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: NOLAVelveteen 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

Subbing in for Parker Love – who’s travelling the world again doing the sportsing thing – I’m Spencer, here to guide you through the first post-Chicago episode of NXT!

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 TakeOverNXT 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.

Other Segments

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.

My Thoughts

  • 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 ChampionshipRicochet.

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!

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NXT Preview: June 20
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Spencer Love

Once stood in front of Cedric Alexander in line at a hotel. Slightly big deal.

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