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    Friday, April 21, 2017

    Smark Hen-XT (4/19/17): Locked In

    Tye Dillinger has been on a roll these past few weeks, and honestly it’s been a long time coming. After almost a decade and a half toiling away in developmental and the independent scene, it all paid off with a great and well-deserved debut on SmackDown Live. That didn’t mean he was done with NXT though. He had unfinished business with Eric Young and SAnitY, and it all came to a head in this week’s main event inside a steel cage.

    The logic of choosing a steel cage match is simple enough: try to take away SAnitY’s numbers advantage by literally isolating someone inside the cage. Both guys did well in utilizing the stipulation. With Young all on his own, Dillinger took advantage early in the match. Young then showed his veteran know-how by using the cage as an effective weapon. EY bleeding was probably not intended, but it did add to the effect of this match as it made the match looked pretty brutal.

    The biggest head scratcher though was how they ended the match. It was an all-out brawl near the end as the rest of SAnitY and Tye’s partners from TakeOver: Orlando came in. If the cage was meant to keep the heels out of the match, why end the match with all of them stuck inside the cage? Why end it with an escape rather than a pinfall? Yes, it made Tye look smarter/craftier than his opponents, but it didn’t quite end the feud on a high note.

    That said, I’m happy that Tye has finally exorcised his demons, and that frees him up to do his stuff on Tuesday nights. A year ago, the only highlight to his career was being superkicked backstage. These past 12 months really helped in building up his brand and really going over. He’s an excellent guy who’s worked hard to be where he is, and this guy really deserved this success.


    The Rest of the Show:

    • Hideo Itami interrupted NXT Champion Bobby Roode: Roode is such a great heel. His promo to start the show was so conceited and arrogant that it’s easy to hate the character he’s portraying. Seeing him eat a GTS is strangely satisfying. Itami looked like a badass here as well. There really was no need for him to speak—his actions sent a clear and effective message. He’s gunning for the NXT title, finally. After being held back by injuries, I seriously hope he can get his shit together now so he can show why he was such a big signing three years ago.

    • Andrade “Cien” Almas def. Danny Burch: I feel bad for Cien, I really do. He’s probably one of the more exciting workers on the brand, but it’s like he’s never getting any momentum to run with. Yeah, he won this match, but he’s getting Drew McIntyre next week, and guess what’s going to happen then? Creative will have to give him a substantial run soon, because they’re wasting his potential as top-level heel with this uneven booking.

    • Aliyah and Liv Morgan def. Peyton Royce and Billie Kay: No more. I can’t handle any more of this feud. This jumped the shark months ago, and it feels like everyone just plateaued in terms of development here. We need fresh feuds in the women’s division.


    This was a fairly good episode. Both the opening segment and the main event were solid, and Almas is a joy to watch when given the chance. Seeing Itami finally back in action after his second injury (and still wearing loafers and dress pants  that are too short) is great. Tye finally getting his big win against SAnitY was nice. You can skip the tag match, and you’ll enjoy this episode. It gets an A-.

    Thoughts on this week's episode? Let us know by dropping a comment below!

    Photo from WWE.com


    Jocs Boncodin (@caboncodin) is a Managing Editor of Smark Henry. He answers tweets by day and watches wrestling by night. An aspiring writer, Jocs spends most of his idle time fantasy booking angles and overthinking wrestling storylines. A big fan of the WWE, his introduction to the local online wrestling community Smark Gilas-Pilipinas has opened his eyes to the wonders of puroresu and lucha libre. He currently handles Smark Hen-XT, smarkhenry.ph's weekly NXT review.

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    Item Reviewed: Smark Hen-XT (4/19/17): Locked In Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Jocs Boncodin
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