On the last episode of NXT, what was supposed to be an incredible 6-man tag between SAintY and the Undisputed ERA saw the return of the Authors of Pain. The former NXT tag team champions had revenge on their mind, going right after the current champs. With them back in the picture, it is surely going to make NXT a war zone.
Here are five things to watch for on tonight’s episode of NXT.
Authors of Pain
It was a loud and chaotic return for the former champions, interrupting the main event to exact revenge against SAintY. Clearly, the Authors of Pain have their sights on regaining those tag team titles. One subtle note to the end of last week’s episode was that the Undisputed ERA were standing at the top of the ramp, watching the destruction being caused.
Akam and Razar made sure to keep note of where Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish were — some subtle foreshadowing. SAintY is sure to respond to the attack tonight, and Full Sail might not be big enough to contain this confrontation.
NXT Championship Picture
A lot of us (myself included) thought we were heading down the path toward Drew McIntyre defending his NXT title against Cole at the NXT TakeOver: WarGames event next month. During an interview, Zelina Vega walked in and took over, comparing Andrade “Cien” Almas to McIntyre. She then got down to business, and that business was a future title match between Almas and the champ.
To McIntyre’s credit, he didn’t back down. He welcomed the challenge and told Vega to go right to general manager William Regal to make the match. So since it seems that this is the route we are going down, this match could be made official as early as tonight. Almas is finally getting his chance to shine in the main event spotlight, now he just has to live up to the hype.
The Final Spot
Three of the four spots in the Fatal-4-Way for the NXT Women’s Championship at NXT TakeOver: WarGames have been locked up. Tonight, the final spot is up for grabs in an over the top rope battle royal. With most of the competitors being used in the two previous qualifiers, this match is filled with a lot of the women that were used in the Mae Young Classic, with some NXT holdovers in the match as well.
Perhaps one of the women that lost an earlier qualifier finds their way into this match, but either way after tonight we will know officially what that title match looks like. The post-Asuka era is upon us, and this first champion has a lot to live up to.
Acknowledging the dream
The Velveteen Dream just wants to be acknowledged. That isn’t a difficult request to grant. Yet it seems that Aleister Black won’t do that. After defeating Raul Mendoza, as usual, Black sat in the ring as the Velveteen Dream walked to the back.
For a split second, Black turned toward Dream, potentially giving Patrick Clark the attention that he was looking for. Dream didn’t appear to have taken notice of the attention. The mind games between this two continue and almost certainly will lead towards these two going after each other. That boiling point may be getting closer than we think.
Kassius Ohno’s role
Kassius Ohno’s run in NXT has been very underwhelming. Perhaps that is the understatement of the year, but it really showed itself last week. Ohno had a match with Cezar Bononi, in which Ohno picked up the win. Was any feud furthered? Did we learn anything about Ohno’s next challenge? The answer to both was a resounding no. NXT has a way of letting things materialize over the course of weeks, but that has been Ohno’s entire second run with the company.
He has a feud that we are supposed to be invested in. Once that feud concludes, Ohno finds himself in a big holding pattern. We are in another one of those now. Ohno needs something to heat himself back up again, or NXT runs the risk of him becoming a meaningless part of the show. We may already be at that point.