The WWE Draft is less than a week away and the NXT Superstars have one final chance to impress Monday Night RAW commissioner Stephanie McMahon and SmackDown Live commissioner Shane McMahon, proving that they are worthy to be drafted from NXT and moved permanently to the WWE’s main roster. Like Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, and Seth Rollins before them, up-and-coming stars like Finn Bálor, Bayley, Austin Aries, and Samoa Joe are expected to end their stints with the NXT brand soon and be a part of the Raw brand or SmackDown brand. With Finn Bálor vs. Shinsuke Nakamura booked for this week’s WWE NXT — and Samoa Joe’s NXT Championship being eyed by both competitors — the timing of this potentially epic encounter couldn’t be any better.
Immediately following WWE NXT on July 13 is the series premiere of Cruiserweight Classic, the airing of the CWC tournament, co-hosted by former WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan. A total of 32 superstars will represent 16 countries in a division that could end up being a big part of the WWE’s New Era movement. Could any of the 32 men in this tournament follow in the footsteps of smaller guys like Daniel Bryan and Rey Mysterio by being selected in next Tuesday’s WWE Draft on the premiere of SmackDown Live?
— WWE UK (@WWEUK) June 24, 2016
WWE continues to undersell their weekly WWE NXT offerings in their official NXT preview by only promoting one segment of the show from the hottest brand in professional wrestling. But as usual, multiple high-quality NXT matches are on the card this week, including the women’s division and the highly anticipated match between Finn and Shinsuke. A spoiler-free match-list for this week’s WWE NXT is followed by a similar preview for the premiere episode of WWE Cruiserweight Classic.
WWE NXT spoiler-free preview — July 13
Note: While the following matches haven’t all been listed at WWE’s website, they have been posted in a spoiler report at Daily DDT that also lists matches for July 20. The matches for this week’s episode of WWE NXT were taped at Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida, on Friday, July 1.
- Finn Bálor vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
- Austin Aries vs. Patrick Clark
- Andrade “Cien” Almas vs. Angelo Dawkins
- NXT Women’s Champion Asuka vs. Eva Marie (non-title match)
WWE CWC spoiler-free preview — July 13
As they do with WWE NXT every week, WWE’s official Cruiserweight Classic preview only talks about one match. It’s not clear which other matches will air on July 13. According to a spoiler report from Wrestling Inc., four CWC matches were taped for July 13 — but none of them included Kota Ibushi vs. Sean Maluta, the only match advertised for this week’s episode. It would appear as though they are airing episodes in a different order than they were taped. The matches for this week’s episode of WWE CWC (and all matches from the first round of the tournament) were taped at Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida, on Wednesday, June 22.
- Kota Ibushi vs. Sean Maluta (confirmed)
- Tyson Dux vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
- Drew Gulak vs. Harv Shira
- Anthony Bennett vs. Tony Nese
The three unconfirmed matches listed above were initially recorded to air on the same episode as the one match that has been confirmed by WWE. Potentially, any of the first-round matches could air on the series premiere. The entire bracket is pictured below.
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Where To Watch
New episodes of WWE NXT air on the WWE Network on Wednesday evenings beginning at 8/7c and are immediately available to stream on-demand. Beginning Thursdays, replays of WWE NXT are also available to stream on-demand with a Hulu Plus subscription.
The series premiere of Cruiserweight Classic airs Wednesday, July 13, at 9/8c, exclusively on the WWE Network. The WWE CWC series will continue to air weekly on Wednesday evenings on the WWE Network, with replays available to stream on-demand immediately.
[Image via WWE]