NXT airs tonight (Dec. 6) live from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando.
With the PLE just days away, we’ve got important Deadline business to deal with this week. But before we handle that, let’s talk about a couple of recent returns NXT spent several shows building up to.
One of those looks like they could end up on the card for Saturday’s streaming show, at least. Dijak, Shawn Michaels & team’s attempt to salvage the wrestler formerly known as Donovan Dijak and Dominik Dijakovic from his disastrous run as RETRIBUTION’s T-BAR, showed up a couple weeks ago. After a month of ominous vignettes, Dijak took out North American champion Wes Lee. It was with a really rough-looking attempt at his Feast Your Eyes finisher (which probably needs to be renamed with his new gimmick)...
... but given the show-closing spot he got, it’s pretty clear NXT is invested in Dijak.
He got to follow that up last week with a squash of Dante Chen, and a fairly routine promo hinting at bringing “his justice” to everyone on the show. One of the names mentioned was Lee’s, and after Tony D’Angelo also brought up the NA champ when The Don interacted with Dijak in a segment announcing his return match, it seems pretty clear those three are on a collision course.
Maybe that kicks off tonight with Wes & Dijak showing up during or after Tony D’s first match since he was injured while facing Lee back in September? It could even land on Saturday’s card, although it’s not clear how many matches Deadline needs since the two Iron Survivor matches will likely get a lot of time.
Wherever it happens, it looks like Dijak will get something meaningful to do while he works out the kinks on a character that so far sounds like a mash-up of Joe Gacy and Jim Cornette. That’s more than we can saw for another repackaged performer.
NXT went heavy on revenge themes during the month or so they teased the debut of Scrypts. But when he showed up two weeks ago, it was clearly just former 24/7 champ Reggie in mask. The PC crowd wasn’t fooled, chanting he Cirque du Soleil veteran’s old WWE name while announces Vic Joseph & Booker T tried to remind the audience at home the guy doing impressive acrobatic moves was also the one who’d been vandalizing the building for weeks.
Scypts did act like he was writing things in the air in between moves, and left a verse on Guru Raaj’s chest. But that was it. While Scypts was fun to watch and displayed a bit of a mean streak we’d never really seen from Reggie, this doesn’t feel like a winning schtick. There was no follow-up last week, which could mean WWE knows it.
But as The Game likes to say, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Just because their first few outings for Dijak and Scrypts in their new gimmicks haven’t quite lived up to the hype doesn’t mean they won’t develop into successful acts down the road. That’s what NXT is for, right?
The rest of the title scene
Dijak also name dropped both men who’ll be fighting the NXT title at Deadline as potential targets. After Bron Breakker & Apollo Crews stop having respectfully competitive banter over breakfast at local restaurants and settle their issues in the ring, they could be the target of some HARD JUSTICE. After they face whoever emerges from Iron Survivor on Saturday. Tonight, Axiom, Andre Chase & Von Wagner will fight for the final spot, then the winner will join the four men HBK picked for the match — Hayes, Gacy, JD McDonagh and Grayson Waller — on Waller’s talk show.
It looks like Mandy Rose will spend Saturday watching her next challenger emerge from the other Iron Survivor match, and therefore adding days to her epic NXT Women’s championship run. She’ll see if Zoey Stark, Cora Jade, Roxanne Perez, Kiana James or the winner of tonight’s Wendy Choo, Indi Hartwell & Fallon Henley Triple Threat will be next up.
Rose’s Toxic Attraction teammates Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne bolstered their case for another shot at NXT Women’s Tag Team titles when they scored a win over Kayden Carter & Katana Chance’s team in trios action last Tuesday. Sure, they pinned Lyons, who was done in by the knee injury her ex-partner Stark aggravated with a pre-match attack. But that’s plenty of justification for a pair of heels.
Meanwhile, NXT Tag champs Pretty Deadly seem content to let potential rivals like The Creeds and Indus Sher fight amongst themselves. So content, in fact, that Elton Prince & Kit Wilson had time to produce a Christmas-themed segment for us tonight. Yes Santa!
Other stuff to keep an eye on
• Alba Fyre made it clear she was coming after Isla Dawn for costing her her latest Women’s title match, and now Dawn is teasing something for tonight.
• Lyra Valkyria will try to make her debut a success sometime soon.
• Charlie Dempsey might be working with his dad again soon, and he’s been channeling the old villain while bullying Hank Walker backstage.
• It’s BIG BODY TUESDAY, y’all!
What will you be looking for on NXT tonight?