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    Friday, November 29, 2019

    Smark Hen-XT (11/27/19): TakeOver: WarGames and Survivor Series Fallout

    Post-TakeOver NXT shows normally aren't ones that I look forward to because of how bad they were in the past. This case is different because the two-hour format really contributes to the quality of the show. Whereas old episodes would just let the TakeOver performers rest and have vignettes be shown, this time, almost everybody who worked NXT TakeOver: WarGames and Survivor Series was in attendance. Not only that, they also had their respective matches to continue their storylines.

    As with my observation, NXT is still pushing The Undisputed ERA as the focus of the brand (as they should be), while the babyfaces are being positioned as challengers. It looks like we'll be seeing more of Matt Riddle, Keith Lee, Dominik Dijakovic, and Tommaso Ciampa in the coming year.

    The show started with a post-Survivor Series celebration which led to a Keith Lee and Dominik Dijakovic team-up against The Undisputed ERA's Kyle O'Reilly and Bobby Fish. I'm not so sure what happened with Fish but Roderick Strong took his place after the initial scuffle so that's something to worry about.

    The ERA retained but Lee and Dijakovic are looking to start a formidable partnership after their WarGames stint. Maybe this is the push they both need since the contenders' spots for the singles titles are looking very crowded at the moment. A tag push could help boost their stock and point them in a good direction. They're already familiar with each other as it is.

    We also saw the fallout of Dakota Kai's big heel turn as she went on to face Candice LeRae. This is probably the best and most memorable thing Kai has done since arriving on NXT and I find that this will help push her up the card. Besides, if my guess is right, and Shayna Baszler is brought up to RAW or SmackDown, NXT will need its share of female heels.

    The other important matter to talk about is the Tommaso Ciampa vs. Finn Bálor match. This was totally unexpected and I felt they could've pushed this for another night instead. However, it does give Finn a story to push while delaying the Johnny Gargano confrontation, as well as the Ciampa/Cole feud for a bit.

    The main story for this one is how Finn is apparently not aligned with anybody on the roster. It looks as if Bálor is out to carve his path in the singles divisions on his own without the help of any alliances. As the match ended, Finn and Adam Cole seemed to be on the same page with both men doing their respective hand gestures. However, Bálor would hit Cole and proceeded to throw his guns to both laid out men as the show ended.

    As for the other matches, they weren't really special. Xia Li beat Vanessa Borne and Lio Rush defeated Akira Tozawa. Surprisingly, there was a Mansoor appearance as he won over Shane Thorne. They were all good filler bouts, but as I said, this post-TakeOver show was great because they had time to continue all the storylines. I think the USA Network has done wonders for the NXT brand and I'm looking forward to more post-PPV shows after this one.

    Grade: B+

    Match to Watch: Tommaso Ciampa vs. Finn Bálor 

    Not-So-Full Sails

    • There's still no KUSHIDA? Where is the guy? After a hot debut and some great matches, he's missing, save for appearing at the celebration at the top of the show.
    • Ditto on WALTER as well. After his Survivor Series stint, he's nowhere to be found.
    • What's going on with Shane Thorne? What's his deal anyway? His momentum has been cut since his match against Johnny Gargano.
    • I'm starting to enjoy Cameron Grimes as a character. I'm looking forward to his push.
    Did you enjoy this post-TakeOver episode? Do you think NXT is starting to get too crowded? What storylines would you like to see the brand run now that we're reaching our year-end? 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 (11/27/19): TakeOver: WarGames and Survivor Series Fallout Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Migz Llado
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