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WWE NXT preview (Oct. 19, 2021): Child’s play

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NXT 2.0 returns tonight (Oct. 19) live from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida.

Advertised for the show:

  • Tommaso Ciampa & Bron Breakker vs. Grizzled Young Veterans
  • Indi Hartwell or Persia Pirotta vs. Io Shirai or Zoey Stark vs. Gigi Dolin or Jacy Jayne; winner gets to Spin The Wheel & Make The Deal for the stipulation in Halloween Havoc’s Women’s Tag title match featuring these three teams
  • Odyssey Jones vs. Andre Chase
  • Tony D’Angelo in action

As usual, here are our five questions about NXT tonight:

1) Chucky’s not the host of Halloween Havoc, is he?

While right thinking people everywhere know the only correct call is to bring Shotzi back from main roster limbo for six costume changes and some cackling, WWE’s gone the corporate synergy route and announced the star of USA’s new Chucky series for next Tuesday’s show.

There is some history here. The possessed doll did get under Bron Breakker’s dad’s skin on Nitro back in the day...

But even if everyone’s favorite Good Guy makes sense, there are other options for host. If Indi Hartwell will press pause on their apparently non-stop marriage consummating, Dexter Lumis is a logical choice. Franky Monet has Shotzi-esque spooky cosplay experience. And they seem to be working an angle between Grayson Waller and LA Knight around next Tuesday’s hosting gig. I don’t have a ton of interest in that, but it’s as interesting as Waller giving Cameron Grimes a makeover for Vince McMahon.

Is this the most pressing issue for the show? Probably not. But they’re emphasizing the “entertainment” part of “sports entertainment” with the character-first 2.0, so I figured I’d follow suit.

2) How big of a prize is spinning the wheel?

In other Halloween Havoc-related business, tonight’s Triple Threat singles match between members of the teams competing in next week’s Triple Threat Women’s Tag title match has been given a stipulation. Whoever wins this week gets to Spin The Wheel for the stipulation in that Oct. 26 clash.

I’ll have to check with Cageside’s analytics department, but I don’t think physically performing a task like spinning a wheel or flipping a coin actually gives you an advantage. But as a superstitious dummy who believes my choice of shirt impacts the outcome of games played by my favorite sports teams, I absolutely think that Toxic Attraction, Hartwell & Persia Pirotta, and reigning champs Io Shirai & Zoey Stark should care who does or doesn’t take that spin.

We may root for rival football teams (and we’re probably both confused about his current role on NXT), but Indi’s “dad” Johnny Gargano gets it. And it seems he’s taught his “daughter” well.

3) Can Bron Breakker & Tommaso Ciampa coexist?!?!?

If the last three weeks of Raw have taught us anything, probably not. It’ll still be interesting to see if their match with James Drake and Zack Gibson, and what happens after it, tells us anything about next week’s NXT championship match. Will Breakker get some shine here because he’s not winning at Halloween Havoc? Get humbled to add suspense to the outcome of his first title shot? Or will the Bron Train’s momentum continue to build all the way up to his coronation on Oct. 26?

4) Do Kushida & Ikemen Jiro stand a chance against Diamond Mine?

Ahead of the two title shots they’re getting next Tuesday, Mandy Rose’s Toxic Attraction seems to be the group getting the most attention. But don’t sleep on Malcolm Bivens and Roderick Strong’s crew. Ivy Nile is green but clearly has potential, the Creed brothers could make some noise in NXT’s moribund tag scene right now, and - who knows? - maybe we’ll even see Hideki “Hachiman” Suzuki do something besides stand around looking badass in a tracksuit one day.

Right now, it seems Diamond Mine isn’t done with the man Roddy beat for the Cruiserweight belt last month. Kushida returned last week to save everyone’s favorite blazer-wearing wrestlers, but he and Ikemen are still severely outnumbered. Maybe they could get some help? I don’t want to encourage more ethnically homogenous stables, but Sarray could use something to do. And/or they could reach out across the South China Sea to recruit Boa. It’s not like Tian Sha has a future at this point.

5) Is Tony D’Angelo feuding with Lash Legend?

These are two acts I’m more or less on the fence about (personally leaning positive on D’Angelo, and negative on Legend). But I’m mystified at how their program with each other helps either. Is Lash’s producer “Mark” a wrestler NXT is about to debut? If so, how does having Tony shove him in the trunk of his car set him up as a threat to anyone, let alone Tony?

Could NXT book an intergender match? I want to say fuhgeddaboutit, but it is 2.0...


Give us your questions and answers in the comments below. Then join us in our live blog, and we’ll see what Qs and As tonight’s show gives us.