NXT returns to us tonight (April 17) with their first real fallout episode after TakeOver: New York.
Advertised for tonight:
- Velveteen Dream (c) vs. Buddy Murphy for the North American championship
- Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Kairi Sane for the Women’s championship
- Keith Lee vs. Dominik Dijakovic
- Johnny Gargano is in the house
As per usual, here are our five questions about NXT tonight:
1) How long will the War Raiders be in NXT?
The biggest Shake-up surprise this week had to be the War Raiders, now known as the.... Viking Experience... moving to Raw. The reason that was such a big shock is that they are still NXT tag team champions. They just won a big match against Ricochet and Aleister Black that felt a moment meant to build up the champions.
But now that they’re main roster acts, we can’t expect them to hold the titles for long in NXT. What would be the point of that? It’s not as if there’s no team that could fill that role. There are enough teams that would be good NXT tag champs.
This means that their next feud will likely be one without too much suspense as they’ll likely be vacating NXT for the main roster sooner than later.
2) Will they be called the War Raiders in NXT?
The thing that was talked about most about the Raiders debut on Raw was their new name: The Viking Experience.
Usually NXT will try to keep things consistent with the main roster. At the same time, if this call up was a last minute decision, they were still called the War Raiders during the recent taping. If that’s the case, will they just be the War Raiders on NXT while they’re the Viking Experience on WWE?
It’s a small detail that has me actually very curious.
3) How will Kairi and Shayna add drama to this match
There was never going to be much drama when it came to the finish of the Women’s title match. Even before Kairi Sane was called up to the main roster, there was little chance she was beating Shayna for the title. We’ve been there and done that. It was a fun program, but it’s also a rerun if they do it again. There’s no benefit in repeating it.
The crowd that watched this match didn’t know the main roster plans for Kairi, but even they probably had a good idea Shayna was winning. That puts some extra pressure on the performers and creative to tell a story that makes up for the fact that the ending is in little doubt.
Io Shirai did not get called up so this match likely leads to a feud between Io and Shayna.
4) What’s Buddy’s role?
Buddy Murphy’s match with Velveteen Dream was set up prior to the Shake-up. Dream was talking some trash at Mania after Buddy lost the Cruiserweight title and here we are.
We know Buddy isn’t coming to NXT. That’s because he’s moving to SmackDown Live. So this is surely a one off. It will likely be similar to Drew Gulak’s trip to NXT when he put over Matt Riddle. They’ll have a great match (and they will have a great match) before the Best Kept Secret tries to find his niche on Tuesdays.
5) Will Keith Lee vs. Dominik Dijakovic actually happen this time?
Lee and Dijakovic were set for a rematch from their double count out match a few weeks ago, but that never happened. There was some rumor that Keith Lee may be nursing an injury that ended up altering those plans.
Recently, Keith gave an interview to the NXT press blaming management for the match not happening but said he’s been guaranteed a match for this week. So it should happen, right?
Not so fast. If it were definitely going to happen tonight, it should be included in NXT’s official preview. But it’s not.
Was that just omitted by mistake? Or is this going to be pushed even further? And if it that’s the case, is that because of creative reasons or is Keith still a bit banged up?
We’ll see if we get answers to these questions tonight at 8 PM.
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