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    Monday, November 21, 2016

    Smark Hen-XT (11/19/16): Taking Over Toronto

    I have to admit, I wasn’t really as hyped up for TakeOver: Toronto as I was for Brooklyn II. Not that I wasn’t excited for it, I was. It’s just the whole buildup to the show wasn’t all that great. Only three matches had significant a set-up. Nonetheless, whatever the faults the road to Toronto had, this was a pretty entertaining card.

    Bobby Roode def. Tye Dillinger

    It makes perfect sense to put this match first. Put two Canadian natives in a hot feud, and you’ll get the crowd pretty hot really fast. That being said, it wasn’t a brilliant match. Roode’s a great worker; but he’s not going to outwrestle anyone. Dillinger’s character work outshines his workrate. What we had was a good match that showcased both guys and the right person went over. The Glorious One is poised for greatness, so picking up the win in his first major feud in the company only makes sense. The Perfect 10 might have eaten the pin, but he’s over as fuck and isn’t going down the totempole anytime soon.

    The Authors of Pain def. TM61 to win the Dusty Classic

    The crash cage gimmick was not as bad as I thought it would be. Hell, the whole match was better than I expected it to be. To be fair, I’ve made no secret that I had low expectations for this match. The dive spot by Shane Thorne from the support structure was nice; and seeing Paul Ellering still trying to get involved while being suspended above the ring was not unexpected, but was welcome. Both teams looked fine, but the outcome was never in question. Akam and Rezar did what they did best and destroyed the Aussie duo. AoP’s one step closer to complete dominance.

    #DIY def. The Revival (c) 2-1 to win the NXT Tag Team Championship

    For the second TakeOver in a row, the Tag Team Championship match stole the show. It’s a shame this match didn’t get promoted as much as the other title matches on the card, but damn. If these guys felt slighted about that, they made fucking sure nobody’s going to make that same mistake in the future. Everything about this match was as close to perfect as it could be. Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa looked every bit the fighting underdog, especially after taking the first fall. Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson played the perfect dominant champions only to fall to hubris at the last moment. It was an emotional rollercoaster told through great technical tag team wrestling. This was the must-watch match of the night. We might have new champions, but the four men in this match were all truly the Top Guys of this show.

    Asuka (c) def. Mickie James to retain the NXT Women’s Championship

    Man, is it good to see Mickie James back on WWE television. She’s high on the list of women who can give the Empress a run for her money, and boy did she do so. In a match between the experienced veteran against the dominant champion, it looked like James had an answer for everything Asuka brought out. The challenger matched the champ strike for strike and got creative in her escapes when faced with Asuka’s submission game. That was for naught as she was no match for the Asuka Lock. The end of the match was interesting; it teased that this feud might not be over just yet. Definitely not a bad idea.

    Samoa Joe def. Shinsuke Nakamura (c) to win the NXT Championship

    Maybe I was shortsighted, or too sold on the now former NXT Champion, but I did not expect how this match ended. That being said, wow, this match. It was as violent as it promised itself to be. It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t technical, but it sure as hell looked painful. Both guys went out to hurt each other with their stiff shots. While Nakamura stuck to his trusted weapon—his knee strikes—Joe got creative with how he inflicted pain, even pulling out the Chimera-plex out of his bag of tricks. In the end, though, a low blow spelled the doom for the King of Strong Style. An ura-nage to the steel steps and the Muscle Buster later, and we have our first ever two-time NXT Champion.

    It left us in an interesting place, though. Joe more than deserves a call-up already, and Nakamura is honestly too big for NXT. This finish pretty much locked up both guys in NXT for the foreseeable future, maybe up until after the Royal Rumble. I would love to see either of these guys on SmackDown (not RAW, because fuck RAW), but keeping them on Wednesday nights only delays the inevitable. And where does this leave Bobby Roode, who’s the only man who can probably say he has any right to a title shot? If he can’t get a title shot soon, then who does he go after next?


    TakeOver: Toronto may not have been equal to Brooklyn, but it did the job. NXT is at its best when it puts talented people against each other, and this card had plenty of that. The show did peak too early with the Tag Team Championship match. But that doesn’t mean that the other title bouts were bad. In a way, all of the matches did their tasks, which was to be entertaining. In the end, isn’t that all we want?

    TakeOver: Toronto gets a B+.

    Thoughts on TakeOver: Toronto? Drop us a comment below!

    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 (11/19/16): Taking Over Toronto Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Jocs Boncodin
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