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WWE NXT preview (July 1, 2015): Rage & Fury vs. Brutal Intensity

Chad Gable on Twitter

Last Week

If you're like me, and still having a hard time wrapping your head around the passing of Dusty Rhodes, Triple H and the entire NXT roster reminded us of the reality of it again last week via a touching ten bell salute to their departed mentor.

Reminders abounded in an opening segment that was reminiscent of WWE's Monday night show...but at least on Wednesdays they talk about wrestling feuds instead of plugging products. Hideo Itami chatted with our boy Weird Hair about his rehab from soldier surgery and his intention to be at Beast in the East to challenge whoever ends that show holding the NXT championship. Kevin Owens was incredulous that Itami thought he wouldn't win, or that he was a bad person, so even though he says didn't injure Hideo's one arm...he was going to take out the other.

The man who will challenge KO in Tokyo, Finn Bálor, wasn't going to allow that to happen, and gave the champ what for rather than let him make it to the ring. But the Irishman's old nemesis Rhyno appeared to bounce Bálor around the stage, and a main event rematch between the Demon and the Man-Beast was made.

Despite the fact that Jason Jordan's latest odd couple tag team - this time with Sylvester Lefort - still couldn't find the win column when they squared off against Enzo & Big Cass, this segment still ended up on YouTube instead of your WWE Network-connected devices:

Probably wise for those two to take the week off, because they wouldn't want to risk being outshined by the tag team sensation that's sweeping the nation...the Hype Bros, bro! Zack Ryder & Mojo Rawley are 2 and Bro! Why does this excite me? Somebody stop me before I start liking Mojo's Hammer Time dance!

At least I'm still in possession of whatever smark-y faculties are necessary to give Bull Dempsey's "fat" gimmick a pass. Also still dubious about any segment that features Eva Marie talking (as she did last week while imploring General Manager William Regal to give her a shot) or Dana Brooke applying submission manuevers (such as the one used in her win over Cassie).

Before the main event, we learned that Finn likes Adventure Time & mid-90s WWE, and loves Lego & Jason Albert. Also, Samoa Joe is still PISSED about all things Kevin Owens.

Most of those factors came into play in the last match, as Rhyno took it to the Irishman just like he did in their previous one-on-one encounter. Bálor managed to fight his way back, though, and looked like he was going to pull out another victory when Owens stopped bullying Byron Saxton long enough to try to distract the #1 contender. The champ's tactic backfired, and a missed Gore lead to another lose for the veteran.

When the heels predictably decided to put boots to the victor, Joe stormed from the back to even the odds. Four guys who fans never thought they'd see in a ring together stared each other down to end the episode and set up...

This Week

Which, you know, if Regal made like Teddy Long in his booking and not just in macking on fitness models-turned-sports entertainers, we could have just had last week. But then we wouldn't have gotten Owens' critique of Rich Brennan's "excited voice", so we'll give him a pass.

Still no updates from the APB I put out on the Women's champ last week, pictures of Bayley in an arm cast are all over social media and Becky Lynch has been very busy telling us what a sweetheart some dude named Fergal Devitt is the past few weeks. Gonna hold out hope that Cassie or Jessie get some character development time, but expect that Brooke's jealousy of Charlotte will be our main angle from the ladies for the time being.

Though not as hot as Sasha Banks vs. BEX heading into Unstoppable, the tag title feud was at least tepid. The Port Authority's win over BAMF in six-person action was nice, but the Realest Guys need to remain focused on the belts - and we should at least get a little mic time for Carmella's boys to remind us of that. More of Alexa Bliss talking would be good, too.

And Los Bros Hype are off to a good start, but now they need foils. A certain aimless supermodel has history with Rawley, and his disgust at almost any tag partner would be comedy gold. Since they sped through a potential team-up and match with Adam Rose...what's Fandango doing these days?

If he's not up to it, and Jordan is still content with losing, we all know some who is ready, willing and Gable...

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.

It's all about the tag teams on the last stop before Ryogoku Kokugikan. What pairing - actual, potential or speculative - do you most want to see tonight?

Let us know, and be sure be back here tonight to watch Rage & Fury take on Brutal Intensity along with your partners here at cSs!

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