The Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic enters the semifinals! Shayna Baszler will learn who her next challenger is! Who moves closer to NXT TakeOver: New York?
- Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Semifinals: Mustache Mountain VS The Forgotten Sons; The Forgotten Sons win and advance to the finals.
- NXT Women’s Championship #1 Contender’s match: Io Shirai VS Bianca Belair; No Contest
- Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Semifinals: DIY VS Aleister Black & Ricochet; Aleister & Ricochet win and advance to the finals.
PLAY BY PLAY
Four teams remain.
The War Raiders address the semifinalists in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. Aleister Black & Ricochet, Moustache Mountain, The Forgotten Sons, and DIY. “Tonight, we will be watching. It doesn’t matter which team emerges the victor, because none of you are ready for war!”
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Semifinals: Mustache Mountain VS The Forgotten Sons!
Trent Seven & Tyler Bate look to become two-time NXT Tag Team Champions, but Steve Cutler & Welsey Blake look to immortalize themselves on that DRTTC trophy! Who moves on to the finals and one step closer to TakeOver: New York?
Teams sort out and Bate starts with Blake. They tie up and fans are strongly behind Moustache Mountain. Blake gets a wristlock but Bate rolls and handsprings to reverse. Blake stands and scoop slams Bate down. Tag to Cutler but Bate dodges the elbow drop. Bate runs and runs Cutler over, then snap suplexes! Cover, ONE, but Bate grabs the arm. Bate wrenches but Cutler powers out. Cutler hits Bate hard with an elbow then stomps him down. Cutler puts Bate in a corner for more, then tags Blake. Blake drags Bate up for a neckbreaker and covers, TWO! Blake keeps on Bate with a cobra clutch. He thrashes Bate around but fans rally up. Bate endures as Blake leans on the clutch. Bate feeds off the energy of the fans and reaches for Seven. Blake suplexes but Bate slips out. Bate dodges and tags in Seven!
Seven sends Blake out and boots Cutler down. Seven CHOPS Cutler then CHOPS Blake, and repeat! Fans fire up with Seven as he fakes Cutler out to a DDT! Blake kicks Seven and goes to suplex, but Seven scoops quickly for a Michinoku Driver! Cover, TWO! Seven CHOPS Blake again then whips. Cutler tags in and Blake slides. Blake anchors one leg, Cutler chop blocks to other! Seven’s bad knee is now a prime target, Cutler gives the leg a DDT and a yank! Cutler drags Seven over but Seven holds ropes. Cutler puts the leg on the rope to sit down on it! He drags Seven over, tag to Blake. Blake comes around the side to leg drop the bad leg! Cover, TWO! Blake keeps between Seven and Bate while fans rally for the “Big Strong Boys!”
Blake spins for a toehold but Seven does his best to fight back. Seven hammers but Blake spins through again. Blake wrenches and Seven shouts, but fans rally. Blake switches legs but Seven cradles! TWO, and Seven scrambles for Bate! Blake stops Seven and puts on the Figure Four! But Seven switches it around fast! Blake and Seven reach for their corners, Blake drags Seven with him to a ropebreak! Tag to Cutler and Cutler stomps Seven down. Cutler goes for a shin breaker but gets a sunset flip! TWO and Cutler anchors Seven. Seven enziguris but misses! Cutler drags Seven up but Seven throws elbows. They both throw clotheslines and take each other out! Fans fire up and hot tags to Bate and Blake! Bate rallies on Blake then whips him to a corner. Bate tosses Blake with a back drop! Cutler returns to get a dropkick!
Both Forgotten Sons are in a corner, Bate sandwiches them with a European Uppercut! Bate lifts Cutler, for the airplane spin! But Bate sees Blake climb up, and adds him to the stack! Bate shows he IS a Big Strong Boy when he BIPLANE spins! Bate gets a few rotations but has to drop the Forgotten Sons off. He DOUBLE Huricanranas them out! Bate goes to the apron for a Shooting Star, but both Forgotten Sons get clear! But Bate catches Cutler to toss him at Blake! Fans cheer as Bate nips up! Shooting Star to Blake! Bate puts Blake in and then climbs. Jaxson Ryker warns Blake, but Bate hits the corkscrew moonsault! Cover, but Cutler breaks it!
