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WWE NXT preview (March 18, 2015): Flexing like you're Arnold at The Arnold

Who wouldn't want to hang at the club with Enzo, Finn and Wale?
Who wouldn't want to hang at the club with Enzo, Finn and Wale?
Enzo Amore on Instagram

Last Week

There are three settings for tag teams on NXT.  Champs, #1 contenders and enhancement talent.  Lucha Dragons have gone from the top to the bottom (when they're not kicking it on Superstars).  The Realest Guys have been anointed with contending status.  So when Enzo & Big Cass ran into Kalisto & Sin Cara last week, it was a done deal.

While the fellas were taking meteor showers, the Princess of Staten Island struck out on her own.  Carmella locked up with a motivated Alexa Bliss, and despite the mistress of heelish rest holds best work, the Pixie Powerhouse continued her quest for revenge against Women's champ Sasha Banks with an impressive win over Carm.

Only a week after filing his paperwork with the Florida State Athletic Commission, Alex Riley was cleared for a bout against CJ Parker.  The eco-douche trash talked Miz's former personal assistant and threatened to bust his nose like he did Kevin Owens, but A-Ry was dead set on a match with the champ, even if he was blown up.  While an emotional Riley celebrated a successful return to the ring, KO hit the stage to tell him he only had a week to live.  Adding insult to injury, Owens was more focused on #1 contender Finn Bálor than he was the former announcer.

Finally, another brief episode came to a close with Prince Pretty picking up a much needed win over Hideo Itami.  Tyler Breeze righted his ship and got his #1 contender's tournament loss back from the Japanese Superstar - but remains down 2 - 1 since his first shot at revenge was stymied at Rival.

This Week

It's a momentous occasion, as we're treated to the first episode of NXT on the road.  This week's episode was taped in Columbus, Ohio on March 5th as part of Triple H's big weekend at The Arnold Sports Festival.  This show from the LC Pavilion will be the first edition from somewhere other than Full Sail since FCW and Redemption were folded into what we now know as NXT.

For such a historic event, we're being treated to two matches featuring the singles' champs that don't appear to be championship matches.  That's okay, because there's precious little chance that either Alexa Bliss or Alex Riley would walk out of Ohio with the title, but it's not impossible that one of them could pick up a win due to shenanigans.

Bliss is out for revenge for her broken nose, and because The Boss is such a bully to the rest of the women's division.  Riley is similarly trying to stand up to a bully, but the emotional exhaustion and "just happy to be here" attitude he displayed post-match last week probably isn't a recipe for success.  Just check out the most aptly named NXT "Breakdown" yet:

In all seriousness, good for A-Ry, and I wish him success in the future.  But for tonight, just try not to get hurt.  Or soil yourself.

Bálor needs to make his presence felt in some way tonight, probably after the Riley match, since they've already advertised that he's getting his shot next week and so far we've really only had a couple of staredowns from a distance between the Irishman and the champ.  I'd also expect some forward movement in the tag title program, building off Blake & Murphy's big screen heel turn that gave Carmella agita.

NXT Creative has succeeded in paying attention to more stories and characters of late, but it's occurred during a run of shows that barely clock in at three quarters of an hour.  Will they have time tonight to address Charlotte, Bayley or Becky Lynch?  Where's Ole Blue Pants?  What's next for Itami vs. Breeze?  Will ever hear from Jason Jordan?  Did Marcus Louis just give up and go back to France?

Enquiring minds want to know!

(Note: I know some folks have come looking for a more definitive match listing - we strictly avoid NXT spoilers here at Cageside central. If releases or the performers tweet more information on anything that's officially going to take place on tonight's show, that'll be updated here.  If anyone wants to put a match listing in the comments, please use spoiler tags.)

On what subplot or midcard storyline do you most want to get an update?

We might not have time for that in the next couple of weeks, but be sure to watch KO's pre-knee surgery run of title defenses along with your fellow Cagesiders!

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