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NXT preview (May 1, 2019): Rite of Passage

NXT returns tonight (May 1) with their third episode from the most recent set of tapings. We don’t yet know what their next TakeOver is. They may not either.

Advertised for tonight:

  • KUSHIDA vs. Kassius Ohno
  • Can Undisputed ERA right the ship
  • The BritAm Brawlers and Humberto Carriillo vs. the Forgotten Sons
  • Dominik Dijakovic vs. Mansoor

As per usual, here are our five questions about NXT tonight:

1) Who is KUSHIDA’s first real feud?

While Kassius Ohno is KUSHIDA’s first match, it may not be his first feud.

Beating Ohno in your first match is pretty much an NXT rite of passage. (At least in NXT prime - he’s doing a little better in NXT UK.) That doesn’t mean he’s going to be KUSHIDA’s first feud. He was the first program for Matt Riddle, but Kassius may want to head back to England after taking an L tonight.

Let’s say KUSHIDA’s first big feud isn’t Ohno. Who will KUSHIDA be facing at the next TakeOver, whenever that may be? Perhaps a member of Undisputed ERA such as Roderick Strong or Kyle O’Reilly. There would be familiarity there and it’d be a great match. They’d fit the bill well because they can take a loss (hell, it’s their storyline now) and make sure the newcomer looks good in the process.

2) What’s the state of the ERA?

There’s no doubt that the Undisputed ERA are going through a rough patch. It started after Adam Cole lost the title match against Johnny Gargano at TakeOver: New York. The Panama City Playboy blamed his ERA mates for that loss, which was the first sign of trouble for the foursome.

Then last week, Cole tried to assist Roderick Strong in Roddy’s match against Gargano and ended up costing him the match instead. Obviously, Strong was none too pleased.

Clearly there’s some trouble in paradise. Is their bond strong enough to get through this rough patch? Are they headed towards a break up? Or is it possible this is all part of a big ploy for them to lull Johnny Gargano into a false sense of security.

3) Where does Riddle fit into this story?

Adam Cole doesn’t just have Johnny Gargano to worry about. Last week, after a verbal confrontation backstage, Matt Riddle helped Gargano when Undisputed attempted to interfere in that Roddy/Johnny match. That added x factor may have contributed to Adam costing Strong the match.

Where does Riddle fit into this? Is he heading into a feud with Cole, perhaps for the right to face Gargano? Will he team with Johnny to help take on the ERA? Or can this lead to a triple threat title match at NXT’s next TakeOver event?

4) Who is going to dethrone the War Raiders?

I asked this last week, but last week I thought the Street Profits were going to upset the tag champs setting up a rematch for the titles.

But the Profits lost, and even if the Raiders run end abruptly given they’re also on Raw, it can’t be the Profits after that clean loss. At least it can’t be this version of the Profits.

If they turn the Profits full heel, that’d be enough of a reset to allow them to take the titles. Other options are the Forgotten Sons and the BritAm brawlers, but they seem to have issues with each other they need to work out. It’s really just those three teams in the current tag division who could act as challengers.

There’s the Undisputed ERA of course, but I can’t imagine they’re winning the tag titles throughout their turmoil story. They could bring in Mustache Mountain, and that’d be awesome, but it’d be odd for them to win the tag titles on NXT Prime while chasing the gold in their home promotion.

5) Where’s Keith Lee?

We’ve been promised Keith Lee vs. Dominik Dijakovic twice now. And both times it didn’t happen.

Instead, last time we got a Dijakovic squash, a weird post match promo, and his intentions for the North American title. That last thing has me thinking he’s not going to be facing Keith Lee again soon. (Dijakovic will be squashing again tonight.)

Word was a lingering injury was keeping Keith off TV, but the Limitless One worked a house show the other day. So if there was a nagging injury, maybe it’s behind him.

We probably won’t see Keith until the next taping though. If we do, it’ll start answering the questions about what’s next for the big man. If we don’t, it’ll raise more questions regarding his televised whereabouts.

We’ll see if we get answers to these questions tonight at 8 PM.

NOTE: Spoilers are out there for these pre-taped broadcasts (including here), but many Cagesiders don’t partake. If you are going to post or discuss spoilers for this show before they happen, or results of future shows, please use the spoiler bar in your comment.

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