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WWE NXT preview (May 17, 2022): Long may she reign

NXT 2.0 returns tonight (May 17) live from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando!

Advertised for this week’s edition of the show:

  • Tony D’Angelo vs. Santos Escobar
  • Cameron Grimes & Solo Sikoa vs. Carmelo Hayes & Trick Williams
  • The Creeds vs. Viking Raiders
  • Women’s Breakout Tournament continues

As usual, here are our five questions about NXT tonight:

1) How much longer will Mandy Rose be NXT Women’s champion?

WWE just celebrated her passing the 200 day mark. She’s currently mixed up in Toxic Attraction’s feud with Wendy Choo & Roxanne Perez, and clocked Wendy with the belt after helping Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne keep the NXT Women’s Tag titles last Tuesday. I am a card-carrying member of the #ChooCrew, but I don’t see either our pajamas-wearing queen or her talented new friend being the ones to end the reign of Rose.

Mandy did set-up an issue with Indi Hartwell last week, in NXT’s latest attempt at addressing the release of Hartwell’s kayfabe husband and best friend without really addressing it...

... but Hartwell feels like she’s in the same spot her “mom” Candice LeRae was in with regards to being seen as challenger-not-champion material by NXT brass.

It still feels like we’re waiting for either Cora Jade or Nikkita Lyons to finally be the ones to dethrone Mandy. Jade is being kept away from the champ for now, but she did just wrap up one diversion by earning Natalya’s respect. She should probably win her next feud before taking a run at Rose, though. Lyons is on to the second round of the Breakout Tournament, en route to what I’m guessing will be another match with Lash Legend in the finals. Will that be her springboard to a title match?

Either option feels like it probably won’t play out until later this summer, so bet on Mandy celebrating at least 250 days (and passing Bayley in the longest reign record books) before she drops the belt.

2) What stip are we getting for Bron Breakker vs. Joe Gacy II?

Turns out Gacy and his druids (one of whom is likely Liverpudlian) didn’t really kidnap the NXT champ. They just took him out in the woods as part of Joe’s attempt to indoctrinate Breakker into his woke cult. Anyway...

Since this clearly isn’t over, and since Bron beat him clean at Spring Breakkin’, and since Gacy’s “Bray Wyatt from” schtick demands it, the rematch (likely coming at June 4’s In Your House) will have some sort of stipulation. And we’ll likely find out when Breakker returns tonight. Place your bets.

3) Is Diamond Mine fine?

In reality, Malcolm Bivens is gone and Roderick Strong reportedly wants to be, so no, Diamond Mine is not fine.

In kayfabe, it doesn’t seem much better. Roddy recruited Damon Kemp to the squad. Gable Steveson’s brother seems like a good pick-up, but The Creeds say it violates the group’s charter. It’s not all procedural issues, as Brutus & Julius are also still pissed Strong got involved in their match with Viking Raiders two weeks ago (a match that resulted in Erik & Ivar’s first ever loss in NXT).

Meanwhile, Ivy Nile is off running her own boot camp and leaves dudes in her wake. She may just do the same to Strong & company while the Roddy & Damon vs. Creeds feud starts. Not sure any of this bodes well for Julius & Brutus’ upcoming NXT Tag title shot, either.

Alas, Diamond Mine. We hardly knew ya.

4) Who’s our next guest from the main roster mid-card going to be?

It seems safe to day Dolph Ziggler ain’t coming back, and Natalya’s time probably concluded playing Uncle Bret to Jade’s Steve Austin last week. The Raiders are still here, but will probably exit stage left after doing the job before the Creeds challenge Pretty Deadly at In Your House (and before the Diamond Mine civil war kicks off).

So I’m making a list of who I’d like to see show up. I’ve only got two names so far: Ricochet as a bridge program for Carmelo Hayes after he moves on from the North American title scene and before he challenges Breakker for the main prize, and R-Truth to work with Chase U.

5) Are Grayson Waller & Tiffany Stratton the only couple on the show right now?

For a while, it seemed like N-Sex-T was pairing everyone up. But with the release of Persia Pirotta and Dexter Lumis, and Brooks Jensen & Fallon Henley stuck in the friend zone, I think these two might be it?

Might start ‘shipping Bodhi Hayward & Sarray, though.

Give us your questions and answers in the comments below. Then join us in our live blog, and we’ll see what Qs and As tonight’s show gives us.

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