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NXT preview (Jan. 27, 2021): Long line

NXT returns tonight (Jan. 27) from the Capitol Wrestling Center (CWC) in Orlando, Florida. They are building towards their next TakeOver on Feb. 14.

Advertised for tonight:

  • Finn Bálor & Kyle O’Reilly vs. Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch (non-title)
  • Kushida & Leon Ruff vs. Grizzled Young Veterans in a Men’s Dusty Classic quarterfinal
  • Killian Dain & Drake Maverick vs. MSK in a Men’s Dusty Classic quarterfinal
  • Dakota Kai & Raquel González square off with Aliyah & Jessi Kamea in a Women’s Dusty Classic quarterfinal
  • Santos Escobar (c) vs. Curt Stallion for the NXT Cruiserweight championship

New previewer, same format... here are our five questions about NXT tonight:

1) Is the NXT Women’s title scene TOO crowded?

Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter (who may be turning heel, I guess) advanced in the Women’s Dusty Classic last week thanks to NXT Women’s champion Io Shirai returning to get revenge on Mercedes Martinez. Martinez’s partner Toni Storm then attacked Shirai backstage.

Triple H & team have always been a bit more willing to book multi-person title matches for the women than for the men, going all the way back to 2014’s TakeOver: Fatal 4-Way, and we could be heading to at least a Triple Threat at next month’s PPV. If that is the case, the winner would emerge with at least one person with a good case for a rematch... and a line of women including at least Raquel González & Ember Moon.

Many of the potential challengers are, like González, Moon, and her partner Shotzi Blackhart, are tied up in the chase for the first Women’s Dusty Cup. But it’s a very crowded scene.

The upside is that whoever finally beats Shirai should be made, and have a bunch of competitors ready to go. The downside is there are going to be a lot of women competing over a limited amount of television time.

As viewers, we should be the clear cut winners. But for developing and building new stars, it’s not an ideal situation. Maybe Trips will get his extra show to replace the Florida house show circuit soon and get more women more screen time. Or maybe Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell’s win over Gigi Dolin & Cora Jade on 205 Live last Friday is the start of the purple brand becoming that show?

2) How many people will interfere in the main event?

It seems certain that Lorcan & Burch’s sort-of stablemate Pete Dunne will get involved. Will Adam Cole & Roderick Strong swoop in to tilt the odds in the good and/or gray guys favor? What about still undefeated Karrion Kross? Will Pat McAfee be back for this TakeOver, or wait for the next one?

Should be a banger, and if it does stay two-on-two, my money’s on Finn & Kyle. It is non-title after all, and champs don’t tend to do well in those.

3) Anyone want to bet against MSK making the Dusty Classic final?

As much as I love the Furry & the Fury, I’m definitely taking Wes Lee & Nash Carter tonight. And I really don’t see those Rascalz having much trouble with the winner of Legado Del Fantasma or the suddenly white-hot Lucha House Party... although that match should be a doozy. My only real question is if MSK can overcome the most powerful force in Dusty Cup history: a pair of singles guys thrown together at the start of the tournament.

Check out the up-to-date brackets here.

4) Will NXT be able to make most fans care about the Cruiserweight title?

I like Santos Escobar, and have since he wrestled in a certain Temple out west. I dig the LDF’s presentation and general vibe. But something’s not clicking, and I think it’s the division they rule over. I’m also not thinking a match with an Evolve signee most NXT viewers have never heard of is going to change that.

But they were able to get Alexander Wolfe over to try and straighten out Imperium. Maybe a unification bout with the other Cruiserweight champ Jordan Devlin isn’t too far off? That might do the trick.

5) Who is Xia Li gonna send to the local medical center next?

Is it time to move up to name brand competition yet? Is it time to reveal the mystery woman in the Tian Sha throne? I want to know, but I’m also scared to find out...

Join us in our live blog and we’ll see if we get any answers to these questions tonight.

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