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    Friday, January 3, 2020

    Smark Hen-XT (1/1/20): Undisputed Awards Night

    The first NXT of the decade was a look back at the past year, in the form of an award show—so, instead of a review, I'll be doing an article on what I thought of the awards and my future predictions for the brandincluding the return of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.

    First and foremost, let's get that one out of the way. The Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic may have been the biggest announcement to come out of this week's show. While the actual brackets weren't exactly announced at the time, they were revealed shortly after and things are looking interesting.

    We have the underlying theme of NXT vs. NXT UK for this tournament. Teams from each brand are pitted against one another for the first round. This is already a great idea to allow fresh matchups within the NXT Universe to happen. Plus, most viewers aren't as familiar to NXT UK's roster as they are to their NXT counterparts so this may be their introduction to competitors such as Gallus.

    In terms of the actual teams, the pairing of Pete Dunne and Matt Riddle has a lot of people wondering if a swerve might happen. Do remember that during the 2018 iteration of this tournament, Dunne teamed with Roderick Strong in the finals and you can remember what happened after—Strong turned heel to turn The Undisputed ERA into a four-man faction.

    KUSHIDA is also in this year's bracket, but his partner hasn't been announced yet. Could they use it to debut any of the new signees? I sincerely hope they don't team him with Akira Tozawa (just because they're Japanese) or Jack Gallagher (because of 205 Live). They can do so much with this mystery partner schtick that I want to feel surprised when they do announce his partner.

    From the top of my head, I'm predicting Imperium vs. The Undisputed ERA as the finals match. I can see this being booked for Royal Rumble weekend. I also think this has the potential to develop into a full-blown faction war during WrestleMania season which could eventually lead to a big-money match at the grandest stage of all.

    As for the awards portion of the show, I agree with most of the choices, although Dakota Kai's Future Star of the Year made me scratch my head for a bit. Sure, she reinvigorated her character, and her previous run was cut short due to injury, but I think Cameron Grimes deserved that award.

    And while I also agree with Keith Lee winning Breakout Star of the Year—specifically because of his performance during the Survivor Series weekend—I feel that Matt Riddle deserves a special mention or maybe a share of this award. He was heavily featured during the past year and he did great throughout that run.

    This is a show you can actually miss if you care little about recaps, but it was also a great way to commemorate the year while opening the doors for this new decade. It's great that they had The Undisputed ERA win a lot of awards—with Adam Cole winning a record number of four awards but I'm a bit unhappy they decided to do this instead of starting the year with a bang, so we'll have to wait and see what they do next week to build interest again.


    What are you looking forward to in this new decade of NXT? Who's your early pick to win the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic this year? Hit us up 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 (1/1/20): Undisputed Awards Night Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Migz Llado
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