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) which continues the build toward TakeOver: WarGames 2.
Here’s what to expect.
We got our latest reminder War Raiders really want Kyle O’Reilly & Roderick Strong’s Tag Team titles when Hanson & Rowe chased Undisputed ERA off into the night to end last week’s episode. That should be a lot of fun, both as a two-on-two affair and as part of the oft-speculated two-cage-three-trios main event of the next live Network special.
What happens to them next? Not that I won’t enjoy what happens before their eventual move to a main roster show, and encourage you to do the same. But watching The Revival get a rare chance to show their talent’s on this week’s Raw (Sept. 24) - the same episode which featured The Ascension getting an out-of-nowhere moment in the sun working with American Alpha’s Chad Gable - really got me thinking about what happens to prominent NXT tag teams when they’re done in the black-and-yellow brand.
You’d think the upside would be greater for the ERA or the Raiders, and hopefully it will be. But looking at history, under/average-sized teams of great workers like Dash & Dawson or Gable & Jason Jordan haven’t broken out on Raw or SmackDown, and monster squads like Konnor & Viktor or AOP haven’t had much luck, either. Maybe a faction like Undisputed will break out. All signs point to the brass being high on Adam Cole. But he’s also a cruiserweight. And all you have to do is wonder where SAnitY is to remember that being a stable - even one with a monster - is no guarantee of screen time at the next level.
Maybe it’s better for the squads which never captured NXT gold? Enzo Amore & Colin “Big Cass” Cassidy may be developmental’s greatest tag team success story. The duo were featured prominently on Raw, SmackDown and 205 Live, both as partners and singles acts, before personal and behind-the-scenes issues lost them their jobs.
Could it be that teams like Street Profits and The Mighty, who’s ongoing feud brings us another two-on-two encounter on the Sept. 26 edition of NXT, will fare better at the next level? There’s probably more hope for for Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins, who could find a niche as fun babyfaces a la Fashion Police or The B-Team before a likely break-up and singles push for Ford. Nick Miller & Shane Thorne? Who knows... but I have a hard time seeing them booked as anything more than “smaller Anderson & Gallows” if a call-up ever happens for the Aussies who made their names in Japan.
Enjoy all your favorite teams while they’re in NXT, is what I’m saying.
The Title Scene
Another team who’s scouting report reads a lot like the Profits - right down to an eventual singles push for its more charismatic half - gets a bit of spotlight tonight when Otis Dozovic takes on NXT champion Tommaso Ciampa. Dozer and his Heavy Machinery partner Tucker Knight are convinced Ciampa took out Aleister Black before Brooklyn 4, and Tommy Entertainment plans to use his first match since retaining the belt their to shut their investigation down.
Last week’s instant classic main event didn’t answer any questiona about whether North American champ Ricochet or United Kingdom champ Pete Dunne is the better wrestlers (spoiler alert! they’re both pretty amazing). But it did make it clear Undisputed ERA’s Cole wants both the belt he lost to Ricochet and Dunne’s strap over his shoulders ASAP.
She was busy being interviewed by General Manager William Regal for the ongoing Black investigation when Shayna Baszler sent a message to her a couple weeks back. We’ll see how Women’s titleholder Kairi Sane responds when she return to the women who already made it clear she’s using her rematch clause. The Pirate Princess is in action tonight.
Other stuff to keep an eye on:
- Also announced for an appearance sans match specifics is Lars Sullivan. Sullivan cleared his own name in the attack on Aleister when he took out both EC3 and Raul Mendoza in plain sight, proving Leviathan’s don’t operate in the shadows. Will EC3 be looking for revenge now that he’s medically cleared?
- Circling back to tag teams and factions, Forgotten Sons have been getting a steady push since the last TakeOver. But they still aren’t involved in a feud. Will that change tonight?
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See you tonight for NXT, Cagesiders!