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    Saturday, March 28, 2020

    Smark Hen-XT (3/25/20): Return To Full Sail

    NXT returned to Full Sail this week for another edition of empty-arena wrestling. As a guessing man, I suppose this has something to do with the rumored WrestleMania tapings, but it honestly made no sense for them to move back to Full Sail sans the crowd when they could've achieved the same effect at the WWE Performance Center.

    First, we had Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa confront each other as Triple H called them both out to settle their differences. It's a little funny for Triple H to compare the two to himself and Shawn Michaels. I'm guessing Gargano is Shawn and Triple H is Ciampa. It makes sense and they do share some similarities.

    The interactions were fire (even if I did say that I was getting tired of this feud). After this, I hope the two really settle their differences. Either keep them away from each other or just have them team up again for a long while. I'd really love to see them continue their tag team run (which was cut short) on the main roster. Could we have them compete against The Miz and John Morrison on SmackDown so we can have wonderful matches?

    Then another angle we had was the one with Keith Lee/Dominik Dijakovic/Damian Priest. It started out kind of flat for me (mostly due to the way Priest delivered that promo) but towards the end of the brawl, Dijakovic stood out on top after that amazing dive to the outside. I highly believe Dijakovic is not winning this feud because he came out on top of this encounter. This is WWE logic and it would be surprising if he does.

    I don't see Lee losing the title anytime soon but to be honest, this three-way is starting to get stale as well. Like I've been saying the previous weeks, I'd love to see new challengers for the NXT North American Championship and maybe new opponents for Dijakovic as well.

    This week also saw the black-and-gold brand dig deep from its Performance Center rookies and add some new names to the roster, while also calling on some previously missing Superstars to put on a better show than what we had over the past two weeks.

    Io Shirai and Killian Dain both returned on TV. Shirai was previously on the injured list so seeing her in action again put a smile on my face. The show needs more experienced females and someone like her can contribute a lot—especially as part of the ladder match. Meanwhile, Dain also scored (although it felt a little meaningless for me). He has been doing mostly nothing since his return to NXT.

    Lastly, names like Malcolm Bivens, Brendan Vink, and Tehuti Miles all made their TV debut albeit mostly in minor roles (with the exception of Bivens and his tag team). I have to say though, the team of Rinku Singh and Saurav Gurjar looked very promising, with Viking Raiders and Authors of Pain vibes on them. They set their sights on current NXT Tag Team Champion Matt Riddle so that's something to look forward to, considering that the tag team scene in NXT is starting to look stale.

    Was this episode any better than the previous ones? It's hard to say. On one hand, I enjoyed seeing wrestling again especially with how all the other shows, however, seeing filler matches like Dain/Miles, and the Brit-Am Brawlers/Thorne and Vink, really made me scratch my head a bit. Sure, we need to fill the time, but couldn't we have given more time to other fun matches instead? Theory/Breeze and Riddle/Strong were great and if they were given more time, I'm sure they could've put on more for the show than wasting time with those other fillers.

    Grade: C+

    Match to Watch: Matt Riddle vs. Roderick Strong.

    Not-So-Full Sails:

    • Looking at Tehuti Miles, his mannerisms remind of the Velveteen Dream—a low budget one at that.
    • The Undisputed ERA seem to be taking a back seat on NXT. Could a call-up be incoming in the near future?
    • WWE needs to figure out how to approach this pandemic differently. While it's expected to create a dull vibe, acknowledging that there are no fans in the arena might be better than pretending there's an audience that cheers or boos with them.
    Did you enjoy this week's edition of NXT? What do you think of the debuting Superstars this week? What would you suggest that NXT do to provide a product capable of competing with AEW Dynamite right now? Hit us up in the comments section below.

    Photos and videos from WWE


    Miguel “The Migz” Llado is your master NXT reviewer at the Smark Henry offices. A lover of music, wrestling, videogames, and food, he lives his life tweeting his mind off (@the_migz) and ‘gramming random food items and locations (@tha_migz) while he pursues his musical career courtesy of his band The Mox (TheMoxRocks). 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 as an awesome architect, musician extraordinaire and armchair fantasy booker.
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    Item Reviewed: Smark Hen-XT (3/25/20): Return To Full Sail Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Migz Llado
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