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NXT preview (Oct. 4, 2020): Oh Finn, where are thou?

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NXT returns tonight (Oct. 4) from the Capitol Wrestling Center (CWC) in Orlando, Florida. It is the fallout episode from Halloween Havoc last week.

Advertised for tonight:

  • Ember Moon vs. Dakota Kai
  • Tommaso Ciampa vs. Velveteen Dream
  • Shotzi Blackheart vs. Toni Storm
  • Cameron Grimes vs. Kushida

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

1) How long can they put off making a decision about Finn Bálor?

It’s been a month since Finn Bálor has been on television.

After sustaining multiple jaw fractures at TakeOver 31 in the main event against Kyle O’Reilly, the NXT champion has not been on television. Instead, they’re giving him time to rehab quickly enough to hopefully come back. That makes sense. The last champion, Karrion Kross, had to relinquish his title due to injury. They’d want to avoid having to do that back to back as much as possible.

That being said, they can only give him so long. The NXT championship needs to be represented on TV one way or another. And for the last month, it hasn’t been.

They’ve done the very best they could keeping the show interesting with out featuring one of the most important aspects of the show. Halloween Havoc was a smashing success last week. They’ve got a hot angle with Pat McAfee. The women’s division can definitely carry the burden.

Despite that, sooner or later, Finn either needs to return or give up the gold. At the very least, they need to start telling a story involving the championship. Hopefully Bálor isn’t too far from returning. Because if it’s going to be a lot longer, they need to start thinking about getting that title off him.

2) Who was that masked person?

Last week, an individual in a Scream mask helped Johnny Gargano win the North American title. They attempted to help Candice LeRae win the Women’s title, but Shotzi Blackheart thwarted those plans.

There’s word that the person was not supposed to be masked but perhaps due to COVID reasons, could not be on the show. I did not read this article so I have no idea who it is. I have a couple good guesses though.

Indi Hartwell is the safest best. She was in a story in aiding the Garganos lately and the fact she wasn’t on the show at all was odd. Austin Theory is another good guess given he just “quit” NXT. Perhaps he feels accepting the Gargano way is the best way to success.

Given it was a Scream mask, I’m still holding out hope it was David Arquette. Though on Jericho’s latest horror movie podcast, he said they tried to get Arquette to do something for AEW but he couldn’t because he’s in a bubble to film the new Scream movie. But one can hope.

3) Are we headed towards WarGames?

Last week, McAfee added a returning Pete Dunne to his newest faction, joining NXT Tag Champions Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch. The Bruiserweight revealed his alliance by beating the hell out of Kyle O’Reilly.

This puts some major hurt in my “Kyle O’Reilly is behind this” theory. Instead, it looks more like they’ve got the right number of players for a WarGames match. A babyface Undisputed ERA vs. Pat McAfee’s bad guys.

The next TakeOver isn’t until December. But they won’t be able to get a WarGames structure into the CWC. So they’d likely have to run it in a bigger arena. WWE may not be running from Amway Center in December. The contract only runs through Survivor Series and with the NBA perhaps returning to their arenas, Amway may no longer be an option. But if they find a similar sized arena, perhaps they can run WarGames there.

4) How do they book this heel vs. heel match?

NXT is running heel vs. heel tonight when Tommaso Ciampa faces Velveteen Dream.

Heel vs. heel is tough because it gives no one for the fans to root for. There’s a sect of wrestling fans who doesn’t want to see Dream at all and certainly don’t want to see him win. But that doesn’t make Ciampa a true babyface.

At first I thought maybe Kushida would get involved and be the person fans can cheer for. But Kushy has a match with maybe an undead Cameron Grimes. Maybe NXT is planning to shift Ciampa back to a tweener role.

5) Will Raquel be back in Dakota’s corner?

Last week, Raquel González had the biggest match of her career when she faced Rhea Ripley. She lost to the Nightmare, but it was a huge showing for González. It positioned her for big things in the future.

Does that mean she’s outgrown playing the role of Dakota Kai’s heavy? Kai has a big match with Ember Moon tonight. That will be a great one. But there’s little doubt in the outcome. The real uncertainty is if Raquel feels she’s too big to play backup for Kai at this point.

We’ll see if we get any answers to these questions tonight at 8 PM ET on USA Network?

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