It’s been an interesting week for NXT. Not only did we see the debuts of Johnny Gargano, Tommaso Ciampa, Aleister Black & Ricochet on the main roster - but we’re also getting a major announcement from William Regal. As well, we’re getting two fantastic NXT matches this week. While interesting, the matches these four have had on Monday & Tuesday have been very good thus far.
Let’s find out what’ll happen this week, shall we? I’m Parker Love, here with your weekly NXT Preview!
As always, a recap of last weeks episode:
- Dominik Dijakovic def. Shane Thorne
- The Street Profits def. Humberto Carillo & Stacey Earvin Jr. Before the match, Kassius Ohno has a fit about NXT. Keith Lee lays him out. Afterwards, a brawl ensues with many of NXT’s tag teams. Dusty Classic, anyone?
- Aliyah defeats Taynara Conti (with help from Vanessa Bourne). The Horsewomen (Shanya Baszler, Jessamyn Duke & Marina Shafir beat up everyone after.
- Ricochet defeats Adam Cole. The Undisputed Era bets up Ricochet before Aleister Black tries to make the save. Black gets beat down.
The Main Event
After winning the World’s Collide Tournament and an NXT Title Opportunity, Velveteen Dream bypassed a shot at Ciampa and instead focused on Johnny Gargano‘s North American Championship. Why? Who knows. But Gargano and Dream have phenomenal chemistry together and should have an absolute barn-burner of a match.
Both of these men do need a win. Gargano doesn’t want to be a one-and-done champion; however, can Velveteen really afford to take another high profile loss? NXT does have their work cut out for them.
Now, if you’ve read into the spoilers, this match has a ton of intrigue around it. This’ll be something to tune into for sure.
After being taken out by the Undisputed Era, Aleister Black looks for revenge when he takes on Roderick Strong. How nuts is this company that they can give a match like THIS away on free TV? God damn. Honestly, this might be the match I’m most interested in watching tonight. This will be great.
A very good woman’s wrestler with a very bad nickname, Mia Yim is in action tonight. The - ugh - “Head Baddie in Charge” takes on Xia Li in singles competition tonight. Yim seems to be more of a priority for NXT and is perhaps in line for a match with Shayna Baszler in the future. While Li impressed during the Rumble, her push isn’t quite yet a focus on NXT TV.
We’re also scheduled to hear from the man with the best theme music in NXT. Also, he’s apparently pretty good at this wrasslin’ thing. Matt Riddle is scheduled to speak out on his future, and one has to wonder what’s next for Riddle after sending Kassius Ohno packing and defeating Drew Gulak. I imagine he follows the path of many other stars and continues to work his way up the ladder.
Odds & Ends
Just one major thing to discuss. I understand that the NXT call-ups were something to get some buzz towards Raw and Smackdown. However, what’s the plan with these four? Black and Ricochet could get called up for sure. Gargano and Ciampa, though, need more time to conclude their rivalry. While NXT characters and champions have pulled double duty, we’ve never seen most of the main event scene in NXT called up all at once.
With a batch of call-ups already waiting in catering with EC3 or Nikki Cross (or dying a slow death like Heavy Machinery), why rush up more? To me, I do think NXT needs to become more of a third brand for wrestlers, rather than “developmental”. I imagine that we would see fewer people asking for releases if they were able to return to NXT for some more tv time, more feuds, etc. For example, please see Dillinger, Tye.
I’m just concerned that they’ll rush these future stars to the main show, hurting their characters in the process. While I’m not pressing the panic button, hearing Michael Cole call Aleister Black “moody” doesn’t set a great tone.
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