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    Friday, November 4, 2016

    Smark Hen-XT (11/2/2016): Mad Rush

    With two weeks left before TakeOver: Toronto, the Dusty Classic shifted to a higher gear as we got all four second round matches in this episode. Unfortunately, injuries hurt the quarterfinals real bad.

    What would have been a star making match between upstart babyfaces TM61 and seasoned heels Generation Next at San Jose was derailed by an errant kick to Austin Aries’ face over the weekend. With the injury taking A-Double out for the foreseeable future, a singles match was set up between Roderick Strong and Shane Thorne to see which team would advance to the next round. I repeat, we had a singles match to determine who moves on in a tag team tournament.

    Absurdity aside, it was a great match that would only raise Strong’s and Thorne’s profile. Letting Roddy showcase his strengths with a good hand like Thorne served as a great second match for the Messiah of the Backbreaker. Thorne, with his innovative offense and great selling, was a star in this match. While a tag team match would have been a better showcase for both teams, this match did the job. TM61’s moving on to the next round.

    Another injury took out another top team as NXT Tag Team Champions The Revival forfeited their match against #DIY at Full Sail. It felt like Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson were just trying to weasel their way out of a match against Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano—even if Dawson is legit injured—but with what we just saw from the previous match, this decision didn’t sit well with me. Why didn’t William Regal come out and announce a singles match instead? I know this was taped earlier than the previous match, but it’s stupidly inconsistent. Still, we did get a great heel promo from the Top Guys of the NXT Tag Team division that teased the inevitable rematch between the two teams.

    Back in San Jose, Rich Swann and No Way Jose took on the Authors of Pain. Akam and Rezar got their shit done as usual. Jose was awesome here though. Yeah, he started with his goofy schtick, but when he got serious, you’re forced to remember that this is a guy who’s 6’3” and 245 lbs. He was slamming monsters in this match. Jose could be a top star in NXT if given the chance. It’ll be tough to overcome a handicap like a stupid name, but this guy has the tools.

    In the final second round match at Full Sail, Kota Ibushi and TJ Perkins went against SAnitY’s Alexander Wolfe and Sawyer Fulton. This was mediocre at best. Ibushi and Perkins are two guys that can easily excite the crowd, but the opposite can be said for SAnitY at the moment. Maybe it’s due to lack of chemistry, but this match felt clunky. Ibushi ate the pin here—which made sense because he was the only one not worth protecting—and it ended a disappointing run between two top guys from the Cruiserweight Classic. I’m still not complete sold on SAnitY, but I’m waiting until we finally hear from Eric Young before I make a call.


    The set up for this week was pretty interesting. Last year’s Dusty Classic had tournament matches held in live shows as well, but we mostly just saw highlights from it. Taping full matches during the San Jose show was a great call. It made these house shows important without sacrificing its TV audience. The second round of the Dusty Classic was disappointing though. I get that they tried to make it work despite of the injuries, but you can still see how they destroyed brackets, WWE’s included. This episode gets a B.

    Thoughts on this week's episode? Let us know by dropping a comment below!

    Photo 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 (11/2/2016): Mad Rush Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Jocs Boncodin
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