NXT returns tonight with its post-TakeOver episode, which features matches taped prior to TakeOver at the Barclays Center:
Advertised for tonight:
- Candice LeRae vs. Aliyah
- Street Profits vs. Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner
As per usual, here are our five questions about NXT tonight:
1) Is Candice going to finally become a player in the woman’s division?
Candice LeRae is great, which is why it’s such a shame that she’s been cast as “Johnny Gargano’s wife” during her time in NXT. She’s had a match here and there, but her main use has been as a supporting player in the Gargano/Ciampa story. At one point I wondered if that’s the only reason they signed her.
That’s why her match with Aliyah tonight is one to keep an eye on. Because Aliyah has gotten a small push lately now that she has Vanessa Borne as her enforcer. So it’s possible she’s the focus here, and Candice is going to her big win to propel her.
If Candice wins, maybe she’ll finally start being used as her own person in the women’s division. But if Aliyah wins, that’s not a good outlook for Mrs. Gargano.
2) Where are the Street Profits going?
It feels like the Street Profits are in a rut. They were in this position at the last TakeOver when they faced the Forgotten Sons in a match taped prior to the show. (They’ve never been on an actual TakeOver.) The Sons won that match and got a pretty nice push in their Dusty Classic run. The Profits lost and here we are.
We’re at the point that NXT needs to make a decision with the Profits. They can’t keep heating them up a small amount to have them lose. Eventually, they’re not going to be taken seriously. (And I fear we’re at that point.) Whether it’s heel or face, they need to change something so people start paying attention to them again.
3) Is the European Union going to be an NXT prime team for awhile?
UK team of Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner have been getting a lot of time to show off on the US version of NXT. And they are a really fun team. They’ll be in action tonight against the struggling Street Profits.
Talent should be fluid between the two NXT brands. While they should remain separate brands, continuing to share talent is a great way to keep things fresh. (Kassius Ohno is working the UK brand currently so this is already in some effect.) Plus it’s advertisement for the newer UK show, which likely has less viewers than the more established one.
The EU are a strong enough tag team they would even make sense in a non-TakeOver title match to get the rub.
4) What will KUSHIDA’s place be?
This isn’t going to be answered tonight. Not by a long shot. But for a show that’s two matches of lesser importance and a bunch of video clips, it’s hard to come up with five questions specific to this episode of TV.
NXT announced they signed former New Japan talent KUSHIDA to the brand last Friday. What’s the ceiling for the 35 year old former IWGP junior heavyweight champion in WWE/NXT?
I’d honestly be surprised to see him make his way to the top title in NXT, but you never know. But of course, there’s a secondaryt title to compete for if they want him has a midcard stalwart.
I can also see a quick NXT run to use him as a 205 Live competitor sooner than later an well.
5) Is this episode skippable?
I asked this after TakeOver: Phoenix, and I’m probably going to post it every TakeOver fallout show.
There are two matches tonight and neither are that exciting. Candice LeRae is fun, but after years of Aliyah playing enhancement talent, it’s tough to get excited for her. The tag team match should be enjoyable, but the Street Profits have fallen into a major rut.
The rest is going to be clips that have been on youtube for days. There’s not anything new until next week.
I’m not telling you not to watch. But if you are burned out from all the wrestling this last week, here’s a break for you.
We’ll see if we get answers to these questions tonight at 8 PM.
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