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NXT preview (May 8, 2019): A new title scene

NXT returns tonight (May 8) with their last episode from their prior set of tapings. We now know they are building to a June 1 TakeOver in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Advertised for tonight:

  • Adam Cole vs. Matt Riddle
  • Mia Yim vs. Bianca Belair
  • Raul Mendoza vs. Riddick Moss

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

1) Are Riddle and Cole both in the title picture?

Coming out of TakeOver: New York, it looked like NXT planned to continue Adam Cole’s feud with current champion Johnny Gargano. And that surely looks like it’s still in the cards. But when Matt Riddle started feuding with Adam Cole, that muddled things a bit.

Riddle was last in the North American title picture, unsuccessfully challenging Velveteen Dream for the belt. Now he’s feuding with Cole, who is still in a program for the top title. So did the Bro fall upwards?

Riddle already felt like a main event act, so moving him up the card makes sense. The outcome of the match between Cole and Riddle should give us a good idea where this is leading. If Johnny Gargano ends up saving Riddle from an Undisputed ERA beat down, it’ll be quite likely that the Bro is going to be part of this story moving forward.

This is the first time in a long while that NXT doesn’t have Tommaso Ciampa in their top story. Putting arguably the three hottest acts on the top (excluded Velveteen Dream who is still holding down the secondary title), helps fill that gap.

2) How bad are things in the ERA?

The Undisputed ERA’s troubles seem to be continuing. A promo last week with all four men ended with Roderick Strong taking exception to Cole saying he screwed up the week prior. Bobby Fish wasn’t happy with where Cole took it either.

Every week, things look just a bit bleaker for Undisputed. But it’s not too far yet. They can right the ship. And they should.

These four men are better together than apart. We don’t want to see Roddy as a rejected ERA babyface. He works best with the other three men. They’re all better together.

I still think we’re headed to a big ruse that gives Cole an advantage in the title hunt, but given that this story was slowly unfolding prior to Tommaso Ciampa’s injury, it’s entirely possible it goes somewhere else.

3) Is Belair or Yim closer to the title picture?

It really looks like the Women’s title match at TakeOver: XXV is going to be between Shayna Baszler and Io Shirai.

Bianca Belair took the pinfall at the fatal 4-way title match at the last TakeOver and lost a one on one champonship match at TakeOver: Phoenix. Those two losses probably moves her back in the line.

Mia Yim also has a loss to Baszler, though hers was a non-title loss on an episode of TV. It was her best showing during her time in NXT.

The match between these two women tonight could put either woman back in the title plans when Io Shirai and Shayna Baszler finish up their issues.

4) Who is meant to get the spotlight in Moss vs. Mendoza?

Two men we rarely see on TV match up tonight, which raises the questions, which of these two are getting a push?

My guess is it’s going to be Riddick Moss. WWE’s preview of the match was Moss centric, discussing the injury he recently returned from. Though it’s always possible that both men get more time after this.

5) How often will they actually say the word “Bridgeport”?

NXT announced this week that the next TakeOver will be in Bridgeport, Connecticut, though they seemed to go out of the way to avoid saying where the place was.

They’re officially calling the show TakeOver: XXV and Triple H didn’t say the name of the city or state in his tweet about it.

Now, this episode isn’t from the most recent set of tapings, and they didn’t officially announce the location until after they taped the more recent one. So they may not mention it much at all. But for ads and voice overs, I’m curious if they ever really acknowledge it is in Bridgeport.

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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