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WWE NXT preview (July 5, 2017): Tense relations

Tonight’s show finds us at Full Sail, for the second episode from a taping (spoilers from which are here) full of big story beats designed to get us through to August’s TakeOver: Brooklyn III. Here's what to expect.

The Headliner(s)

His Glorious Era entered its next phase when NXT champion Bobby Roode beat Hideo Itami in Chicago, and Roode just wanted to coast for a while. But that Roderick Strong just wouldn’t sit back and let the champ make fun of his fiancee and newborn son, so...

Yep, that’s the set-up. Roddy wanted a title shot coming off his win over Eric Young (and positive response to his inspirational shoot backstory as presented in a series of videos entitled “Who is Roderick Strong?”) and Roode blew him off. When the Glorious One couldn’t resist making fun of Marina and Troy when Strong walked through one of the champ’s photo shoots with them, the Florida native attacked, and an angry Roode agreed to the match.

Should be fun. Now, is it a one-off or a means to set-up a rematch (or multi-man affair) for next month’s live show in New York? Or can the Messiah of the Backbreaker shock the world?

The Title Scene

After a hard fought win over Nikki Cross in her Last Woman Standing match from June 28’s episode, Women’s champion Asuka is due some time off. And she’s taking it, and using the vacation to set-up whatever’s next. The Empress has issued an edict proclaiming she won’t return until NXT finds her a worthy opponent... something Ember Moon probably doesn’t want to hear.

In our weekly rotation of championship matches, the Authors of Pain found out their tag titles are up next week. That’s when General Manager William Regal decided Heavy Machinery should get their chance to take down Paul Ellering’s boys.

Other stuff to keep an eye on:

- Kassius Ohno’s spent a fair amount of time trying to keep his friend Itami on the straight and narrow since his big loss in Chicago. Whether it’s by talking to him or providing an example in the ring, Ohno doesn’t seem to have made much of an impression. Or has he? Hideo called him to the ring after defeating Oney Lorcan last week, but before they could hash things out, SAnitY attacked. Tonight, we’ll see if they can get along long enough to take care of Alexander Wolfe and Killian Dain.

- Qualifying matches for the Mae Young Classic were held at this taping. WWE released Bianca Belair’s win over Aliyah to YouTube, but we might see one or two others some Wednesday night on the Network.

- We’ve got some big guns without clear direction right now - namely Drew McIntyre and Aleister Black.

- Will we ever learn more about that mystery woman who showed up to slap the hat off Andrade “Cien” Almas’ head, and hopefully some sense into it, a couple weeks back?

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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