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    Friday, July 5, 2019

    Smark Hen-XT (7/3/19): Roddy Strong Style

    Roderick Strong's early WWE tenure was shaky at best. From starting off as Austin Aries' partner, to his short 205 Live stint, up to his return to NXT, he was always one of those Superstars who I had a hard time getting behind. Don't get me wrong, Strong is a talented and credible performer but he does give out an Average Joe vibe. He can do things quite well but his skill set doesn't make him stand out against his peers. That's probably why he's never really gotten a solid push or a solid following unlike the other main eventers on the show.

    These days, however, with The Undisputed ERA's newfound glory, Roddy might have gotten a new lease on his life and on his career as he's been the recipient of a revived push. It might have started during the semi-breakup of the faction but even with the 180-degree turn of that angle, the whole group has been benefitting from Adam Cole's NXT Championship run.

    Fast forward to this week's show and we saw Strong defeating Tyler Breeze in the main event. This sounds like something that would have only happened on Main Event but it did, in fact, happen and it was Roddy who won. The way it looks, they may be pulling the trigger on a possible Undisputed ERA full championship run wherein all four men will possibly hold titles in the future.

    Meanwhile, Adam Cole is still focused on Johnny Gargano as he's been running "Adam Cole's NXT Championship Tour" despite Johnny's absence on the show this week. But Matt Riddle might have moved on from Strong and could possibly be next in line for a shot at Cole after Gargano. This frees up Strong for a possible Velveteen Dream feud in the near future for the NXT North American Championship, which sounds good to me. Kyle O' Reilly and Bobby Fish did compete for the NXT Tag Team Championships during NXT TakeOver XXV so a possible championship opportunity isn't too far off the books.

    After all, the group has continually been the workhorses here and a reward such as a full championship run would be satisfying to see. And it's not only because they deserve it, but they also have something good going on and it'll pull in a lot of character development for the whole brand—think nWo's early days or Team Canada from the latter days of WCW. 

    For the rest of the show, I'd like to call attention to the Isaiah Scott/Cameron Grimes NXT Breakout Tournament match because it was another solid first-rounder. It was an even face-off but Grimes (the former Trevor Lee) scored the victory to advance to the next round. Both men were equally impressive in their debuts. It's safe to say, with the two first-round bouts I've seen, this tournament will bring out a new breed of performers to the roster that everybody should look forward to.

    NXT continues to have another great show that focuses on the things which elicit strong crowd reactions (see: The Undisputed ERA) while introducing new elements into the show (see: NXT Breakout Tournament.) While the other matches did feel like fillers, the Superstars involved (KUSHIDA, Mia Yim, Bianca Belair) and the order of the card had me glued to my seat.

    Grade: A-

    Not-So-Full Sails:

    • I'm not yet sold that Mia Yim could be next in line for a chance at the NXT Women's Championship. I'm equally unamazed with her finisher.
    • Adam Cole's NXT Championship Tour is a fun diversion that keeps the rivalry hot without having the two men face off for now. 
    • The KUSHIDA match was short and sweet. I do feel bad about Jeff Parker's debut. Instead of being part of the NXT Breakout Tournament, he has to job to KUSHIDA—not that it's a bad thing.
    • Take note, it's not the Hoverboard Lock anymore. It's now known as the Sakuraba Lock in honor of the famous Mixed Martial Arts/Puroresu legend.
    • The NXT callbacks continued as Killian Dain had a video package for his return.
    • I'm glad that the booking team did Bianca Belair good this time around. After losing twice to Mia Yim, it looks like they've decided to give Belair her heat back by making her more ferocious.
    Are you enjoying the first round of the NXT Breakout Tournament so far? How do you see The Undisputed ERA being booked in the near future? Do you think Mia Yim is ready for a match against Shayna Baszler for the NXT Women's Championship? Hit us up in the comments section below.

    Photos and videos from WWE


    Miguel “The Migz” Llado is your supposed style icon and NXT reviewer at the Smark Henry offices. A lover of everything music, wrestling, videogames, and food, he lives his life tweeting his mind off (@the_migz) and ‘gramming random food items and locations (@tha_migz) as he sets on his journey to completely do things spontaneously. 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 being (and trying to be) an awesome architect, musician extraordinaire and armchair fantasy booker.
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    Item Reviewed: Smark Hen-XT (7/3/19): Roddy Strong Style Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Migz Llado
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