NXT airs tonight (Nov. 1) live from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando.
Make it work
After I wrote about the mysterious fourth root of Schism’s tree in this space last Tuesday morning, I was kicking myself for not thinking about the possibility the fourth member of Joe Gacy’s group could be a woman. Then a few tweets teased NXT UK’s Isla Dawn (who showed up on the Coconut Loop this past weekend, possibly signaling a return to television soon) joining fellow ex-UK stars Jagger Reid & Rip Fowler in the group, and I felt really dumb.
Turns out that was all misdirection, though (still should have realized it would be a female since intergender groups are all the rage in Triple H’s WWE). Schism was completed by Ava Raine, who is pretty clearly Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s daughter Simone.
Which is a big deal! Raine’s been working out at the PC for years, and officially started training to become a fourth generation Superstar in 2020. Her WWE television debut was always going to be news, and delivering it in a spot where no one expected it generated even more buzz.
Now the harder work begins.
Raine’s brief explanation — that The Schism’s love & acceptance allows her to blaze her own path rather than just try to meet the world’s expectations of her — is a clever nod to her real family ties without saying her father or grandparents or great-grandfather’s names. Her delivery of it was in the stereotypically dramatic pro wrestling promo-style, which isn’t surprising for someone saying their first words on pro wrestling television.
The group is set for an interview to “shed light on their latest actions and their future plans.” Will that involve Ava wrestling, or will she play more a heel manager role in Gacy and The Dyad’s matches? How will she do on the microphone in her second outing, presumably one that will be pre-taped away from a live audience?
We’ll see. As for the group as a whole, Cameron Grimes has expressed concern about Raine being “brainwashed” on social media... so don’t be surprised if we haven’t seen the last of the Grimes/Gacy feud. Will the Hillbilly Millionaire recruit a female to fight by his side?
Tonight will start to tell us if Ava’s first gimmick will be a hit, or if she’s destined for her Rocky Maivia phase.
The rest of the title scene
He got a week off after beating Ilja Dragunov & JD McDonagh and leaving Halloween Havoc with the NXT championship. While Bron Breakker was away, Apollo Crews again called his shot, and McDonagh may have earned a third chance at the brand’s top prize when he sent Dragunov off on a stretcher. We’ll see who steps to the champ this week.
Mandy Rose has been in possession of the NXT Women’s title for more than a year, putting her in some pretty elite company (Asuka & Shayna Baszler are the only people with longer reigns). Toxic Attraction is going to celebrate Rose tonight, which will surely go smoothly and not be interrupted by any potential challengers.
One of Wes Lee’s heroes showed up last week to help him celebrate becoming the North American champ. Okay, R-Truth really thought it was Halloween Havoc, but he would have come to help Wes celebrate anyway. Whatever the reason for his visit, it led to a confrontation with Grayson Waller. The Aussie that Truth thinks is a Brit will get a chance to shut up the greatest 7/11 I-95 champion of all-time tonight, and possibly earn himself a shot at Lee’s belt in the process.
Edris Enofé & Malik Blade put up one heck of a fight, but they couldn’t take the NXT Tag Team titles from Pretty Deadly. They did get to celebrate with a truck full of attractive ladies courtesy of the returning Odyssey Jones, which isn’t a bad consolation prize.
Despite a bit of controversy, Kayden Carter & Katana Chance are still NXT Women’s Tag Team champions. Zoey Stark & Nikkita Lyons say they have a rematch, but Stark still seems to holding a grudge against Lyons for missing the tag that cost them the belts. Something tells me Zoey won’t be a babyface after that’s done.
Other stuff to keep an eye on
• The Creeds aren’t done with Damon Kemp after Julius’ Ambulance Match victory at Halloween Havoc saved his brother’s job, and Brutus still wants a piece of Kemp for betraying Diamond Mine. While Damon heals up, it looks like the brothers will be dealing with the reformed Indus Scher. After Veer & Shanky jumped The Creeds last week, we have to ask... are they in league with Kemp?
• We didn’t see them last week, but even after a Weapons Wild match at last month’s PLE, we probably won’t go too many shows without seeing Cora Jade and Roxanne Perez.
• T-BAR is coming for something other than RETRIBUTION. We’ll see what name he arrives under when he finally gets here.
• It probably won’t be SCRYPTS, but who knows? We’ll see as NXT will likely be doling out “White Rabbit”-like clues about the mysterious caller vowing to destroy NXT.
• While Andre Chase tries to figure out where Bodhi Hayward is, and if new student Duke Hudson had anything to do with his absence last week, Thea Hail will go and represent the U against Kiana James.
• Elektra Lopez was left behind by Legado Del Fantasma, so she took out her frustration on Indi Hartwell last week,
What will you be looking for on NXT tonight?