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Smark Hen-XT (3/4/20): Exit Cage Left, Exit Cage Right


I've found that NXT shows have now become a little erratic in terms of enjoyability as the Wednesday night wars continue. When things started out late last year, it was somewhat a balanced affair with NXT winning some nights (in my opinion) and AEW winning some. Now, I feel that this show is trying too hard to counteract AEW Dynamite and that is making things a little incoherent.

Let's start off with the cage matches. It's not just one, but TWO cage matches for the night. How crazy is the black-and-gold to try and pull this off on a regular episode? This actually reminds me of the SmackDown vs. Raw GM Mode games wherein each week, the stipulations get so random just to get that ratings pop in-game. Are we running out of ideas that we have to rely on gimmick matches now?

I wouldn't have actually minded the cage matches, however, the Dakota Kai/Tegan Nox match felt more like an entry point just so Velveteen Dream/Roderick Strong can say "keep the cage for our match." Kai/Nox had its fair share of moments but I feel it didn't carry the weight it was supposed to especially for a grudge match between the two. It actually fell flat even when it had its very unique ending. It also feels that this feud is far from over between the two so expect more interactions in the coming weeks.



Meanwhile, the Dream/Strong bout is the complete opposite of the previous cage match. It was deserving of the main event, the exchanges were perfect, and I felt the animosity between the two. The interactions and run-ins were great, too. It was actually the post-match which made me scratch my head a little.

Yes, I'm all for Dream/Cole, but I wish they finished his run with Strong more organically. What happened to tormenting Strong's family? What happened to getting back at Strong for taking him out? To be blinded by the NXT Championship randomly feels like such a cop-out. The build-up to Dream's return was so good that this finish doesn't really do it justice. I know they'll probably try to get out of this logical hole in the coming weeks, but I do hope it makes sense and that it gets my attention back.



I didn't enjoy the show this week. It just felt like a letdown considering that I was looking forward to the cage matches. The other matches aren't even worth discussing anymore because, frankly, they don't give out an important vibe (Well, maybe that Isaiah "Swerve" Scott vs. Austin Theory match was interesting). Somehow, I don't feel like it's WrestleMania season for NXT. They better shape up soon or else, they'll turn into the actual main roster (and that's not a good thing).

Grade: C

Match to Watch: Isaiah "Swerve" Scott vs. Austin Theory

Not-So-Full Sails


  • I'm not too fond of Chelsea Green yet. She doesn't get any reaction from me, which is a little sad. Robert Stone is different though. I feel that with a little more development, he could become an annoying manager figure. Maybe it's time to add more people to the Robert Stone Brand?
  • This is the nth time The Undisputed ERA defeated Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch. Nothing new. Not interested. You'd think by now Burch and Lorcan would've already graduated from being jobbers, but no.
  • While it did come out of nowhere, I'm looking forward to Cameron Grimes vs. Keith Lee.
  • As much as I keep saying I'm tired of Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa, that interview was pretty interesting.
  • The Grizzled Young Veterans look to be turning the NXT Tag Team Championship Match at TakeOver: Tampa into a Triple Threat and I'm liking that.
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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