It’s our first fresh episode of NXT of 2018 after last week’s Year in Review; SAnitY takes on the Undisputed Era in their rematch for the NXT Tag Team Championships, and the build continues to NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia in just over two weeks.

This is the spoiler-free edition of your NXT preview - full spoilers for the last set of TV tapings can be found HERE. I’m @SpennyLove, in as your pinch-hitter for @Parkman15Love, and this is your official NXT Preview from Win Column Sports!

The Main Event:

SAnitY will be exercising their rematch clauses tonight, as they take on the Undisputed Era for the NXT Tag Team Championships. Since the start, I’ve been a huge fan of the Eric Young-led faction, with every member looking better for having been in it. Both Killian Dain and Nikki Cross look primed to be huge stars, even when the faction inevitably breaks up. Alexander Wolfe has likely been one of my favourite parts of NXT this year, with his crazed dancing in the middle of matches always entertaining me.

That being said, I don’t like their chances of regaining the belts tonight. The Undisputed Era are clearly the next big thing in NXT, and with the Authors of Pain reentering the NXT scene after a lengthy absence and TM-61 (hopefully!) close to a return, the NXT tag team scene is simply full. I think that SAnitY’s time is almost up in NXT, with them having accomplished nearly all they can on the third brand. Maybe we see a Royal Rumble debut from one if not all of the members?

Other Announced Matches:

Shayna Baszler is scheduled to make her in-ring debut tonight. I’m excited to see what the former MMA fighter can do; if her showing at the Mae Young Classic is anything to go off of - and it is - she’s primed to be a major player in NXT. They’ve already built her to be NXT’s most imposing female, and to this writer, it’s only a matter of time before she’s a champion.

The Title Scene:

NXT Champion Andrade “Cien” Almas has been on fire ever since pairing with Zelina Vega, and while short his run as champion has been entertaining. There’s no doubt that his showdown with Johnny Gargano will be as great as their first two encounters; however, what will El Idolo do in the meantime?

We brought up Shayna Baszler earlier as a stud in the women’s division, but how great has Ember Moon been since being named NXT Women’s ChampionAsuka’s move to the main roster is the best thing that could have happened for Moon; since the Empress of Tomorrow moved to RAW, NXT has done a fantastic job of building the division around Ember. If you haven’t, be sure to check out WWE’s documentary on her - it’s terrific.

I miss the United Kingdom Championship. I miss Pete Dunne. Please bring both back to NXT soon.

Extra Thoughts:

  • Give me all of the Lars Sullivan. This guy has all the potential to be NXT’s version of Braun Strowman, minus the year-and-a-half of terrible booking as part of the Wyatt Family. He’s already taken out big names like Kassius Ohno; who’s next for the third brand’s monster?
  • Speaking of Ohno, what direction does his character take after losing another big match? After getting a championship shot early in his return to NXT, he’s been treading water; even after defeating Hideo Itami, he still doesn’t feel like as big of a deal as he should.

WWE: Last 5

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NXT Preview and Predictions - January 10th
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