NXT airs tonight (Nov. 15) live from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando.
Without William Regal to say the name, there was never really any point in NXT keeping a WarGames-themed event on the schedule. So the two-rings, one-cage concept graduates to the main roster with next Saturday’s Survivor Series. And in its place?
That’s what I and a lot of fans think NXT head honcho Shawn Michaels will address in the statement about next month’s Deadline PLE he’s going to make on this week’s show. Both the video teaser and Michaels’ promotion of it talk of innovation, so it seems like a reasonable guess HBK will push an innovative new match concept.
What’s the concept, and how innovative will it be?
There aren’t too many new things under the sun, which is why (along with the 25 minute timer that flashes at five minute intervals in the upper left corner of the video) a lot of guesses floating around the interwebs involve the “Championship Scramble ” WWE used at 2008’s Unforgiven.
As Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler explain, these five person matches had a 20 minute time limit, with two wrestlers starting and a new competitor joining every five minutes thereafter. Any pinfall or submission resulted in a new interim titleholder, but those reigns didn’t count for the record books. Whoever was interim champ when the timer expired kept the title, and was officially recognized as champion.
So for example, provided Bron Breaker is still holding the NXT title after facing Von Wagner on tonight’s show, his next defense could be against the list of challengers who’ve been stalking him of late, like Wagner, Apollo Crews, and JD McDonagh (the last two of which will face each other one-on- one tonight). Add in Grayson Waller and, for fun’s sake, Andre Chase and you’ve got yourself a PLE main event.
The concept could be tweaked a bit. They could use the weeks leading up to Dec. 10 to determine entry order via a round-robin tournament, for instance. Or maybe up the ante by saying whoever leaves Deadline as a champion gets to enter the Royal Rumble in January.
It’s also entirely possible Michaels won’t announce the repackaging of the Championship Scramble concept tonight, however. Heck, it could be the return of World War 3. They’ve got to have 60 wrestlers at the PC, right?
We’ll just have to tune in and see how innovative Team NXT is going to be, and if they even care about having an end-of-year gimmick show.
The rest of the title scene
Alba Fyre’s succeeded in taking out Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne the past couple of weeks. But she also thought she’d dealt with Toxic Attraction before she challenged Mandy Rose for the NXT Women’s championship at Halloween Havoc. I don’t think she should count on her Last Woman Standing match with Rose to be strictly one-on-one. I also don’t think we should expect Mandy’s epic reign to end tonight.
Before their first one-on-one match next Tuesday, Carmelo Hayes and North American champion Wes Lee sat down with Booker T for a contract signing tonight. Melo’s pride made him decide to try and get the belt back from Lee rather than going after Breakker, which certainly fits his character.
NXT Tag champs Pretty Deadly have been sitting pretty since Hayes’ interference helped them beat Bron & Wes a couple weeks back. Are they headed to a scramble defense, or will someone else get a shot at Kit Wilson & Elton Prince first? Like maybe the winners of tonight’s Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen vs. The Dyad match?
After a successful defense last Tuesday, NXT Women’s Tag Team champions Kayden Carter & Katana Chance are also in need of new challengers. It won’t be Zoey Stark & Nikkita Lyons again, because Stark broke badly after their title loss last week. And don’t look for them to reconcile any time soon either, seeing as Lyons saved her now-former partner from a tandem superkick and was repaid with an attack — even though Zoey lost the match cleanly.
Other stuff to keep an eye on
• Speaking of ladies breaking bad, Indi Hartwell doesn’t seem to be her fun-loving self lately. We understand you’ve got a justifiable mad on for Elektra Lopez after La Madrina attacked you a couple weeks back, Mrs. Lumis. But that’s no reason to be rude to Roxanne Perez when she checks on you!
• Someday he’ll get to the moon, but for now it just looks like Cameron Grimes is going to the main roster after Ava Raine helped Joe Gacy beat him last week.
• The Creeds look to be done with Damon Kemp after Brutus spent five minutes smashing the dude who betrayed Diamond Mine. Looks like the reunited Indus Sher is next.
• Suspicion of Duke Hudson continues to grow within the Chase U student body after he threw in the towel for Andre Chase last week, allowing Charlie Dempsey to pick up a win.
• NXT is her house, says Cora Jade. And Jade’s house doesn’t have any room for a nerd like Wendy Choo.
• Successful businessman Kiana James thinks Fallon Henley’s family bar is a good investment, but Briggs & Jensen’s friend isn’t looking to sell their favorite watering hole.
• T-BAR and SCRYPTS? Still coming.
What will you be looking for on NXT tonight?