William Regal announced it on this week’s episode of NXT, and now WWE.com have added in the first six teams that will participate, with more coming daily before the tournament opens next week. Let’s crack into ‘em, shall we?
Hideo Itami & Kota Ibushi
They’ve been on opposite sides of the aisle several times in Pro Wrestling NOAH’s Nippon TV Cup Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team League, but this is the first tournament these two men will be teaming in. Notably, Ibushi teamed with Itami’s long-time partner Naomichi Marufuji in the first edition of that tournament. Two sides of the same coin in several ways, both men bring hard strikes but have surgically-repaired targets painted on them, Itami’s shoulder and Ibushi’s neck, that may well stop them short of the finals.
Riddick Moss & Tino Sabbatelli
Two home-grown talents straight from the football field to the squared circle by way of the Performance Center, Tino hasn’t even appeared on NXT TV yet and Riddick has only a handful of losing efforts to his name. As a result, even advancing to the second round would be a big statement win for these two, and their entry directly into the tournament with so little preamble shows that they’re confident enough to try.
Perfectly Glorious (Bobby Roode & Tye Dillinger)
Industry veterans representing the great pro wrestling nation of Canada, Roode and Dillinger cemented their alliance on NXT. Dillinger was close with the late, great Dusty Rhodes and has the fire and drive to win the tournament for the American Dream. Roode is a tag team specialist that has won major tag titles with three different partners. If they can keep their egos from clashing, they’ll be unstoppable.
DIY (Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa)
DIY have had a rocky month and change but now that they’ve both said their goodbyes to the independent scene, they’re refocused and ready to give it another shot. Gargano’s knee is a nagging concern, of course, and any team looking to make a name for themselves would do well to take a page out of the Revival’s playbook and go straight for it.
The Revival (Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson)
Top Guys enter top tournaments, that’s pretty self-evident, and there’s no Guys more Top than the Revival, and no bigger tag tournament in WWE than the Dusty. Of course, last year the Vaudevillains didn’t fare so well as tag team champions entering the Dusty, but as the Revival were the ones that beat them out, I have a hard time seeing that happen again.
Andrade “Cien” Almas & Cedric Alexander
Alexander beat Almas one-on-one and earned his respect, and it seems it was enough to convince the once-ungovernable one to accept an offer to team. Both men have plenty of tag team experience, and if they can gel together as a unit, they’ll go far.
There you have it, folks.
Excited? Who else do you want to see in the field?