The big news for tonight’s show is the return of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. Tonight’s first-round match is a rematch of the 2016 final – TM61 vs Authors of Pain. We’re also getting Aleister Black versus Killian Dain. The winner will push themselves one step closer to challenging Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas for the NXT Championship they have both set their sights on. I can’t see any way that match is going to be anything other than exceptional.
Authors of Pain def TM61
Bianca Belair def Miss Drew Renee
Aleister Black def Killian Dain
The show opened with a Dusty Rhodes compilation, interspersed with clips of the NXT tag division, to celebrate the return of the tournament.
Authors of Pain vs TM61 – Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic first-round match
This started much as you’d expect, with Authors of Pain throwing Shane Thorne around the ring. TM61weren’t going to let that carry on though, even if they did have to resort to an extended period of double teaming to turn things in their favour.
That didn’t last of course, Akam and Rezar are too strong. You might get them down, but keeping them down is a much bigger task. That was the story of TM61’s match. They frequently got one or the other of AoP down, but they kept kicking out, getting back up, and flattening them.
It was a great opener for the Dusty Classic. There were plenty of points where TM61 could feasibly have pulled it off. There was a well deserved ‘holy shit’ chant when Rezar threw Shane Thorne out of the ring, as in dumped him back first onto the apron from shoulder height and watched him fall to the floor.
The Last Chapter on Nick Miller secured a spot in the next round for Authors of Pain
An interview with William Regal about the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic turned into Roderick Strong congratulating Pete Dunne on beating him and telling him he can’t wait to do it again. That was interrupted by Adam Cole. Cole made fun of Strong, asking him if he was begging for another chance. Pete Dunne reminded Cole he hasn’t won anything since he got there. William Regal came back and asked if there was a problem. Everyone said no. Match incoming I guess.
SAnitY promo next. Eric Young and Alexander Wolfe talked about the Dusty Classic and how chaos will rule because united they purge. Then Killian Dain chipped in to say, ‘tonight, Aleister Black, chaos will win’.
Bianca Belair vs Miss Drew Renee
Honestly, I’m a little disappointed in this match. For one thing, it was a sub two-minute squash match. For another, there is an enormous wealth of talent ready and waiting to be pushed in the women’s division that isn’t being used nearly enough. Surely we’d learn more about Belair, and her opponents, from a properly set up feud. Hell, it doesn’t even have to be well set up, have someone tell Belair her hair looks stupid (it doesn’t, but I still don’t like the hair whip and now she plaits stuff into it I wonder if it counts as a foreign object), or they don’t like her boots. Anything, just give them a reason to fight.
Anyway, rant over, onto the match. It lasted five moves and some posturing. The fifth move was the fallaway powerbomb that finished it.
Lacey Evans interview segments next up. She has a match next week against Dakota Kai. Evans said she’s here to show the entire NXT universe what a classy and calculating woman is capable of. Dakota Kai is another example of a classless sad excuse for a woman. She’s still shaken up from her match with Shayna Baszler and has been in and out of the trainer’s room. Next week Evans intends to check how well her arm has healed.
Shayna Baszler appeared, and Evans excused herself and left. Baszler said it’s been another week without a word from Ember Moon. She’s been calling out this ‘fighting champion’ for weeks. Normally when a fighter gets challenged they answer, all she’s gotten is silence, so she guesses she has her answer.
Heavy Machinery promo ahead of the Dusty Classic match, comparing themselves to cows. Their Dusty Classic opponents are apparently ‘not ready for this beef’.
Tommaso Ciampa appeared on the stage to ‘you suck’ chant and boos. He walked slowly to the ring holding, but not using a crutch. The crowd started a ‘we want Johnny chant’ as they waited for Ciampa to speak. Eventually he got bored of waiting for the boos and chanting to finish and threw down the microphone to exit the ring. He went back and picked it up to try again, but threw it down when the noise picked up again. He was booed, chanted at and sung at until he left the ring. On his way out ,he grabbed a fan’s Johnny Gargano sign, tore it in half, rolled into the ring, attacked the sign with the crutch and stormed back to the stage. He held his arms out to absorb the final ‘Johnny Wrestling’ chants, then left.
Next week Pete Dunne will defend his UK Championship against Adam Cole, and there will be two first-round Dusty Classic matches. SAnitY face Riddick Moss and Tino Sabbatelli, and Heavy Machinery take on Street Profits.
Aleister Black vs Killian Dain
The first move of the match was a massive dropkick from Killian Dain as soon as the bell sounded. Dain spent a lot of the early part of the match working on Black’s ribs, and he had control of the match for a while, but Black doesn’t stay down.
It looked like Black might have to stay down when Dain clotheslined him out of mid-air but, somehow, he kicked out on two. Dain got a two count from a senton and splash combination as well.
Aleister Black fought out of the set-up for the Ulster Plantation and tried to roll Killian Dain up. Then, almost out of nowhere, Aleister Black hit the Black Mass and got the win.
A match worthy of its main event status, and something tells me this isn’t over, but Aleister Black is one step closer to getting an opportunity at Almas’ title.
The main event was an interesting way to keep both guys looking strong. Killian Dain dominated the match right up until the Black Mass connected. Black wins, Dain still looks like a beast.
Very disappointing showing from the women’s division tonight. We all know Bianca Belair is earmarked for greatness, does she need squash matches? The show was ridiculously short tonight as well, less than 50 minutes. In theory they could have had a proper women’s division match. They could even have kept the squash and had an extra women’s division match. There are a lot of great female superstars on that roster, and they’re being failed right now.
On a lighter note, the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic looks like it’s going to be great again. And next week’s matches look good. The next set of tapings took place tonight as well, and there are some very exciting developments coming in the next few weeks.