The NXT Tag Team Champions await challengers for TakeOver: New York! Who will come out of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic the new #1 contenders?
- Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic: Aleister Black & Ricochet VS Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel; Black & Ricochet win and advance to the next round.
- Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic: The Forgotten Sons VS Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch; The Forgotten Sons win and advance to the next round.
- Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic: The Street Profits VS Mustache Mountain; Mustache Mountain wins and advance to the next round.
- Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic: DIY VS The Undisputed Era’s Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish; DIY wins and advance to the next round.
PLAY BY PLAY
WWE honors the memory of King King Bundy.
The Godfather of NXT, Dusty Rhodes, lives on through the Tag Team Classic.
But where others have dreams, DIY wants a moment. “That’s where this all began. And now we get to finish what we started.” But they’re not the only ones who want to win it all. The best tag teams on both NXT and NXT UK are going to collide in this tournament. The Forgotten and the Profits, the Undisputed and the unexpected, “it is time!” Who will grab hold of that dream and never let go to make it all the way to TakeOver: New York?
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic: Aleister Black & Ricochet VS Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel!
Perhaps the most unlikely duo of the tournament, the Embodiment of the End and the King of Flight have made huge impacts on the main roster. Now they’ll look to turn the NXT Tag Division upside down and make it #FadetoBlack! Will they succeed against the well-oiled machine of the European Alliance?
The teams sort out and it will be Aleister against Aichner. Fans are fired up for Aleister and Ricochet as the bell rings. Aichner and Aleister circle and tie up. Aichner gets the wristlock and brings Aleister to the mat. Aleister fights his way back up, pries free and gets a headlock. Aichner fights and powers out, then he runs Aleister over. Cover, ONE! Aichner clubs away on Aleister then tags in Barthel. Barthel stomps and European Uppercuts Aleister. He whips but Aleister dodges and rolls off the back. Aleister boots and knees, then basement dropkicks! Cover, ONE! Aleister arm-drags and has Barthel in an armlock. Barthel throws Aichner off but runs into boots. Aichner runs over but gets an elbow. Aleister boots Barthel away again, but leaps into a EuroUpper! Cover, TWO!
Barthel keeps on Aleister and brings him over to the Euro corner. Tag to Aichner and Aichner throws hands and stomps. Aichner backs off at 4, upset with the ref. Tag to Barthel and they mug Aleister in the corner. Tag to Aichner but Aleister fights out. Aleister can’t get away from them both, and he runs into the spinebuster and Penalty Kick! Barthel hits Ricochet for good measure while Aichner covers, TWO! Aichner keeps on Aleister with a chinlock to a camel clutch. Fans rally up and Aleister fights out. Aleister arm-drags Aichner then boots him. Aichner elbows back, then swings on Ricochet. Ricochet gets clear, Aleister sweeps Aichner’s legs! Aichner crawls for his corner but so does Aleister, hot tags to Barthel and Ricochet!
Ricochet rallies on the Euro Alliance with headscissors. Barthel runs in but gets sent into buckles. Aichner full nelsons but Ricochet swings him into Barthel. Ricochet neckbreakers Barthel to DDT Aichner! Fans fire up as Ricochet runs and uppercuts Barthel. Ricochet adds an elbow then puts Barthel on the ropes for Tiger Feint kick! Springboard flying uppercut! Standing shooting star! Cover, TWO! Ricochet keeps his focus as he brings Barthel up in the fireman’s carry. Barthel fights out and clobbers Aleister. Ricochet elbows Barthel then whips. Barthel reverses but Ricochet uses that to clobber Aichner. Ricochet boots Barthel but gets the kick! Tag to Aichner, the toss into the suplex! Brain buster! Barthel DIVES onto Aleister! Aichner triangle moonsaults! Cover, TWO!!
