NXT 2.0 returns tonight (Oct. 12) live from the newly remodeled WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida.
Advertised for the show:
- Santos Escobar vs. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott (c) for the NXT North American championship
- Tommaso Ciampa vs. Joe Gacy (if Gacy wins, he’ll be added to Ciampa’s NXT Title defense against Bron Breakker at Halloween Havoc)
- Kyle O’Reilly & Von Wagner vs. Pete Dunne & Ridge Holland
- Tony D’Angelo on “Lashing Out” with Lash Legend
As usual, here are our five questions about NXT tonight:
1) How much suspense is there in tonight’s matches featuring SmackDown draftees?
The new rosters don’t go into effect until Oct. 22. But Hit Row’s already had a teaser air on SmackDown, and last week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter says WWE management sees Ridge Holland as a future World champ - so it stands to reason the company has plans for both of those acts. And those plans probably aren’t extended angles on Tuesday nights.
If Swerve Scott were to retain the North American title tonight, it wouldn’t be the first time a reigning NXT champion started appearing on a main roster show (and to my recollection, WWE hasn’t mentioned his belt on Raw or SmackDown). He could retain and set-up a future rematch. If past call-ups are any indication, it’s not like he’s going to be a major player on Friday nights right out of the gate.
Similarly, Holland’s transitional status doesn’t mean he & Pete Dunne can’t beat Kyle O’Reilly & Von Wagner. They’ve established that Kyle isn’t necessarily Kool with having a teammate, so mistrust among their opponents could allow the heels to pick up a win, burnishing the Bruiserweight’s championship cred in the process.
But don’t be surprised if both Swerve and Ridge eat a pin, either.
2) Is WWE high enough on Joe Gacy to put him a title match?
We went from reports the company was shying away from Gacy’s “woke” heel gimmick to him potentially being added to Halloween Havoc’s main event. If he pulls out the win tonight and does get added to Oct. 26’s mix, it could just be a sign they’re not ready to crown Bron Breakker just yet, but don’t want to Rick Steiner’s boy to take a loss. Even if he’s there to take the fall, that we’re having this conversation at all means Joe has a safe space on NXT 2.0.
3) Is Harland Gacy’s friend, or a foe?
Parker Boudreaux used to be a Brock Lesnar clone. Then they shaved his head and made him look like an extra from a Rob Zombie flick. He debuted last week by sharing a moment with Gacy after Joe beat (and hugged, of course) Ikemen Jiro. It looked like Boudreaux, whose name is now Harland, had menace in his heart. But Gacy wasn’t afraid. He looked pleased even.
Whatever happens when Gacy faces Tommaso Ciampa on this week’s show, expect the former Lesnar look-a-like to factor into it. Will he help him earn inclusion in the NXT title picture? Or will Joe be trying to resolve his conflict with the hulking Harland?
4) Is NXT turning into a sex comedy?
We learned a lot about Indi Hartwell’s libido last week (her cardio is apparently off the charts), and Dexter Lumis’ anatomy (he’s a hoss in more ways than one). Cora Jade’s new schtick is part skater girl, and all PDA with kayfabe boyfriend Trey Baxter. And now Cameron Grimes is jealous of those two couples, and looking for love.
It seems 2.0’s plan to lure in the younger demographic involved watching Porky’s and American Pie. I don’t really have much to say about that, other than it’s certainly one way to go.
5) Where’s Dakota Kai?
After her loss to Toxic Attraction’s Mandy Rose, Ember Moon again stormed out. Which made me think, “maybe she can find Dakota Kai while she’s figuring out her next move?”
Both women find themselves in similar positions. They’re both veteran talents who don’t seem to have big roles to play on NXT 2.0, but who weren’t moved to the main roster in the draft. I’m not sure this show needs another stable - especially after Women’s champ Raquel González & Women’s Tag champs Io Shirai & Zoey Stark banded together to deal with Rose, Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne last Tuesday. But the main roster could use some tag teams these days.
Just a thought.