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    Friday, February 12, 2016

    Smark Hen-XT (2/10/16): Tomorrow Brings Danger

    This week, best friends collide as Bayley and Carmella faced each other for the NXT Women’s Championship.

    Of Friendships and Championships.

    After a show of honor and respect, Bayley took control early in the match. A costly mistake sent the champ from the top of the ring to the outside and Carmella delivered two diving crossbodies to get the crowd behind her. Bayley eventually got the three count after a series of pin reversals. A post-match beatdown by Nia Jax and Eva Marie got cut short by the coming of Asuka, who laid down the challenge without saying a single word.

    First off, I loved this match. The storytelling was great. Bayley was the veteran champ who knew what she had to do to win. She respected Carmella enough to bring her A-game, but she would not be denied. Carmella, on the other hand, was experiencing her first foray into the bright lights of the main event, and her hesitation cost her control of the match. When she finally buckled down and fought hard, she was rewarded by cheers from the NXT faithful. At the end, though, her best wasn’t good enough and she couldn’t get the job done. A teary hug cemented the fact that, no matter what happened, BayMella would still be best of friends. If that didn’t bring you to tears, then goddamn, your heart is made of stone.

    Technically speaking, it was also a well-wrestled match. It was obvious that Bayley was leading this match, but Carmella was moving really crisp here. Her usual cat-fighting offense was better performed—or better sold, depending on who you’ve asked. I’ve never said that this was going to be a technical masterpiece, but this was a fun main event.

    The post-match beatdown was a tool just to get Asuka out, and boy, did she deliver. Creative did a really good job to establish the Joshi legend as a credible threat to anyone’s lives so seeing Eva Marie pulling Nia Jax out of the ring was believable and excellent. The look on the champion’s face as she faced up with Asuka was brilliant as well. Bayley knew this woman was dangerous and Asuka’s way out of her league, but there was a determination to it. Bayley’s survived the Four Horsewomen, Nia Jax, Eva Marie, Alexa Bliss, and now, Carmella. The champ knows she has what it takes to survive Asuka. And not a single word needed to be uttered.

    The rest of the show:

    Baron Corbin def. Johnny Gargano

    • The Lone Wolf took out Johnny Wrestling with the End of Days after surviving a hellacious superkick.

    • Corbin is getting really good at the whole arrogant monster shtick now that he’s backing it up with impressive matches. Don’t let the fact that his obviously more experienced opponents are carrying a lot more of the load, he’s doing his part and it won’t be long until he’s back in the title chase.

    • I still don’t get why WWE won’t sign Gargano. The guy’s an excellent wrestler who’s becoming a greatly known quality due to his work down in NXT. A talented guy like him isn’t going to go far into the WWE, the biggest stage in pro-wrestling, when the fear of him leaving is present because of a lack of contract. He’s not getting any younger, or cheaper, so waiting before picking him up full-time is bad business.

    Hype Bros def. John Skyler and Corey Hollis

    • Mojo Rawley and Zack Ryder picked up the win with the Hype Ryder.

    • Not sure how the Hype Bros figure in the tag title scene, with The American Alpha poised to be the next challengers and Enzo and Big Cass—while inching closer to a main roster call-up—are higher up in the hierarchy while they’re still in NXT. I can see that the team of Rawley and Ryder works on some level, but they have the unfortunate circumstance of existing at the same time as Chad Gable and Jason Jordan.

    Alexa Bliss (with Blake & Murphy) def. Cameron

    • In a completely not terrible match, Bliss got the win after hitting Cameron with the Sparkle Splash.

    • Both ladies have come a long way and it certainly showed in this match that they’ve improved. That we got through a match without Cameron doing something excessively stupid is a great example of why NXT works as a developmental system.

    • I enjoyed seeing the Dubstep Cowboys here as glorified cheerleaders. It’s a refreshing reversal of a trope to see them being the ones to hold back an angry Bliss. I’ve said before that Bliss really grew into her role as a valet during Blake & Murphy’s title run, so with the roles reversed now, I’m hoping it helps the boys grow into themselves as well.

    • Also, just an aside, the Sparkle Splash needs a new name. It was cute for pixie-dust, tutu-wearing, adorbz princess Bliss. Scheming, evil, hot Bliss doesn’t do cute.

    Elias Samson def. Jesse Sorensen

    • Samson won with the neckbreaker.

    • Corey Graves, who isn’t even wrestling, saved this match. Just hearing him take a dump on Sampson was fun. It still doesn’t make sense as he’s the heel announcer and he’s shitting on a heel (well, he has to be. I hate him) though. “Johnny Depp starter kit” is an ample way to describe the Drifter’s outfit.

    • Still not impressed with Samson in the ring. Squashing people this way isn’t that impressive. I think the only way to get me behind him is if he goes full crazy hobo. That should at least be fun. Mic time might help, but it might put a hamper on the whole mysterious vibe he’s trying (and hilariously failing) to project. I say Creative needs to rethink the way they’re approaching the gimmick. Right now, he’s a lazy mash-up of Dean Ambrose and Bray Wyatt without either man’s charisma


    NXT had a great showing this week. They really needed it seeing as the past few episodes have been overshadowed by a certain underground lucha show. The main event was special, and the potential match-up for TakeOver: Dallas being teased was a great way to hype up the upcoming episodes. The rest of the show, while fun, still needed a bit more oomph, though. This show gets an A-.

    Excited to see Bayley face Asuka? Thoughts on this week's episode? Let us know in the comment's section!

    Photos from WWE.com


    Jocs Boncodin (@caboncodin) is a Managing Editor of Smark Henry. He answers tweets by day and watches wrestling by night. An aspiring writer, Jocs spends most of his idle time fantasy booking angles and overthinking wrestling storylines. A big fan of the WWE, his introduction to the local online wrestling community Smark Gilas-Pilipinas has opened his eyes to the wonders of puroresu and lucha libre. He currently handles Smark Hen-XT, smarkhenry.ph's weekly NXT review.

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    Item Reviewed: Smark Hen-XT (2/10/16): Tomorrow Brings Danger Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Jocs Boncodin
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