Ricochet survives and Aichner is furious, but the fans are thunderous for “NXT! NXT!” Aichner drags Ricochet up again, powerbomb lifts and spins, but Ricochet slips out. Ricochet shoves Aichner back and somersault dropkicks! Aichner flounders out of the ring but Ricochet runs. Barthel gets a cheap shot kick! Aichner springboards for a tornado DDT! Cover, TWO!! Ricochet survives and Aichner can’t believe it! Fans applaud this insane opener and then rally up as Aichner stands. Aichner drags Ricochet up, tags to Barthel, and the Europeans mug him. They talk trash in German and Italian, but Ricochet fires off CHOPS! Ricochet boots Barthel and dumps Aichner out. Ricochet goes up and over to tag Aleister! Aleister rallies, springboard meteora!
Aleister aims, but misses the round house. Barthel puts him into post. Tag to Aichner, who goes to the outside. They meet in the middle with double dropkicks! Barthel feeds Aleister to Aichner, powerbomb lift, but Aleister fights out! Aleister stomps Aichner and Ricochet SUPER STEINERS Barthel! Barthel bails out, Ricochet DIVES on him! Aleister and Aichner stand, quebrada caught into a cover! TWO, Aichner fires off strikes! BLACK MASS!! Cover, Aleister & Ricochet win!
Winners: Aleister Black & Ricochet, Black pinning; advance to the second round
The Unexpected Duo defeats the crossover superstars! Aleister and Ricochet have a shot at the Raw Tag Team Championships at Fastlane, but will they also go all the way to earn an NXT Tag Team Championship match?
NXT shares footage from the US Performance Center.
Keith Lee helps with lock drills alongside Drew Gulak and Danny Burch. But Dominik Dijakovic wants to finish his fight with Lee from last week. The trainers and trainees keep him back but Dijakovic won’t leave things without a conclusion. NXT GM William Regal makes the decision: Lee VS Dijakovic will happen again in two weeks! Will there be a true winner of this clash of titans?
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic: The Forgotten Sons VS Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch!
Steve Cutler & Wesley Blake have had enough of being left out and overlooked. They want to immortalize themselves with winning the fourth-ever DRTTC, but they’ll have to get through the One Two Combination! Will Cutler & Blake continue to #DoUntoOthers? Or will they get left behind on this Road to Wrestlemania Weekend?
Teams sort out and we begin with Burch and Cutler. Burch and Cutler circle and tie up as fans chant “One! One Two!” Cutler puts Burch on the ropes and CHOPS but Burch is right on him with a headlock. Cutler powers out but jumps into Burch’s leg trip! Burch wrenches and brings Cutler over to tag in Lorcan. Lorcan and Burch double wrench and double CHOP. Lorcan puts on a headlock and holds on even as Cutler tries to power out. Cutler tags to Blake then manages to power out. Lorcan jumps over Cutler but into Blake’s spinning backbreaker! Blake stays on Lorcan with a shove and forearm to the back. And then another one. Blake snapmares and tags in Cutler. He drops a knee and Cutler whips Lorcan hard into buckles. Cutler drags Lorcan back over and tags Blake in.
The Forgotten Sons hit a double backbreaker! Cover, TWO! Lorcan reaches but Blake drags him away. Tag to Cutler, whip to another double backbreaker! Cover, ONE, but Cutler looms over Lorcan. Cutler drives his knees in while fans rally up. Cutler tags Blake and hoists Lorcan up top. Blake runs for Cutler to hip toss him into Lorcan! Blake high stacks, TWO! Burch is relieved and rallies up with the fans. Blake drops knees on Lorcan’s back and pulls him back. Lorcan endures and feeds off the fan energy. Lorcan pries the hold off but Blake gets it back. They roll and Lorcan gets free, hot tag to Burch! Burch rallies on Blake then hits Cutler as he comes in. Blake whips but Burch dodges to blast him with a dropkick! Burch drags Blake up but Blake tags Cutler. Blake still gets the German, but so does Cutler!
Fans fire up with Burch as he runs in for a corner clothesline to enziguri! Burch hops up, big missile dropkick! And a kip up! Tag to Lorcan, and the One Two Combination coordinate. Lorcan’s bad back makes it hard to hold Cutler up, and Blake throws Burch out! Cutler grabs Lorcan but Lorcan fires forearms. Cutler knees low but runs into Lorcan’s uppercut. Lorcan runs and FLIES onto Blake! Lorcan hurries back and rocks Cutler with a EuroUpper! He keeps going but gets clobbered by a clothesline! Cutler hits Lorcan with a butterfly backbreaker! Cover, TWO!! Cutler turns Lorcan for a Boston Crab! Lorcan endures the pain in his back but fans rally up for him. Lorcan crawls but Cutler brings him away from ropes! Burch HEADBUTTS Cutler down! Burch and fans rally up and Lorcan stirs. Lorcan crawls, hot tag to Burch!
