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NXT preview (Dec. 2, 2020): Predictability

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NXT returns tonight (Dec. 2) from the Capitol Wrestling Center (CWC) in Orlando, Florida. This is the go home show for TakeOver: WarGames this Sunday.

Advertised for tonight:

  • Shotzi Blackheart vs. Raquel González in an WarGames Advantage Ladder Match

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

1) Who gets the advantage for the women’s WarGames match?

Ok, this isn’t really a question. Raquel González is winning this ladder match. It’ll be Candice’s team who wins the advantage. Because the heels always get the person advantage in WarGames. Always. Always always always. It’s just how the match is booked. The babyfaces are going to go through a period of disadvantage before WarGames truly gets underway.

But even though the finish is not going to be in doubt, these qualifiers are usually fun. Kyle O’Reilly vs. Pete Dunne last week was great. Last year, Mia Yim and Io Shirai had a killer match. So despite the ending being rather predictable, this will still be a fun bout.

It will also be another chance for NXT to continue to present Raquel as a future star, something they’ve been doing a really good job with so far.

2) How last minute does Io Shirai get added to Shotzi’s team?

The only spot left open for WarGames is on Shotzi Blackheart’s team.

Since last episode, both Ember Moon and Rhea Ripley have visited Shotzi in her workshop and agreed to be on her team. That just leaves one opening.

Obviously, it’s going to be Io Shirai. She was attacked by Candice’s team last week. Of course she’s going to be in the match. It’s just a matter of when they make it official. Maybe she’ll just stop by the workshop too. But I think they reveal it during the show tonight.

It’ll be a situation where LeRae’s team attacks Blackheart’s team, maybe at the end of the ladder match, and Io Shirai will make the save. Given there’s little doubt that the last spot belongs to the women’s champion, there’s no need to push the reveal until Sunday.

3) Where will WarGames be held?

Since the pandemic, TakeOvers have been held in the same building where they’ve been taping weekly TV. That would be either Full Sail University or now the CWC. But it’s highly unlikely they can run the WarGames show in same building.

The reason for that is the fact the WarGames structure is rather large. It’s a cage that encompasses two rings. And I don’t think it would fit in the CWC. Maybe it could, but if it did, it’d be very tight.

My guess is they run it at the ThunderDome. There’s more room and it wouldn’t feel cramped. It’ll allow them more room for more camera angles from the top of the cage. They haven’t announced this, but I bet that’s where we’ll be come Sunday night.

4) Was that Pat McAfee last week?

As mentioned, Pete Dunne won Pat McAfee’s WarGame team the man advantage. He had helped from a masked man who pushed the ladder over when Kyle O’Reilly was about to win.

This person was wearing the same getup Pat wore when he revealed his masterplan a month back. He wasn’t on the show last week so it’s likely him. (It wasn’t really him but some PC talent standing him for him.) The radio host denies it, but we don’t believe him.

If it’s revealed that it is him, does that mean the decision is reversed? After all, the members of both teams were instructed to watch from balconies away from the ring. Still... probably not. Because how do you prove it?

The other option, though less likely, is it wasn’t Pat Mac and the former punter has another ace up his sleeve, maybe one that’ll be revealed at WarGames.

5) Does Tommaso vs. Thatcher get added to TakeOver?

WarGames already has four matches - the two WarGames matches, the triple threat North American title match, and a strap match between Cameron Grimes & Dexter Lumis. As we looked at last week, four matches was what they went with last year so the show didn’t get too bloated.

But Tommaso Ciampa vs. Timothy Thatcher is a match that could warrant a spot on a TakeOver. Tommaso is still one of NXT’s biggest starts and worthy of a match on the special. At the same time, I could see using this match as a part of a big TV episode.

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