NXT 2.0 returns tonight (Nov. 30) live from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando!
Advertised for the show:
- Dakota Kai vs. Kay Lee Ray in a WarGames advantage ladder match
- Tommaso Ciampa OR Johnny Gargano OR LA Knight OR Pete Dunne vs. Bron Breakker OR Carmelo Hayes OR Grayson Waller OR Tony D’Angelo in a WarGames advantage ladder match
- Von Wagner & Kyle O’Reilly vs. Legado Del Fantasma for a Tag Team title shot at WarGames
- Joe Gacy’s All-Inclusive Invitational
- Andre Chase vs. Cameron Grimes
As usual, here are our five questions about NXT tonight:
1) Is this how WWE will phase out the Cruiserweight championship?
2016’s Cruiserweight Classic was an encouraging start. But for pretty much the entire time since then, WWE’s latest version of a division for smaller wrestlers that highlights their high-flying and/or technical style has been on life support.
There were rumors of a post-Undisputed ERA push for current Cruiserweight champ Roderick Strong, but those pre-date NXT’s 2.0 makeover. Now, in booking Strong’s next against Joe Gacy, they may be giving themselves a way to pull the plug on the division.
See, Gacy feels the 205 pound weight limit is essentially “weight shaming”. That’s one of the things he’ll be seeking to raise awareness about in his invitational segment on tonight’s show. And if he wins, it’s easy to see him throwing the purple belt in the trash so he can replace it with an All-Inclusive title or something (and then handing out participation awards to the challengers he beats).
Given how much of an afterthought the Cruiserweight title already is, I’m not sure I see a downside — especially if it gets rid of the cursed 205 Live show name in the process. But I’m also not optimistic that any tertiary belt on the developmental show will suddenly be booked well. The best thing might just be for Gacy to hand the belt to Harland, let him crush it in his bare hands, and have NXT roll with just the main and North American titles from now on.
2) How are we feeling about Joe Gacy’s character these days?
While we’re talking about Harland’s emotional support wrestler, seems like a good time to check everyone’s temperature on the gimmick. It remains divisive in the Cageside offices, and even as one of the folks who isn’t upset about it, I get why people are. WWE’s overall track record, and the fact we’re on our second “parody of the left” heel act in a little over a year when we haven’t had one that poked fun at the other side of the political spectrum in a long time, make being turned off by Gacy’s woke schtick entirely understandable.
But those early speculation that WWE would back away from it seem to have been entirely fake news (sorry, couldn’t resist). So if Joe’s campaign against toxic masculinity not only continues but becomes more prominent on Tuesday nights, are you cancelling NXT 2.0 from your viewing schedule?
3) Who will win tonight’s advantage matches?
There are two things to history of WarGames Advantage Ladder Matches tell us.
One, they’re typically really good. We’ve seen this combination of stipulation and skill lead to bangers in the past...
And this year, regardless of who ends up representing the men’s teams, there’s too much talent involved for them not to be.
The other thing that’s usually true only really applies to the Kay Lee Ray/Dakota Kai bout tonight. Of the six WarGames matches in NXT history, the face team’s only had the advantage once (Team Shotzi last year). Seeing as both the Old School and New School sides of one 2021 match contain both good guys and bad guys, it doesn’t exactly apply there. But odds are Kai is winning the women’s match tonight.
4) Will the men’s teams be able to keep from fighting each other?
WWE loves a “can they co-exist?!?!” angle, and that will be a big story in this year’s men’s WarGames. It doesn’t feel forced, either — if only because some of these pairings really do. LA Knight is on Tommaso Ciampa’s squad simply because of his age. Bron Breakker’s team doesn’t have much of anything in common. Trick Williams (who isn’t in the match, I know, but figures to get involved one way or another) and Tony D’Angelo can’t even agree on how to congratulate each other on being jerks!
Seems like that could be a problem. What definitely is a problem?
5) Are we really not gonna get this this year?
I get rebranded. But come on...