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NXT preview (July 22, 2020): Slow Build

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NXT returns tonight (July 22) from Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida. They are two weeks removed from the Great American Bash.

Advertised for tonight:

  • William Regal’s big announcement
  • Karrion Kross vs. Dominik Dijakovic
  • Dexter Lumis vs. Killian Dain

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

1) How long do they tease out Kross’ title match?

It seems inevitable that Karrion Kross will face Keith Lee for the NXT title (and maybe the North American title at the same time). He was watching intently as Lee defeated Adam Cole to win both men’s single titles. That was NXT letting us know this feud is likely the destination.

In general, it feels like Kross is going to be in the title scene sooner than later. He’s been rolled out in a way that lesser midcard feuds doesn’t seem worth it. He easily defeated NXT staple Tommaso Ciampa. Having anything more than quick programs with larger guys like he is with Dominik Dijakovic doesn’t seem worth the time. He already feels to big for that.

Dijakovic is a good choice for victim tonight. He’s a big guy, meaning it would be another impressive win for Kross. Plus, Dom is friends with Keith Lee. Karrion destroying him will also serve as a shot at the champ.

If I had to guess, when they do eventually lock up, Kross wins. Because of that, they’ll likely take their time getting there. Keith’s win was too big for him to lose the belts any time real soon. So everything with Kross is going to be likely teased out.

That’s a good thing. Given the way they have handled Karrion Kross carefully, from his ominous presentation to making sure not to over expose him, his eventually championship win should have a huge impact. That impact would lessen if he beat Keith Lee at their next big event. Lee needs to be the dominant light at the top of the promotion for awhile for Kross extinguishing that light to really mean something.

2) What’s next for Tegan Nox?

Tegan Nox was unsuccessful in her attempt to defeat Io Shirai and win the NXT Women’s championship last week. It was a strong effort but in the end, Io was just too much for her.

So now what?

Ideally, Tegan would enter a program where she could pick up a win to get some momentum back. But there aren’t obvious choices to fill that role. There’s Candice LeRae, or Rhea Ripley, or Mercedes Martinez. But those three women can use the win as much as Tegan, if not maybe more.

Could Tegan lose her next feud too? Sure. If a title win isn’t in the plans for the immediate future, and it’s probably not, taking another close loss could just be something else for her to eventually overcome when she does climb to the top of that mountain. But the more she loses, the more work they’ll have to do to get her to a point she can believably win the title.

While there doesn’t seem to be an obvious next step, NXT has proved very proficient in finding the best next feud for talent.

3) Is Killian Dain in the Robert Stone Brand?

Last week, Robert Stone tried to convince Killian Dain that he didn’t throw coffee at him weeks back before he was run over by a tank. (He totally did.) However, when Aliyah found a picture drawn by Dexter Lumis that included Dain, the Beast of Belfast was willing to give Stone a chance. Get him a match with Lumis and he wouldn’t kick his ass.

Stone did just that, securing the match by the end of the night. Does that mean Dain is going to join Robert Stone’s Brand? I mean he did get him a match with some true efficiency. That’s got to count for something, right?

Nah.

I don’t think Dain is the “brand” type of guy. It won’t stop Rob Stone from trying though. And he’ll probably get his butt kicked because of it.

4) Is Dain here to give Lumis a big win?

Killian Dain’s return to NXT has been disappointing. The assumption was he was going to be a big deal. After all, he’s got a good look and is rather athletic for his size. He has the tools to be in the NXT title scene.

But that never happened. In fact, it was surprising to see him pop up in the backstage bit with Stone and the tank because he’s in general MIA. That led to tonight’s match.

Lumis is someone who’s had quite the rollout. He isn’t undefeated. He’s taken his fair share of losses in his feud with the Undisputed ERA. But he’s featured. And the reason he may not have been featured as much recently is likely because the plan to team him with Velveteen was put on hold as more allegations came out against Velveteen Dream.

So if I had to pick a winner, I’d pick Lumis. But even if that’s the case, they need to find something for Killian coming out of this. He’s too talented to be forgotten.

5) What will the next TakeOver be called?

William Regal is promising a huge announcement. It could be many things. Such as the plan for Keith Lee holding both titles and whether he has to continually defend them both or relinquish the North American title. Or maybe something concerning the pseudo-forgotten tag team titles.

But an announcement regarding their next TakeOver event is possible. After all, we’re only a month out from SummerSlam which likely has a TakeOver associated. But it’s not going to be TakeOver: Boston given the show is going to be in Florida where they’ve taped everything else.

Maybe they’ll tape the whole thing in the parking lot and call it TakeOver: Road Wild. Or maybe they borrow a more general old PPV name and call it TakeOver: Armageddon. I know that was a traditional December show, but doesn’t it just kind of feel fitting right now? Plus, would really play into Karrion Kross’ doomsday gimmick. Though if they’re waiting on his title match like they should, they should keep this name until then.

Venture your guesses below.


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