Cutler goes to throw Bate out but Bate throws him. Tag to Seven and Moustache Mountain coordinate. Full nelson and rebound lariat Dragon Suplex! Cover, but Ryker helps Blake get a ropebreak! Cutler brings Blake out but Bate FLIES onto them both! Bate puts Blake back in and tags. Bate climbs while Seven lifts Blake. But Cutler shoves Bate down and Ryker clobbers him!! The referee didn’t see that because Seven and Blake collapsed! Seven realizes what happened, though, and runs at Ryker, only for Cutler to intercept with a knee! Blake puts Bate in, tags in Cutler, MEMORY REMAINS! Cover, The Forgotten Sons win?!
Winners: The Forgotten Sons, Steve Cutler pinning; advance to the finals
This was the biggest win of this stable’s career! The Forgotten Sons shock everyone, but will they make everyone remember their names?
Backstage interview with Matt Riddle.
What is the reason why the Original Bro interrupted The Velveteen Dream? Well he just wanted to say hi, and to get a look at that NXT North American Championship. Riddle isn’t just here to wrestle- But Adam Cole interrupts. Riddle thinking he can just have a North American Championship match proves to Cole just how clueless Riddle is. Sooner or later, Cole is going to have that title back. “And that’s Undisputed.” Riddle says what’s actually undisputed. Cole talks a tough game and he’s pretty good, but if he wants to continue this chat, do it in the ring, bro. Will Cole accomplish the Undisputed Era’s mission by going through Riddle? Or will Riddle earn a chance at an even closer look at the North American Championship?
Shayna Baszler is here!
The only two-time NXT Women’s Champion joins commentary because she wants to see this next match with her own eyes.
NXT Women’s Championship #1 Contender’s match: Io Shirai VS Bianca Belair!
The Genius of the Sky pinned the Queen of Spades, but as it has been pointed out, it was in a Six Woman Tag match. The EST pushed Baszler to her limit, but it wasn’t enough to stay truly Un-De-Fea-Ted. Will Shirai earn her first shot at the title? Or will Bianca earn a shot at redemption against Shayna?
The bell rings and fans duel as Shirai and Belair circle. Belair pie faces Shirai around but Shirai takes pride in the fans being divided. They tie up and Belair gets a full nelson on. She thrashes Shirai around but Shirai slips out to shove Belair back. Shirai and Belair speed up and Belair runs Shirai over. Things speed up again and Belair shows her agility with the handspring, but Shirai shoves her again. They go again, Shirai shows off her handsprings and she dropkicks Belair out! Shirai builds speed but Belair gets clear. Shirai goes to the apron and huricanranas, but Belair blocks to alley-oop her onto stairs! Belair drags Shirai up and in and covers, TWO! Belair stomps Shirai and covers again, TWO! Fans cheer but Belair grows frustrated.
Belair drags Shirai up and scoops but Shirai slips out. Shirai rolls up, TWO! Belair runs Shirai over and hits a standing moonsault! Cover, TWO! Belair drags Shirai up into seated double chicken wings. Baszler is not amused or impressed, but fans rally up. Shirai powers up and victory rolls to STOMP! Shirai drop toeholds Belair down, then shouts out to Rey Mysterio with the Tiger Feint Kick! Belair flounders and Shirai springboards for a missile dropkick! Fans fire up with Shirai as she runs in at Belair, Meteora! Then double jump but Belair trips Shirai into the Tree of Woe. HAIR WHIP! Belair drags Shirai into the drop zone then climbs up top. Shirai returns to throw palm strikes but Belair clubs her back. Shirai and Belair brawl up top, but Shirai SLAPS Belair! SUPER STEINER!
Fans fire up as Shirai climbs again, Asai Moonsault onto knees! SPEAR from Belair! But both women are down, so Baszler makes her move. Baszler drags Shirai out and throws her down, then goes after Belair!
Baszler puts Belair in the Kirafuda Klutch! But here comes Kairi Sane! The Pirate Princess runs in but into the Kirafuda, too! Baszler grins as she makes Sane fade out! But Shirai is back with furious forearms! Baszler shoves her but gets a SHOTEI! Shirai tosses Baszler out then goes to check on Sane. But Baszler’s back and puts Shirai in the Kirafuda! Baszler drops down to body scissors and makes Shirai pass out, too! The Queen of Spades just choked out three top contenders, but who will she end up facing in New York?
Backstage interview with Shayna Baszler.
What prompted that attack during the #1 Contender’s match? Baszler says that all these women want a shot at the title, but no one has shown they’re worthy. There’s not a single woman worthy of a match. Well then William Regal wants her to know that not one but all three women will have their shot. It will be a Fatal 4 Way of Baszler VS Belair VS Shirai VS Sane at NXT TakeOver: New York! Baszler has no words, but will she end up eating her words after Wrestlemania Weekend?
