NXT airs tonight (Oct. 25) live from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando.
Four roots, one tree
Last Tuesday, Cameron Grimes used some of his GameStop millions to hire The O.C. to help him deal with Schism. Joe Gacy’s been trying to recruit Grimes to his cult/faction since his championship dreams were scuttled, and when the carrot didn’t work, Gacy was more than willing to apply to the stick. So Grimes brought in some big guns.
Grimey’s money was well spent, and Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson helped him thwart Gacy & his Dyad duo of Rip Fowler & Jagger Reid. But unlike some other recent visitors from the main roster, Machine Gun & the Big LG won’t be back this week. And unless Cameron’s willing to open his wallet again, he could be about to find himself outnumbered four-to-one.
For weeks, there’s been a yellow mask & red hoodie-wearing Schism acolyte hanging around the Performance Center. On Saturday night during the Halloween Havoc broadcast, Gacy promised to unveil the fourth root of the Schism tree.
Who could it be? The reveal being promised so soon after we got word Dominik “T-BAR” Dijakovic is headed back to NXT seems telling, but if it Keith Lee’s eternal rival, they’ve been having someone else wear the sweatshirt these last few weeks because that person was not the 6’9” Dijakovic.
Other than a rebooted T-BAR, I don’t have and haven’t seen any great guesses. The smart money is probably on an undercarder/Level Up regular in need of something to do (a Guru Raaj or Dante Chen-type), or a repackaged NXT UK talent (they wouldn’t do this to Tyler Bate... would they?). The other options are a PC trainee getting their first taste of television time, or a main roster cast-off who needs a fresh start.
Pretty cool that we don’t actually know who it is before the reveal, though. Give us your best guesses for the person under the red hood(ie) after we jam through the rest of the preview.
The rest of the title scene
NXT champion Bron Breakker seems to have mastered the numbers game. He managed to not repeat the mistakes he made in his first Triple Threat title defense, and at Halloween Havoc took care of Ilja Dragunov after he’d wore himself down a bit taking care of JD McDonagh. Does Dragunov get a one-on-one shot now, or will Apollo Crews enter the picture after he put Grayson Waller in a casket last Saturday night?
She survived Alba Fyre AND a haunted house... can anyone or anything end Mandy Rose’s NXT Women’s title reign? Perhaps Roxanne Perez will get another chance to try after her big win at Halloween Havoc?
The cloud hanging over Wes Lee’s year at least had a silver lining. He took out his nemesis Carmelo Hayes on Saturday night and climbed the ladder to win the North American championship. It was a great match that should provide a springboard for everyone involved. But will Nathan Frazer, Von Wagner, or Wes’ most recent tag partner Oro Mensah get a shot at the new champ before The A Champ comes calling (again)?
It’s Tag Team Title Tuesday! Edris Enofe & Malik Blade earned their match against NXT Tag Team champs Pretty Deadly with a Grimes-assisted win in a Fatal 4Way a couple weeks back, while Nikkita Lyons & Zoey Stark won their chance to take the NXT Women’s Tag belts from Kayden Carter & Katana Chance when they beat former champions Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne of Toxic Attraction. Neither Carter & Chance or Kit Wilson & Elton Prince seem worried, but after no titles changed hands at Halloween Havoc (the NA strap was vacant when Lee grabbed it), don’t be surprised if we see at least one set of challengers leave with gold.
Other stuff to keep an eye on
• The Creeds are sticking around after Julius was able to win his Ambulance Match with the traitor, Damon Kemp. So what’s next for Diamond Mine, or Gable Steveson’s big brother?
• Another jealous betrayer got hers on Saturday night when Perez used the weapons at her disposal (mostly chairs) to beat Cora Jade. Is their feud over (for now)?
• Lash Legend wasn’t amused with Shotzi’s second time hosting Halloween Havoc. Legend took a DDT from a Beetlejuice-cosplaying Blackheart on Saturday night, and gets a chance at revenge on this week’s episode.
• Don’t expect either Shotzi’s tag partner Raquel Rodriguez or Rhea Ripley to be back after their appearances last week, but rumor has it Shinsuke Nakamura’s appearance might not have been a one-off. His alliance with Tony D’Angelo is a weird one, but weird isn’t always a bad thing... and there’s no indication Nak will be joining The Don’s Family full-time even if he does stick around.
• Duke Hudson signed up for some classes at Chase U, but Andre Chase’s prize pupil Bodhi Hayward doesn’t think he’s there to learn.
• Veer Mahaan’s been trying to get his old tag partner Sanga to do something... NXT boss Shawn Michaels says they’ve got something planned for the duo that isn’t an old “wrestling trope”. Get ready for a pair of very swaggy hosses.
What will you be looking for on NXT tonight?