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WWE NXT preview (June 15, 2021): Problem solver

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NXT returns tonight (June 8) from the Capitol Wrestling Center (CWC) in Orlando, Florida.

Advertised for the show:

  • General Manager William Regal makes a change
  • Kushida issues a Cruiserweight championship open challenge
  • Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher vs. Grizzled Young Veterans in a Tornado Tag match
  • All the fallout from TakeOver: In Your House

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

1) Could William Regal’s plan involve the NXT championship?

Perhaps it’s because I’m in denial about the possibility this show could be without a Real Man’s Man at the helm for the first time in a long-time, but I really don’t want the General Manager to step down.

And the “bedlam” Mr. Regal’s cited as the reason he’s going to make a change is far from the only problem facing the black-and-gold brand. Another big one is that - whether you think he’s deserving of the treatment or not - Karrion Kross seems unstoppable.

Sunday’s main event was a blast, and everyone got their moment to shine. But despite that, it never really seemed like any of those four men was going to take down the champ. Seeing as they were a murders’ row of NXT’s top stars, and Kross has already beaten Finn Bálor twice and demolished Tommaso Ciampa, it’s hard to imagine anyone on the current roster being the one to dethrone Scarlett’s man.

If the reports of a returning former NXT champion are correct... well, he’d have to be medically cleared first, but I’d pop for him stepping to Kross.

2) What’s next for the rest of the main eventers?

Do we do more Adam Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly? I won’t complain, but O’Reilly already has a win over his former Undisputed ERA partner, and had him ready to tap at In Your House before Kross finished him first.

KOR being the only babyface in the whole match doesn’t present a lot of options for the usual spin-offs that come from a multi-man. Johnny Gargano vs. Pete Dunne sounds fun, but why, though? Bragging rights works, but even if one of them turns, a feud would still be pretty much good wrestling for good wrestling’s sake.

With both a Great American Bash special and a rumored post-SummerSlam TakeOver on the docket for the next couple months, NXT will need compelling stories. It would be great if these four could all be featured in them.

3) How high can Cameron Grimes go as a babyface?

To the moon jokes aside, Grimes has been a cackling, over-the-top annoying heel since debuting in NXT. We’ve seen flashes of him playing to the crowd (such as it is), but humbly apologizing to Ted DiBiase after losing Sunday’s Ladder Match for the Million Dollar title was new wrinkle.

Can he keep the manic energy that got him over as a bad guy? Did DiBiase want him to win? Will we get a Million Dollar rematch with L.A. Knight?

4) Is Io Shirai just coming after Candice LeRae, or does she want the Women’s Tag titles?

When Poppy brought out her high-flying friend to shut up the Poison Pixie, I figured maybe Shirai would team with Sarray to go after The Way’s belts. But NXT’s newest joshi recruit was teaming with Zoey Stark in TakeOver’s “bonus match”.

Now, Io and Zoey have worked together on the same basis Sarray and Stark did: battle-forged mutual respect. So there’s a link there for the Genius of the Sky to team with either member of the team that beat the Robert Stone Brand on YouTube this past Sunday.

Or maybe Poppy pulls a Bad Bunny? I don’t think the avant garde rocker is as committed as Damian Priest’s pal, but NXT certainly established some heat between her and Indi Hartwell with that Dexter Lumis hug last Tuesday...

5) And all those other championships? What’s next for them?

Bit of a lightning round, because with Great American Bash only three weeks away and TakeOver: Not-Vegas a little over two months away - as mentioned above, Triple H, Shawn Michaels & team need some good storylines cooking for their show’s many titles:

  • Women’s champ Raquel González: Does Shotzi Blackheart try to finish what Ember Moon started? After she takes out Dakota Kai, of course.
  • Tag titleholders MSK: Assume that once Zack Gibson & James Drake and Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher settle their issues tonight, the winners gets to dance with Wes Lee & Nash Carter.
  • Cruiserweight champion Kushida: The Hit Row push needs to start somewhere. I hope they have bigger plans for Swerve than the belt he’s failed to win in the past, but Ashante Thee Adonis stepping to the Super-Juniors legend for tonight’s open challenge could be fun.
  • North American champ Bronson Reed: Lots of options here, including pretty much any of the heels who failed to take out Kross at TakeOver. I wouldn’t mind seeing the Hit Row takeover (get it?!?!) include a hoss fight with AJ “Top Dolla” Francis, though.

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.