clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NXT preview (Jan. 16, 2019): A needed win

NXT returns tonight with their second episode from their most recent set of taping. They are only two weeks away from TakeOver: Phoenix.

Advertised for tonight:

  • Kassius Ohno vs. Keith Lee
  • Johnny Gargano in action
  • Bianca Belair prepares for her title match
  • Dominik Dijakovic returns
  • Street Profits in action

Now here are our five questions about NXT tonight:

1) Kassius Ohno is going to win eventually, right?

Kassius Ohno has done a good job playing the angry gatekeeper to all the shiny new NXT talent. In fact, prior to Matt Riddle’s debut, he had been on a bit of a winning streak. This is what led him to insisting on facing the debuting Riddle.

Then Riddle debuted, and Ohno’s gone 0-2 against the Bro, one of those losses being a humiliating squash at TakeOver: War Games. Then he lost to Riddle in a more competitive match. He attacked his foe post-match, meaning we’re going to get a third bout between these two.

Ohno is obvious a great worker and strong in this role, but the more he loses big matches, the less we believe he’ll have a chance against the debuting talent they want to put over.

So when he matches up with Bro bud Keith Lee tonight, I’ll be very curious with the outcome. Lee is one of those debuting talents who they want to look good. But at the same time, Ohno really has to beat him to get back that credibility to face Matt Riddle one more time. Plus, Lee isn’t in a feud of his own and already has a loss to Lars Sullivan so one more to Ohno, maybe via some nefarious means, shouldn’t be a problem.

2) When are we getting a Baszler/Belair face to face?

I am very excited to see Shayna Baszler defend her Women’s title against Bianca Belair in Phoenix in a couple weeks. And that’s despite any real interaction between the two.

Prior to the match, we should get one real interaction between the two to spice the pot. It will be a unique interaction given Belair isn’t a true blue babyface like Baszler is used to in her feuds with Kairi Sane, Ember Moon, and even Nikki Cross. Belair is pretty much a heel that gets cheered. That’s a different dynamic.

Bianca will have zero fear standing face to face with the dangerous Baszler. She’ll will not be intimidated by the champ’s posse of Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir. Just a stare down between champ and challenger will be an electric moment.

3) Will they mention the fact that the Street Profits are tag champs elsewhere?

The Street Profits are in action tonight, trying to get back in the fray and hopefully find themselves in the tag title scene.

Of course, they’re already tag champions in EVOLVE.

This is a rare situation when someone on a WWE brand holds a title from outside the E. Given EVOLVE is pretty much a sister promotion to NXT at this point, there’s no reason they wouldn’t mention it. But they haven’t yet, which would imply that could be taking place in an entire different universe.

4) Will we get to see a reluctant #DIY team up?

Johnny Gargano made it clear last week that #DIY is still not a thing. He hates Tommaso Ciampa just like he always did. Never mind that moment in a steel cage. It meant nothing. (Sounds a lot like a friend trying to justify a random hookup with an ex if you ask me.)

But whether he likes it or not, he’s associated with the man. Both of their title matches are intertwined story-wise. Hell, Johnny is facing Ricochet for the North American title at TakeOver because Tommaso suggested it. And we all know of the history between Gargano and the NXT title challenger Aleister Black, who Johnny injured in the parking lot.

NXT doesn’t do the random tags to build a match to the degree the main roster does (thankfully), but this wouldn’t be random. It is a ripe spot to tag the heels and the faces against each other to hype up their respective TakeOver matches. The all have issues with each other as it is, and we would get to see the former #DIY forced to team together, whether they like it or not.

There’s one episode after this one before TakeOver, and that’d be a pretty sweet main event to build that show. I don’t read the spoilers so those who do know if I’m right or wrong, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed for right.

5) What’s next for Velveteen Dream?

It looks like Velveteen Dream, who we last saw challenging for the NXT title at TakeOver: War Games, is sitting out of the Phoenix show. And we know he’s not part of the batch of call ups. So what’s next for the man?

Pieces will be reset after TakeOver and Dream can enter a feud with multiple people. There are many exciting options on the table. He’s never really feuded with Adam Cole and the Undisputed ERA. Cole vs. Dream is a match I’m already down with. Perhaps a personality clash with the flamboyant Dream and the laid back Bro? Sign me up.

NXT is stacked with talent. Draw a name out of a hat and feud him with Velveteen Dream after the Royal Rumble.

Of course Velveteen Dream if is in the Royal Rumble, that would be sweet as hell too.

We’ll see if we get answers to these questions tonight at 8 PM.

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.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats