Tonight sees the final of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, where Aleister Black & Ricochet take on Forgotten Sons to find out who will face War Raiders at NXT TakeOver New York. We have women’s division tag action on the card as well, Lacey Lane & Kacy Catanzaro versus Vanessa Borne & Aliyah. And Matt Riddle warms up for his North American Championship opportunity with a match against NXT’s Finest, Kona Reeves. That’s it for matches, but Adam Cole and Johnny Gargano have a face to face.
Vanessa Borne & Aliyah vs Lacey Lane & Kacy Catanzaro – No Contest
Matt Riddle def. Kona Reeves
Aleister Black & Ricochet def. Forgotten Sons
Adam Cole opened the show for his face to face with Johnny Gargano. He eyed the title belt, which was set up in the ring. He said that last week he outlasted four of NXT’s best to qualify to face Johnny Gargano at TakeOver. He could give us a million reasons why he’s going to leave TakeOver the champ. He’ll get to those, but he wanted Gargano out there first.
Gargano arrived and waited ages for the duelling chants to die out. They didn’t, and they let it go on for much longer than made for good tv. Eventually, Cole put a stop to them by saying he didn’t need anyone’s support. Gargano said he loved the Johnny Wrestling chants. That started the duelling chants again and Gargano asked Cole to list all one million reasons why he could beat him and mocked him for being lost for words.
Gargano suggested that, now they’re man to man, Cole is realising he’s in the fight of his life. For months he’s said his path ends with him becoming NXT Champion. Now, with Tommaso out, that path goes through Cole. So at the Barclays Centre, he’s going to show Adam Cole why they call him Johnny TakeOver.
Cole asked if that was supposed to intimidate him. He’s not sure if his memory is shot, but Gargano hasn’t exactly been in the winners’ circle. That nickname should be Johnny Participation, and Johnny Participation can’t beat Adam Cole in two out of three falls. He can’t beat him in one fall. Cole became the first NXT North American Champion at TakeOver, won the first WarGames match at TakeOver, debuted and beat down Drew McIntyre at TakeOver, in the Barclays Centre. He’s earned his accolades. What has Gargano doe to earn it.
Gargano said they didn’t roll out the red carpet for him like they did for Cole. He didn’t get to debut at TakeOver and go immediately into a top spot. His story started in June 2015 at his tryout, where he was told no. His start was being told he wasn’t good enough. He’s heard it all for fifteen years, undersized, doesn’t have ‘it’, but he didn’t take no for an answer. He fought for one chance and that came at the first Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, where he was thrown in a makeshift tag team with a guy he barely knew called Tommaso Ciampa. They were two unsigned indie guys told to prove themselves. So they came to Full Sail and fought for their lives. And after it was done they left with no promises. But they got invited back time and time again. Because every single time he poured his heart out in the ring. He fights for everyone who has ever been told their dreams won’t come true and he earned everything he has because NXT is his life. He wasn’t handed a top spot and a group of cronies to fight his battles for him. He will fight to fulfil his destiny and Johnny Wrestling will finally become NXT Champion.
Cole left the ring then turned back and said it was an inspirational story. But Gargano can fight and claw all he wants, but when they leave TakeOver ‘Adam Cole will be the NXT Champion, and here’s why’. The rest of Undisputed ERA came to the stage behind him and Cole said Triple H had said the two out of three falls match would be definitive but he was wrong, it will be Undisputed.
I cut that down for readability, but that was a ton of words. No wonder it was an extended episode.
Forgotten Sons’ assault on Ricochet and Aleister Black last week, apparently carried on after the show went off air. We got to see some of the extra footage as the build for the main event of the show.
Vanessa Borne & Aliyah vs Lacey Lane & Kacy Catanzaro
Both these teams make complete sense as teams. Now the tag titles have arrived a tag division with some depth needs to grow up around them, and NXT have talent hoarded more than enough women to do it.
Lacey Lane started things off against Vanessa Borne and had her literally on the run when she failed to spot Borne’s tag to Aliyah and got kicked in the face. Lane took a lot of punishment from that point, while Borne and Aliyah kept her isolated and kept her grounded.