Burch knows Lorcan can’t help, so he’ll take care of Cutler alone. Cutler spins out of the facelock to throw forearms! Tag to Blake and Blake climbs up, missile dropkick complete shot! Cover, TWO!! Burch lives and the Forgotten Sons are furious! Jaxson Ryker doesn’t want to accept this for his brothers in arms. Tag to Cutler, and Burch is up in the crucifix. He slips out and tags Lorcan! Lorcan CHOPS with both hands back and forth! He manages to run with back elbows, but runs into Blake’s scoop. Lorcan slips out the back to shove Blake into Cutler! DOUBLE BLOCKBUSTER! Lorcan fires up and tags Burch. Adrenaline helps Lorcan as they pick up Cutler. Draping DDT! Cover, but Blake breaks it just in time! Lorcan goes at Blake and throws him out.
The One Two Combo coordinate again, tagging Lorcan in. Burch drags Cutler up and Lorcan climbs. Cutler holds ropes and elbows Burch away. Blake clobbers Burch, and catches Lorcan as he leaps! Powerbomb onto Cutler’s knees! Cutler climbs up as Blake has Lorcan in the dragon sleeper! Flying stomp inverted DDT, the Memory Remains! Cover, The Forgotten Sons win!!
Winners: The Forgotten Sons, Steve Cutler pinning; advance to the second round
The Forgotten Sons keep them in everyone’s mind as they defeat Lorcan & Burch! They’re in the semifinals now, but is this only the beginning of their immortalizing?
Velveteen Dream is here!
The Patrick Clark Experience and NEW North American Champion walks out and stands on the announce desk so that everyone can see him. Dream then takes a mic and speaks right there. “Not a speech, this is just a reminder, that Velveteen Dream is your NEW North American Champion!” And the fans chant his name. But Dream has another reminder- “Bro…!” Matt Riddle comes out? Dream does not like his moment being stepped on but Riddle has something to say, too. “Bro. To be honest, I just came out here to say hi.” And to congratulate Dream on his title victory. “But real talk, I wanna get a closer look at that North American Championship.” Dream lets him have that closer look by holding it closer. “And now that I have”, Riddle wonders what that belt would look like around his waist, bro.
Fans are conflicted because they love both guys. Riddle must be high on Cloud 9 today. Because the Dream is not Riddle’s bro. And the spotlight shines belongs to him! #DreamOver! Dream and Riddle have each said their piece, but will the Original Bro have an Experience in his first shot at a title?
NXT Media interviews the Sky Pirates.
Io Shirai says Bianca Belair is good, but she hasn’t pinned Shayna Baszler. Io Shirai, however, has. The EST’s response was of course that it was a tag team match. Kairi Sane points out Io isn’t the only one who wants after the NXT Women’s Championship. However, as friends, Kairi is willing to let Io have her shot. Kairi has Io’s back in beating Bianca to then go on and beat Baszler. The EST will learn why Io was the BESTO in Stardom. They have their #1 Contender’s match next week!
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic: The Street Profits VS Mustache Mountain!
Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford want to put the #CurseofGreatness on the NXT Tag Team Championships, but they’re up against two Big Strong Boys. Trent Seven & Tyler Bate have already had the American NXT Tag Team Championships, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want a second run. Who gets what they want on the Road to Wrestlemania Weekend?
Teams sort out and Bate starts against Ford. Fans duel as Bate and Ford tie up. Ford gets a headlock and takeover, to a cover. ONE, and Bate headscissors. Ford pops out but Bate’s right up for a headlock of his own. Bate gets the takeover but Ford stands up. Ford tries but can’t power out of Bate’s grip. Ford stands as fans rally and pries his way out. Bate monkey flips but Ford lands on his feet! Bate gets the headlock again, Dawkins tags in. Ford reverses the whip and Dawkins runs Bate over! Cover, TWO! Dawkins waistlock slams Bate then rolls him over to a cover, TWO! Dawkins whips corner to corner but Bate goes up and under. Bate enziguris Dawkins hard! Tag to Seven! Seven fireman’s carry to Wasteland slam, Bate hits the knee-board senton! Cover, TWO!
