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WWE NXT preview (Oct. 18, 2017): The looming war

Tonight’s show finds us at Full Sail, for the third episode from a taping (spoilers from which are here) which continues the build toward November’s TakeOver: War Games. Here's what to expect.

The Headliner(s)

Adam Cole’s first official WWE match ended with his hand being raised after he pinned Eric Young. That was thanks in large part to the chaos his boys Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly created by getting into it with the rest of the tag team titleholding trio, SAnitY.

That was just the latest battle in the ongoing war between the new faction (who, whether you or I like it, is being called The Undisputed ERA) and EY, Alexander Wolfe, Killian Dain and Nikki Cross, and you have to think at some point it will lead to a battle for the belts... although former champ’s Authors of Pain are still sitting on a rematch clause. Akam and Rezar have been MIA since Brooklyn, which many thought signalled a call-up. But with no signs of promotion and still no formal championship challenge from Fish and O’Reilly, expect to see them back soon.

Tonight’s main event six-man tag between SAnitY and The Undisputed ERA* brings with it a lot of intrigue, and the whereabouts of Paul Ellering’s squad is only one question. Another thing to watch is how the champs transition to working babyface goes. The lack of pro-active interference from Cross, Dain and Wolfe during the Young/Cole bout gave it a different vibe from the one fans initially embraced from the off-kilter quartet.

Luckily, the ex-Ring of Honor crew is pretty easy to hate.

A multi-man match with the return of War Games looming... this should be interesting.

* As if giving the group the name of a time period wasn’t cumbersome enough, why are we capitalizing ERA now? There’s no obvious acronym... are they in favor of old school baseball stats? Proponents of adding equal rights to the Constitution? More like SMH...

The Title Scene

He successfully defended his NXT championship against Roderick Strong, but Strong’s post-match conversation with Cole and company has to be weighing on Drew McIntyre’s mind. He’ll address that, and whatever else he’s asked, in an “exclusive interview” on this episode. If he is done with Roddy, McIntyre is without a formal challenger with only a month to go until TakeOver. Could he (and maybe Roddy?) be involved in the War Games match, too?

We’ll continue determining the participants for next month’s Fatal 4Way to decide who will succeed Asuka as Women’s champion. So far, Mae Young Classic (MYC) winner Kairi Sane and Peyton Royce have punched their tickets for Houston. Now, we’ll see if Ember Moon (working a match on screen for the first time since Brooklyn), Ruby Riot or Sonya Deville earns the shot.

Other stuff to keep an eye on:

- Velveteen Dream sent a message to Aleister Black by once again beating up Lio Rush - this time in an official match. Will it be enough to get the Stoic Satanist to to acknowledge him? Black will be facing the much buzzed about Raul Mendoza tonight, and we’ll be watching for an appearance by the man Aleister calls “Patrick”.

- The latest WWE run by Kassius Ohno has been a bit puzzling (though not as puzzling as the disappearance of Hideo Itami since Ohno won their feud), but maybe we’ll get some clues about Ohno’s next move when he faces Cezar Bononi on this episode.

- Another great match between Andrade “Cien” Almas and Johnny Gargano moved Zelina Vega’s associate one step closer to his goal of a title shot, and Johnny Wrestling looking for answers.

NOTE: Spoilers are out there for these pre-taped broadcasts (including here), but many Cagesiders don't partake. If you are going to post or discuss spoilers for this show before they happen, or results of future shows, please use the spoiler bar in your comment.

See you tonight for NXT, Cagesiders!

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