Tonight’s show finds us in NXT’s home base of Full Sail Live for the third episode from a taping (spoilers from which are here) that takes us all the way to TakeOver: Brooklyn 4.
Here’s what to expect.
With only two shows to go between us and Sat., Aug. 18, there’s a lot of big stuff coming down the pipe for the black-and-yellow brand. But before we get to that, take a moment to bask in the glory of this...
Keith Lee got the “indie darling in the crowd” treatment in Chicago, and he’ll make his WWE on-screen wrestling debut on this episode. With the steady flow of new, majorly hyped signings coming through Triple H’s territory these days, it’s easy to get distracted by the next bright shiny thing. People are already fantasy booking a guy Lee’s had a few wars with into the Brooklyn 4 main event, and he hasn’t even officially been announced yet (also, he’s missing part of his finger right now).
Not sure what the immediate plans are for the Texas big man - although Velveteen Dream dropping one of Keith’s catchphrases into his promo to EC3 last Wednesday sure was interesting - but don’t overlook him yet. Not for Matt Riddle or anyone else.
If you want evidence of why you shouldn’t, well, my man Henry T Casey provided us with plenty in his profile of The Limitless One. But look no further than that video above, which WWE was sharing around the web before and during Raw this week. That’s a major push for someone who hasn’t appeared on any of their televised shows yet.
And it means they’re going to try to make us believe the hype about Keith Lee right out of the gate.
The Title Scene
Johnny Gargano got the upperhand on NXT Champ Tommaso Ciampa when he ran past Aleister Black to end Blackheart’s gloating a week ago. Unfortunately for Johnny, it ended up like a lot of things do when they seem to be going his way these days. Black didn’t like the run-in last Wednesday any more than he liked the one which helped cost him the belt. So Aleister and Gargano will face off tonight. The untelevised issue lingering over this match, and which could stop the Triple Threat which seemed obvious seven days ago, is a groin issue the Dutch Destroyer suffered at a recent house show. How everything plays out tonight should be very interesting... even if you’ve read the spoilers.
He tried to explain his way out of it, but General Manager William Regal wasn’t buying it, BAY BAY. Adam Cole may be right that he’s been defending his North American Title all over the globe, but Ricochet is pretty deserving of a shot. So Regal gave him one for TakeOver. First, he has a warm-up match tonight. He better watch his back though...
Undisputed ERA’s Kyle O’Reilly and Roderick Strong are focused on defending their freshly re-won Tag Team Championship, especially seeing as Moustache Mountain are exercising their own rematch clause for Brooklyn. But they’ll probably have time to help Cole out with an attack on Ric, if they want.
Women’s Champ Shayna Baszler was making a statement of her own when she not only defeated Candice LeRae last week, but continued to punish her after the bell. #1 contender Kairi Sane ran in to make the save. Now, on the night of the Mae Young Classic (MYC) tapings, we’re more ready than ever for the rematch of last year’s finals. Unfortunately, we have to wait for Aug. 18.
Other stuff to keep an eye on:
- While we’re on the subject of the MYC, the final entrant in the 2019 field will officially be determined on this episode. Vanessa Borne faces Taynara Conti in a battle to see which of the two will enter the tournament for the second year in a row.
- Shane Thorne and Nick Miller were distracted by Street Profits a week ago, and Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins party in the stands cost them against Heavy Machinery. The Mighty are looking for revenge, and it might happen here.
- Everyone in the tag division should be watching out for War Raiders, though.
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!