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Semifinals: DIY VS Aleister Black & Ricochet!
This entire tournament has been about the unexpected! No one expected the Dutch Destroyer and King of Flight to mesh so well as a team. No one expected Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano to bury the hatchet and reunite. And no one expected the Forgotten Sons to make it to the finals! Which unexpected scenario do we get in the tournament finals?
DIY already brought the theme song back, now they bring the shirts back! Teams sort out and we start with Ciampa and Aleister. The two circle and tie up, and then break. Ciampa pie faces but dodges the kicks! He rolls Aleister then knees low. Ciampa whips but Aleister dodges to roll of Ciampa’s back. Aleister boots and knees Ciampa, to add a sliding knee! Cover, ONE, but Ciampa runs into a drop toehold. Aleister has Ciampa with an arm wrench then tags in Ricochet. Ricochet elbows the arm then wrenches it again. Ricochet puts Ciampa on the mat but fans rally up. Ciampa works his way to a headlock but Ricochet rolls him off. Ciampa BOOTS Ricochet to his corner. Tag to Gargano and DIY work together to snapmare and dropkick Ricochet down. Cover, TWO!
Fans duel again as Gargano has Ricochet in a corner. Gargano whips corner to corner but Ricochet goes up and over. Gargano sunset flips but Ricochet rolls through to roll Gargano. Things speed up, headscissors but Ricochet lands on his feet. Things speed up again, handspring but Gargano denies the huricanrana. They each kick and dodge, but Ricochet comes back with the handspring and headscissors! Ricochet dropkicks Gargano out of the ring! Ricochet builds speed but Ciampa saves Gargano, so Ricochet handsprings and hero lands. Ciampa gets up but Ricochet dropkicks him down. Aleister runs in, but he fakes DIY out with his springboard to sit-down! Ricochet joins Aleister and fans fire up! DIY regroups while fans chant for “Ricochet! Aleister!”
Ricochet sees Gargano coming but then Ciampa gets around the back. Ricochet elbows Ciampa away but runs into Gargano’s slingshot spear! Gargano drags Ricochet over and suplexes him for a cover, ONE. Gargano drags Ricochet up and into the corner. Tag to Ciampa and DIY mug Ricochet. Ciampa stomps a mudhole into Ricochet while fans duel again. Ciampa catapult guillotines Ricochet! Tag to Gargano and DIY split the wish bone. Ricochet sputters for air but Gargano is on him with a neckbreaker. Cover, TWO! Gargano keeps on Ricochet and tags in Ciampa. DIY mug Ricochet more and Ciampa gives Ricochet a neckbreaker of his own. Ciampa mocks Aleister with the cross-leg, but the ref keeps Aleister back. Ciampa drags Ricochet back over to bump off buckles.
Tag to Gargano and Ciampa feeds Ricochet to the boots. Gargano covers, TWO! Gargano keeps Ricochet down with a keylock stomp! Tag to Ciampa and Ciampa snapmares Ricochet to a chinlock. Fans rally again and Ricochet feeds off the energy. Ricochet fights with body shots and uppercuts, but Ciampa keeps him from reaching Aleister. Ricochet forearms but Gargano tags in. Ciampa boots and Gargano enziguris! Gargano slingshots for the DDT, but Ricochet blocks it! Ricochet rocks Ciampa but Gargano hits a discus clothesline! Cover, TWO! Gargano drags Ricochet back over and tags Ciampa. Ciampa goes side to side for a knee! Cover, TWO! Ciampa drags Ricochet up and tags Gargano.
DIY works together with double whips but Ricochet dodges. Ricochet waistlocks, Gargano standing switches but Ricochet blocks Ciampa’s boot. Ricochet fights them both off, and throws Gargano into Ciampa, neckbreaker causes the DDT! They’re all down but fans rally as Ricochet crawls for Aleister. Hot tag to Aleister! Aleister rallies on Gargano, sweeps the legs and drives in the knee! Aleister handsprings but dodges Ciampa, DOUBLE Quebrada! Cover, TWO! Aleister fires up again and drags Gargano up. Suplex but Gargano knees out. Gargano blocks one boot but gets another. Aleister sweeps but Gargano jumps over to buzzsaw! Gargano runs in but is put on the apron. Gargano slingshots into a knee! Brainbuster! Cover, but Ciampa breaks it in time!