We’ll never know what incredible feats of athleticism Kacy Catanzaro was going to use to save the match because Shayna Baszler turned up with Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir. Vanessa Borne and Aliyah got the hell out of there. Jessamyn Duke knocked Catanzaro off the apron and Baszler kneed Lane so hard she knocked her out of the ring. Catanzaro got back on the apron so Baszler dragged her into the ring and into the Kirifuda Clutch. Catanzaro managed to get free by walking up the turnbuckles and flipping over Baszler. She dropkicked Baszler then kicked Duke and Shafir off the apron. Shayna Baszler got hold of her again and locked in the Kirifuda Clutch until Catanzaro went to sleep.
On their way out, Baszler, Duke, and Shafir stopped by the commentary desk to say this was going to keep happening for as long as the NXT Women’s Champion was being mistreated, and to stand on the desk to hold the title up.
Matt Riddle vs Kona Reeves
This was short, sweet, and interrupted. Kona Reeves started strong, Riddle took control, and Velveteen Dream got pushed onto the stage to his music, on a couch. Kona Reeves tried and failed to get a pin off the distraction, but he did gain control of the match for a while.
Riddle powered out of Reeves submission attempt and they went blow for blow. Riddle hit Reeves with a ripcord knee then gave Velveteen Dream a long look before submitting him.
Velveteen Dream declared Riddle the winner from his lounging position. Riddle walked up to him, took a drink from his over the top chalice, then threw it away and grabbed the mic to tell Velveteen Dream he’ll see him in New York.
Kairi Sane and Bianca Belair have a match next week on the go home show for TakeOver.
Forgotten Sons vs Aleister Black & Ricochet – Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic final
It started with everyone in the ring and Forgotten Sons being forced to retreat, but it settled quickly. Briefly, anyway. There was a little double team action in the transitions and Jaxson Ryker tried to cause a distraction, but Black and Ricochet were too fast for Blake and Cutler to be able to take advantage.
Aleister Black and Ricochet have turned into a highly entertaining and highly effective tag team in a very short space of time. They had complete control until Ryker got in a cheeky shot at Ricochet’s back, as he rebounded off the ropes, and sent him crashing to the mat.
Ricochet was trapped in Forgotten Sons’ corner for ages from that point while they concentrated their offence on his lower back. After a lot of thwarted attempts, he finally got within tagging distance of Aleister Black, only for Black to be pulled off the apron by Blake.
A failed double team by Forgotten Sons a few moments later, allowed Ricochet to tag out and Black came in ready to take down everyone. He fought off Blake and Cutler, and used one as a weapon against the other, but the numbers caught up with him while he was readying for Cutler for Black Mass and Blake distracted him.
Black took a backbreaker ad found himself in trouble, but Ricochet appeared to save his partner from a double team finisher. Things got a bit chaotic and Black almost kicked Ricochet in the face.
Ricochet still looked to be in pain when he came back in. He and Blake had a battle of the suplex attempts, which Ricochet won. Blake tried to bring Ricochet off the top turnbuckle with a reverse-rana, but Ricochet landed on his feet and wagged his finger at him.
Black tagged himself in and they put Wesley Blake down for what should have been an easy three count. Ricochet went to stop Cutler interfering and got shoved onto Black and Blake to break the pin.
Cutler and Ricochet dragged each other out of the ring and Cutler sent Ricochet into the steps while Blake tried to roll Black up in the ring. Forgotten Sons delivered a backstabber/elbow drop combo and Ricochet barely made it back into the ring in time to stop Black being pinned.
Black evaded another double team and Cutler took Black Mass, but Blake was the legal man. He took Black down and went for the pin. Black got his foot on the ropes. Ryker knocked it off, but the ref saw it and sent Jaxson Ryker to the back.
Ricochet tagged himself in, seconds before Aleister Black delivered Black Mass to Blake. Black dived onto Cutler to keep him out of the equation and Ricochet hit Wesley Blake with the 630 for the win.
Aleister Black & Ricochet are the winners of the 2019 Dusty Rhodes ag Team Classic and will face War Raiders at TakeOver.
War Raiders came to the ring during the celebrations and they had a bit of a stare down.
It seems that the NXT TakeOver New York card is now finalised, with one episode of NXT still to go. And it’s an all title match card.
Johnny Gargano vs Adam Cole – NXT Championship match
Shayna Baszler (C) vs Bianca Belair vs Io Shirai vs Kairi Sane – NXT Women’s Championship match
War Raiders (C) vs Aleister Black & Ricochet – NXT Tag Team Championship match
Velveteen Dream (C) vs Matt Riddle – NXT North American Championship match
Pete Dunne (C) vs Walter – WWE UK Championship match