To anyone who saw the initial brackets for this year’s edition of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, the nearly annual tournament in NXT for tag teams (they skipped 2017 after Authors of Pain won in 2016 and Finn Balor & Samoa Joe won in 2015), and who were in attendance at Wednesday’s NXT tapings at Full Sail University must have got a shock when Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch‘s opponents came out for their first round match-up.
Instead of the advertised Moustache Mountain, the UK tandem of former WWE United Kingdom Champion Tyler Bate and Trent Seven, the makeshift team of current WWE UK Champion “Bruiserweight” Pete Dunne and Roderick Strong came out. The two recently had a heralded clash for the WWE UK Championship on the February 14 edition of NXT on the WWE Network and then this past week on NXT had a seeming bonding moment in a segment with Undisputed Era (which lead to the announcement of Adam Cole vs. Pete Dunne for the UK title next week).
— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) March 8, 2018
With the recent news of Undisputed Era’s NXT Tag Team Champion Bobby Fish injuring his knee at a recent NXT Live Event and undergoing surgery, which will put Fish out for six months, it also appeared at the tapings that Adam Cole will replace Fish in the NXT Tag Team Championship squad at NXT Takeover: New Orleans and face the two finalists of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament in a Triple Threat Match for the NXT Tag Team Titles.
It would appear that Tyler Bate was the hold up, as his partner Trent Seven still flew in for the tapings, facing Velveteen Dream in singles action. No word on why Bate never made the trip, if the change in direction with the tag titles lead to the plan to replace Moustache Mountain or if they’re just being protected for possibly being called up for 205 Live’s upcoming Cruiserweight Tag Team division.