NXT returns tonight (May 15) with their first episode of the most recent set of tapings as they build to TakeOver: XXV which is in Bridgeport, CT.
Advertised for tonight:
- The Viking Raiders address their future
- An ERA in dispute
- KUSHIDA in action
- Keith Lee in action
- Jessie vs. Vanessa Borne
1) Are the Viking Raiders losing their titles or relinquishing them?
This is the first episode of NXT taped after the former War Raiders debuted on Raw. Tonight, we should get a good idea of their future. So how are they going to go?
Are they going to put someone over on the way out, despite the fact they’re almost on top of the Raw tag division? Or are they going to relinquish the titles to avoid taking a loss as they quickly climb in Monday’s tag scene?
There’s precedent for both. Sasha Banks debuted on Raw as the NXT Women’s champion and lost it to Bayley in NXT while working on Raw (though at the time, the women’s scene was trios matches so she wasn’t in a major program). Kevin Owens was in the middle of a feud with John Cena when he lost the NXT title to Finn Balor.
On the other hand, Paige relinquished her NXT Women’s championship because she won the Divas championship. Asuka relinquished her title just to move to the main roster.
Which way will the Raiders go?
2) How far will the ERA break up go, even if it’s a ruse?
One of the theories about Undisputed ERA’s big breakup is that it’s a big ruse to allow Adam Cole to convince Johnny Gargano to let his guard down in Cole’s pursuit of the NXT championship. Personally, I think this is how it’s going to go.
But it’s certainly possible that it is a true break up. The main friction is between Adam Cole and Roderick Strong, with Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish in the middle. (It kind of seems like Fish is more on Roddy’s side and Kyle more on Adam’s, but if that’s the case, it’s still very subtle.)
Whichever route they go, how far will it go? Are we going to get so far that we’ll get a babyface Roderick Strong feuding with Adam Cole? (If it’s a ruse, that’s a WCW sized long con.) Or will they make up or reveal there was a never an issue before it gets to that point?
3) Will Keith Lee vs Dominik Dijakovic ever happen again?
Months ago, we were promised a rematch to the Keith Lee/Dominik Dijakovic match that ended up in a double count out. That never happened because an injury sidelined Lee for a little bit.
Now he’s healthy, and Dijakovic, who was about to feud with Velveteen Dream, is hurt.
This feud is cursed.
Lee’s in action again tonight. Is it possible he slots into the North American title spot that was left open by Dominik’s absence? It’s time for the Limitless One to find a real feud. Without Dijakovic, he’ll have to look elsewhere and Velveteen Dream is certainly a good choice.
4) Is KUSHIDA getting a true squash tonight?
KUSHIDA’s opening match was against Kassius Ohno because everyone’s is. It’s tradition.
It’s also that way because Ohno is very good at this wrestling thing and knows how to make people look good. And mission accomplished for KUSHIDA’s first match.
The newcomer won’t have such an opponent for his second match. It’s possible he’ll get a true squash match against a developmental talent. Though if they want another match to get him to look good, may I suggest Mansoor? That guy has been looking very good.
5) Are people are getting one-named in NXT too?
Jessie’s match against Vanessa Borne is likely to get Borne some spotlight. But what stuck out to me is they completely dropped Jessie’s last name in the NXT preview.
Jessie was in the Mae Young Classic as Jessie Elaban. Now, many people get a name rework before debuting on TV, so this isn’t the same thing as WWE suddenly taking someone’s last name that’s been there for months. But just calling her Jessie seems lazy. At least give the gal a cool last name that can be taken away later when she’s called up.
We’ll see if we get answers to these questions tonight at 8 PM.