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WWE NXT preview (July 8, 2015): You've got a champ in me

Sasha Banks' Instagram

Last Week

Returning to the scene is a big way, former #1 contenders to the tag team championship Aiden English & Simon Gotch opened the show with a win over Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder - now going by the pop country sounding name of Dawson & Dash instead of The Mechanics. That victory left The Vaudevillains feeling deserving of a shot at Blake & Murphy's belts, which put them in conflict with Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady and gave General Manager William Regal a problem to solve.

Perhaps he can rely on the counsel of Assistant Head Trainer Sara Amato, who helped him gauge Eva Marie's progress as he considers her for a roster spot. We learned that he has a temporary opening due to Becky Lynch's hip flexor injury.

It's unclear who will be able to help Regal with Bull Dempsey, who made a scene fighting a Full Sail vending machine for more snacks. At least Bull hasn't fallen too far off the pace set by his old rival Baron Corbin, who is still doing what he was doing six months...squashing jobbers with his finisher.

Two guys doing just as poorly apart as they were together are Jason Jordan & Tye Dillinger. Jordan had the week off to consider the repeated offers of an alliance from Chad Gable, while Tye had to leave his "Perfect 10" gimmick at the house show and serve as a tune-up for Tyler Breeze.

Bullying their way past babyface Carmella, Dana Brooke & Emma made their way to Women's champion Sasha Banks locker room to talk a little trash. The Boss wasn't intimidated by their words or their tag team challenges, and vowed to work through her issues with the roster to find someone else who wanted to kick the butts of the Aussie and her new friend.

It was a very good week for Finn Bálor, and a bad one for Kevin Owens. First, KO was pinned for the first time on NXT during their Wednesday night main event match - and Finn was the man to do it. Sure, there were numerous breakdowns between Owens and his tag partner Rhyno, but it didn't change the final outcome, which was a Coup de Grâce that served as foreshadowing of what would happen when they went one-on-one in Tokyo.

On Saturday, at Beast in the East, the Irishman did it again, stomping the man who had held the championship almost all year and becoming the seventh person to wear the big gold X.

This Week

It's The Realest Guys vs. The Vaudevillains in our marquee match-up this week. This program has definitely been shoehorned in, and doesn't seem designed to do much more than delay Enzo & Cass' coronation until August 22 in Brooklyn. Still, Gotch & English are perennially over at Full Sail and should provide a fun match. Watch for the champs, and hopefully the delightfully evil Alexa Bliss, to factor in for at least a post-match staredown.

WWE isn't saying, so it's unclear if we'll get the fight between Banks & partner and Emma & Brooke tonight or just more build. My money is solidly on former tag partner, and champ, Charlotte standing with her old BFF. And while I don't expect a whole lot of cross-brand continuity, current SummerSlam rumors only reinforce my suspicions of - if not a face turn for The Boss, at least a thaw in relations between her and the women's roster.

This not being TNA, the Creative & Production teams likely kept our new champ out of in-arena angles, but I'd expect a replay of the footage we saw on Raw and probably some exclusive backstage interviews with Finn tonight.

Of even greater interest will be how the former champ is written off the show. Was Beast in the East the last time we'll see him in an NXT storyline? Was last week's tag win supposed to end his beef with Samoa Joe? Will we get any additional reminders about his simmering angles with the injuried Hideo Itami and Sami Zayn?

A rematch seems unlikely, as three losses in a row is probably Kevin's limit heading into round three with John Cena at Battleground. Other than that though...

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 a whole new world in the post-KO era of NXT!

Who do you want to see step to Bálor first? How should Owens say goodbye, if at all?

Give us your thoughts on those topics or anything else that crosses your mind below, and see you later for an open thread and reactions to the show!

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