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NXT preview (May 13, 2020): Who Dunnit

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NXT returns tonight (May 13) from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida.

Advertised for tonight:

  • Matt Riddle & Timothy Thatcher (c) vs. Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel for the NXT tag team championships
  • Finn Bálor vs. Cameron Grimes

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

1) How long do they draw out the latest “who dunnit?”

Finn Bálor vowed to get revenge against the person or people who attacked him weeks back. But we’re not any closer in knowing who actually did it.

The segment last week set up a match for tonight after Cameron Grimes was dumb enough to talk trash. But he isn’t the attacker. And we may be a long ways from the reveal.

Last week we speculated who could have done it. I still think it’s Adam Cole and Undisputed, a move that will set up Bálor vs. Cole for the championship. But they may draw it out. Mystery angles are the most fun before the reveal. More often or not, the endgame isn’t as fun as our speculation. And this is something they can easily play with in their crowdless format. Why not stretch it out?

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe the culprit will attack the Prince during the match tonight. But more likely, we’ll be waiting a bit longer.

2) When do we see Velveteen Dream next?

Velveteen Dream lost his championship match to Adam Cole last week. He was somewhat protected given a referee bump that occurred right when he had the match won. But he still lost.

This is just weeks after some serious allegations were made against him, allegations that he denied.

We don’t know if that had any impact on the outcome of the match last week. If it did factor into their decision, it’s possible Dream is kept off TV for a bit. However there’s a feud that they set up against Dexter Lumis that they can run given Lumis was responsible for the referee going down, albeit inadvertently. So if they aren’t looking to keep Velveteen off TV, that may be a way that they go.

3) Where are Malcolm’s boys?

Timothy Thatcher and Matt Riddle will defend their tag team championships against Imperium’s Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel this week.

Aichner and Barthel are a serious threat that should be taken seriously, but given there wasn’t much build here, there likely won’t be a change. The tag champs also have Malcom Biven’s team of Indus Sher gunning for them. We haven’t seen them in a while, so perhaps they’ll make their presence known again tonight.

The next big challenge for Riddle and his actual partner Pete Dunne was likely going to be the Grizzled Young Veterans. But those guys are probably in Dunne’s shoes, in England unable to get to the states. That mean Indus Sher may be the next big feud for the tag straps.

4) What’s next for Keith Lee?

Keith Lee is running out of opponents.

Most recently he bested Damian Priest to retain his North American title. That should put Priest at the back of the line. He’s lost to Lee in the one on one match and in a triple threat that involved Dominik Dijakovic. Speaking of Dijakovic, he too has lost a singles match and a triple threat to Lee. While they may come back to that match one more time, they should wait a bit. It feels like that’s a well they’ve gone to a bit too often lately.

But then what? Perhaps Keith will defend against a newcomer. Someone like Dexter Lumis (who probably needs to establish himself a bit more) or Killer Kross (who feels destined to fast track to the main event). The secondary title would be a backtrack for Johnny Gargano, but his new heel persona could take exception to Keith Lee.

The other option is Keith jumps to the main event. Right now, there are only two people who make sense to face Adam Cole for the title. One is Finn Bálor. The other Keith Lee.

5) Are we headed towards a triple threat?

Rhea Ripley made her return last week to stop Charlotte Flair from delivering a DQ worthy beating to Io Shirai. Io was not pleased with the Nightmare’s help and confronted Rhea outside. It got so heated that they needed to be pulled apart.

This is going to go one of two ways.

We’re going to get a triple threat match between the three of them for the title. Or we’re going to get Rhea vs. Io in a #1 contenders match.

Personally, I’d be down for either. We never got Shirai vs. Ripley, and that’s a match we need to see eventually. But I also think all three women have enough chemistry to put together a kickin’ triple threat.


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