Seven is on Dawkins, wanting the wristlock, but Dawkins elbows out. Dawkins whips and uppercuts Seven off his feet! Ford is fired up as Dawkins brings Seven over. Tag to Ford and the Profits stomp a mudhole into Seven. Ford snapmares Seven to kick him stiff in the back! Ford toys with Seven before kicking him stiff in the ribs. Cover, TWO! Ford keeps Seven down with a cravat. Seven endures and works his way up, and fights back with body shots. Ford knees low then snapmares Seven again. Ford keeps on Seven with the inverted facelock, then back to the cravat. Seven fights as fans rally again.
Ford shouts as he cranks harder but Seven shouts as he powers up! There’s a lot of shouting, but Seven gets free to CHOP! Seven CHOPS Ford again, then ducks Ford’s chop. Ford guards, so Seven DDT’s! They both crawl, hot tags to Bate and Dawkins! Bate throws hands but Dawkins shoves. Dawkins runs into a knee, Bate hits a flying EuroUpper! Bate runs in for another EuroUpper then manages to throw Dawkins with an exploder! Bate kips up and fans fire up, standing shooting star! Cover, but Ford breaks it! Seven throws Ford out hard then brings Dawkins up. Full nelson, Bate rebounds, but Dawkins breaks free to rock Bate! Bate rolling kicks but Dawkins SPEARS! Cover, but Seven breaks it now! Ford FLIES onto Seven! Dawkins brings Bate up as fans chant for “NXT!” Bate breaks free to Bop up, BANG!
Dawkins is dizzy but he back drops out of the butterfly underhook! Bate lands on his feet and runs, but Ford tags from the Mustache Mountain corner?! Is that allowed?! Dawkins pops Bate up for a spinebuster, Ford hits the high-flying frog splash! Cover, TWO!! The Profits don’t believe it! Dawkins tags from the proper corner, and drags Bate up. Ford climbs as Dawkins Electric Chairs Bate. But Seven gets up and trips Ford up! Seven gives Ford a Dragon Suplex to the apron! Bate fights back, slips down and manages a German Suplex! Bate tags to Seven then climbs up. Seven torture racks Dawkins, they somehow manage a flying knee Burning Hammer!! Cover, Mustache Mountain wins!!
Winners: Mustache Mountain, Trent Seven pinning; advance to the second round
Somehow, someway, Mustache Mountain makes it through! Will Seven & Bate bring British Strong Style all the way to New York?
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic: DIY VS The Undisputed Era’s Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish!
After the Psycho Killer’s betrayal, no one ever thought he and Johnny Wrestling would be on the same side again. But now, Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano have reunited for one more run as champions together! However, another duo has reunited as reDRagon represent the Undisputed Era! Which team will make this reunion a happy one with an opening round victory?
As Gargano and Ciampa make their entrances, they make this reunion official by reviving the DIY theme song! Full Sail loves hearing the music, and is strongly behind them. Fish and Gargano start with the bell and tie up. Fish puts Gargano in a corner and fires off body shots. Fans duel as Fish whips Gargano corner to corner. Gargano goes up and over and rolls Fish, but Fish blocks the kick. Fish reels Gargano in for a fireman’s carry but Gargano slips out. Gargano shoves Fish but Fish mule kicks back. Fish runs but into arm-drags! Fish kicks low then tags O’Reilly, but O’Reilly runs into an arm-drag! Gargano keeps O’Reilly down then wrenches him up. Tag to Ciampa, who takes the hand-off to wrench, wristlock and snapmare O’Reilly down.
