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WWE NXT: Best and Worst - Debuting star lives up to the hype, Possible issue with women's division

Is Kyle O'Reilly the next challenger for the NXT Championship?
Is Kyle O'Reilly the next challenger for the NXT Championship?
Divesh Merani
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As we get used to NXT being on Tuesdays, the black and gold brand put on another solid episode this week. It feels good to have at least one good night of storytelling every week in WWE.

Before that, NXT debuted a new intro. Poppy's unreleased track, "Say Cheese," is now the theme song for the show. It wasn't the only debut this week, though. With new stars coming in and taking over, the black and gold brand remains a fresh environment. Its ability to constantly evolve is second to none.

This week's episode saw a surge in excitement for the women's division, although one aspect needs some serious work. Elsewhere, NXT's most entertaining acts continued to shine, while the next world title feud may have been confirmed.

Let's get into the best and worst from this week's episode of WWE NXT.


#1 Best: Sarray's NXT debut lives up to the hype

While WWE's booking of the RAW and SmackDown Women's divisions remains largely questionable, NXT has consistently delivered on that front.

The black and gold brand may have the best female roster in the business at the moment. One of the biggest reasons for this is the constant replenishment of new stars.

Sarray only adds further depth to NXT's stacked women's division, with Franky Monet also bolstering its ranks. The latter has teased a program with Io Shirai, who seems to be taking some time off. Meanwhile, Sarray made her NXT debut on this week's episode.

The black and gold brand had hyped up her debut quite a bit over the past few weeks.

She lived up to her reputation right from the offset. Sarray's first NXT match was a competitive bout with Zoey Stark, another female Superstar who has been impressive.

Sarray took in a flurry of offense from Stark and dished out some of her own. She did great in the ring, finishing Stark off with the Saito Suplex.

This could be the start of a successful NXT career similar to former Joshi stars, Shirai, Kairi Sane, and Asuka. Sarray seems to be headed that way.

It also looks like NXT has planned out her trajectory in the near future, with Toni Storm making her presence known after the match.

She attacked Zoey Stark after the match and seems likely to be Sarray's next opponent. NXT's women's division is stacked enough to have an hour-long show on its own.

#1 Worst: Lack of new challengers for the NXT Women's Tag Team Championship

As we have just seen, NXT's Women's division is absolutely stacked. Sarray made her debut, while the likes of Franky Monet and Zoey Stark will make more of an impact over the next few months. However, there isn't much progression when it comes to the Women's Tag Team titles.

Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart won the Championships a month ago, defeating Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez. Their main challengers have been Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell of The Way, with no other team even staking a claim.

For how stacked the female roster is, NXT should have planted some seeds for a few alliances on the show.

The black and gold brand will need new tag teams to enter into the title picture once the current feud is over. Of course, NXT will likely fix this problem in the weeks that follow. But for now, it is a very mild 'Worst'.

Unless they win the NXT Women's Tag Team Championship or another major development occurs, The Way getting another shot seems somewhat pointless. Also, Moon and Blackheart attacking LeRae in their locker room wasn't very babyface-like. The two of them do need new challengers soon.

#2 Best: The Way's shenanigans on NXT

Speaking of Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell, the two of them were at odds on NXT. In fact, The Way as a whole was not on the same page. However, this miscommunication provided some comic relief on this week's show, as we got some quality backstage segments out of it. Well, aside from LeRae getting beaten down two-on-one by the babyfaces.

The shenanigans began when Indi Hartwell made her way to ringside to support Dexter Lumis during his match with LA Knight. They nearly shared a kiss before Johnny Gargano and co. stopped it from happening. The Way got in the way of "true love" on NXT.

However, Indi Wrestling remains love-struck. Meanwhile, the Garganos' other "child," Austin Theory, created a different problem for the faction. He has essentially gifted Bronson Reed a big opportunity at the NXT North American Championship. The Australian star will face Theory next week in a match with major title implications.

It seems like Reed will get his rematch against Gargano, while LeRae and Hartwell will face Shotzi Blackheart and Ember Moon for the NXT Women's Tag Team Championship.

Will The Way claim multiple titles on the black and gold brand? The segments would be gold if they pull it off.

#2 Worst: Imperium doesn't feel the same in NXT without WALTER

While Imperium remains a solid presence on NXT, it does feel a tad bit underwhelming. Any faction would suffer from its leader not being around for most of the year. WALTER is a massive figure not only for Imperium but for NXT as a whole. He is the most dominant Champion in the brand's history.

The NXT UK Champion's absence is obviously understandable, but it leaves a gaping hole in Imperium. Fabian Aichner, Marcel Barthel, and Alexander Wolfe are all talented wrestlers. But they need guidance and direction.

Imperium has already won the NXT Tag Team Championships and a second reign is unlikely unless more members are added to the group. Killian Dain could join them after betraying Drake Maverick, but he doesn't seem much like a leader.

NXT will have to find a quick solution to make Imperium matter without WALTER needing to be there. They need a leader, at least for the time being. A possible option is Timothy Thatcher, who values in-ring work over everything else and has faced WALTER before in the indie scene.

#3 Best: Kyle O'Reilly is the star of NXT; Cameron Grimes impresses opposite him

Kyle O'Reilly was the star of NXT this week. His opening promo may have been a bit too goofy for one's liking. But it was nice to see some positive energy and personality from him again, after his war with Adam Cole at TakeOver: Stand & Deliver.

O'Reilly namedropped Karrion Kross and might be his first challenger for the NXT Championship. The two had a brief staredown before the former Undisputed Era member's main event match with Cameron Grimes.

Speaking of Grimes, he interrupted O'Reilly at the start of NXT and was pretty entertaining. While a business partnership between the two of them would have been fun to watch, their match was great. It was hard-hitting, venturing back and forth between the two competitors.

Cameron Grimes got several close near-falls on the babyface star, but it was Kyle O'Reilly who picked up the victory to close the show. It was a statement of intent from him.

Meanwhile, NXT's resident millionaire continues to impress with his new gimmick. It looks like he could be in for a confrontation with Ted Dibiase very soon.

As for O'Reilly's shot at singles success, Adam Cole will likely return and cost him the NXT Championship. Their feud doesn't seem to be over.

This week was a step in the right direction, but there is a long way to go before Kyle O'Reilly becomes NXT Champion.

Edited by Alan John
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