Tonight’s show finds us in back in NXT’s new home away from home, Atlanta’s Center Stage, for the first episode from the second night of taping (spoilers from which are here) building toward TakeOver: New Orleans.
Here's what to expect.
It’s not the top story WWE is promoting for the Feb. 28 episode, but tell me you can stop thinking about how NXT champion Andrade “Cien” Almas defeated Johnny Gargano, with an assist from Blackheart himself, Tommaso Ciampa to force Johnny Wrestling to sign a termination agreement, work the weekend house shows and post this...
I've had a few days to collect my thoughts.. As I finish the last of my commitments at live events this upcoming weekend.. I just wanted to say.. #ThankYouNXT pic.twitter.com/CFLwvvthA0— Johnny Gargano (@JohnnyGargano) February 26, 2018
Surely, the champ’s business associate, Zelina Vega, is working on getting Cien a new challenger. According to WWE.com’s official preview for this episode, she’ll address that - and probably taunt the crap out of Gargano and wife Candice LeRae.
While General Manager William Regal isn’t dealing with that, he’s probably figuring out how to deal with Ciampa. And... SONOFABITCH...
We all have that one person in our lives who doesn't know how to end a phone conversation...— BLACKHEART (@ProjectCiampa) February 26, 2018
"Okay, bye Ma."
"Yup. Love you too. Bye now."
"Sounds good. Talk soon."
"Oh for heaven's sake, in a bad area. Might get disconnected."
Johnny Gargano is THAT person... pic.twitter.com/h0LiPZRswC
Man, I hope Regal figures out a way to let these guys fight each other.
The Title Scene
The actual top story for tonight’s show stems from Shayna Baszler’s win by disqualifcation over Women’s titlist Ember Moon. The Queen of Spades seemed willing to lose by DQ if it meant she could put Ember on the injured reserve for a long time, but an old foe made the save for the champ. Now, Mae Young Classic winner Kairi Sane will try to stop Shayna’s reign of terror. If she can, it should put her in position for a WrestleMania weekend championship match. If not, she may end up in the trainer’s room with Ember.
Watch as @QoSBaszler goes one-on-one with @KairiSaneWWE TOMORROW NIGHT on an ALL-NEW episode of @WWENXT at 8/7c on @WWENetwork! #WWENXT pic.twitter.com/M76KtshVuA— WWE (@WWE) February 28, 2018
Next week’s Dusty Rhodes Classic will determine who challenges tag team champs Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly of Undisputed ERA in New Orleans - and two possibilities are their familiar rivals SAnitY and Authors of Pain. Will anyone else get a shot between now and April 7?
Pete Dunne remains the United Kingdom champ. And with his most recent and usual challengers busy in other tournaments, looks like it’s gonna stay that way.
Other stuff to keep an eye on:
- The first UK champion has been busy lately. And in addition to his recent trip to 205 Live and teaming with Trent Seven for The Dusty, Tyler Bate is next in line for the Velveteen Dream Experience. Bate was on the list of “indy” workers Dream wants to shoot on, and as winner of 2017 Match of the Year in the NXT Awards, might have the biggest purple target on his back. A wet backstage scene sealed the deal, and the match was made. Man, describing Velveteen angles always sounds so... sexy.
- A run-in between possible Almas challengers Aleister Black and Killian Dain got the recap treatment last Wednesday, but no match announcment. Perhaps they’re waiting to interject the ERA’s Adam Cole, who - despite a loss to Black in Philadelphia - also figures to be in that mix after a big Royal Rumble weekend?
- Ricochet is working house shows. Just sayin’...
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!