Ciampa keeps O’Reilly down with an armlock and chinbar. O’Reilly endures the knee in his face, but Ciampa throws O’Reilly’s arm on the mat. O’Reilly kicks Ciampa’s bad leg and tags in Fish. Fish facelocks Ciampa but Ciampa puts him in a corner. Ciampa stomps a mudhole into Fish, then tags back to Gargano. Ciampa snapmares and Gargano hits the dropkick. Cover, TWO! Gargano keeps on Fish but Fish powers him to the corner. Tag to O’Reilly and reDRagon mug Gargano. They double whip but Gargano dodges and Ciampa tags in! Gargano sends O’Reilly out and boots Fish. Ciampa clotheslines Fish out, then knees O’Reilly down! Gargano builds speed to DIVE onto O’Reilly! Fans fire up as Gargano feeds O’Reilly to Ciampa’s neckbreaker. Cover, TWO!
Ciampa tags Gargano and feeds O’Reilly to the boots. Gargano runs corner to corner but O’Reilly puts him on the apron. Gargano hits back but O’Reilly hotshots the arm! Tag to Fish but Gargano elbows Fish away. Gargano hits O’Reilly back, then slingshots, but Fish disrupts that with a roundhouse! Gargano crashes down and Fish puts him in the ring. Fish keeps on Gargano with a snap suplex. Float over, TWO! Fish puts Gargano in the corner wtih knees and tags O’Reilly. reDRagon mugs Gargano with knees, and then table tops him to a heel hook! Gargano gets the ropebreak but Fish slingshot sentons onto him! Cover, TWO! Fish keeps on Gargano with forearms. Fish throws hands in the corner then tags O’Reilly.
O’Reilly kicks and toys with Gargano while fans duel. O’Reilly brings Gargano up but Gargano fights out! Gargano shoves O’Reilly away but O’Reilly hits Ciampa. O’Reilly throws Gargano around with butterfly suplexes, holding on to roll through and throw him again. Tag to Fish and reDRagon hit a wheelbarrow DDT to wheelbarrow suplex! Cover, TWO! Gargano lives and Fish is furious! Fish drags Gargano up to throw forearms, then reels Gargano into a body scissor. Gargano endures as Fish clubs away on his back and squeezes on the ribs. Fans rally as Gargano works against the legs. He makes it a cover, ONE, and Fish makes it a cover on Gargano! TWO, but Fish keeps Gargano down with a chinlock. Fish fish hooks Gargano’s mouth! The ref reprimands Fish but Gargano CHOPS! Fish knees low then elbows Gargano down.
Tag to O’Reilly and reDRagon double shoulder breaker! They double whip but Gargano holds ropes. Gargano boots Fish then kicks O’Reilly. Gargano uses Fish to hit O’Reilly with a tornado DDT! Fans fire up while both men are down! Gargano crawls but Fish trips Ciampa up! Ciampa ducks the kick to ramp Fish into the apron! Ciampa hurries, Gargano dodges O’Reilly, hot tag! The NXT Champion rallies on O’Reilly! O’reilly reverses the whip but gets a knee. Ciampa knees Fish down, but O’Reilly unleashes strikes! Ciampa jumps the sweep to drop a knee! O’reilly flounders to a corner, Ciampa hits a big forearm smash. Ciampa goes side to side for another stiff knee! Ciampa hoists O’Reilly up top, drags him out, Tower of London! Cover, TWO! O’Reilly lives but Ciampa keeps his cool.
Ciampa stalks O’Reilly, waistlocks, but O’Reilly fights back. Ciampa clubs O’Reilly then lifts, but O’Reilly rolls. O’Reilly wants the leg but Ciampa powers O’REilly up for a deadlift German suplex! Ciampa hits another! Fish saves O’Reilly but Gargano swing kicks Fish down! Gargano hits Fish with a blockbuster! Ciampa torture racks, Blue Thunder Bomb on O’Reilly! Cover, TWO!! Gargano climbs up and tags in, DIY double whips. O’Reilly boots Ciampa down but Gargano hits him abck. O’Reilly puts Gargano on the apron but Gargano mule kicks Fish away! Gargano slingshot spears, but into a guillotine!! O’Reilly cranks back but Gargano flails and reaches. Gargano powers up, Ciampa hits O’Reilly with the Psycho Knee! Jackknife bridge from Gargano, TWO!!
