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    Friday, November 8, 2019

    Smark Hen-XT (11/6/19): Bullet Club Redux

    WWE had already been blatantly cashing in on the Bullet Club craze ever since Finn Bálor's arrival to NXT in 2014. Fast forward to five years later and the arrival of other former Bullet Club members and we've finally got a face-off that has constantly been teased.

    This week's episode saw the continuation of the all-out brand warfare started by NXT last Friday. In retaliation, The OC went to Full Sail and brought some heavy star power and interesting confrontations that most of us thought we'd never see.

    The trio's arrival led to an eventual six-man tag team match against the team of Tommaso Ciampa, Keith Lee, and Matt Riddle. However, during the match, the OC found themselves in a face-off with the guy who AJ Styles kicked out of the Club, Finn Bálor.

    It was at this point that Bálor's allegiance came into question as he allowed Adam Cole (Bay-Bay) to run-in and get a shot in at Styles. Both Cole and Bálor acknowledged each other with a subtle look on their faces. Interestingly enough Cole, Bálor, and the OC are all Bullet Club alumni so there's a lot of history there. Thus, proving again that WWE is riding high on the familiarity and popularity of the guys' involvement with the popular Japanese stable.

    So, are the two Club kick-outs joining forces to take on the trio calling themselves the Original Club? Is Bálor playing both sides for his own gain? No one's sure at this point, but I can guarantee, as early as now, Survivor Series and NXT TakeOver: WarGames are both looking too sweet (as the Club would say.)

    Jumping off the side to acknowledge Ciampa and AJ's interaction early in the night, I have to agree that NXT might be officially considered part of the main roster moving forward. It may not carry the name recognition that RAW and SmackDown Live Superstars possess, but Wednesday nights have already become must-see TV because of all the press they're getting. We have to thank Triple H and his boys and girls for this feat.

    The other matches of the night were rather average, however, two things that we should discuss are (1) the Damian Priest vs. Pete Dunne feud—which is getting crazier by the moment and (2) Shayna Baszler vs. Dakota Kai because of its implications on the women's WarGames match.

    The Dunne vs. Priest match was similar to their previous encounter except it was Dunne who walked away with the W by giving Priest a taste of his own medicine. However, it was Killian Dain's sudden appearance which made it noteworthy. As it turned out, Dain is a madman hellbent on dishing out pain to anyone in his way. He did so by laying waste to Dunne and punishing Priest as well.

    On the other hand, Baszler and Kai's match was notable because of how it continued the Team Rhea vs. Team Shayna WarGames recruitment. Kai lost the match, which led to a brawl between both teams, however, the difference-maker was Mia Yim, who has now aligned herself with Ripley.

    This would lead to an angle later on wherein Yim was announced as the fourth member—joining Ripley, Candice LeRae and Tegan Nox. A visibly upset Kai was seen rushing off so maybe there's more to this story than we're initially led to believe. Could a turn be incoming?

    One thing I have to point out is why neither Jessamyn Duke nor Marina Shafir have been announced yet. It would've made more sense to keep both Duke and Shafir but it could also be the spot Kai could enter in. It might not make a lot of sense, but then again, the Shirai turn from this year wasn't expected either.

    In conclusion, I definitely enjoyed the show. The OC appearance really laid it thick. NXT is now a lower-tier main roster brand—albeit not as high on the ladder than its RAW and SmackDown Live brethren. NXT is now a venue where even the big boys can play. This is great because maybe it opens up new opportunities like being part of the yearly draft or maybe more trades.

    Grade: A

    Match To Watch: The OC (AJ Styles, Karl Anderson, and Luke Gallows) vs. Tommaso Ciampa, Keith Lee, and Matt Riddle.

    Not-So-Full Sails

    • I always enjoy seeing Keith Lee using the Pounce on smaller Superstars. Props to the recipients because they always make it look stronger than it really is.
    • The Garza/Nese powerbomb spot was hilarious and ingenious. I enjoy smart spots, especially original ones.
    • Again, I ask, whatever happened to Imperium? It's been so long. The same goes for KUSHIDA. Where do they fit in NXT now?
    • I got nWo vibes from the OC's opening promo. That's a good thing.
    Who won this week's edition of the #WednesdayNightWars? Are you excited for NXT TakeOver: WarGames? Who will fill up the slots in the corresponding WarGames matches? 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 (11/6/19): Bullet Club Redux Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Migz Llado
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