Date: October 26, 2016
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves
It’s the final night for the first round of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. We’re also less than a month away from Takeover: Toronto and that means it’s time to start firming up a lot of the card. We already know a few of the matches so there won’t be many surprises but NXT is great at putting pepper on the steak. Let’s get to it.
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic: DIY vs. Hoho Lun/Tian Bing
Bing is the recently signed Chinese wrestler Bin Wang. Ciampa and Bing get things going with Wang looking good as he runs Ciampa over to start. A PSYCHO KILLER chant breaks out but switches to a Johnny Wrestling version as Gargano comes in to kick Lun in the head. Hoho gets in a dropkick and brings Tian back in for some strikes to the chest. A chinlock doesn’t last long as Gargano kicks Bing’s head off and brings Ciampa right back in. Johnny tags himself back in though and cuts Lun in half with the spear through the ropes. The double strike puts Lun away at 4:15.
Rating: B-. Lun and Bing were just speed bumps on the way to DIY (I really hope that doesn’t catch on) vs. Revival III and that’s the kind of thing that makes this tournament awesome. Bing looked good here and certainly has some experience. I don’t know if he’s ready for a full NXT run but I’ve seen far worse.
Kota Ibushi and TJ Perkins are ready for their first round match. Perkins says if this was high school, the cool table would be Ibushi times five. Ibushi thinks his overall rating is a 99. I don’t understand what Ibushi just said. Can I get that translated to stars?
Recap of Samoa Joe vs. Shinsuke Nakamura.
Joe sees a scared man in Nakamura because he knows Joe could knock him out at any time. Nakamura knows the next NXT Champion is coming for him.
Aliyah vs. Billie Kay
Kay goes right after her to start and Aliyah’s early jawbreaker has almost no effect. A seated Blockbuster works a bit better though and an enziguri staggers Billie. Kay comes right back with a discus forearm but here’s Liv Morgan for a distraction, allowing Aliyah to grab a rollup for the pin at 1:48.
Post match the brawl is on and the Aussies leave both of them laying.
Tye Dillinger vs. Noah Potjes
Tye snapmares him down to start and that’s a ten. That’s not cool with Noah, who takes Tye into the corner for some kicks to the ribs. Tye turns it on and stomps Noah down, setting up the Tyebreaker for the pin at 1:38.
Post match, Tye says his opportunity is to get his hands on Bobby Roode, who jumps him from behind. The inverted DDT sends Tye head first into the stage.
TM61 is ready for their match with Austin Aries/Roderick Strong because they trust each other. They’re also mighty and the mighty don’t kneel.
Asuka vs. Thea Trinidad
Non-title. Asuka doesn’t waste time and starts kicking at the legs before stopping for a little dance. Thea makes the mistake of hitting Asuka with a forearm and the champ is ticked off. A kick to the chest is easily caught and a German suplex into a Fujiwara armbar makes Trinidad tap at 1:45.
William Regal comes out post match and says he’s found Asuka’s latest opponent: MICKIE JAMES! You can hear the fans gasp when she comes on screen to cut a fairly lame promo about coming to face the next star in the Women’s Revolution. Asuka is very pleased with this announcement. Mickie was a last minute replacement for Trish Stratus, who had to back out due to announcing she was pregnant, hence why Mickie wasn’t in the building.
Paul Ellering and the Authors of Pain think No Way Jose and Rich Swann will have fine futures in NXT but those futures will have to wait until after their destruction in the second round of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. That match is next week.
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic First Round: Mustafa Ali/Lince Dorado vs. TJ Perkins/Kota Ibushi
The winners face Sanity in the second round. Perkins is announced as the Cruiserweight Champion but doesn’t have his belt for some reason. Dorado and Perkins kick us off and it’s time to flip around the ring without making much contact. A standoff gets us nowhere as Graves offers the following Michael Cole style gem: “Most of the teams that have been successful so far have been tag teams.”
Ibushi and Ali come in and the fans give Kota the kind of welcome you would expect. Ali is taken down in a test of strength but Kota can’t break his bridge. They trade some kicks to the face with Ibushi getting the better of it as we take a break. Back with Perkins rolling suplexes on Ali and grabbing the kneebar. As is custom though, the first kneebar only results in the grabbing of a rope.
Perkins heads outside and that means a big flip dive from Dorado. Back in and Ali gets two off a neckbreaker but a faceplant allows the tag off to Ibushi so things can speed up. A moonsault from Kota and a frog splash from TJ combine for two. TJ dropkicks Dorado into the ropes to set up the Wrecking Ball dropkick. The kneebar makes Ali tap at 11:39.
Rating: B. This is the kind of match that you don’t see on Raw because they have to cram in so much other stuff that there’s no time for the cruiserweights to do their thing. Well that and the Raw crowds don’t care for this stuff like the NXT fans do (just a different style of audience). Kota and Perkins are good for a dream team but I’m not sure they’re getting by Sanity.
Overall Rating: B. Of everything NXT does, this is my favorite kind of show: an hour of getting things done. This wrapped up the first round of the tournament, advanced some stories and set up some matches for next week. There’s no wasted time and everything goes so smoothly from one segment to the next. Good show here and Toronto is looking better every week.
DIY b. Hoho Lun/Tian Bing – Superkick/running knee combination to Lun
Aliyah b. Billie Kay – Rollup
Tye Dillinger b. Noah Potjes – Tyebreaker
Asuka b. Thea Trinidad – Fujiwara armbar
Kota Ibushi/TJ Perkins b. Mustafa Ali/Lince Dorado – Kneebar to Ali
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