NXT Preview – December 20, 2017
If you’re reading this, welcome back to my weekly NXT Preview. NXT has definitely stepped up their game lately, in this writer’s humble opinion. As always, I’m @Parkman15Love, and to quote Michael Bolton: “Let’s get to it.” First, a recap of last week’s episode:
- Andrade Cien Almas pins Fabian Aichner
- Authors of Pain beat Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan
- Ember Moon beats Peyton Royce, The Iconic Duo beatdown the champ but Nikki Cross makes the Save
- Aleister Black beats Adam Cole to qualify for the #1 Contenders Fatal 4-Way.
While still a solid episode, I think there could have been a little bit more done. Cole vs Black was a great match, but I feel they could continue to build a fantastic one if given a little bit more time. I am a bit shocked they gave it away on free TV too, as that’s definitely a feud that could be featured at a TakeOver.
The stakes are a little bit higher this time around. After a few weeks built around the Fatal 4 way, we’re getting a bit more shine on two other titles.
The Main Event!
After weeks of build since Takeover: Brooklyn, The Undisputed Era’s Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly finally get their shot at gold when they take on SAniTy for the NXT Tag Team Championship. I won’t lie, after so long with SAniTy being built up before their title victory (over AOP, mind you), I can’t help but feel like their reign has been…. underwhelming. I know, unpopular opinion, but they’ve had one televised defense that ended in a DQ. Otherwise they got beat down by the former ReDragon, lost War Games by getting pinned, and have generally looked a step behind Undisputed Era. Maybe this is all so it feels bigger if they win? Granted, we all know these guys can go: This will make for an entertaining match. I’m sure we’ll see no involvement from Cross or Adam Cole, as both team’s matches have traditionally been clean.
The NXT & WWE has put such an emphasis on their tag teams over the last year, and it’s definitely paid off. From the Usos keeping Smackdown on lock, to the Bar just generally being great on RAW, to these teams + Authors of Pain, tag team wrestling hasn’t been this good in a long, long time.
Other announced matches
There are two other matches announced by WWE for this episode.
Pete Dunne defends his UK Championship vs Tyler Bate. Apparently these guys decided two MOTY candidates weren’t enough for them, and they’ll try and get a third before the year ends. These guys have some unreal chemistry together, and this should probably conclude their feud. I still think these two will continue to succeed afterwards: WWE officials are clearly very high on the Bruiserweight, and Bate could make it either as a singles performer or as one half of Mustache Mountain. The fact this isn’t the main event of this show just shows how deep NXT is.
I’ll just leave this here.
Lars Sullivan vs Roderick Strong to qualify for the Fatal 4-way #1 Contenders match. Is this what Roddy meant in the Roderick vs the World vignettes? I did jump the gun on this though – I discussed this match in my last NXT Preview (Didn’t read it? I got you covered. Click here to read!). I expect Lars to do his thing where he destroys anyone in the ring that’s not wearing a black/white shirt. I expect that to continue just a little bit longer.
The Championship Picture
With two belts on the line, I expect the night off for Ember Moon and Andrade Cien Almas. I’m enjoying the early days of both title reigns: Almas looked focused and agressive in his short match last week, which is such a change from his earlier character. Has anyone enjoyed a character’s development as much as they’ve enjoyed El Idelo’s over the last year? Man, I can’t get over it. Moon’s has some potential as well, I just believe her character needs a bit more tweaking. She has it all: great in-ring, cool entrance, and awesome finisher. Just a little more explanation on the character would make her one of the biggest female baby-faces in the last little while.
Although the eclipse has nothing on the original stunner. Just cause Stone Cold said so.
Thoughts & Such
- I wonder who will be next in line for the tag team championships. Street Profits or TM-61 would feel like a step down, perhaps a rumored signing (haven’t heard? Read Spencer Love‘s breaking news to find out HERE!) will step up to the plate next.
- With impassioned promos for both Natalya and Dolph Ziggler, will we potentially see some main roster players head to NXT for a bit?
- I’m interested to see what they eventually decide to do with Fabian Aichner. Did you see him against Almas?
- Will we see Shanya Baszler on TV this week? Will she move up the ranks, or head straight for the champ?
That’s all for my NXT Preview folks! The build to Takeover: Philadelphia has been solid so far, and should continue their upwards trend. It’ll be an interesting dynamic in the Fatal 4-way, no matter who wins tonight.
As always, sound off to me in the comments below, or send me a tweet @Parkman15Love and let me know your opinion (preferably in all caps!). Enjoy tonights show, and have a great Christmas, Hannukah, Festivus, or however you’ll be celebrating!
I know how I’ll be celebrating.
WWE: Last Five
- BREAKING: Major Independant Stars to Sign With WWE
- Smackdown Live Preview: December 19
- BREAKING: Top Tag Team Set to Return Tonight
- Over the Top Rope – Clash of Champions Predictions
- This Week in Wrestling: December 15th