Moustache Mountain have been forced to pull out of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic due to an injury to Tyler Bate. Roderick Strong has been given the opportunity to take part, with a mystery partner. We’ll find out who he’s chosen when they take on Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch tonight. Also on the card is Ember Moon vs Aliyah, and Kassius Ohno vs Adam Cole. There may also be another visit from Tommaso Ciampa.
Roderick Strong and Pete Dunne def Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch
Ember Moon def Aliyah
Adam Cole def Kassius Ohno
During the opening housekeeping from commentary there were crowd shots of a lot of Johnny Gargano signs. It was no surprise when Tommaso Ciampa was first out. The crowd made their feelings known with ‘you suck’ chants before he even got to the ring. In answer to their ‘we want Johnny’ chants Ciampa yelled, ‘he’s gone. Newsflash, he’s not walking down that aisle, he’s gone.’ He absorbed the chants and jeers from the crowd, then walked around ringside, tore another few signs up, and abused a few fans. Johnny Gargano was behind one of the signs wearing a lucha mask. He leapt out of the audience and started beating on Ciampa. They brawled into the ring and Gargano carried on hitting him until he was physically removed from the building by security.
Charly Caruso gave an update on the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. Authors of Pain will face Street Profits in the next round. SAnitY will take on the winner of Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch versus Roderick Strong and his mystery partner. There was an interview with Tyler Bate where he confirmed he has a knee injury which will shelve him for two weeks causing Moustache Mountain’s withdrawal from the competition. Roderick Strong’s plea to William Regal to get into the tournament was also shown.
A rundown of the twitter exchange that led to Adam Cole facing Kassius Ohno tonight led into an Undisputed ERA promo. Fish and O’Reilly talked about Roderick Strong not belonging in the Dusty Classic. According to them he’s a loser and not a tag team guy. Adam Cole told them they could stay in the back for his match against Ohno, he’s that confident.
Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch vs Roderick Strong and Pete Dunne
Strong’s mystery partner was ‘The Bruiserweight’ Pete Dunne. Burch and Lorcan are a great pairing, I’m glad they’re having a run as a team. With the way the NXT roster is right now, it’s probably a good placement for them. The tag division in NXT is strong and they fit right in, and the singles roster is overcrowded.
Great match, lots of fun. You’ve got to love a match with the perfect combination of technical intricacy and slapping each other silly.
There was a lovely double submission spot which almost earned Lorcan and Burch a place in the next round, but Roderick Strong managed to flip overs and kick Lorcan into Burch to break his hold on Pete Dunne.
For the finish, Roderick Strong hit End of Heartache on Danny Burch. Strong and Dunne now face SAnitY in the next round.
The nod Pete Dunne gave Roderick Strong at the end of the match was about as close as Dunne is going to get to a show of respect, and he still looked at Strong, looked at the UK title belt, looked back at Strong and smirked.
Intro promo for Ricochet. I am so excited for his arrival. No idea what they’re going to do with him or how they’re going to place him, but he’s so much fun to watch.
Aliyah vs Ember Moon
Non-title match. Tempted to put a timer on this one after the last couple of weeks. It did last longer than the last two matches have, but largely because Shayna Baszler invited herself to join commentary early in the match, which of course meant most of the match was ignored.
Baszler said Moon might be champion, but she runs the division. They talked about her upcoming title match, Baszler got her ‘tap, nap or snap’ tagline in.
From what we saw, the match wasn’t bad. Moon was dominant, but Aliyah is looking good. There were too many shots of Baszler sat at commentary with her feet up. Ember Moon finished it with the Eclipse.
After the match Baszler stood on the announce desk and yelled back and forth with Moon who was stood on the turnbuckles.
Roderick Strong and Pete Dunne vs SAnitY will take place next week.
Raul Mendoza was due to have a match. Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas shoved him off the stage and stormed to the ring with Zelina Vega. He shouted into the mic for a bit. He said Aleister Black didn’t respect Zelina Vega, or him, and called Black a ‘piece of crap’. Then he demanded Black face him next week. It was confirmed a few minutes later that the meeting will take place next week.
Promo package for Lars Sullivan. Just in case anyone has forgotten about him recently because the NXT roster is so huge it’s almost impossible to give anyone enough TV time to keep their momentum going.
William Regal appeared from his office to say he has an announcement to make next week that will change NXT forever. Strange use of the teaser considering WWE announced it on their website after the tapings. I won’t spoil it here in case anyone really doesn’t want to know, but if you’re too impatient to wait the official announcement is here.
Kassius Ohno vs Adam Cole
True to his word, Adam Cole didn’t bring Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish out with him.
Nice back and forth main event. Early on, Kassius Ohno kicked Adam Cole out of the air then followed up with a senton, but for some reason didn’t go for the pin. Moments later he threw Cole out of the ring and he appeared to tweak his knee. He was just faking though and kicked Ohno in the head when he went to pull him back into the ring.
It was a decent enough match and they both had chances. I want to wax lyrical about it, but I don’t like Adam Cole and I wish Kassius Ohno was having a better run in NXT. As it was, no-one could have argued with the match ending with either of them winning, but it was Adam Cole’s night. He eventually delivered enough kicks and knees to keep Ohno down, and pinned him.
A much gentler-paced NXT this week, and better for it. Everything is geared towards the WrestleMania weekend TakeOver, so anyone not likely to feature on that isn’t going to get much airtime. There are still a couple of spots open on the TakeOver card, although one of them will be taken up by William Regal’s announcement next week. It would be nice if they’d have a second women’s division match, but there is absolutely nothing even remotely built. As it stands, the TakeOver card looks great, and it will be a nice manageable chunk of matches before the test of endurance which is this year’s WrestleMania.
Next week is already looking like a good show. And if you haven’t read the spoilers for the announcement then you definitely don’t want to miss it.