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    Saturday, February 10, 2018

    Smark Hen-XT (2/7/18): Squashing the Beef

    Before officially laying down the bricks to The Big Easy for Takeover: New Orleans, the unsettled issues between SAnitY and the Undisputed ERA must be addressed once and for all.

    This week's NXT TV kicked off with what was supposed to be Eric Young and Alexander Wolfe's shot at Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly's tag team titles. With Adam Cole coming in with the champions, SAnitY saw this as an opportunity to attack them from behind, and all hell broke loose.

    A pissed-off General Manager William Regal set up a six-main tornado tag team match for this episode's main event. In kayfabe, the SAnitY and ERA feud must be some next-level hatred since apparently, WarGames wasn't enough to squash the beef, but ah well. Who can say no to a potentially beautiful clusterfuck?

    We knew that some serious shit was about to down because Kyle O'Reilly stopped doing his air guitar on his tag title when they came out the second time. Shit indeed did go down, all six lads looked great, and everyone had a blast.
    SAnitY got their much-needed win after the melee, and Killian Dain was the absolute killer in this match. If everyone looked like a thousand bucks richer after, the Beast of Belfast just took home the jackpot prize. Maybe a shot at the NXT title isn't so far off anymore after this and his performance at TakeOver: WarGames.

    As for the ERA, they have been riding on a sea of momentum going in, and a loss wouldn't hurt them as cowardly heels.

    Now that it's out of the way, I wonder if SAnitY are still going to have their rematch for the tag team titles. But it will still make sense either way, since SAnitY's focus went from reclaiming the tag titles, to hurting the cocky trio.

    A couple more points before we move on:
    • Eric Young is such an underrated worker. Aside from being a consistently solid hand, he made everyone look good.
    • Bobby Fish (and his gorgeous moonsault) is now officially my favorite Undisputed ERA member.
    • Kyle O'Reilly's air guitar on the title is ridiculously over for me

    Rest of the show:
    • Heavy Machinery def. Riddick Moss and Tino Sabbatelli: This was an okay match. Heavy Machinery did their usual Heavy Machinery things, and there may be trouble in paradise between Moss and Sabbatelli.
    Props to the Creative for giving Moss and Sabbatelli a singles program, but with the amount of talent in NXT right now, is it really the right time for them to set up their upcoming feud?

    Hopefully they both signed a pre-nup so that things won't get too messy.

    • Johnny Gargano addresses the NXT Universe: Johnny Wrestling's promo after his five-star encounter with NXT Champion Andrade "Cien" Almas wasn't as good as the one he did before TakeOver: Philadelphia, but there is no doubt that he still had the crowd on the palm of his hand.

      That aside, this was a brilliant segment that moved forward--not only two feuds--but three.
    An exasperated Vega furiously asked Gargano what's it going to take to put a stop to him; Gargano demands another shot for the title. Zelina agreed, but only if he put his NXT career on the line, to which he accepted.

    As always, Almas was so good in doing so little; his smug smirk while he raised the title in front of Gargano made me want to slap the smirk off his face. Zelina was still great, as per usual. Candice's disappointment on her husband's decision could still be a bit more convincing, but that's something that will improve further.

    Adding Johnny Wrestling's career to the stakes lit a new fire to his and Almas' feud that we all thought ended in Philly. Spoilers aside, this is an interesting plot twist.

    • Bianca Belair def. Jessix Hill: There's not much to say in this match, because Bianca made quick work of her opponent. She has been getting a lot of TV time these past few weeks, and I'm excited because there's no way to go but up for her. It's now time to see how she does in a much bigger program.

      Also maybe a new finisher for the "-EST of NXT"? Settling for a fall-away powerbomb seems like a travesty, considering all the moves in her arsenal. 

    While not quite explosive, this week's episode is a good foundation for the upcoming meaty episodes in the next few weeks. The black-and-yellow brand still finds ways to keep us coming back for more despite a lackluster episode. B

    Ardelle Costuna works at a news organization somewhere along EDSA whenever she's not watching wrestling. As someone who just recently turned to Japanese wrestling (full-time ish), she is a sucker for no-sold German suplexes, kick-outs at one-count, and whatever the hell Tetsuya Naito is doing right now. Send her your (joshi) puroresu match recommendations and watch her swoon over Kenny Omega, and Jake Lee at @aandthejets.
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    Item Reviewed: Smark Hen-XT (2/7/18): Squashing the Beef Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ardelle Costuna
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