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NXT preview (June 26, 2019): A Must Win

Io Shirai’s Twitter

NXT returns to us tonight (June 26) with their second episode from the most recent set of tapings.

Here’s what’s advertised for tonight:

  • Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Io Shirai for the Women’s championship in a steel cage
  • The Street Profits vs. the Forgotten Sons
  • Joaquin Wilde vs. Angel Garza in a Breakout Tournament Match
  • Bask in Keith Lee’s glory

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

1) Is this Io’s last chance?

Io Shirai lost clean to Shayna Baszler at TakeOver: XXV. It was only due to a post match beat down she unleashed on the champ that earned her one last chance. At least it should be her last chance.

Io has already been unsuccessful twice in claiming the Women’s title from Shayna Baszler, once in a fatal 4-way at TakeOver: New York and another time in the aforementioned one on one match. Could she take a third loss and remain in the title picture? It feels highly unlikely.

A cage match doesn’t mean there can’t be wonky finishes to try to protect Shirai. It won’t necessarily prevent Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir from interfering. But the stipulation is it’s no DQ. So even with those wonky endings, if they want to keep the belt on Baszler, Io has to lose. It’d be very hard to justify putting her in another title match in Toronto if she’s already 0-3 in title matches.

Now I don’t read the spoilers so I don’t know the finish of the match. I assume Shayna is winning because I don’t think the title change would be a well kept secret, but I definitely don’t know. But if it is Shayna keeping the gold, Io may have to go into the back of the line.

2) What is the plan for all the members of this tournament?

I love the idea of the Breakout Tournament. It’s a creative way to introduce a bunch of new talent to the NXT audience.

Obviously, winning the tournament is a big deal. It earns the winner a title shot of their choosing. Being runner up is also a great spot because they will very likely end up on TV after this is over. But what about those who don’t do well? What about the first round losers?

Introducing all eight men on TV after this is all said in done would not be easy. This is a weekly one hour show that already has a pretty loaded roster. They’ll hopefully all get there eventually. But losing in the first round means it more likely that won’t happen soon for that individual. The further someone makes it in the tournament increases their chance of finding themselves on TV right after it’s over.

Good luck, DJ Z & Garza Jr. Joaquin Wilde & Angel Garza!

3) Is this tag match setting up a title feud?

The Street Profits run up against an old foe tonight in the Forgotten Sons. The Sons actually hold a win over the Profits, winning a TakeOver pre-show match months back in Brooklyn. We could assume if they do it again, they’re in the title picture.

Or maybe they lose this match so they can go back of the line, allowing the Undisputed ERA step in as the Toronto challengers. That could serve as part of the story about ERA trying to walk out of the event with all the titles.

4) Are we getting a Keith Lee feud?

Due to various reasons, Keith Lee’s run in NXT has yet to get off the ground. He’s in action tonight, and the fact they didn’t even tell us who it’s against indicates we’re looking at another squash.

But we should be long past squash matches for the big man. It’s time to do something more with him. They tried with Dominik Dijakovic but then they both got hurt, pushing that feud indefinitely.

Hopefully we get a hint of that tonight, after the match if it is a squash. The Limitless One needs a real opponent to prove himself against.

5) Where’s Johnny?

Johnny Gargano didn’t make his presence known on the fallout show last week, having lost his title at TakeOver: XXV. Every other babyface did, but not Johnny.

We’ve yet to learn his state of mind after his title match ended in one and done fashion. With the women the featured story tonight, they may not focus on the men’s top title again until next week. So we may have to wait a little longer to find out the status of Johnny One-and-done.

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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