NXT began with a recap of last week’s Dusty Rhodes Classic action. Aleister Black and Ricochet, Moustache Mountain, The Forgotten Sons and DIY went through to the semi-finals.
The tournament would again be the central focus of the week’s episode with plenty of subplots dominating the matches. And it would be one of those subplots which provided a very, very satisfying conclusion to this week’s episode of NXT.
Dusty Rhodes Tag-Team Classic
Moustache Mountain (Tyler Bate and Trent Seven) vs the Forgotten Sons (Steve Cutler and Wesley Blake)
This was a good back-and-forth encounter but it provided little excitement. Though unpredictable in its outcome, as it could’ve gone either way, the match provided little dynamism due to the lack of extreme emotional investment in the two teams from the crowd.
Blake and Cutler worked on Trent Seven for most of the match before Tyler Bate got the hot tag. Bate would show his unmatched strength in one moment as he lifted both members of the Forgotten Sons up for a few revolutions of the aeroplane spin which awed the crowd.
Bate was the undisputed star of the match, delivering a gorgeous standing shooting star press on the outside before following that up with a version of the old spiral tap that would’ve made AJ Styles proud.
The former UK Champ would tag in Trent Seven and the duo would look to finish things off but a timely intervention by Jaxson Ryker on the outside, taking out Bate would shift the momentum in the heels’ favour. Blake and Cutler didn’t need Ryker last week but he certainly paid dividends here.
Blake and Cutler finished off Seven with a combination of a foot stomp into an inverted DDT. Decent in-ring action, Bate made the Forgotten Sons look like a million bucks.
Aleister Black and Ricochet vs DIY (Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa)
DIY came out to their old theme song and old t-shirts which would have brought back a lot of memories for NXT fans of the last few years.
Gargano and Ciampa showed some insane chemistry and double-team moves as they took it Black and Ricochet. Both members of DIY won singles matches for championship gold against Black and Ricochet at the last TakeOver, a fact that was no doubt not lost on their opponents.
Heel DIY worked on Ricochet for a long period of time before the former NXT Champion Aleister Black got the tag. Black and Gargano would exchange some vicious kicks but Black would gain the upper hand with a brain buster late on.
DIY would manage to turn things around and, at one point, had both Black and Ricochet locked in the old DIY submission combo. This was how they won the tag-team titles from the Revival in 2017. Ricochet would manage to power out and break the two holds.
Ciampa would look to finish things off by going for the fairytale ending but Black countered into the black mass. Ricochet would follow that up with the 630 splash and the pin. Gargano could be seen nursing an injured left knee after the match as Black and Ricochet celebrated reaching the finals of the Dusty Rhodes Tag-Team Classic.
Backstabbed – Again?
After the match, Candice LeRae would come out and help her husband up. NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa appeared to show sympathy to his fallen comrade as he also helped get him up the entrance ramp. However, the Sicilian Psychopath had other plans as he attempted to throw Gargano into the LED board, in what would have been an exact replay of what happened between the pair two years ago.
This time, though, Gargano was prepared and the injury was feigned. He blocked Ciampa’s attempt and instead reversed it, sending Ciampa crashing into the LED. As the crowd roared, Gargano shouted DIY one more time at Ciampa’s face before super kicking him in the face.
The crowd chanted Johnny Wrestling as Gargano kissed his wife on the forehead as Candice broke into a smile as well, NXT’s biggest babyface back to his rightful place – the hearts of all NXT fans.
The Original Bro
After interrupting the new NXT North American champion, the Velveteen Dream, last week, Matt Riddle was interviewed backstage by Cathy Kelley. Riddle was interrupted, however, by Adam Cole who called him clueless and delusional for thinking he was deserving of a championship match.
Riddle responded by challenging Cole to a match. Cole wouldn’t answer in the affirmative but he didn’t say no either. Adam Cole vs Matt Riddle is a mouth-watering match in prospect.
Io Shirai and Bianca BelAir faced off to determine the new no#1 contender to Shayna Baszler’s NXT Women’s championship. Before the match, Baszler would join Mauro Ranallo, Percy Watson and Nigel McGuinness on commentary.
The brash and cocky BelAir started the match off by shoving Shirai in the face a couple of times. BelAir would get the better of the early exchange when she countered a hurricana attempt on the outside and would instead plant Io Shirai face-first on top of the steel steps.
The crowd was chanting for both women throughout the match as both amazed and awed with their high-flying offence. The Genius of the Sky would go for her signature moonsault but Bianca would get the knees up.
With both women out in the centre of the ring after a spear by Bianca, the NXT Women’s champion would make her way down to the ring and put BelAir in the kirifuda clutch. Shayna’s old nemesis Kairi Sane would make her way down though, but she would soon get caught in the submission hold as well. Io Shirai would try to make the save but she would be no match for a rampant NXT Women’s champion who put all three women to sleep.
After the dominating assault, Shayna would go backstage and tell Cathy Kelley that none of those women have done a thing to deserve a title shot and she just proved it. However, Cathy gave her the bad news that she would now have to face all three of those women in a fatal-four-way match at NXT TakeOver New York.
Two weeks after their first hellacious encounter ended in a double-countout, Dominik Dijakovic and Keith Lee renew hostilities next week on NXT.
Two weeks from now, the winners of the Dusty Rhodes Tag-Team Classic will also be decided as the Devil’s Envoy, Aleister Black, teams up with the One and Only, Ricochet, to take on Steve Cutler and Wesley Blake, the Forgotten Sons.