O’Reilly and Gargano slowly stand and start brawling! They throw forearms back and forth, but O’Reilly knees. Ax, but enziguri! The Smash comes back around, but Gargano comes back with a roaring elbow! O’Reilly rebounds a la the Lunatic, but into a SUPERKICK! O’Reilly still rebounds, DOUBLE clotheslines take them both out! The fans are thunderous for “NXT! NXT!” Gargano and O’Reilly crawl for their corners, tags to Fish and Ciampa! Fish kicks and runs, but into Ciampa’s boot. Ciampa hurries to drag Fish up but has to counter punch him first. Fish swings but Ciampa gets to the apron. Ciampa wants to German but Fish holds on for dear life. Fish walks into an elbow but stops Ciampa on the top rope. Fish climbs to join him, but Ciampa fights back. Ciampa shoves Fish down, but here comes O’Reilly. Gargano intercepts but gets put into barriers.
O’Reilly anchors Ciampa and Fish roundhouses him. Tag and Fish climbs. Fish SUPER FALCON ARROWS Ciampa, O’Reilly drops a flying knee! Cover, TWO!! Into the armbar! Ciampa keeps his grip, but Fish hits a diving headbutt! O’Reilly pulls the arm and even a leg, but Gargano barrels through Fish to break it up! All four men are down but the fans fire up. Gargano throws Fish out but O’Reilly throws him out. O’Reilly pursues Ciampa, apron knee sends Ciampa into chairs! O’Reilly puts Ciampa back in, but gets caught in the draping DDT! Gargano tags, slingshot DDT! Cover, TWO!? O’Reilly survives but DIY keeps going. Tag to Ciampa, and Ciampa boots Fish out. DIY takes aim from opposite ends, Meet Me in the Middle!! Cover, DIY wins!!
Winners: DIY, Tommaso Ciampa pinning; advances to the second round
DIY is back together and it’s like they never stopped! Ciampa and Gargano move on to the semifinals, but will they make it all the way to New York?
But wait, the current NXT Tag Team Champions walk out on stage! The War Raiders, Ray Rowe & Hanson, look out at Ciampa & Gargano. They hold their belts up high, but Ciampa holds his up, too. Will Goldie soon have a friend? Or will the odds ever be in the War Raiders’ favor?
And the semifinal matches are set!
Mustache Mountain will take on the Forgotten Sons, but perhaps the biggest match already is DIY VS Aleister Black & Ricochet! Will the surprise reunion or the unexpected union be what moves on to the finals?
A truly amazing episode of NXT! First, the things not related to the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. Kairi Sane and Io Shirai do well in their interview promo, it’s great to see there isn’t even a question of jealousy between the Sky Pirates. Shirai VS Belair is going to be great next week, and as I said before, there’s a good chance Shirai wins, but even if she doesn’t, Sky Pirates can move on to be the NXT challengers for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships. Dream VS Riddle for the NXT North American Championship? Yes, please! And Lee VS Dijakovic again already is also going to be great.
Now to the real focus of the night. This is already the best Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic with just the opening round. Even Forgotten Sons put up a great match in winning against Lorcan & Burch. I really thought Street Profits were going to find a way to win, like that controversial other-corner tag. But Mustache Mountain win and we get Faces VS Heels of them against Forgotten Sons. I have a feeling it’ll be the Forgotten Sons who cheat to win, mostly because Mustache Mountain has plenty more to do in NXT UK with those UK Tag Team Championships.
Aleister Black & Ricochet VS Euro Alliance was great, DIY VS reDRagon was TakeOver worthy! It’s very interesting that we’ll get DIY VS “The Unexpected” since they’re the four who have been dabbling on the main roster. DIY getting the stare down with the War Raiders might be a nod that DIY makes it to the finals, and maybe even wins the whole thing. They haven’t really set up an NXT Championship story so perhaps Ciampa wasn’t going to defend against anyone and instead challenge for the tag titles with Gargano. Sadly, we now know that Ciampa needs neck surgery, so if DIY is the DRTTC winners, things will have to be changed. Probably not in a “Who Attacked Aleister?” way, but something that will allow either Gargano to choose a new partner, or the runner-up team to take DIY’s place. But not getting DIY VS War Raiders is a shame.
My Score: 8.9/10