Date: September 9, 2015
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Rich Brennan, Corey Graves
The Dusty Classic continues this week as we get to see a few more first round matches tonight. The tournament has taken the promotion by storm and it’s already more interesting than I was hoping for it to be. We’re also just about a month away from the next Takeover, which needs a card built up in a hurry. Let’s get to it.
Peyton Royce vs. Carmella
Royce used to be K.C. Cassidy but this is billed as her debut. Feeling out process to start as they trade rollups, followed by Carmella busting out a moonwalk. A suplex gets two more on Carmella and we hit the chinlock. Carmella fights back up an elbows Royce in the jaw before slapping on a chinlock of her own. Back up and Royce fires off some nice kicks in the corner, followed by a middle rope cross body for two. They’re already showing more energy than the Bellas have displayed in a long time. Carmella comes right back with that crossface with her legs for the submission at 5:03.
Rating: D. That’s one of the lower ratings I’ve given an NXT match in a long time but this didn’t work. A five minute match doesn’t need two extended chinlocks. The sudden finish didn’t do it any favors either as this felt like they jumped to the ending instead of building there like a normal match. Royce has some good potential but needs more molding.
Samoa Joe asked Finn Balor if he’s ready. The champ certainly is but Joe tells him not to forget his belt. Joe hands him the title, after staring at it a bit first.
In other first round matches, Enzo Amore/Colin Cassady beat Sawyer Fulton/Angelo Dawkins and Scott Dawson/Dash Wilder beat Elias Sampson/Tucker Knight. It’s really smart to not air the whole thing on TV as we don’t need to every single first round match.
Nia Jax is still coming.
Dusty Classic First Round: Tommaso Ciampa/Johnny Gargano vs. Bull Dempsey/Tyler Breeze
Ciampa and Breeze get things going with Tommaso getting in a great slap to the jaw. It’s off to Bull, who is dubbed as gorgeous by the crowd. Ciampa takes him down to the mat so it’s quickly back to Breeze, who is taken into the corner and rolled up for two by Gargano. Tyler is trying to recover in the corner and tags out to the big man, who gets kicked in the head upon arrival. Ciampa’s running knee to the head gets two and we hit the chinlock.
Back from a break with Ciampa on Bull’s back in a sleeper, so Dempsey just falls backwards for the break. Use the natural assets man. Gargano comes in and knocks Breeze off the apron, meaning there’s no one there for Bull to tag. Bull fights back on his own with a Bionic Elbow but knocks his partner off the apron again. Gargano grabs a sunset flip and Ciampa makes it a jackknife rollup to pin Dempsey at 8:44.
Rating: C-. This was more of a story than a match though it’s always cool to see some indy stars brought in to NXT. Dempsey vs. Breeze could be an interesting match if they have Bull act like his old self, though I’m not sure how far the Bull Fit gimmick can really go. Ciampa and Gargano were fine here but there’s only so much you can get out of a short match like this.
The Lucha Dragons are ready for their match and warn Joe/Balor to not overlook them because these dragons breathe fire.
Dana Brooke is mad (though not because she hasn’t patted Devon on the head recently) for having to see Bayley win that Women’s Title. She turned down a spot in the Arnold Classic in Spain to be here and now she wants her title.
Video on Tye Dillinger.
Dana Brooke vs. Billie Kay
They trade headlocks to start with Billie taking it down to the mat. A headscissors messes Brooke up even more as a weak Total Diva chant breaks out. Brooke slams her into the corner for some shoulders to the ribs as the confidence is back. The handstand choke sets up a chinlock on Kay which quickly switches to a headscissors choke. Brooke stops a comeback with an enziguri and the fireman’s carry driver is good for the pin at 5:23.
Rating: D+. These new girls are a far cry from the Four Horsewomen but Brooke is probably the furthest along of all of them and one of the best options to face Bayley. Billie is another one where we can’t really tell what’s going on in such a short performance, especially when most of it was spent on the mat.
Apollo Crews calls the fans the Apollo Nation. They’re ready to take over NXT. Can we please stop calling everything a nation or a team? You can come up with something more creative than that.
Bayley’s biggest fan Izzy was at the WWE Performance Center to meet Bayley in person. That’s always cool.
Bayley is back next week.
Dusty Classic First Round: Samoa Joe/Finn Balor vs. Lucha Dragons
This is from a Smackdown taping in Providence, Rhode Island with Tom Phillips and Jimmy Uso on commentary. Balor and Cara get things going and a loud NXT chant starts up. The champ tries to slow things down with an armbar but gets caught in a headlock instead. Jimmy is asked advice on how to win the tournament. Jimmy: “Don’t get kicked in the face like that!” Balor sends Cara to the floor and dives on both guys and we take a break.
Back with Joe tagging Balor in and the champion being slammed down in the corner. Kalisto gets two off a flipping splash and puts on a waistlock. Finn fights up and gets in enough shots to make the tag to Joe. The Dragons are thrown all over the ring but Cara comes back with a sloppy tornado DDT for two. Cara tries to charge at Joe in the corner and has to slip out of the Muscle Buster. Kalisto tags himself in and gets two off a quick hurricanrana, only to charge into the release Rock Bottom. The Muscle Buster into the Coup de Grace eliminate the Dragons at 11:16.
Rating: C+. This got a lot better as it went on and the last two minutes or so were really good. The best part here is either team winning would have made sense as the Dragons have been successful in NXT and it’s pretty clear that Balor vs. Joe is coming in the near future. It wasn’t a great match or anything, but it picked up a pretty lame show otherwise.
Overall Rating: C-. Definitely not their best show but the tournament kept it from being dull. They’re rapidly approaching the next Takeover and you can see some of the card, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they had the semi-finals and finals at the show to fill in some time. The wrestling wasn’t great tonight though and the new featured women need some work. Then again, I said the same thing about Sasha and Bayley about a year ago and they’ve turned out very well.
Carmella b. Peyton Royce – Crossface leg lock
Tommaso Ciampa/Johnny Gargano b. Tyler Breeze/Bull Dempsey – Jackknife rollup to Dempsey
Dana Brooke b. Billie Kay – Fireman’s carry driver
Samoa Joe/Finn Balor b. Lucha Dragons – Coup de Grace to Kalisto
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