Tonight’s show finds us in NXT’s home base of Full Sail Live for the first episode from a taping (spoilers from which are here) that builds out from TakeOver: Chicago 2.
Here’s what to expect.
The spoiler so good even Triple H and WWE spoiled it is fully out in the open and part of the timeline. NXT UK’s Trent Seven and Tyler Bate, aka Moustache Mountain (when it’s just the two of them; British Strong Style when they’re getting along with United Kingdom Champ Pete Dunne), are Tag Team Champions after beating Undisputed ERA’s Roderick Strong and Kyle O’Reilly in London yesterday/last Tuesday.
Bate and Seven will wrestle on this week’s edition of the black-and-yellow brand. Or should we call it the “North American” version of NXT? The “main” one? As Hunter officially launches his second territory and takes a step toward a third (or fourth, depending on how you view 205 Live), there are lots of questions about how a WWE Developmental system with multiple different sub-brands will function.
Moustache Mountain winning gold that isn’t labeled “UK” is a first, but having talent from Britain and Europe on NXT and competing for titles isn’t. One would assume that with tag and women’s belts coming to NXT UK, that will slow or stop. Will more Superstars from the other side of the Atlantic follow Noam Dar’s lead and migrate back to the newest branch of Trips’ empire? What about wrestlers from the continent like Fabian Aichner? Established stars of Wednesday nights like Nikki Cross?
Some crossover should be expected, for sure. It will also be a work a progress (no pun intended).
Another thing to consider is if there will be a hierarchy of NXT brands. As a global entity, WWE probably wants to stay away from overtly saying the U.S. version is the most important. But realistically, they’re an American company whose biggest stars and most successful shows spend most of their time in the States. It only makes sense that if someone like Dunne is getting closer to debuting on Raw or SmackDown full-time, he’d head to Florida and “NXT NA” for his final preparations.
We, and The Game’s team, will have time to figure that out. While we do, look for KOR and Roddy to be plotting a way to get their belts back from Bate and Seven ASAP. Kyle needs something to use as a guitar during the ERA’s entrance.
The Title Scene
We discussed his Twitter exchanges with Tommaso Ciampa and how we see those playing out in last week’s preview. NXT Champion Aleister Black will be on hand tonight to tell us how he’s recovering from his war with Lars Sullivan and looking at a potential match-up with the Blackheart.
Shayna Baszler survived a tough challenge from Toni Storm when she retained the Women’s Championship via countout in London, and that means she’s won decisive victories in all the title defenses during her reign. Is no one ready for Shayna?
Honestly, since winning the North American Title in New Orleans’ ladder match, Adam Cole’s run with NXT’s newest strap hasn’t been terribly memorable. With him being Undisputed’s only current champion, that should change in a hurry.
Other stuff to keep an eye on:
- The official preview for this episode on WWE.com doesn’t mention her presumably still broken husband very much, but that could be because Candice LeRae will be focused on a showdown with Lacey Evans this week. The winner of the match between Mrs. Wrestling and The First Lady of NXT will have a good claim to a shot at The Queen of Spades.
- After being left off the card in Chicago, EC3 is vowing to fight “everybody” as he remakes this show into NX3. He might want to start with Velveteen Dream, who may still be questioning his future after following up his loss to Ricochet at TakeOver by walking out on EC3 during their tag match in London.
- And Ricochet will be looking to keep his winning streak going, especially after standing tall with the NXT Champ in Royal Albert Hall.
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See you tonight for NXT, Cagesiders!