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    Saturday, April 18, 2020

    Smark Hen-XT (4/15/20): Tick-Tock, NXT

    It looked like a good show on paper. We had a Finn Balor appearance. We had the start of a new tournament to determine the interim NXT Cruiserweight champion. We had The Undisputed ERA face off against Matt Riddle. We also had the debuts of Timothy Thatcher and Karrion (Killer) Kross.

    So why did it all feel pointless to me?

    Honestly, it should've been at least a B or B+ show. But as much as I wanted to enjoy the whole show, the global pandemic really has affected the way that the brand (and the company as a whole) presents and does things. From the empty venues to the senseless matchups that have to happen because of the limited roster capable of performing in this lockdown, WWE TV has really changed in terms of presentation and it has been affecting our enjoyment.

    However, the final straw is what we have come to refer to as Black Wednesday. Just this past week, we've seen several WWE employees released (and furloughed) left and right. From producers to wrestlers to the WWE offices, it seemed like no one was safe. I suppose that I find it hard to support a company that would let their employees go amidst a crisis like this.

    I can believe the defenses that other people can give regarding their decision. Sure. This is to keep the business prepared for the upcoming hardships of the downfall of the economy. But if you look at it the other way, did WWE really have to resort to something like this at this time?

    We also have to factor in that people like Drake Maverick (who will still perform in the NXT Cruiserweight tournament) and No Way Jose and Sarah Logan (who were flown to the PC to perform in squash matches) risked their health just to contribute to the company but still got released. I don't see why we should support the WWE by this point.

    I admit I'm sure the WWE made some reasonable parting deals with these people. Maybe they got some remuneration and probably a severance package to boot, but at this point, does that even mean anything? After a month or two, they'll still be jobless and they'll find it difficult to find employment elsewhere. It just doesn't make sense for a company.

    Maybe I expected that the small fish wouldn't have to suffer. Maybe I expected something like Vince taking a pay cut. Rumors do suggest that even if they hadn't released the people they did, they wouldn't have turned over negatively. They had millions of dollars in reserves.

    I don't know. I'm a small cog in the machine but I'm refusing to support WWE because of this. I'm also putting this column on the shelf. No NXT reviews until this whole thing blows over (or maybe no NXT reviews until something changes). I am deeply saddened by this development and if WWE doesn't care enough about their employees, maybe us fans shouldn't care as much to a corporate giant such as this as well.

    Honestly, the show itself was okay. It's just that the mood was down after all of these big releases. If you want to support your favorite NXT stars, you might enjoy this episode. Otherwise, it's just your typical "quarantine era" show with no fans and non-built up Superstars facing big names.

    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 (4/15/20): Tick-Tock, NXT Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Migz Llado
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