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WWE NXT preview (Aug. 15, 2018): Selling dreams

EC3’s Twitter

Tonight’s show finds us in NXT’s home base of Full Sail Live for the fourth episode from a taping (spoilers from which are here) that takes us all the way to TakeOver: Brooklyn 4.

Here’s what to expect.

The Headliner(s)

This weekend’s live special from Barclays Center will offer no shortage of intrigue, and that was true even before they changed the main event with a whodunnit?

TakeOver, as always, should still be a fun show, even with a remixed three-peat main event instead of the Triple Threat many were hoping would freshen up/extend the #DIY epic (more on that in a sec). If there’s a little less buzz about it than the New Orleans and Chicago editions, however, it might have more to do with less excitement about the card’s lone non-title match than one of the participants previous outings.

Going in to these Saturday night shows for the past year, Velveteen Dream’s matches have been a major focus of fan discussion. To this point, it doesn’t seem like his upcoming bout with EC3 has people as excited as previous TakeOver feuds. Last Wednesday’s poolside summit was entertaining, and different, but failed to leave much of an impression - especially compared to how past builds with Ricochet and Aleister Black were the talk of the internet.

Maybe those aren’t fair comparisons, seeing as they were both pretty flawless. But that’s the standard Dream’s set.

Whether it’s because Black’s injury has drawn all the attention to the changes it’s caused, or because a arrogant face feuding with a heel-fans-love is hard to book, the heat’s not there yet for EC3 vs. Velveteen. NXT is handing Dream a microphone on the ‘go home’ show for Brooklyn, though. And if anyone can deliver an experience which should amp up the hype for his match, it’s that young man.

The Title Scene

Will the mystery of Aleister Black’s attacker overshadow Johnny Gargano’s Last Man Standing rubber match with NXT Champ Tommaso Ciampa? Have they gone to the well once too often with this feud, or does having the main belt involved change everything? We’ll probably have to wait for this weekend for answers, as I wouldn’t expect more than the usually excellent video package about their rivalry tonight.

He may claim he won’t need any help to remain North American Champion, but Adam Cole sure accepted an assist from his Undisputed ERA mates on the last episode. The official preview for this week’s show on doesn’t mention Ricochet responding to Cole and company’s beatdown, but look for at least an interview. Or possibly even the one and only getting involved in tonight’s likely main event...

A singles match between Roderick Strong and Tyler Bate as each tries to get the upper hand heading into Saturday’s Tag Team Title showdown. This will be another rubber match, as Moustache Mountain tries to regain the belts they won in London and dropped back to Strong and Kyle O’Reilly in Full Sail. Odds are good KOR and Trent Seven get involved before the show’s over. Probably Cole and Ricochet, too.

There are trilogy fights all over the card this weekend - maybe that’s why EC3 and Velveteen Dream’s first one-on-one seems out of place? But I digress... before trying to break her tie with Women’s Champ Shayna Baszler by adding the belt to her Mae Young Classic trophy, Kairi Sane gets a warm-up against Aliyah on tonight’s show.

Other stuff to keep an eye on:

- Seriously, who attacked Aleister Black? The alternate footage didn’t provide anything but more suspects. Get ready for more questions than answers, at least until we get to New York this weekend.

- Issues between The Mighty and Street Profits will come to a head tonight. Unless War Raiders decide to get hungry and lose their manners (R.I.P. Anvil).

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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