Welcome one and all to the latest installment of the NXT Spotlight here at TJRWrestling. This week wraps up the first round of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic and we continue to get ever closer to Takeover: Toronto, which is just over 3 weeks away now. Let’s get to the action.
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic First Round Match
#DIY vs. HoHo Lun and Tian Bing
Bing is WWE’s first Chinese signee to the Performance Center. It was obviously a big deal, so not surprising they want to at least get him on TV quickly. Bing and Ciampa start the match. Bing drops Ciampa with a shoulder tackle and then halts on a Ciampa leapfrog and kicks him in the chest. Lun gets tagged in now and they hit a double back elbow on Ciampa. Ciampa gives Lun a forearm shot right to the jaw and that allows him to tag in Gargano. They hit a double team kick and neckbreaker on Lun. Lun cuts off Gargano and hits a kick to the face and then a dropkick. Bing tags back in and hits a high knee in the corner on Gargano. Lun does the same and Gargano stumbles out of the corner into a nice superkick by Bing. Gargano kicks out at two. Bing follows up with a bodyslam and then a headlock. Gargano fights out but Bing delivers a couple stiff kicks. Gargano manages to escape with an enziguri and tags in Ciampa. Lun tags in as well but Ciampa cleans house on him. Ciampa sets up for a powerbomb but Lun gets out. Gargano makes a blind tag and as Lun charges Ciampa, Gargano comes through the ropes with a spear. Ciampa takes Bing off the apron and then it’s time to Meet in The Middle on Lun and #DIY moves on.
We go to a video from earlier in the day where Kota Ibushi and TJ Perkins talk about how they became tag team partners due to Hideo Itami’s injury. Ibushi says that respect brought them together. Perkins puts over Ibushi big time and then asks what Ibusi’s rating is, 90 or 95? Ibushi says 99 and Perkins laughs as they walk off.
Samoa Joe is backstage now and is asked about what went down last week on why Joe looked like he wanted to attack Nakamura but then decided against it. Joe says he was just testing the perimeter and seeing if his actions of late have had an effect on Nakamura. He says it’s clear that they have. Joe says that Nakamura doesn’t have his same swag anymore, he looks like a guy who looks over his shoulder now because he knows that Joe can put him out for a very long time. Nakamura is a scared champ because he knows that the next champion is going to be Samoa Joe.
Quick Plug: Be sure to check out this week’s episode of The Match Beyond podcast. Hank and Mark McAllen hop on to talk about Three Things On My Mind. The Paige/Del Rio relationship, Charlotte & Sasha’s storyline and how it pertains to the rest of the women’s division, and Goldberg’s return. This episode has gotten some great feedback, so be sure to check it out!
Aliyah vs. Billie Kay (w/Peyton Royce)
Billie Kay attacks Aliyah immediately as the bell rings. Aliyah fights back with a jaw jacker but then Billie drapes Aliyah over the top rope and then yanks her off, hitting the mat hard. Billie starts to toy with Aliyah but Aliyah fights back with multiple forearm shots and then a seated blockbuster. Aliyah nails a nice kick in the corner and then a step up enziguri. Billie manages to counter with a roaring elbow and then all of the sudden, Liv Morgan attacks Peyton Royce from the outside. Billie gets distracted and it leads to Aliyah going for the ROLLUP OF DEATH! Aliyah gets her first win!
Post match, we have a brawl with all four women in the ring but Billie and Peyton end up with the advantage and Peyton ends up giving Liv a facebuster right into Billie’s knee.
Noah Potjes vs. Tye Dillinger
Tom Phillips says we’ve seen Potjes before but I don’t recognize him. Potjes starts with a wristlock but Dillinger of course reverses it and deems it a 10. Potjes gets back on the attack and works over Dillinger in the corner. Dillinger fights back with a flurry of shots and then stomps a mudhole in him in the corner. Dillinger lowers the kneepad for the Tye-Breaker and that is it.
Winner: Tye Dillinger
Post match, Dillinger is asked about his opportunity at Takeover: Toronto. Dillinger says the only thing glorious that Roode has done recently is run. Right on cue, Roode shows up and attacks Dillinger from behind. Roode sets up for the GLORIOUS Implant DDT on the ramp. Dillinger is out cold as Roode says if he wants him, he’s got him.
TM61 are backstage now and asked about their 2nd round match against Austin Aries and Roderick Strong. Nick Miller calls them a great team but they are a great team themselves. This is the most important thing they’ve done. Shane Thorne says that TM61 is a true team. They fight as a team, punch with one fist. Miller says they will win this tournament because they are the mighty and The Mighty Don’t Kneel.
