WWE NXT Preview for Tonight (Aug. 26): Two Title Matches, New NXT Champion Karrion Kross, More

Tonight’s edition of WWE NXT follows this past Saturday’s NXT Takeover XXX event on WWE Network. It’s also a night where NXT faces no opposition from AEW Dynamite in the “Wednesday Night Wars” because AEW Dynamite takes place on Thursday this week, not Wednesday. That’s because TNT is airing the NBA Playoffs tonight, so NXT gets a chance to try to impress wrestling fans in the US that might want to check out what they’re doing. Tonight’s episode will be taped today at Full Sail University in Orlando. I believe they will also tape next week’s show as well.

As we reported yesterday, former WWE superstar Wade “Bad News” Barrett will be on commentary for this week’s show. It’s not a long term deal, but he’s filling in because Mauro Ranallo is dealing with a family matter. As of this morning, this hasn’t been mentioned by WWE, but that may just be because they want to make it a surprise when the show is on the air.

Here’s a rundown of what they are advertising on about it with my quick thoughts on everything that’s on here.

* NXT Champion Karrion Kross and Scarlett to kick off WWE NXT

Kross suffered a separated shoulder at NXT Takeover XXX, so we could get an update on how he’s doing. He seemed to think, in an ESPN interview recently, that he wouldn’t need major surgery, so maybe he’ll be fine in a few weeks. Perhaps we’ll see a wrestler step up to challenge him for a future match. It could be a lot of things, but at least we’ll get the “mission statement” from the new NXT Champion Karrion Kross and his lovely girlfriend Scarlett to begin the show.

* NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai teams with Rhea Ripley against Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonz├ílez

I can see building to a Shirai vs. Ripley match, so I will pick their team to win and then we’ll get to see that Shirai vs. Ripley match perhaps as soon as next week. Then again, we could see Kai get a cheap win to set up another title match with Shirai. There are a few options for sure.

* Tommaso Ciampa set to return to NXT tonight

Welcome back to the former NXT Champion. Maybe he’ll target Kross, who beat him at the Takeover In Your House event in June or maybe there’s something else on his mind. I’m just glad he’s back because the NXT brand is better when Ciampa is in the ring.

* NXT Tag Team Champions Imperium vs. Breezango

Title change? I think it’s possible. The Imperium duo of Aichner and Barthel are technically sound, but they aren’t that interesting overall. I think it might be the perfect time for Breezango to finally win some tag team gold together. I’m going with Breezango’s Tyler Breeze and Fandango as the new champions.

* What’s next for new North American Champion Damian Priest?

Your guess is as good as mine here, but I think we might see Johnny Gargano go after the new babyface North American Champion Priest. That way it gives Priest a credible opponent to feud with right off the bat as the champion. I think Cameron Grimes would be a good choice too although he recently feuded with Priest.

* Santos Escobar defends the NXT Cruiserweight Title against Isaiah “Swerve” Scott

I have made it clear in the past that Escobar is one of my favorite wrestlers in NXT and all of WWE right now. I’d like to see his title reign continue. If the NXT can build up a credible title contender then it would be fine if he lost, but I think they still need to work on that. Scott should have a very good match with Escobar in what could be the match of the night.

That’s all for the NXT preview. I don’t get NXT live in Canada, but I will download it after the show and get the review posted as soon as I can. It will probably be Thursday morning when I post the review.