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Smark Hen-XT (3/11/20): Live From The Performance Center, It's NXT!


This week's NXT was held at the WWE Performance Center. This is not because of Coronavirus concerns, but because they had a scheduling conflict with Full Sail University (Hence, why NXT had an audience while SmackDown had none). It wasn't really as bad as I thought it would be. The truth is, while it looked smaller, I wouldn't mind if NXT goes back to the Performance Center for future shows. It looked good and fresh.

Now, it's been a developing pattern that I haven't enjoyed NXT's shows during the past weeks. This week, I share the same sentiment, although, admittedly, it was a little better. The opening and ending matches were highly entertaining and some of the segments were actually good. The inserts still felt lacking but they were effective enough.


Let's start with the biggest angle of the nightJohnny Gargano finally addressed his issues with Tommaso Ciampa. While most people will say that Gargano is being petty, I actually agree with him. It's not like Ciampa apologized after all the torture he put Johnny through. Remember that we've had a gazillion Gargano vs. Ciampa NXT moments and they were mostly on opposite sides of the fence.

While I still don't agree with doing this feud one more time, It's actually developing into a likable story. I'm digging the backstage brawls and the promos and how they're doing this one. I just hope this is the last one for a while. Maybe they can do it after another two years. But again, if they're doing this, they might as well go all in. Heck, let's do Hell in a Cell.


Meanwhile, in the opening match, we had Keith Lee go over Cameron Grimes. The aftermath saw Damian Priest and Dominik Dijakovic insert themselves into a storyline which will probably lead into a three-way for the NXT North American Championship. I know it has happened before, but I also want them to push Cameron Grimes so much that I think he should compete at an NXT TakeOver event. Let's make it a four-way if we're doing this multi-man thing.

Speaking of multi-man matches, it seems NXT TakeOver: Tampa is being flooded with three-way matches. The NXT Tag Team Championship match saw the Grizzled Young Veterans insert themselves into the fray and they're looking to be in contention for the titles. It's not a bad idea. I enjoyed their run during the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic and putting them against the two top teams will surely make for an interesting dynamic.


NXT may not be doing as well as it did last year but I have my hopes up. I feel this is just a minor hiccup and that the brand will bounce back. That, or maybe because I have higher expectations considering that they're treating the black-and-gold with a sense of importance now. Again, I feel AEW Dynamite may be doing better but I sincerely hope NXT finds its footing once WrestleMania season is over—especially since they're putting a big load on Charlotte Flair vs. Rhea Ripley's big-time bout.

Grade: B-

Match to Watch: Bro-serweights vs. The Undisputed ERA (NXT Tag Team Championship)


Not-So-Full Sails:

  • That rolling backstabber by Dakota Kai was pretty interesting. It adds a unique layer to a move that is much overused nowadays.
  • So what's KUSHIDA really up to nowadays?
  • Men in luchador masks kidnapped Raul Mendoza. A debut is coming soon, perhaps?
  • What the hell was Deonna Purazzo's entrance attire? I'm not a fan.
  • Again, Tegan Nox and Dakota Kai will not meet as Kai did not qualify for the match at NXT TakeOver: Tampa. So is the feud really over?
Is NXT starting to lose its charm? Are you looking forward to Velveteen Dream vs. Adam Cole? How do you feel about the build-up to WrestleMania season? Hit us up in the comments section below.

Photos and videos from WWE

*****

Miguel “The Migz” Llado is your master NXT reviewer at the Smark Henry offices. A lover of music, wrestling, videogames, and food, he lives his life tweeting his mind off (@the_migz) and ‘gramming random food items and locations (@tha_migz) while he pursues his musical career courtesy of his band The Mox (TheMoxRocks). 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 as an awesome architect, musician extraordinaire and armchair fantasy booker.

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