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NXT preview (Jan. 29, 2020): A fumbled feud

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NXT returns tonight (Jan. 29) from Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida. They are building towards TakeOver: Portland on Feb. 16.

Advertised for tonight:

  • Tegan Nox vs. Dakota Kai
  • The Broserweights vs. the Grizzled Young Veterans (Dusty Classic Final)
  • Adam Cole learns his TakeOver: Portland challenger
  • What’s next for Keith Lee?

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

1) What happened with the Dakota/Tegan feud?

Dakota’s heel turn at WarGames was very well done. The way being left off Rhea’s team to awaken an inner demon and led attack her best friend was superb.

That’s what made the poor follow up so disappointing. It killed the momentum they had coming out of the TakeOver.

They kept Tegan off TV for awhile, which made sense. Sell the injury and make fans wait to see her get that revenge. But in that time, Dakota had a mini feud with Mia Yim that killed all her heat. Mia beat her up all over the place, and while she had reason to, it was what Tegan should have been doing. There was a ton of emotion tied up with Kai’s attack on Nox. Seeing Yim get the first bit of revenge hurt Dakota’s early villain fire and really undercut the story.

And despite Kai winning the eventual match with Yim, NXT felt the need to protect Mia (who isn’t in a program right now) and have her put Dakota through a table. In essence, the feud ended with the HBIC on top. Which was utterly baffling given, again, she’s not in any program right now.

Then they denied us Tegan’s righteous return, attacking the woman who betrayed her. Instead, Nox was in a battle royal (one that Dakota was originally added to but then not involved in) and it was Dakota who cost Tegan in that bout.

I suppose after they botched the early part in the feud, they felt it was Kai who needed to get the WarGames heat back. But they wouldn’t have had to if they actually booked Dakota somewhat strong after her vicious attack. Instead they immediately weakened her character.

That leads us to tonight, which in itself has us asking questions...

2) Is this just another chapter to the story?

Despite the build being disappointing, finishing the feud tonight would be even more so. This should a blood feud, one that’s meant for a TakeOver, not a random episode of TV.

Because of that, this likely won’t have a decisive finish. Maybe it will go to a double countout as they brawl around Full Sail. Or maybe it ends up with a DQ finish when Dakota attacks Tegan with the knee brace once again.

Whatever they go with, there has to be a plan to run this match more definitively in the future. Because even with the rocky start, Dakota is too good as a heel and this story has too much history given their friendship to just end tonight.

3) Are the Grizzled Young Veterans going back to UK after this?

The finals of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic involves the random team of Pete Dunne & Matt Riddle (the Broserweights) and the UK team of the Grizzled Young Veterans.

The Broserweights are a thrown together duo, something that is actually common in the Dusty Classic with teams like Samoa Joe & Finn Bálor and Aleister Black & Ricochet winning in past years. Meanwhile, the Vets are a legit tag team, which includes being the first team to ever hold the UK tag team championships.

They are definitely working hard to make the Grizzled Vets look good during this tournament run. Whether they win or lose, is that going get people to think about tuning into NXT UK on Thursdays? Or is there a plan to move Zack Gibson & James Drake to NXT on Wednesdays?

The Wednesday night tag scene is rather slim so moving a UK team over wouldn’t be a bad idea to help bolster the ranks.

4) Can Undisputed right the ship?

Last week, the Undisputed ERA lost to the Grizzled Young Vets in the Dusty Classic. Then Roderick Strong lost the North American title to Keith Lee. Then on Saturday, they lost to Imperium, despite having a man advantage after Alexander Wolfe’s injury.

Could this be beginning of the end of their time on top? Or can they turn things around?

Adam Cole is going to learn who he has to face at TakeOver: Portland next month. It’s likely going to be Tommaso Ciampa. That’s not going to make things any easier for Cole and crew.

We’ll see if they can come up with a plan to grab the momentum back.

5) Will we see the cruiserweight title on NXT any more?

Angel Garza’s championship reign proved to be short lived as he lost it in a fatal 4-way to Jordan Devlin at Worlds Collide.

Does that mean NXT UK will be the main spot to see the cruiserweight division? In a way, that would make sense. NXT has a lot going on, including having two singles men’s titles already.

It’s also possible that the title floats between the brands, but given that NXT UK tapes in advance while 205 and NXT is live, it would be tougher to showcase it frequently on all of those.


We’ll see if we get any answers to those questions tonight at 8 PM ET on USA.

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