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NXT preview (July 3, 2019): Plucked

NXT returns tonight with third episode from their most recent set of tapings. They are building towards TakeOver: Toronto on Aug. 10.

Advertised for tonight:

  • Tyler Breeze vs. Roderick Strong
  • Isiah “Swerve” Scott vs. Cameron Grimes
  • Aliyah vs. Mia Yim
  • Back to the Future

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

1) Are they Street Profits moving up too?

Two nights ago, the Street Profits arrived on Raw, hanging out backstage, cutting promos, and interacting with Paul Heyman. We don’t know for sure this is a call up, but this WWE instagram post pluralizes Monday (before and after the AEW gaffe), making us think we’ll be seeing them often on Mondays. And why wouldn’t we? Why would they have these two hang out backstage on Raw if we’re never going to see them again? It’s probably a call up.

If that’s the case, that’s going to be the second set of NXT tag team champions that have been called up as champion. The last were the Viking Experience and that was only a couple months ago. Hell, it was the Street Profits who won the belts they vacated!

Are they going to do that again? They really shouldn’t. If they lose the Profits for good (and there’s no reason they can’t pull double duty for a bit), it’ll leave the NXT division lacking.

That will leave the Brit-Am Brawlers, Undisputed ERA, and the Forgotten Sons on the top of division with no fourth team to step in to fill in the spot the Profits leave behind. Plus, the tag titles would continue to get weaker if they keep having teams relinquish them so teams not good enough to beat those teams can then become champions in their own right.

We won’t notice any difference in the NXT product given they’ve taped television to take them up to TakeOver: Toronto. By that time, we’ll have a good idea of what the Profits role on Raw is going to be.

2) Is the women’s match at TakeOver a triple threat?

After Io Shirai turned heel by beating up Candice LeRae after losing a championship cage match against Shayna Baszler, I figured that this was to set up a triple threat title match at the next TakeOver.

But some of the comments in the recap assumed this meant we’d get two women’s matches at TakeOver - Candice vs. Io and Shayna vs. TBD for the title.

This would be the first time in a while they’d have two women’s matches on a TakeOver. They usually have five matches so they could have two women’s matches and all the men’s titles to still tell the story of Undisputed ERA possibly winning all the titles.

If they go that way, the person to challenge Baszler would likely be Mia Yim, who’s been biding time in a lower card program. She’ll face Aliyah tonight. Maybe Vanessa Borne later. That could give her a couple wins to pad her resume prior to a title match.

I still think we’re getting the triple threat, but both are viable options.

3) How good will Grimes vs. Scott be?

Last week’s first match of the Breakout tournament set expectations for some incredible matches. Joaquin Wilde and Angel Garza tore it up opening the show. And we should expect this level of action throughout.

These “breakout stars” are not rookies. You’ve seen Isiah Scott as Shane Strickland (or Killshot in Lucha Underground). You’ve seen Cameron Grimes as Trevor Lee. These are seasoned wrestlers and they will be looking to top their fellow breakout competitors from last week.

Strap in, folks.

4) Is there a heel turn in Breeze’s future?

The reason I pose this question is that NXT has a lot of babyface singles acts and not a ton of heels. The top heel is Adam Cole. And of course the rest of the ERA are heels as well, but they’re really one unit. With Tommaso Ciampa out, that really leaves Cole as the singular top heel.

But there are babyfaces a plenty: Johnny Gargano, Matt Riddle, Tyler Breeze, Velveteen Dream. That’s a pretty big unbalance. To even the scene, one of these guys should turn heel.

Gargano has flirted with it, having a run of heelish behavior. And technically, Dream started as a heel but is too damn charismatic to hate. That leaves Riddle, who would be a fantastic heel, and Breeze.

Breeze is interesting because his return to NXT reminds me of another member of the NXT roster who found success, didn’t replicate it on the main roster, and then came back as a heel. And that’s Emma. Now Tyler had a much better main roster run than the first version of Emma by leaps and bounds. But a character change could be in line for Prince Pretty. He’s already playing a different version of himself than he was on the main roster, but those are more tweaks. A heel turn outside the narcissistic model would be a new challenge for the man.

5) Will KUSHIDA get a TakeOver match?

If the women aren’t getting two matches in Toronto, that leaves a spot open to highlight someone like KUSHIDA. And it feels like he’d very likely be the guy to get that fifth match.

They clearly have big plans for KUSHIDA, who will be in action tonight. He already had a quick feud with current Cruiserweight champion Drew Gulak. The next step could be a TakeOver spotlight.

If so, against whom? The man we were just discussing, Tyler Breeze, would be a great choice. But there are plenty of options. If they want to highlight another talent, they could feud him with the bigger Keith Lee as well.

Tonight, it’ll probably be an enhancement match. We’ll see in a few weeks if it’ll something bigger for KUSHIDA in Toronto.

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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