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WWE NXT preview (May 24, 2022): Camp 2.0

NXT 2.0 returns tonight (May 24) live from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando!

Advertised for this week’s edition of the show:

  • Indi Hartwell vs. NXT Women’s champion Mandy Rose (non-title)
  • NXT champ Bron Breakker vs. Duke Hudson (non-title)
  • Roderick Strong & Damon Kemp vs. NXT Tag champs Pretty Deadly (non-title)
  • Troy “Two Dimes” Donovan and Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo vs. Malik Blade and Edris Enofe
  • Wes Lee vs. Sanga
  • Alba Fyre vs. Elektra Lopez

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

1) Is Joe Gacy entering “so bad it’s good” territory?

Maybe I’m just falling for his brainwashing, or I’m so desperate to wrap my mind around the decision to give him multiple segments every week that I’m brainwashing myself. Whatever it is, the closing scene of last week’s show with Gacy supervillain monologuing from a rooftop somewhere in Orlando gave me a glimmer of hope for the character, and his championship feud with Bron Breakker.

In particular, the extended laugh while we fade in and out on Gacy’s face? So dumb, and the folks in NXT creative and production know it or they wouldn’t lean into it that hard.

It’s not like there’s not a story here. Gacy and his Grizzled Young Druids kidnapping and releasing Bron and his dad makes more sense now that we know Breakker loses his title if he’s disqualified at In Your House. Annoying your opponent until he snaps is a weird way to go about things, but it is a plan.

Even if I have been Stockholm Syndrome-d into enjoying this program, I still think they should just fully embrace the goofiness at this point. Have Joe pop up on the screen throughout the champ’s match with Duke Hudson tonight to say “Hey Bron” multiple times while the hooded guys make fart noises behind him. If nothing else, it will make the audience really want to see Breakker kick Gacy’s ass.

Speaking of which...

2) Does the stipulation for In Your House give Gacy a chance to win the NXT title?

We’ll address this again as we get closer to next Saturday’s show, but I still don’t think there’s much doubt Bron retains. His call-up doesn’t feel imminent, they’ve already done the lose & regain thing with Dolph Ziggler, and there’s not really a babyface ready who seems like main event material.

3) What’s next for Santos Escobar, Tony D’Angelo & the NXT turf war?

This one never succeeded in crossing over into “so bad it’s good” — not for me anyway. So I’m kind of hoping it’s over. But Escobar’s brass knuckle-assisted win isn’t something the Don of NXT is going to accept. Since neither man was able to play by the rules last week, maybe one more round with no rules?

4) Are they making next weekend’s North American title match irrelevant?

The build to current champ Cameron Grimes and former champ Carmelo Hayes on June 4 has spent a lot of time building up the guy who’s got next. Solo Sikoa’s lone wolf character works as a foil for either the heel Hayes or the babyface Grimes (and he could be used to to turn the hillbilly millionaire if the PC crowd sours on him now that he’s completed his chase).

Grimes vs. Hayes should kick ass, and Sikoa as the equalizer for Trick Williams makes sense. That should be enough to keep In Your House from becoming just a prelude to the next NA championship tale, but we’ll see.

5) What’s that spell?

Fan favorites Chase U rules.

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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