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NXT preview (June 12, 2019): Obsessed

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NXT returns tonight (June 12) with the second of two episodes made up of matches taped prior to TakeOver.

Advertised for tonight:

  • KUSHIDA vs. Drew Gulak in a submission match
  • Io Shirai & Candice LeRae vs. Jessamyn Duke & Marina Shafir
  • Kyle O’Reilly & Roderick Strong vs. the Brit-Am Brawlers

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

1) Is Tyler Breeze’s role to help elevate talent?

Much like last week, this episode consists of matches taped prior to TakeOver, meaning we’ll have to wait another week for any real movement of stories. Because of that, this preview will ask one question about something that won’t be addressed this week.

And it will be about Tyler Breeze.

Tyler returned to NXT after meandering on the main roster and the first thing he did was lose to Velveteen Dream at TakeOver. However that wasn’t a one-off match to make Dream look good. Breeze is in NXT for good. So is that his role? To make the current crop of guys look good.

It shouldn’t be. If Tyler is back in NXT, it should be more than a Kassius Ohno role. It should be about avoiding the Kassius Ohno role.

The story they built the North American title match around was that of Breeze trying to hack it in this version of NXT. He was towards the top of the card when he was in NXT (though never won the big one), but the talent continues to improve and the promotion continues to evolve. Is there still a spot for Prince Pretty there?

His journey should be trying to prove it. It will be a new Tyler Breeze - one that’s obsessed to prove he still has it. NXT is all about character reinvention. Breeze doubting himself, desperate to show he’s still worthy of the black and gold is one that could be quite intriguing. It’d be a far cry from the narcissistic or cute but dumb character he’s played in the past.

2) Is Candice LeRae joining the title fray?

The fact that Candice is in involved in Io Shirai’s battle with champion Shayna Baszler shows that she’s at least in the main event periphery. But is she going to actually get a title shot?

Given Io Shirai has already had her one on one match with Baszler, she’s not going to get another straight one on one match in Toronto at the next TakeOver. They could make it a hardcore match of sorts. Or they can add Candice LeRae.

Right now, Candice and Io are on the same page, dealing with Shayna’s lackeys. But if Candice starts thinking about winning the championship herself, an angry and obsessed Io Shirai may not consider her a friend much longer.

3) Is Drew Gulak an NXT talent?

Drew Gulak is facing KUSHIDA in a submission match tonight, after he claimed that the Japanese superstar didn’t win in an honorable way the last time they met up. A submission match won’t allow any fluke victories.

These two men are bound to put on a fun match, both proficient in submissions. It’ll be a unique style, and I’m looking forward to it.

But I’m always looking forward to seeing Drew Gulak wrestle. He’s still a 205 Live talent, putting in work there still. Is he working both now like Oney Lorcan or is this just for him to help elevate KUSHIDA in NXT? Hopefully it’s the former because Drew is very good.

4) What’s up with this Bobby Fish injury?

You didn’t have to be too eagle eyed to notice Bobby Fish was wearing a sling on his left arm at the end of TakeOver. Nothing has been mentioned by WWE so it’s likely not something too serious. But was that sling just a work to explain tonight?

Bobby Fish was a bit banged up at the house show where tonight’s tag match was taped. That’s why Roderick Strong wrestled in his place. In fact, Bobby was wearing a sling while at ringside during that match too.

It’s entirely possible that Bobby reaggrevated whatever was nagging that left arm during that brutal ladder match at TakeOver. But it can also be a clever set up to explain the fact that he’ll be wearing a sling on tonight’s episode.

5) How will they fill the rest of the time?

With only three matches taped, this episode could be a short one. Normally, they’ll use post-TakeOver YouTube vids and recap vids to fill the time for the post-TakeOver episode. But they used all those last weeks.

Three matches could fill 40 minutes with entrances and post match happenings. But that would still mean it will likely be a shorter episode of NXT tonight.

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

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