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WWE NXT preview (Sept. 27, 2022): The czar is back in town

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Ilja Dragunov, Bron Breakker, and JD McDonagh have an in-ring confrontation on NXT WWE

NXT 2.0 airs tonight (Sept. 27) live from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, so let’s break it down and list it out and then get to talking about what we’ve got, shall we?

  • Kayden Carter vs. Nikkita Lyons
  • Cameron Grimes vs. Joe Gacy
  • Fallon Henley vs. Mandy Rose
  • Brutus Creed vs. Damon Kemp
  • Briggs and Jensen (Brooks Jensen & Josh Briggs) vs. Gallus (Mark Coffey & Wolfgang) (Pub Rules Match)
  • Tony D’Angelo vs. Wes Lee (NXT North American Championship Qualifying Match)

Before we dive in, a reminder that SPOILERS for this pre-taped episode are out there, including here. If you’d like to discuss them, please either do so in the SPOILER post, or use the SPOILER tag.


Ilja Dragunov is in the house, baby!

The Unbeatable Czar made his return to confront Bron Breakker and close the show last week and y’all, I freely admit that not a lot of NXT 2.0 talent really excites me but oh baby, Ilja Dragunov excites me! I don’t think he’s ever let me down inside the squared circle and I am stoked for him to inject a little excitement into the NXT men’s title scene.

There is the small matter of JD McDonagh having just earned a title shot in last week’s main event, however!

Now, I don’t expect NXT to just shuffle JD off or give Ilja a chance to win his #1 contendership from him. No, McDonagh will get his title match, and I see a couple scenarios here— JD gets his title match first, or he generously lets Ilja go first with the intent of picking the bones (perhaps a title shot immediately the week after Halloween Havoc?), or Dragunov is given a chance to earn his way into the title match?

Either way, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Torpedo Moskau knock Breakker’s block off and win Ilja the title.

Damon Kemp’s Long Con

I’m a sucker for a pro wrestling long con, y’all, and Damon Kemp had us all fooled.

He played the part of the innocent newcomer to the hilt, all while planning to knock the Creed Brothers down a block, and now, having offered them a singles match, he’ll meet Brutus, one-on-one. Neither Creed has especially had much time to develop as a singles wrestler, but the good news is they’re both incredibly talented, and Brutus clearly has the power advantage over his brother.

The bad news is Kemp plays dirty, and there’s likely no corner he won’t cut.

The even better news is that the Creeds might just have an ally. Roderick Strong has been MIA for a minute now, and wasn’t on the best terms with the brothers when last we saw him, but maybe he’ll decide it’s worth burying the hatchet to strike out against his wayward pupil Kemp?

And the rest

- Wes Lee and Tony D’Angelo vie to determine who will be the third man in the NXT North American Championship ladder match at Halloween Havoc. With Carmelo Hayes and newcomer Oro Mensah having already secured spots, things are heating up. Lee is a natural for a ladder match, but D’Angelo has Stacks at his side and a whole bag of dirty tricks, so this is anyone’s game.

- Fallon Henley keeps moving up the ladder in the women’s division and has earned herself a non-title bout against Mandy Rose. Alba Fyre’s shadow looms large— she’s told Rose she’s gunning for her title and she’s not shy about showing up and making her presence known. Plus the tag division develops as Carter and Lyons go at it in singles action ahead of a presumptive title challenge for Nikkita and her tag partner Zoey Stark.

- Joe Gacy has decided he’s done trying to convince people to his side, and from here on out you’re either Nexus or against us with the Schism or against them, and Cameron Grimes will be the first stepping stone on his path to glory. Sure, pal.

- Gallus are meeting Briggs and Jensen in a bar fight, which given that Josh and Brooks fell in love became friends and decided to team together after fighting each other in a bar, I’m forced to assume that the end result here is that Gallus and the boys form a polycule?

- Sol Ruca is finally here! She’s tan and she likes to hang out at the beach and go surfing and stuff! She’s worked a bunch on NXT Level Up but I don’t have time to watch that and thus nothing meaningful to say about her work! Maybe you do and you can sound off in the comments and enlighten us all?

There you have it, folks

Anything piqued your interest for today’s episode of NXT, Cagesiders?

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