NXT returned to us last night (Mar. 6) as they make their way to TakeOver: New York in about a months time. You can find all the results at the live blog here.
Ricochet & Aleister Black def. Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner to advance in the Dusty Classic
This was a banger of a match to kick off the Dusty.
The European Union impress every time they’re out there. And Ric and Black are slowly becoming more and more of a team. It’s not there yet. This still felt like two talented men who are teaming together, even though there was a good sequence towards the end that felt more gelled. But their more recent matches (the ones we saw on Raw and SmackDown this week), show they are slowly coming together as a unit.
This almost felt like two teams that aren’t really NXT teams. I look at the European Union as an NXT UK team, and I look at Ricochet and Aleister as a main roster team (they are getting a Raw tag title match this weekend). But both teams are still NXT in a sense, and it’s not as if Black and Ric have actually gone anywhere on Wednesdays.
Dominik Dijakovic interrupts a training session at the Performance Center insisting he and Keith Lee (who was on hand training) finish their issues right now. He’s backed off by a couple guys there. They will fight again in two weeks.
This was a simple but effective way to get us to the Lee/Dijakovic rematch. You can say they didn’t need to do much of anything to set up the rematch, but it helps.
It wasn’t over the top with any pull apart brawl. It just demonstrated that Dijakovic is kind of an ass who believes he should have won last week. Not getting a win meant so much that he interrupted an NXT practice to insist they do it again. It’s probably the most character building we’ve gotten from Dominik up to this point.
Forgotten Sons def. Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch to advance in the Dusty Classic
The story of this was Oney Lorcan’s bad back, which was hurt in the early portion of the match. At certain times, Danny Burch had to go it alone instead of going for a quick tag to Lorcan to stay fresh. Towards the end, Oney didn’t block a pin breakup because he was in the corner resting his back after a BritAm flurry. He ended up taking the loss.
It’s a good way to hand the talented Burch & Lorcan a loss. They have a reason for taking that loss that was more than “They just weren’t good enough.” Maybe on a day when they’re full strength, they could pick up the win.
The Forgotten Sons played their roles well here. They were the heel duo taking advantage of our struggling heroes. Outside that, I still don’t have much interest in the Sons. We’ll see if this tournament changes that.
Velveteen Dream walks out and stands on the announce table to cut a quick promo. But before he gets far, he’s interrupted by Matt Riddle! Riddle congratulates Dream on his title victory. Bro wants to get a closer look at that North American championship and now he can’t help to wonder what it’d look like around his waste. The champ tells Riddle he isn’t his bro and the spotlight is on him. (He snaps and a spotlight shines on Dream.)
Oh man! This feud is going to be sweet!
Two of the biggest, outrageous personalities going head to head. I didn’t know I was signed up for this already, but I am.
The build should be really fun, watching these two continue to promo each other. And the match that I assume will be at TakeOver will be awesome. But I suppose we should wait until it’s official before we get too excited.
You Team Bro or Team Dream?
Mustache Mountain def. The Street Profits to advance in the Dusty Classic
The right team won here.
Firstly, Mustache Mountain rules. They’re former NXT tag champions, and they’re wildly popular. Not to mention really f’n good. The tournament is better with them in it.
But this is also better for the Street Profits. They’re sitting a notch above the Forgotten Sons for me. While I think they’re more charismatic than the biker gang, they’ve lost all their marquee matches. Hell, they couldn’t beat the Sons on the TakeOver fallout show. Eventually, you stop taking these teams seriously. Something needs to change in order to make you believe things will be different.
The Profits have started showing subtle change. Montez Ford has been doing a great job adding a layer of aggression. He showed frustration and urgency at the end of the match. But still, they couldn’t win a big match.
Ford’s added aggression isn’t enough and creative likely knows that. I expect a full heel turn to be coming their way. And this is a good place to start.
#DIY def. Undisputed ERA to advance in the Dusty Classic
War Raiders walk out to the entrance after the match and stare down #DIY.
The elephant in the room that is Tommaso’s neck surgery lingered over this match (an incredible match). There’s nothing they could do about it, but I couldn’t help to think how wherever this is leading is going have to be altered due to Ciampa’s unfortunate neck injury and surgery. That this chemistry is going to be short lived no matter the plan.
Even with that, this was a fantastic main event. Not that I’d expect any less from two of NXT’s best tag teams of the last couple years. (I’m including all iterations of Undisputed in that.)
They did a great job with the #DIY nostalgia, even using their original music after both men did their individual entrances. (It also played after they won the match.) And of course their in-ring chemistry can’t be denied.
Undisputed taking another L adds to their slump narrative. It’s early in 2019 though. They’ll turn it around. Probably.
This was a really fun main event that, to no fault of its own, was lessened by the crummy news about Ciampa’s neck surgery.
This was a supersized episode (75 minutes) that basically focused all on the tag division. Overall, pretty fun.
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