Tonight is the last of the Tommaso Ciampa/Johnny Gargano story for now

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NXT returns tonight (Mar. 13) with their last episode from the most recent set of tapings.

Here’s what’s advertised for tonight:

  • Bianca Belair vs. Io Shirai in a #1 contenders match
  • Mustache Mountain vs. the Forgotten Sons in a Dusty Classic semi-final match
  • #DIY vs. Aleister Black & Ricochet in a Dusty Classic semi-final match

As per usual, here are our five questions about NXT tonight:

1) Will we know the #DIY plan?

Something has to give when it comes to Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa. Either they’re marching to the finals of the Dusty Classic as a cohesive unit or they’re going to fall apart, placing them on opposite sides once again.

Tonight’s episode was taped prior to the news of Ciampa’s neck injury and surgery, so no matter the plan, it’s going to need to be adjusted. They’re taping the final batch of pre-TakeOver episodes tonight so if you don’t want to wait to know the plan, check those out.

I don’t think the plan was ever for #DIY win the Dusty Classic. My money was on Ciampa vs. Gargano for the title in Brooklyn. Perhaps Gargano is playing Ciampa this time around, and he is going to reveal it in one of these tag matches. Perhaps after they lose, Ciampa attacks Johnny when he realizes there’s no more fending him off Goldie.

If the plan is set in motion tonight, we’ll at least know where they were going. If they win tonight and it’s set in motion in the finals, we may never know what the plan for this story is.

2) Is Belair more hero than villain?

Bianca Belair debuted as a heel but her feud with Shayna Baszler left the EST of NXT more in the babyface column.

It’s a small sample size, but her babyface attitude is pretty much her heel attitude focused at the people we already don’t like. It’s a work and progress, and it’s not there yet. (Also, she should stop saying she’s “undefeated” when she’s not. A heel can get away with that, but a babyface can’t).

Tonight she works against a more natural babyface in Io Shirai as they battle for the right to face Baszler for the Women’s championship at TakeOver: New York. I expect Belair to lean into her heelish tendencies giving she’s the more imposing of the two and Io is a more natural good gal. After tonight, we’ll keep a close eye on Belair’s journey as a hero if she continues that way.

3) Do the Street Profits have a heel turn coming?

The Street Profits lost their first round Dusty match to Mustache Mountain last week. Montez Ford was showing some real aggression in the match, but he and Angelo Dawkins still couldn’t get it done. Do they take that aggression to the next level yet?

With Mustache Mountain in semi-final action against the Forgotten Sons, I could see the Profits playing sore loser and costing Trent Seven and Tyler Bate their match.

Of course, that would mean the Sons go to the finals and have a good chance to be in the title match in New York against the War Raiders. Do any of us really want to see that at this stage of the Forgotten Sons’ career?

4) Has Undisputed ERA come to terms with the fact they’re slumping?

It’s not been a kind year to Undisputed ERA, who really haven’t won any match of importance in a long time.

Their latest loss was to #DIY in the Dusty Classic. Sure, that’s a loss to a good team. All of their Ls have been against strong talent. But those losses still add up, and no matter how you spin it, things aren’t going well for a team that promised to hold all the gold this year.

When asked about it recently, they claimed it was a non-issue. But secretly, they need to know things are not going their way. If they really are in denial, they need to face it. Only then can they focus on turning things around.

5) When will we see Robbie E: NXT champ?

Probably not for a long time, if ever. But as an Impact watcher for awhile, seeing him sign with WWE is still surprising, even more than some of the other ex-TNAers who’ve come to NXT.

But while I jest about Robbie E becoming champ, there are a lot of guys and gals being announced for these PC classes, and it’s been a while since we’ve seen many new people on NXT TV. How long until we see someone like Stokely Hathaway. Or Punishment Martinez (outside his match against Riddle months back), who Aleister Black made sure to put over in his farewell speech?

Ric and Black aren’t long for NXT after their current story is done. Who will fill the holes they leave?

We’ll see if we get answers to these questions tonight at 8 PM.

NOTE: Spoilers are out there for these pre-taped broadcasts (including here), but many Cagesiders don’t partake. If you are going to post or discuss spoilers for this show before they happen, or results of future shows, please use the spoiler bar in your comment.

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