Last night we saw the first round of the annual Dusty Rhodes Classic, and every match was fantastic. The matches were all given lots of time to breathe, we had stories develop between Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa, and a North American Championship match was seemingly set up between “The Bro” Matt Riddle and Velveteen Dream.
Let’s go over each match and segment from last night’s edition of NXT, and I’ll give my thoughts on each.
Aleister Black & Ricochet def. Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel.
NXT this week kicked off with the new tag team of Black and Ricochet vs Aichner and Barthel, and man this match was insane bell-to-bell. Ricochet is not human, everytime he does something it blows my mind. All throughout this match his aerial offense was gravity defying and it was just fantastic. I don’t know who came up with the idea to put Black and Ricochet together, but man they fit together so well it’s insane.
Not to take anything away from Aichner and Barthel though, because they more than held their own in this match and told a good story even though it was fairly obvious who was going to win. Aleister Black picked up the win with a black mass out of absolutely nowhere while Aichner was hitting him with strikes. This was a fantastic way to start of The Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.
The Forgotten Sons def. Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch.
In our second first round match, Steve Cutler and Wesley Blake took on Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch. Man, Lorcan and Burch are criminally underrated. After that high-flying masterclass, this was more of a brawl kind of match, which fits the characters of both teams. During the match the back of Lorcan was a target for the Forgotten Sons and that was the main story throughout the match. The selling of Lorcan throughout this match with his back was fantastic, and the storytelling was very solid.
At one point Burch tags in a hurt Lorcan, and that is where Forgotten Sons really picked up the advantage. Lorcan was fighting through and the crowd was super behind it, but in the end, Forgotten Sons hit that move where they do a buckle bomb into their parters knees, and Forgotten Sons advance.
I think Forgotten Sons are going to go far in this tournament and honestly they’re growing on me.
“The Bro” confronts “The Dream.”
The only talking segment on the show kicked off with Velveteen Dream coming out to a massive pop from the Full Sail crowd, and he got on the announce table to cut a promo after winning that North American Championship. As he’s talking, Matt Riddle’s music hits and he comes out just looking like the comfiest dude on the planet. It’s funny because Dream is always flashy and dressed up and Matt Riddle is always just chilled out and laid back.
Riddle comes out and just says “I came out to say hi,” which made me legitimately laugh to myself. Then he asks to get a closer look at that North American Championship, and essentially says he wonders what it’ll look like around his waist. Dream then waves him off, snaps his fingers and a spotlight is put on him to end the segment.
This was a really fun little segment, and Dream vs Riddle would be a fantastic match at Takeover: New York.
Moustache Mountain def. Street Profits.
Next up we had our third first round match of the Dusty Classic and I was so stoked to see Moustache Mountain, I love those two! This was another really good match as is to be expected because these are both very fun, dynamic tag teams with tons of personality. Street Profits got the jump off the bat, but Seven and Bate fought back and made this a pretty even match till the end.
You can tell Seven and Bate have been friends for so long because when they tag, their chemistry is off the charts. The match ended when Dawkins hit bate with a spinebuster, Ford hit a frog splash and man he got so high up he like went out of a frame, it was amazing. But Bate kicked out, Street Profits got frustrated and that led to a nasty looking torture rack/flying knee where I believe it was Ford who got dropped right on his head.
I was kinda shocked to see Moustache Mountain advance, but I was super happy because I like them more than I like Street Profits.
DIY def. Undisputed Era.
Then we had our main event! Undisputed Era came out first to a huge reaction as usual, then Gargano and Ciampa did their separate entrances and when they got halfway down the ramp they looked back at the titantron and the old DIY music and graphics played. The best part about that was Ciampa smiled and he genuinely looked so tickled, you could tell they were both loving this on the inside. This match was an absolute barn burner, if you have not seen this match I encourage you to watch it! When Vince McMahon was a commentator he used to say, “action too quick to call” and that was this match.
From bell-to-bell this match rarely slowed down. These are two of the absolute best tag teams in the world and they proved it last night. It was so good early in the match, Johnny was in trouble and they showed Ciampa and the look on his face communicated that he was regretting the decision. But Johnny eventually got the hot tag, and the match started to go in DIY’s favour. In the closing minutes of the match Fish hit a brutal top rope Michinoku Driver from the top rope which O’Reilly followed up with a diving knee.
Ciampa kicked out, and this time it was Johnny Gargano that had to be tagged in. He hit Fish with a slingshot DDT and DIY rose again as they hit their meet in the middle knee/superkick to advance to the next round of the Dusty Classic.
This match was absolutely amazing, was given just enough time and really established the newly reformed DIY as a threat to the rest of the teams in the tournament.