NXT Preview – June 20, 2018
Has everyone recovered from Saturday?
Last weekend’s NXT TakeOver: Chicago blew my already sky-high expectations out of the water. Frankly, it’s in contention for one of the best TakeOver’s of all time; there wasn’t a bad match on the card, and three of the five were potential five-star classics. Somehow, Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano were able to outdo their match from TakeOver: NOLA, Velveteen Dream vs. Ricochet delivered in spades, and the tag team opener was a perfect opening match. All in all, it was terrific – but that’s in the past, and the black-and-yellow brand is now on the road to Brooklyn.
Before we get into tonight’s action, a quick recap of Saturday’s NXT TakeOver: Chicago:
- The Undisputed Era def. Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch to retain the NXT Tag Team Championships
- Ricochet def. the Velveteen Dream
- Shayna Baszler def. Nikki Cross to retain the NXT Women’s Championship
- Aleister Black def. Lars Sullivan to retain the NXT Championship
- Tommaso Ciampa def. Johnny Gargano
The Main Event
While War Raiders will be in action against the Mighty tonight, my bet would be on the advertised Dakota Kai/Bianca Belair match to main event this evening. Belair interrupted Kai’s backstage interview on the go-home episode of NXT to set up this match, and after TakeOver, NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baslzer is without a challenger. Could this match be used to springboard one of the women into title contention? In Kai’s case, could it lead to a shot at redemption after her loss to Baslzer two weeks ago? Or could the EST of NXT stay hot and make her case for a championship opportunity?
The Championship Scene
While it may best be remember for it’s unfortunate botch near the end, the Aleister Black/Lars Sullivan match far exceeded my expectations. Sullivan came off looking like a monster, while Black retaining was definitely the right move in the long run. Expect his next challenger to be set up at the next set of tapings; however, he may have already found his next opponent in Tommaso Ciampa after Blackheart set his sights on the champion on Twitter. Here’s to hoping!
I won’t say a ton about the NXT Tag Team Championships, even though WWE did spoil the events themselves after the tapings in the United Kingdom. However, the opening match of TakeOver: Chicago for the tag team straps was absolutely fantastic. However, the team of Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch was defeated soundly by the Undisputed Era, and I don’t see any reason for a rematch to occur. Where do the bruisers go from here? The NXT tag team division is starting to heat up again, with a number of teams looking to move toward title contention. Hopefully, Burch and Lorcan aren’t forgotten about.
Shayna Baszler is still the NXT Women’s Champion after defeating Nikki Cross. Again, I can’t say a ton without mentioning the U.K tapings, but spoilers are available online.
Adam Cole (Bay Bay) hasn’t defended the NXT North American Championship in a while, but I’d expect him to have a prominent spot on the card in Brooklyn.
As mentioned above, War Raiders will be in action against the team of Shane Thorne & Nick Miller. While the Mighty have been revitalized since their heel turn roughly a month ago, Hanson & Rowe have been absolutely dominant since their debut. It should be a hell of a bout; both teams are incredibly talented, and their contrasting styles will make for an interesting matchup. With the tag team division in flux due to the events of yesterday’s UK tapings – SPOILERS HERE – I’m curious as to where these two teams head. Will we see a prolonged feud between the two?
WWE.com is advertising the fallout from TakeOver: Chicago, and with tapings not having taken place yet expect a ton of recaps from the event. Not that that’s a bad thing – seriously, it was incredible.
The Gargano Fairytale is over.
Time for the next chapter.
Hi atWWEAleister, pic.twitter.com/9E9ilCDlWq
— BLACKHEART (@ProjectCiampa) June 19, 2018
- Whether this match directly leads to a championship opportunity or not, don’t expect Bianca Belair to remain out of title contention for long. She’s proven to be a star in a very short amount of time, and given a little time in developmental should become a staple in the WWE women’s division for years to come.
- Keith Lee was shown in the crowd at TakeOver: Chicago. Will he show up at the next set of tapings? Here’s to hoping!
- I don’t believe we’ve seen the end of the Tommaso Ciampa/Johnny Gargano feud; however, as mentioned above Ciampa’s seemingly set his sights on NXT Champion Aleister Black after calling him out on Twitter. It’s a feud I’d kill to see, but will it actually happens? Unfortunately, I doubt it; Gargano will be back sooner rather than later, and I’d assume he’ll be looking for revenge.
- Where does Lars Sullivan go from here? After that unfortunate botch, he can’t lay claim to being the first man to kick out of the Black Mass; however, with Killian Dain gone he’s still the resident monster in NXT. What’s next for the Freak?
- Early prediction for Adam Cole’s next challenger for the North American Championship? Ricochet.
That’s it, wrestling fans! Are you watching tonight? Stay tuned to Win Column Sports – we’ll have full spoilers from NXT’s tapings live tomorrow!
WWE Last 5:
- BREAKING: Big News on Rey Mysterio Day
- Smackdown Live Preview: June 19
- Monday Night Hayden: Preview of the 18/06/18 RAW
- Money in the Bank: Match Card, Preview, and Predictions
- NXT TakeOver: Chicago Predictions