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    Saturday, April 4, 2020

    Smark Hen-XT (4/1/20): Not TakeOver: Full Sail

    This week would've given us NXT TakeOver: Tampa Bay but as the whole situation is very delicate right now, WWE mentioned that they'll be holding the scheduled matches in the coming weeks instead. Honestly, I don't think the company really has a grasp of how to hold their shows in this time of the coronavirus pandemic.

    While the company has improved the promo game, most of the matches still feel flat and every show looks like they're just trying to fill the hours. This week was no different and, even with the solid main event, I found myself not enjoying the show. (Well, maybe except for that good Velveteen Dream vs. Bobby Fish match)

    The main event was a match which was supposed to air at NXT TakeOver: Tampa Bay—the three-way between Keith Lee, Dominik Dijakovic, and Damian Priest. Sadly, I wasn't too thrilled about it. I love Lee's and Dijakovic's athletic feats but for some reason, this bout didn't really click with me. It's not the lack of crowd reaction, rather, it's more of me having seen a similar match between the three previously.

    I do hope that after this, they bring Lee to new heights and against new names. They could have Lee face off against Killian Dain. Maybe Austin Theory could prove a different challenge to Lee as well. Just give us something new, please. No more of Dijakovic and Priest against Lee. If WWE wants, maybe they can pit Priest against Dijakovic and milk that match-up but Lee should be out of that picture.

    This week also brought back older (but mostly unused) faces such as Joaquin Wilde and Dexter Lumis (who was last seen sometime after the NXT Breakout tournament). Jake Atlas also made his debut albeit in a losing effort. Similar to last week, I'm glad they're using up the Superstars who haven't really made an impact on NXT. However, with little to no build at all, it's hard to get behind these characters. They're talented but I find it difficult to get invested because there's not much story behind these matches.

    Then again, I am happy for Shotzi Blackheart. Even with no crowd, her performance in the gauntlet match showed that NXT does have big plans for her. She was able to dispatch all of her opponents except the eventual winner, Dakota Kai. I can't say the same for Kayden Carter who lost all the matches she participated in this week across the brands. 

    As it looks, NXT is starting to build up their currently struggling women's division. Losing Shayna Baszler was a big deal and it's just right that the brand prepares for the future (especially if Charlotte Flair wins the title and competes here). I would love to see Shotzi throw down with the likes of Flair, Belair, and others so that's something to look forward to in the future.

    We'll be seeing more of the supposed TakeOver matches next week so that might change my view on things, but I'm a little skeptical if they can hold it together. It's not totally their fault, but I hope they figure out how to make the show more entertaining because this isn't really cutting it. When they're advertising Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa (which has happened for a multitude of times), it's hard for me to get excited but I really hope they prove me wrong.

    Grade: C+

    Match to Watch: Bobby Fish vs. Velveteen Dream

    Not-So-Full Sails:

    • Another kidnapping angle occurred. I'm interested but I'm afraid the pay-off won't be as good. What do Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde have in common that they would both get abducted?
    • It's good to see they're giving Dakota Kai some legs to stand on. Sadly, I can't say the same for Tegan Nox. She seems like an afterthought after their rivalry failed to be as compelling as we'd hoped. 
    • Bivens Enterprises sounds like a good stable name. Could we expect more names to join soon?
    • WTF is up with Joaquin Wilde's hair?!
    What should NXT do to make the shows different and enjoyable? Did you enjoy this week's show? Is it really a good time to do TV debuts? What's next for Keith Lee? 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 (4/1/20): Not TakeOver: Full Sail Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Migz Llado
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