of the WWE.


There's actually not much to explain about the night's episode besides the fact that it was one of the best ones produced by far since debuting on the USA Network. The ratings have also shown that NXT beat AEW this week. One thing to consider though is that should we be happy that it took all three brands to finally defeat AEW in the ratings war? I'm happy that we're thriving as the third official brand, but if we're going to be happy with a small win, then we shouldn't be too relaxed or happy because beating the underdog that is AEW shouldn't be a feat.

Grade: A-

Match to Watch: The Revival vs. The Undisputed ERA

NXT TakeOver: WarGames Predictions


Women's WarGames Match
Team Ripley (Rhea Ripley, Candice LeRae, Tegan Nox & Mia Yim) vs. Team Baszler (NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler, NXT UK Women’s Champion Kay Lee Ray, Io Shirai & Bianca Belair)

Pick: Shayna Baszler should win this. If she's losing on Survivor Series, at least give her this. Plus, the numbers game is still on her side with Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir probably lurking in the arena.

Men’s WarGames Match

Pick: We still haven't found out who the fourth man for Team Ciampa is so that's a wildcard. However, NXT will shoot itself in the foot if The Undisputed ERA loses, so, the ERA wins. And please, I hope there are no invasions from the other brands during this match.

Matt Riddle vs. Finn Bálor

Pick: I'm not too thrilled about this match, but, hey, Finn Bálor should win. The only way he loses is if Johnny Gargano makes his return.

Triple Threat Match – Winner faces NXT Champion Adam Cole at Survivor Series
Pete Dunne vs. Killian Dain vs. Damian Priest


Pick: The easy choice would be Pete Dunne. But to be honest, I have no clue because this match feels tacked on. Priest probably has a long way to go while Dain came out of nowhere. I'll say nobody wins and we get a four-way match at Survivor Series.

Not-So-Full Sails

  • Is it bad that I got WCW Monday Nitro feels during this episode? From the outdoor arena shots to how the show ended, this was how I saw it.
  • I love seeing Becky Lynch, however, the opening fell a little flat for me and for some reason I can't explain why.
  • Poor Dakota Kai has been at the losing end of the stick. What a waste for her long-awaited comeback.
  • Io Shirai vs. Kairi Sane was a good tease.
  • Is it weird to hear Erik and Ivar on NXT instead of Hanson and Rowe? Ditto on the Viking Raiders name.
  • Is anybody taking the Forgotten Sons seriously? Not me definitely.
  • Did anybody really think Dominik Dijakovic would win? Adam Cole has been killing it this month.
Are you happy NXT finally won a night of the ratings war? Who are your picks for NXT TakeOver: Wargames? Who do you think is Team Ciampa's fourth man? 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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