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NXT preview (May 29, 2019): Bridgeport go home

NXT returns tonight (May 29) with their last episode prior to TakeOver: XXV this Saturday.

Advertised for tonight:

  • Drew Gulak vs. KUSHIDA
  • Forgotten Sons vs. Brit-Am Brawlers
  • Mia Yim vs. Bianca Belair
  • Will Shayna Baszler have a response to Io Shirai

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

1) Will we see more talent from other brands visiting NXT?

Thankfully, the Wild Card Rule itself doesn’t apply to NXT. But they have been known to borrow talent from other promotions from time to time. And they’re doing it currently with two talents.

Tonight, 205 Live’s Drew Gulak faces KUSHIDA. This isn’t the first time the talented Gulak has visited NXT. Months back, he had a banger of a match with Matt Riddle. No doubt, he will do the same for KUSHIDA tonight as they look to build the Japanese star.

A bigger main roster name is also working NXT. Tyler Breeze is currently feuding with Velveteen Dream. In fact, they’ll have a match for the North American title on Saturday. Dream was slated to face Dominik Dijakovic prior to Dijakovic sustaining a knee injury. That’s unfortunate for Dominik but the alternative they came up with is more enticing to most fans.

With an ever changing roster, NXT is in prime position to utilize lesser used talent from the main roster. And there’s plenty of underused talent on Raw, SmackDown, and 205 Live. There are plenty of options. They can do something like bring down Gallows and Anderson to help bolster the tag division or help build up a new team. Let Harper work NXT instead of not using him at all as he rides out his contract. Cedric Alexander and Buddy Murphy have been MIA since leaving 205 Live so book an NXT angle with one of them.

Word is Killain Dain and Lio Rush may be returning to NXT soon so we may get more of this soon.

2) Who’s likelier to head to the title scene from the women’s match?

Bianca Belair and Mia Yim have a rematch this week after Belair picked up a dirty win over Yim the other week (using her braid on the rope as leverage).

This match feels like it involves women just below the title scene. Belair has feuded with Baszler but came up short twice. Yim is working her way up, but needs a marquee win to get there.

If I had to guess, Io Shirai is going to defeat Baszler this weekend and Shayna heads to the main roster. Even if that doesn’t happen, Io goes to the back of the line and Baszler needs a new challenger. One of these two women are likely contenders. (Another is Candice LeRae.)

Winning this match, unless it’s designed to extend this feud further, could do good things for the victor.

3) Will Johnny Gargano get some focus before TakeOver?

Despite being NXT champion after such a long journey, it feels like Johnny Gargano is a supporting character in his own match. The bigger story is the Undisputed ERA’s goal to win all the gold despite just getting over some serious issues within the group. That’s the overarching story of this next TakeOver since they’re involved in three of the five matches.

That happens sometimes. The champ isn’t always in a major feud. But it feels like such a drop since Johnny’s journey was always front and center during his story with Tommaso Ciampa.

Tonight, they have a chance to put the focus on Gargano a bit more. Even just a promo about what this match means to him could help achieve that.

4) What are the pre-TakeOver matches going to be?

Traditionally, there will be two or three matches prior to TakeOver to showcase talent that didn’t make on the show but may be climbing up soon.

Even though KUSHIDA has a match tonight, perhaps they set it up so he gets some time in front of the Connecticut crowd. Candice LeRae was in this spot last time, but she may find herself there again if she’s going to enter the title picture soon. Humberto Carrillo or Raul Mendoza would do a great job warming up the crowd.

Usually we find out these matches the episode prior to TakeOver.

5) What’s the chance that the tag match ends in a four team brawl?

I put it at least at 50%.

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.