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WWE NXT preview (Aug. 9, 2022): Our only friend, The End

NXT 2.0 airs tonight (Aug. 9) from the Performance Center.

Does “final” mean final?

A rivalry between Santos Escobar’s Legado del Fantasma and Tony D’Angelo’s family was always going to be a tough sell. Whatever connection Tony D has to the audience seems to be at least somewhat ironic (but hey, he did bring the pinched fingers emoji to Wrestling Twitter, so there’s that). Escobar & his crew have been prominently featured on NXT television, but aside from a run with the old Cruiserweight belt for El Jefe, they haven’t won a lot of big matches. And while LDF’s been booked more sympathetically, both groups are heel.

We’ve had sitdowns and forced allegiances. The Don sent Santos to the hospital and Two Dimes to the morgue. Last Tuesday we had another double cross, as Escobar returned from the last message D’Angelo sent him to reveal that Elektra Lopez, Joaquin Wilde & Cruz Del Toro were only pretending to work for Tony D. Along the way, Santos cost The Family gold, and left his rival with a sore jaw.

This can only lead to one thing... yet another meeting between the kayfabe crime lords. This time they’re calling it a “one-on-one accord”. Escobar plans to squash this beef once and for all. D’Angelo knows just the place.

Since all this drama’s played out on a wrestling show, I’d imagine they’ll resolve things in a wrestling match. We’ve already done the team vs. team thing at In Your House, and we’re a long way from WarGames. Since they stressed the one-on-one part, a steel cage is one possible destination. The Don’s meet-up location has me wondering if they aren’t thinking about bringing back a “cinematic” match like Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano’s Empty Arena affair.

Whatever route they take, here’s hoping the end of this program is nigh. All involved would benefit from something fresh.

The rest of the title scene

Everybody looks for NXT champion Bron Breakker’s kryptonite. Joe Gacy thought it was his emotions. JD McDonagh thinks it’s Breakker’s mind. Will the Irish Ace attempt to get the upperhand heading into their match next week? How could he top last week’s gruesome contract signing?

In the past, Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne losing the NXT Women’s Tag Team titles has only been a temporary setback for Toxic Attraction. But after the group was unable to reclaim the belts last week — they’re finally in the hands of Kayden Carter & Katana Chance — how will the group react? They better get it together quick, cause NXT Women’s champ Mandy Rose’s next defense is just a week away. Sure hope TA doesn’t jump #1 contender Zoey Stark when she faces Cora Jade tonight. Fortunately, Stark should have back-up of her own against the jealous Jade and Rose’s squad. She did save Sarray and get saved by Roxanne Perez on the past few Tuesdays. And she has a new tag partner on the main roster!

Nathan Frazer outhustled Giovanni Vinci to take last week’s open challenge spot, but Carmelo Hayes didn’t sweat it. The A Champ just keeps successfully defending his North American championship.

NXT Tag Team champ’s The Creeds were the beneficiaries of Escobar’s latest return, but the bigger news may be their buddying up with Apollo Crews. Roderick Strong probably won’t like that, but Brutus & Julius probably don’t care after the Diamond Mine veteran didn’t make it to their defense against The Family.

Will Brooks Jensen lose his virginity before he & Josh Briggs lose the NXT UK Tag titles? Sure we could wonder if these guys are now feuding with The Schism, or if they were just convenient vessels for Joe Gacy’s latest recruitment pitch to Cameron Grimes and our country boys main rivals are still Pretty Deadly. But Brooks’ cherry has been an ongoing 2.0 storyline. We need resolution.

Other stuff to keep an eye on

- After ending things with Von Wagner when he won their Falls Count Anywhere main event, what’s next for Solo Sikoa? Is it only a matter of time before he’s by his brothers’ side in The Bloodline?

- The real threat to Melo is probably Wes Lee, which is why Trick Williams has been making the former tag specialist’s life miserable. Boxing talk and even boxing gloves have been a part of this rivalry, so trying to end it with a Rounds Match makes sense. What’s a Rounds match, you ask? NXT Twitter has you covered...

- Before she can go on to win WWE Tag gold, Nikkita Lyons has to deal with the woman who’s been critiquing her via PowerPoint. She’ll get that chance when she takes on Kianna James tonight.

- Alba Fyre ended her feud with Lash Legend, and the long-reigning NXT UK Women’s champion’s fortunes are likely looking up with Triple H running things? What about Legend’s prospects?

- As her program with Wendy Choo gets ready to wrap up, Tiffany Stratton reminded us she’s not just a spoiled brat with a pretty face.

- He wasn’t good at poker, and Duke Hudson also couldn’t figure out the angles to pick up a win over math superhero Axiom.

What will you be looking for on NXT tonight?

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