Thea Trinidad vs. Asuka
Trinidad doesn’t get an entrance but she is in a relationship with Austin Aries in real life, so one would assume that’s how she got this opportunity. Asuka starts immediately with the kicks. She ducks a Trinidad clothesline, dances around for some reason, and then drops her with her Rear View. Trinidad tries fighting back but Asuka is just toying with her. Asuka finally fires up and drops Trinidad with a couple shots. Trinidad goes for a kick but Asuka catches it and turns it into an Ankle Lock. Trinidad wants to grab the ropesbut Asuka turns it into a German Suplex instead, which then transitions into a Fujiwara arm bar and Trinidad has to tap out.
Post match, William Regal makes his way to the stage and he congratulates her on her dominance in the women’s division. Regal says he’s searched across the world for Asuka’s next challenger and he’s found her. At Takeover: Toronto, Asuka will be facing… Regal goes to a promo on the jumbotron and it’s… Mickie James!! Mickie says she’s back. Asuka has beaten everyone but she hasn’t beat her and until Asuka beats her, she’s beaten no one. Mickie has beaten all the best and she’s beaten those that has set the stage for those that ended up building the foundation of the current Women’s Revolution. Mickie says that Regal should call the UN because this is going to be an international incident. She’s coming for that NXT Women’s Title. Asuka is quite happy with this decision, as is the crowd as they give Mickie a great reaction.
Paul Ellering is backstage with his men, The Authors of Pain. He tells them that this is their house of pain. He’s interrupted and asked if he’s pleased with his men’s progress thus far. He says he had a picture in mind when he came to mind and now the picture is clear and the puzzle is complete. He has a strategy and the Authors of Pain will fulfill that. No Way Jose and Rich Swann have a future in NXT but they won’t advance in the Tag Team Classic at the Authors of Pain’s expense. The Authors of Pain yell something in their native languages and they leave.
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic First Round Match
TJ Perkins & Kota Ibushi vs. Lince Dorado & Mustafa Ali
Dorado and Perkins start the match. Both men with fast pace counters and holds to start. Both men attempt a pin but kick outs at one. They eventually get to a stalemate that draws a big ovation. They shake hands as a sign of respect and then tag in their respective partners. Ibushi of course gets a huge reaction. Ibushi gets Ali down with a test of strength but Ali bridges out. Ibushi mounts him to try and break it, but to no avail. Ali hits a dropkick but Ibushi counters with one of his own as we go to commercial.
We return with TJP back in the ring now and hits a suplex on Ali, right into a back suplex after that. TJP goes for the kneebar and has it locked in but Ali was near the ropes and breaks it. Ali manages to tag in Dorado. TJP puts himself on the outside to avoid a double team but Dorado comes flying over the top rope with a dive to take him out. They get back in the ring and Dorado comes off with a cross body block for a two count. Ali now tags back in and puts TJP in a submission. TJP breaks free with a donkey kick of sorts but Ali manages to prevent TJP from making the tag. He hits a nice looking neckbreaker but TJP manages to kick out at two. Ali now goes for a headlock to continue wearing down his opponent. TJP counters a wheelbarrow into a bulldog and now finally gets the tag. Dorado tags in as well and gets promptly laid out with a kick. Ali does as well. Ibushi comes off the ropes and hits another signature kick on Dorado. Ibusi then ends up hitting a double Pele kick on his opponents, which was as cool as it sounds. He charges Dorado in the corner but gets caught with a superkick. Dorado charges him but is caught in a snap powerslam. Ibushi comes off the second rope with a moonsault as TJP makes a tag and he follows up with a frog splash. Ali breaks up the pin though. Ali gets dumped to the outside by TJP and Ibushi follows with his Triangle Moonsault to the outside. TJP sets up Dorado for a wrecking ball dropkick and nails it. He wants to go for a kneebar but Dorado counters it for a pin. TJP kicks out and then Dorado hits a hurricanrana into a pin and this time Ibushi breaks it up. Ali tags into the match and hits Ibushi with a spinning heel kick. TJP uses the opportunity to catch Ali in the Kneebar though and Ali has to tap out. Great action at the end.
Winners: TJ Perkins & Kota Ibushi
Post match, we see that Perkins and Ibushi will face off against Sanity in the 2nd round. In the ring, Perkins teaches Ibushi how to Dab, which gets a great reaction. That ends our show.
K-Tank’s Final Takes
* Not a bad showing from Tian Bing for his debut. He looked comfortable in the ring. I’m sure WWE is banking a lot in him.
* We will get a second round matchup of #DIY & The Revival. It will be interesting to see it somehow leads to a title match at Takeover.
* It was great to see Mickie James come back. She looked fantastic, which is not a surprise. The crowd treated it like a big deal. This should be Asuka’s best match, even better than Bayley, because Mickie can really go in the ring. I’m looking forward to this.
That’s it for this week, so until next time, don’t anything I wouldn’t do. If you do though, name it after me.