2.0 airs tonight (Oct. 4) live from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando.
We are... what are we now?
After two weeks of pre-taped episodes, NXT resumes live broadcasts. The last live show back on Sept. 13 ended with a message from booker man Shawn Michaels. HBK told us the brand’s focus would remain on creating the Superstars of tomorrow, but they’ll also honor the past and constantly evolve. Cool! What does it mean?
The main thing it was interpreted as meaning was a makeover. “2.0” seems to be dropped from the show’s name. The logo now has black-and-gold trim, harkening back to the era 2.0 replaced. Remodeling the PC to reflect these changes was the presumed reason for the filming the second half of September’s shows in advance.
Other than that, we haven’t seen too many signs of a major overhaul. The main players and storylines do reflect the show’s evolution — it doesn’t feel like everyone is trying to get with everybody else like it did for a while after Vince McMahon & John Laurinaitis got involved last year, for instance. But we’ve (understandably) seen no signs of big changes coming there. 2.0’s colorful paint splatter motif is still being used on all of WWE’s online outlets.
Perhaps it’s just tweaks to the name and logo, and maybe a fresh coat of paint for the set? A lot of people know this is again 100% a Michaels & Triple H production, but a quick visual reminder for long-time fans and Vince haters who haven’t gotten the message isn’t a bad idea.
And really, what major changes are necessary? While you don’t see too many people arguing NXT is the best wrestling show on television, you won’t find too many saying it’s the worst anymore. The influx of veterans from the main roster and the integration of stars from NXT UK have balanced out the greener talents (and the inexperienced folks who got thrown to the wolves a year ago have mostly grown into their roles). The stories may not be for everyone, but they’re on par with what we’ve been seeing on Raw.
NXT’s main appeal is always going to be getting a chance to see talent before they become huge stars. Showcase that in an entertaining television show for two hours, and people will watch. Not everyone who watches Raw or SmackDown, of course. But not everyone who watches Major League Baseball or the NBA follows the minor & G Leagues, either.
We’ll see what HBK has in store for us tonight, but don’t be shocked if it’s more of the same in a slightly different package.
The rest of the title scene
If we’re going to see major changes to the card or roster, it probably won’t happen until after Oct. 22’s Halloween Havoc, the line-up for which is already taking shape.
He could have channeled Tommy Dreamer and said he’d take ‘em both. Instead, NXT champion Bron Breakker kept it in the family and used Steiner math to say he’ll defend against both Ilja Dragunov and JD McDonagh at the upcoming PLE.
Alba Fyre thinks she can be the one to end Mandy Rose NXT Women’s championship reign. First, she’ll team with Nikkita Lyons & Zoey Stark (who have designs on the NXT Women’s Tag Team belts held by Kayden Carter & Katana Chance) against Rose & her Toxic Attraction lackeys Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne.
The North American title is vacant since Solo Sikoa joined his family in The Bloodline. Carmelo Hayes will have a chance to regain it in a ladder match at Halloween Havoc, and we already know the newly arrived Oro Mensah and former Tag champ Wes Lee will be in that match. Tonight we’ll find out if Andre Chase or Von Wagner will join them, then the winner of Axion & Nathan Frazer’s currently tied best-of-three series will fill out the field.
Who’s next for NXT Tag Team champs Pretty Deadly? Will they again tangle with Brooks & Jensen after the country boys put down Gallus in last week’s Pub Rules match? Kit Wilson & Elton Prince are just living their best lives and probably don’t care. Tonight, that attitude will probably get their butts handed to them by the visiting Brawling Brutes. Do you think Butch & Ridge Holland are gonna take this disrespect their mate Sheamus?
Other stuff to keep an eye on
- Is Gallus going to quietly serve out the suspension they got for attacking security & NXT officials after last week’s main event?
- He seems to be being stalked by a bloody-eyed Apollo Crews, but Grayson Waller will push through that tonight and try to deal with the issues between former friends Cora Jade & Roxanne Perez when they guest on The Grayson Waller Effect.
- He betrayed Diamond Mine, and now he dismantled Brutus Creed with a steel chair while calling out brother Julius. How is this going to work out for Damon Kemp?
- Cameron Grimes is still trying to get free of that dang Joe Gacy and Schism. But he’s probably not ready to walk away from the feud after The Dyad duo of Jagger Reid & Rip Fowler helped their leader steal a win in his singles clash with Grimes.
- One throwback to the old days we’re getting, at least for tonight? Byron Saxton will fill in for the honeymooning Vic Joseph.
What will you be looking for on NXT tonight?