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NXT preview (May 4, 2021): Digging in the dirt

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NXT returns tonight (May 4) from the Capitol Wrestling Center (CWC) in Orlando, Florida.

Advertised for the show:

  • Shotzi Blackheart & Ember Moon defend the NXT Women’s Tag titles against Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell in a Street Fight
  • Isaiah “Swerve” Scott and Leon Ruff face off in a Falls Count Anywhere match
  • Finn Bálor returns
  • Grizzled Young Veterans vs. Timothy Thatcher & Tommaso Ciampa

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

1) Will Candice LeRae ever win a title?

There are a lot of angles to take on the InDex drama, which will be front and center tonight for the Women’s Tag Team championship Street Fight - and be lurking around the North American title scene, where Bronson Reed’s earned a title shot while Dexter Lumis stalks Johnny Gargano.

Chief among them has to be the question of whether Candice LeRae will ever be more than a bridesmaid when it comes to black-and-gold brand belts. Her character doesn’t deserve it here - it appears she’s scheming to split Indi Hartwell and Dexter Lumis, regardless of whether that breaks her friend/mentee/daughter figure’s heart. And seeing as Hartwell is smarter than Austin Theory (on whom Candice & Johnny Gargano worked a similar con when he was enamored with the Tortured Artist), and Lumis actually cares about Indi, it probably won’t work on the Aussie. That could very well cost The Way this match, and again make the Poison Pixie a championship match loser.

Which makes sense for the story, but it kind of sucks for the performer.

2) Is Franky Monet working with The Way?

Also curious about the involvement of the former Taya Valkyrie (and her little dog, too). Monet crashed Ember Moon & Shotzi Blackheart’s interview to plant the first seed in LeRae’s scheme to convince Hartwell that Lumis is crushing on the champs. Is that just part of Franky’s overall scheme of showing up in a bunch of different stories to... keep everyone on their toes, I guess? She’s stepped to Women’s champion Raquel González and Io Shirai since debuting, and now this. When will we see her, you know, wrestle?

Okay, the InDex story has its tendrils throughout NXT these days. We could probably do five questions on it alone. But let’s branch out...

3) What the heck is the Diamond Mine?

My first thought was this might be “Raw Underground” minus Shane McMahon, maybe even as the previously reported new NXT Evolve show. But now it seems like WWE might do something with MLW in lieu of that idea, and I also remembered that before he disappeared (again), Malcolm Bivens was pushing Tyler Rust by saying he’s a “diamond in the rust”.

Could leading an MMA-y stable of ex-Evolve guys finally be a way to get Bivens on our screens more often? You could basically take all the dudes Timothy Thatcher used to stretch out in those Thatch as Thatch Can training segments before he started palling around with Tommaso Ciampa. And speaking of Thatcher...

4) Is anyone going to join Imperium?

Since Alexander Wolfe landed in the States, we’ve had intrigue about Toothless Timmy and Killian Dain abandoning their current partners to join WALTER’s unit. Thatcher and Ciampa seem to be fine, and a lot of online suspense building didn’t lead to Dain leaving Drake Maverick in the dust. With the Ring General seemingly back on the other side of the Atlantic, is this angle over?

There’s also the question of where Imperium fits in a crowded NXT Prime tag picture. Figure they’re third in line, at best, for a shot at MSK’s titles, behind Legado Del Fantasma and probably Grizzled Young Veterans - depending on the outcome of their match with Ciampa & Thatcher tonight. It’s a stable that could use a boost, and a new member would do that. If that’s still the plan.

5) Is Finn Bálor going to get a rematch for the NXT title?

With the Prince’s return to Florida tonight, and TakeOver: Dublin’s cancellation, it seems unlikely we’re getting Bálor vs. WALTER any time soon. Last week, Adam Cole made it sound like he’s not done with Kyle O’Reilly. Aside from some Twitter banter with Pete Dunne, and a moment where he locked eyes with O’Reilly, a new challenger has yet to emerge for Karrion Kross.

The only way championship feuds are usually one and done is if the loser goes to the main roster. We’re just connected the dots here, but don’t surprised if we see Bálor/Kross II in the not-too-distant future.


Give us your questions and answers in the comments below. Then join us in our live blog and we’ll see what Qs and As tonight’s show gives us.