NXT returns tonight (June 29) from the Capitol Wrestling Center (CWC) in Orlando, Florida.
Advertised for the show:
- Ember Moon & Shotzi Blackheart vs. Raquel González & Dakota Kai vs. Zoey Stark & Io Shirai to decide who challenges The Way for the Women’s Tag Team titles next Wednesday
- Mercedes Martinez & Jake Atlas take on Xia Li & Boa
- Cameron Grimes returns to action
- MSK and #1 contenders Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher face off
- The final push to next week’s Great American Bash
As usual, here are our five questions about NXT tonight:
1) Do new factions have to call dibs on which champ they want to target?
In between squashing soon-to-be released talents (as they did last week with Ever-Rise), Hit Row’s plan appears to be to take Bronson Reed’s North American title for Isaiah “Swerve” Scott. If Reed is headed to Raw or SmackDown soon as part of Vince McMahon’s push for bigger and younger stars, they just might succeed.
Malcolm Bivens debuted The Diamond Mine last week - allegedly with a different line-up than originally planned due to WWE’s latest round of budget cuts. The group immediately set their sights on the Cruiserweight championship, probably for Roderick Strong.
Legado del Fantasma and The Way have already been in a part of these scenes to varying degrees of success, so it appears General Manager William Regal (along with Triple H, Shawn Michaels, & the creative team) has a plan for how these groups will rotate through the various title pictures. Which is cool! And speaking of Mr. Regal’s plans...
2) I guess post-match attacks are outside of Samoa Joe’s purview?
Regal’s new enforcer didn’t like the extra-curriculars that set up tonight’s Women’s Tag Triple Threat. In putting a stop to Adam Cole & Kyle O’Reilly’s brawl two weeks back, Joe planted the seeds for a feud with the Panama City Playboy.
But he didn’t get involved when NXT champion Karrion Kross snuck up on Johnny Gargano after The Way’s win last week. We’ll see if Joe has anything to say to The Diamond Mine attacking Kushida - or Cole’s latest unsanctioned scrap with KOR after O’Reilly’s defeated the Cruiserweight champ last week.
3) Can Zoey Stark get a character?
Wrestling needs generic, hard working, fighting spirit babyfaces. But those wrestlers have a ceiling, especially in 2021... just look at how littered the NXT line-up is with different varieties of what are essentially heel characters. Stark hasn’t had a bad match since she arrived in WWE earlier this year. The fact she continually lands in high-profile spots like the one she’s in tonight says she has some powerful fans backstage.
So if there are bigger plans for Zoey, maybe we can make her a little more than just a respectful scrapper? These things can take some time to develop, and it’s possible Stark is just here to help Io Shirai get her edge back (the Genius of the Sky made it clear she doesn’t like her tag partner, so she might just go Joshi Judas on her if they don’t win a Great American Bash title shot). But if she’s going to remain a fixture on Tuesday night television, it would be nice to see what she can do with a more interesting gimmick.
4) What’s next for the Million Dollar feud?
The program thus far has completed Cameron Grimes’ babyface turn, and allowed LA Knight to break even badder than he already was by attacking DiBiase. If that scene on the TakeOver: In Your House fallout show didn’t prove it, Knight’s poolside promo and Grimey snapping at the mention of LA’s name last week made it crystal clear NXT is going to do more with this story.
That will presumably continue tonight, probably with Knight appearing before, during or after the Meme Stock Millionaire’s match. Will it set something up for next week’s Bash, or are there even bigger plans for this feud?
5) When will that battery be fully charged, and what happens then?
It was at 51% last week, so figure it hits 100 next week. Will that lead to someone’s immediate arrival or return, or a next phase of the teases? Is it Tegan Nox as so many Twitter-ers have surmised? Tessa Blanchard as her hive hopes now that she wasn’t involved in The Diamond Mine? Another new faction?
Place your bets... and plug in your devices.