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    Friday, September 13, 2019

    Smark Hen-XT (9/11/19): Wednesday Night Wars Incoming

    This week marks the final taped episode of NXT. Starting next week, it will be a whole new ball game when the show airs live on the USA Network. You also have to note that when the AEW TV show debuts, this will be the brand that goes head-to-head with it. I believe this week's episode helped transition and condition viewers to expect a slightly revamped NXT than what we're normally used to in preparation for the war that is about to come.

    First of all, Johnny Gargano's status has always been an important point of discussion. It has been quite a while since he graced our television screens and it was heavily expected that he would be returning to the main roster after his run with Tommaso Ciampa got cut short due to the latter's 's injury. We got our answers and it was well-received by the NXT Universe: Johnny Wrestling is here to stay.

    This serves as a good anchor point for the brand and the show. Everyone knows that Gargano and Ciampa were the topmost Superstarsheavily gracing the main event for over a year. With Johnny declaring his continued tenure here, NXT now has an established name that they can rely on. Besides, Johnny would just get lost on the main roster and this is his true home.

    The next one that comes to mind is Pete Dunne. Pulling him from NXT UK makes more sense now because they can easily bank on another up-and-coming international Superstar to help lead the charge. I have a feeling Pete will be featured in the future just like he was this week. He probably won't be the last person to be pulled from NXT UK as welljust look at Rhea Ripley as an example.

    Speaking of Ripley, while I didn't enjoy her match this week against Shayna Baszler, I feel she'll also be a heavy focus of the revamped brand. I do feel their match was predictable because, seriously, do you think they'd let the title change hands a week before moving to the USA Network? Still, Ripley's another big addition to the brand which could help sway the tides in favor of NXT and WWE.

    As it stands, NXT might need more bullets against AEW if they're really doing this TV war with them. Expect a lot more names to appear just so they can bolster their Wednesday nights. When it happens, know that this brand might even do better than RAW and SmackDown.

    Grade: B+

    Not-So-Full Sails

    • That Rhea Ripley opening looked more like a TV series cold opening but it did look awesome.
    • Velveteen Dream vs. Roderick Strong is a great match to add to the first NXT episode on the USA network. Here's to hoping Roddy wins that one.
    • That little N-X-T-4-Life hand salute by Johnny was a huge statement. It was a good callback to when Bret Hart signed W-C-W. It made the moment even more special for the geek in me.
    • Is Shane Thorne really a credible threat to Johnny Gargano?
    • It has been a while since we last saw Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke. I do hope they start to improve now that the landscape may change for the whole Women's Division.
    Are you happy that NXT will be going live starting next week? Which names are you hoping to see appear on NXT? Sound off in the comments section below.

    Photos and videos from WWE


    Miguel “The Migz” Llado is your supposed style icon and NXT reviewer 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 WWE2K19 (or any PS4) 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 (9/11/19): Wednesday Night Wars Incoming Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Migz Llado
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