I’m hoping that tonight’s episode shows us a real contender for the Tag Team Titles with a group that’s actually capable of testing — and possibly defeating — The Ascension, rather than seeing the duo of monsters run through everyone all the time. I don’t think that Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady are interested in the belts, nor do I think that WWE would want to involve them in the hunt for gold, since it means remaining in NXT for at least an additional month due to the schedule it’s recorded and then aired being at least three weeks behind. Which leaves Enzo and Big Cass’ current enemies, The Legionnaires — who aren’t even remotely on the fans radar, so they’re out — the newly formed team of Kalisto and Sin Cara, another new and not yet shown team in The Mechanics (Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson) and The Vaudevillains.
Among that group, Kalisto/Sin Cara and The Vaudevillains seem the most likely to even get a legitimate shot at the belts. The Mechanics feature a returning Scott Dawson, who has a pretty nice size following but shouldn’t be thrown back into a title picture within weeks of reappearing. I think they may end up in a match against The Ascension, but they won’t win it. Kalisto and Sin Cara, on the other hand, I think may have the best chance of capturing gold. Sin Cara is a character that WWE fans — especially kids — have really taken to, regardless of whether or not the man under the mask is still the original; and Kalisto is someone that the NXT crowd has gotten firmly behind. The WWE is clamoring for another character like Rey Mysterio or Sin Cara to put in front of crowds and feature prominently. But more importantly they need one to make heaps of cash off of through selling tons of merchandise. Mysterio and Sin Cara have consistently sold masks, shirts, action figures and pretty much anything else that features their likenesses. Sin Cara isn’t who he once was — literally — and Mysterio is aging and unable to stay healthy, so the WWE needs another Luchador to feature. Having Kalisto win gold immediately puts a brighter spotlight on him, especially if he’s able to tag with Sin Cara and defeat The Ascension, who dismantled the Kalisto lead team at NXT Takeover.
That leaves The Vaudevillians as the last remaining true option to defeat The Ascension in the near future. I can easily picture this team going into a Thursday night taping or the next live NXT event — which isn’t expected until September — doing something stereotypically heelish and walking away with the belts draped over their shoulders. The biggest reason I could see this happening is that it puts the belts on a team that isn’t going anywhere probably ever. The team works in NXT so well because of the smaller and more dedicated crowd than what is normally seen in WWE arenas. The Full Sail crowd is usually comprised of the same faces, which means that when those people grow to like a person or a team, they stick with them until they leave NXT. But those same people could leave NXT for the main roster, get there, and either experience no success — Adam Rose — or more than was ever thought possible —The Shield. The Villains don’t have a gimmick that would work on the main roster, so they’ll remain in NXT permanently — or at least they should, because they’re good for that crowd and shouldn’t be brought up just to fail.
It will come down to one of those teams, which is something that I think might be figured out tonight or at least very soon. The other thing I think we see is the first appearance — in the form of an interview — of Japanese sensation KENTA.