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WWE NXT preview (Feb. 15, 2017): Of icons and moustaches

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Tonight’s show finds us back full-time at Full Sail Live, with the second episode from a taping (spoilers from which are here) that will start the journey to TakeOver: Orlando. Here's what to expect.

The Headliner(s)

It’s not clear why we’re getting this match-up for the first ever WWE United Kingdom championship defense. We got some nice promo videos on champ Tyler Bate and challenger Trent Seven last week, and whether you’ve followed these guys in Chikara and Progress for years, or have only seen them in the tournament last month* and Bate’s match with Oney Lorcan in San Antonio, you probably know this has a chance to be a great piece of business.

But it’s not like Seven was anywhere near the finals (he lost a second round match to Wolfgang). Mark Andrews, who lost in the semis to eventual runner-up Pete Dunne, would seem to have a stronger case.

But Trent is a name WWE has pushed since the UKCT was announced, and he’s Bate’s tag partner on the indies, so it’s not like this is completely out of left field.

The big question is, how will the belt Bate carries into this match figure into the bigger NXT picture? Will we get occassional title matches mixed into the ongoing angles until WWE establishes a show for our friends on the other side of the Atlantic? Or is this the second men’s singles championship many fans have been requesting for the brand?

We probably won’t get answers to those questions tonight, but we should get a good match - and maybe a new champ!

* If you haven’t seen the UKCT, it will play in its entirety on WWE Network before NXT today, starting at 3:30PM Eastern.

The Title Scene

Our new NXT champion, Bobby Roode, kicked off the Glorious Era last week. Roode plans to take the brand to the next level, but with Shinsuke Nakamura getting closer to returning to the ring (on television - despite the injury angle they’re running online, he’s still working house shows) and Triple H already having spoiled Kassius Ohno’s title shot at the next taping, he’ll have to fight to make those plans a reality.

Undefeated Women’s champ Asuka has a couple potential challengers, but she doesn’t know who Ember Moon is, while SAnitY’s Nikki Cross definitely isn’t done with the Empress of Tomorrow.

While many fans are pulling for them to move up to SmackDown to challenge for those belts, The Revival revealed last week they’re still gunning for the NXT tag titles held by Authors of Pain. But what of the guys Akam & Rezar beat for the belts? When will Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa get their rematch?

Other stuff to keep an eye on:

- Kind of feels like we just did this, but Peyton Royce & Billie Kay have a tag match with Liv Morgan & a mystery partner tonight. The Icons asked for a match after Liv beat Billie, and seem confident Morgan won’t be able to find a partner.

- SAnitY’s Eric Young, Killian Dain, Alexander Wolfe and Cross ran roughshod over the show seven days ago, and we’re all looking to Tye Dillinger to see how he responds after again refusing to join the faction, and again coming up short with (this time with Roderick Strong & No Way Jose) trying to stop them.

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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