Strong was originally scheduled to defend his title against The Velveteen Dream on next week's show, but WWE did a backstage angle on tonight's show that saw The Undisputed Era take Dream out. NXT General Manager William Regal then announced that the new #1 contender to Strong would be the winner of the Rubber Match between Keith Lee and Dominik Dijakovic.
Strong ended up attacking Lee and Dijakovic to force the No Contest finish in their Rubber Match. Regal then announced that because of the interference, Strong will have to defend his title against both Lee and Dijakovic in a Triple Threat next week.
There's no word yet on when Dream will be back in action. It was reported two weeks ago in WWE's weekly NXT Injury Report that Dream suffered lumbar pain during his title loss to Strong on NXT TV. Last week's NXT Injury Report then noted that Dream was listed "day to day" but still suffering from lumbar pain. Besides the NXT Injury Report, which is often just for the storylines, there has also been talk within WWE of Dream suffering from legitimate back pain. Regal did note during tonight's segment on Dream that it may be a long time before he's back in action.
Belair and Ripley are currently in the running for a title shot from NXT Women's Champion Shayna Baszler, along with Tegan Nox and Io Shirai. This week's episode saw Baszler confront Nox after her return match win over Taynara Conti. Baszler taunted Nox and told her to call her for a title shot once she's actually accomplished something. Belair and Ripley have been feuding for a few weeks now, and the winner of next week's match could be next in line for a title shot. After Ripley lost a non-title match to Baszler by DQ on September 11, Ripley defeated Aliyah on October 9 and issued a post-match warning to Baszler. Belair would then defeat Dakota Kai and her post-match promo included a warning to both Ripley and Baszler. Tonight's episode also saw Shirai defeat Kayden Carter. Shirai took shots at Ripley, Belair and Baszler in her post-match promo, but was interrupted by Ripley. It looks like next week's match could lead to some sort of multi-woman title shot or #1 contenders match. They could book the title match for TV to help compete with AEW Dynamite, or they could save it for the next Takeover event, which is "Takeover: WarGames" on Saturday, November 23 from the Allstate Arena near Chicago, during WWE Survivor Series weekend.
Stay tuned for updates on next week's NXT episode and Dream's status.
Below are a few shots from tonight's angle with Strong and Regal, plus graphics for next week's matches: