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WWE NXT preview (July 12, 2022): Call-up time?

NXT 2.0 airs tonight (July 12) from the Performance Center. This is the fallout show after last week’s Great American Bash.

Call-up time?

As we do after every don’t-call-it-a-TakeOver and themed episode like last Tuesdays, there’s speculation about performers who could be moved up to Raw or SmackDown.

• Cameron Grimes has done everything except win the top belt, and his hard fought loss at the Bash would seem to indicate he’s not winning it as a long as Bron Breakker is NXT champion. Breakker seems to be moving on to another bearded cruiserweight scrapper in JD McDonagh, so there won’t be a rematch to Grimey. Is it time for a promotion? He certainly has the talent and TV experience to justify a move, even while it brings the usual anxiety about how he’ll be booked there.

They teased something for the hillbilly millionaire in a post-show video last week.

But do those flickering lights portend a Joe Gacy feud? Membership in Judgement Day? Intrigue!

• Toxic Attraction’s ruled over the NXT women’s division since the start of the 2.0 era, and all empires fall eventually. We’ve mused about when that might happen in the past, but with Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne dropping the NXT Women’s Tag Team championship to Roxanne Perez & Cora Jade last week, and Perez cashing in her Breakouts Tournament contract for a shot at NXT Women’s champ Mandy Rose’s tonight...

Now, I wouldn’t bet the house on Rose dropping the belt tonight. But the wrestler most likely to unseat Mandy in my book (Nikkita Lyons) is healthy again, and is chummy with Jade & Perez. The program that ends with Lyons coronation at whatever they the call the next don’t-call-it-a-TakeOver could start tonight.

As for TA on the main? Raw and SmackDown’s women’s divisions could use reinforcements. Dolin & Jayne might not quite be ready, but WWE might decide to let them sink or swin at the next level. Mandy’s been there before. The only question with her is whether her gimmick is too similar to Carmella’s, who’s currently getting a bit of a (deserved but also necessity driven) push on Monday nights.

Solo Sikoa, Xyon Quinn & Sanga have all been rumored for call-ups, and it’s not hard to see why in any man’s case. Sikoa’s been featured prominently without being too tied into any one storyline or feud... which could a sign WWE wants him unencumbered in case they suddenly decide to have him join his brothers in The Bloodline.

Will any of these folks wrap up their NXT run now that GAB is in the rearview? Anyone else you see getting on a short-list from promotion?

The rest of the title scene

Carmelo Hayes retained his North American championship last Tuesday, and with his right-hand man Trick Williams beefing with Wes Lee, the former MSK-er would seem to be the A champ’s next challenger. The man Melo beat, Grayson Waller, seems like somebody Vince McMahon would like, and as a combo of Happy Corbin and Theory, he could play the same role on Raw or SmackDown that he’s been playing on NXT.

The Creeds stood up to their stablemates Roderick Strong & Damon Kemp last week, holding on to the NXT Tag Team titles in the process. Roddy’s glare says that all is still not right with Diamond Mine, though.

Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen flew across the pond and came back NXT UK Tag Team champs, so those are around for a while. Pretty Deadly have held both flavors of NXT Tag titleholders, and they don’t think the fun-loving country boys are up to snuff.

Other stuff to keep an eye on

- The forced merger between Tony D’Angelo’s family & Legado Del Fantasma has been a cursed one. Two Dimes was a rat, so now he sleeps with the fishes. Santos Escobar screwed Tony D in his match with Melo, and is now in the hospital. Only Elektra Lopez has been impressing the Don! Joaquin Wilde & Cruz Del Toro are supposed to get another chance to make things right with D’Angelo soon.

- Apollo Crews is done with his Equalizer vignettes and wants a title shot, but he’s willing to work toward one. He deals with the recently repackaged Giovanni Vinci tonight.

- She took an advantage of a damaged hand to do it, but Tiffany Stratton made daddy proud by beating Wendy Choo. We’ll see if these ladies are done.

- Someone called Axiom arrives soon. Sadly for fellow On Cinema heads, I don’t think it’s Dekkar’s former guitarist. But he is good at maths, and is also almost certainly NXT UK’s A-Kid.

- Ivy Nile seems to be recruiting Tatum Paxley for Diamond Mine. Future Tag title contenders?

What will you be looking for on NXT tonight?