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    Saturday, December 22, 2018

    Smark Hen-XT (12/19/18) : Inside The Cage With A Devil

    This week’s episode teased the seeming end of Johnny Gargano’s obsession with taking Aleister Black out of the picture. With a solid build-up and the most gruelling stipulation (a steel cage match), it felt like a good Christmas gift to NXT fans considering that the next Takeover will take place in a month’s time. What fans got instead were more questions, more surprises, and more character development from the two. 

    Personally, I wouldn’t want any of you to miss this quality match so I would suggest that you watch it and digest it on your own. However, since this is a review of the week’s episode, I’ll try to give out specific details and commentaries without spoiling too much of the whole match. 

    On one side, we’ve got a tougher looking Johnny Wrestling Badass who seems to have evolved from his rebel heart character into a delusional do-gooder obsessed with proving he's doing the right thing. Believe me, he’s still got a lot of heart. Watch the match and watch how he refused to give up or go down after taking many solid spots, hits and moves. He is still the definition of heart and he proved he could go toe-to-toe with NXT's baddest. 

    On the other hand, we’ve got Aleister Black who was (and is still) hell-bent on getting to the NXT Championship and its holder Tommaso Ciampa–even at the cost of destroying those who stand in his way. But Black seems to have been nerfed—that or Johnny Wrestling really got to his head—as he fet like the underdog in this match at times. I’ve never seen Black in compromising positions so many times before and this match showed that the devil is just a man that can be taken down. 

    One gripe I have is that they should have shelved the escape option if they were trying to tear each other apart. I know what you’re thinking:“But Migz, cage matches are supposed to have the escape option, that’s why they’re cage matches.” Yes and no. I felt that the escape option broke the continuity of their story as the lead-up to the match made it seem that Black and Gargano were put in a cage to let them obliterate each other. To its credit, the cage escape scenario was used many times in the match to highlight the drama of their feud. Also, it was used as the set-up for the finale.

    Without spoiling what exactly happened, the endgame of the match left fans more unanswered questions than they began with. Is #DIY back together? Is Tommaso Ciampa the most vicious heel we’ve ever seen? Is this one of those budol-budol moments wherein Ciampa has Gargano hypnotized? Is this a ruse? 

    I guess we’ll have to find out in the coming weeks what the pay-off is, but for now, I think it’s safe to say that the odds are not in Aleister Black’s favor. 

    Grade: A 

    Not So Full-Sails 

    • I love seeing Io Shirai’s matches but I still don’t get why they had Dakota Kai partner with her. 
    • Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke looked green and uncomfortable but show a lot potential. I hope they don’t rush the rumored WWE Horsewomen versus Four Horsewomen yet as I feel these two aren’t ready for that kind of big money match at this time. 
    • Dominik Dijavokic looked impressive in his re-debut. Something about his body type doesn’t make me feel threatened or scared though. Otherwise, he looked dominant and psychotic. His finishing move “Feast Your Eyes” was very interesting and looked like it hurt a lot. Perhaps we need a #FinisherFriday to pick apart this unique finisher. 
    • Heavy Machinery already having been announced for promotion to the main roster doesn’t sound too good for their upcoming title match with The Undisputed Era–not that I want them to win anyway.

    Photos from WWE.


    Miguel “The Migz” Llado is your supposed fashion guru and semi-young boy 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 Fortnite or WWE2K19 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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    Item Reviewed: Smark Hen-XT (12/19/18) : Inside The Cage With A Devil Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Migz Llado
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