Ricochet goes after Ciampa but is sent out first. Aleister sends Ciampa out then drags Gargano up for a deadlift. Gargano standing switches but gets an elbow. Ciampa tags in and knees Aleister! Gargano SUPERKICKS, and they go to opposite ends. But Ricochet drags Gargano out and ALeister knees Ciampa down. Ricochet moonssaults but Gargano gets clear to SUPERKICK! So Aleister goes to the apron. He hops over Gargano but Ciampa catches him, Tower of London on the apron! Tag to Gargano, slingshot DDT! Cover as Ciampa draping DDT’s Ricochet, TWO!! Gargano runs and tilt-o-whirls to GargaNO Escape! Aleister endures the hold as fans are thunderous. Ciampa bridges to Fujiwara Armbar Ricochet! Dual submissions, flashbacks to the old days! But Ricochet powers up and Death Valley Drives Ciampa on Gargano!
Fans are thunderous as all four men are down. The ref checks on Gargano’s leg, but Gargano won’t let this end things. Gargano crawls and tags Ciampa. Ciampa goes at Aleister but he is worried about Gargano. Ciampa goes out to check on Gargano, but Gargano tells him to worry about the match. Aleister tags Ricochet, and now we have a brawl! Ricochet haymakers, Ciampa haymakers, repeat. Ricochet gets the edge with uppercuts, but he turns into a roaring elbow! He knees back, but Ciampa flips the boot to hit his knee trigger! PELE from Ricochet! Fans reach a fever pitch while both men are down! Ciampa and Ricochet crawl to their corners. Aleister returns and Gargano forces himself over. Fans hope they “Fight Forever!” as Aleister tags in. Gargano can’t stand so Ciampa just goes it alone!
Ciampa ducks a kick to get the underhooks! Aleister slips out, BLACK MASS! Tag to Ricochet, who hops up fast! Ricochet 630!! Cover, Aleister & Ricochet win!!
Winners: Ricochet & Aleister Black, Ricochet pinning; advance to the finals
The unexpected union takes on the unexpected underdogs! Aleister and Ricochet roll on to the finals to meet the Forgotten Sons! Who will be THE team to take on the War Raiders in New York?
As for DIY, Candice LeRae hurries out to check on husband Johnny Gargano. Ciampa fetches the NXT Championship, but sets “Goldie” down long enough to check on Gargano. Surprisingly, Ciampa helps Gargano up and helps him walk to the ramp. Candice leads the way as these three walk together to the stage. But Gargano stumbles and Ciampa drops him. Ciampa helps Gargano up, to throw him at the titantron?! No, Gargano stops it! To do it to Ciampa! Gargano SUPERKICKS Ciampa down, and Candice is all smiles. Mr. & Mrs. Johnny Wrestling got the better of the Psycho Killer, but surely this is far from over.
Another great episode for NXT! The opening video highlighting the four teams and the War Raiders was great. It seems almost cliche but it’s great when a champion doesn’t care who they’ll face next. Champions should be confident that they’ll keep the title(s) no matter what. Especially when it gets a Heel into a situation they regret. Shayna Baszler did that to herself by attacking not just Shirai and not just Belair, but also getting Sane when she comes out to make the save. NXT TakeOver: New York is going to one-up Wrestlemania again by having a Fatal 4 Way for their women’s championship. This has to mean Shayna loses, because I really don’t see the other Horsewomen helping her win again. They’ll surely try, but it’d just be disappointing if they succeeded again.
It seems Adam Cole is obsessed with that North American Championship. He wants that title for himself and won’t let anyone else get a shot before he does. Cole VS Riddle will be an excellent contender’s match, but there’s also Keith Lee VS Dominik Dijakovic. Perhaps TakeOver: New York gives us another huge multi-man match for that title. It would be big for any of these guys to win in a Fatal 5, maybe another Ladder match like the inaugural North American Championship match.
It isn’t just kayfabe when I say fans probably didn’t think the Forgotten Sons would be in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic finals. But it totally works that they used Ryker to screw Moustache Mountain. Trent Seven & Tyler Bate of course have more in NXT UK to do instead, but I didn’t think they’d be out of the tournament here. Then DIY VS Aleister & Ricochet was a great match, with great story callbacks to DIY’s time against The Revival and other teams. I didn’t expect DIY to lose, either, but I suppose there needs to be an NXT Champion story for TakeOver. But obviously with Ciampa being out with the neck injury, now they can use this to tie that into kayfabe. The title is likely to be vacated, but I’d think Gargano can be put into that match against just about anyone for an amazing match.
My Score: 8.6/10