Welcome one and all to the latest installment of the NXT Spotlight here at TJRWrestling. We skipped a week last week as I was on vacation and John’s schedule didn’t allow him to fit this in. Luckily we didn’t miss anything groundbreaking as we just had The Velveteen Dream defeat Tyler Bate as well as Shayna Baszler defeating Kairi Sane. This week we have the start of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, along with a huge main event that very well could determine Andrade Almas’ next challenger. Let’s get to it!
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic – Quarterfinals
Authors of Pain (w/Paul Ellering) vs. TM61
We kick things off with the finals from the last DRTTC. I’ve been promoting TM61 a lot as of recent weeks and think they’re the favorites to win this tournament. Rezar and Shane Thorne start us off. Rezar immediately overpowers Thorne and gets him in the corner where he starts driving his shoulder in the midsection. Akam gets tagged in and drills Thorne with a flapjack. Thorne fights back enough to be able to tag in Nick Miller. They hit a double team Russian leg sweep and then a combo move with Akam on the mat. Akam rolls to the floor and Rezar joins him, so Thorne comes flying over the top rope with a somersault splash onto both members. Akam is rolled back in the ring and Miller goes for a pin but Akam kicks out. Miller firing up on Akam but gets caught in mid air and then gets powerslammed into the turnbuckles. Rezar tags back in and works over Miller in AOP’s corner. We go to commercial.
Rezar and Miller still in the ring and Rezar catches Miller off the ropes with a double leg takedown. Akam tags in and they hit their double team sidewalk slam/stomp. Akam with a submission hold now, almost a Cobra Clutch. Miller fights out and then DDT’s Akam. Hot tags made to both teams. Thorne all over Rezar and drops him with a lariat, followed by a dropkick and then a leg lariat in the corner. Thorne gets some momentum and lands a cannonball splash in the corner. He tries to suplex Rezar but Rezar fights out. Thorne is resilent though and finally ends up nailing a Falcon Arrow. That was impressive. Rezar kicks out though. Thorne tries to come off the ropes but Rezar catches him with a massive big boot. AOP hit Thorne with a combo neckbreaker/sitout powerbomb, but Miller breaks up the pin. Thorne with a Saito suplex on Akam and then Miller comes off the ropes with a moonsault but Rezar breaks up the pin. Thorne goes after Rezar, but Rezar lifts him up in a powerbomb and hits a jackknife powerbomb over the ropes and Thorne lands full force on the apron. Holy hell that couldn’t feel good. Akam then hits an exploder suplex on Miller in the turnbuckles, Last Chapter on Miller and AOP has advanced.
Winners: The Authors of Pain
K-Tank’s Take: Welp… between predicting Baron Corbin to win the Rumble and TM61 to win this tournament, I am on fire with my predictions for 2018. I love the growth of AOP but I think this was a perfect opportunity to give TM61 a big win and I still believe they should’ve advanced. If this leads to another AOP tournament win and another match with Undisputed Era, I’ll be disappointed. We need something new in the tag division with all the new teams available.
We go to “earlier today” where William Regal is meeting with the media. He’s asked about the favorites to win the DRTTC. He doesn’t really give an answer and then says he needs to handle business. Pete Dunne now shows up and is asked about his match with Roderick Strong. He says Roddy took him to his limit but the UK title is staying in the UK. Roddy shows up to confront him and says he can’t wait to do it again. Undisputed Era shows up and mocks Roddy always trying to get a big match. Dunne says Adam Cole has got a lot of nerve considering he hasn’t won anything since being here. Regal shows back up and asks if there’s a problem. Cole says no and Era walks away as Roddy and Dunne look at each other.
We now go to Eric Young and Sanity, talking about the DRTTC. He says Chaos will always rule with them and it will continue in this tournament because United They Purge. Killian Dain lets Aleister Black know that tonight, Chaos will win.
Bianca Belair vs. Drew Renee
Belair starts with a kick and then a trio of suplexes, where she rolls through ala Seth Rollins. She then gets Renee up for the Alley Oop and that’s the match.
Winner: Bianca Belair
K-Tank’s Take: Belair looked a little nervous/green in the few moments she was out there. Awkward transitions to the two moves she did by relying on hair pulling and then didn’t look comfortable on how to celebrate afterwards. I think she has a lot of potential, but this wasn’t her best showing even in very limited time.
We then go to an interview with Lacey Evans, who is taking Dakota Kai next week. She said Kai is a classless, sad excuse for a woman. She’s still shaken up from Baszler’s beatdown and she fully plans on exploiting that hurt arm. Baszler shows up and runs Evans off. She says another week and still no word from Ember Moon. A fighting champ typicaly responds to a challenge so since Ember hasn’t said anything, she guesses she has her answer.
We get a quick promo from Heavy Machinery promoting their match in the DRTTC against The Street Profits.
Back at ringside, Tommaso Ciampa shows up with no music, dragging his crutch behind him. The crowd is all over him and starts a “We want Johnny” chant. Ciampa gets in the ring with a mic and the crowd continues to let him have it with boos. He gets the Roman Reigns after Wrestlemania treatment where every time he tries to talk, they drown him out with boos. Ciampa throws the mic down twice and finally decides not to say anything and walks slowly to the back. Before he does though, he grabs a Johnny Wrestling sign from the crowd and rips it in half. Then he gets back in the ring and beats the sign with his crutch before finally leaving in frustration.
K-Tank’s Take: Great stuff from Ciampa. Simple but effective. I just want to say to the very small handful of fans that were trying to be cool and going against the Gargano chants, you’re the idiots that will prevent a Reigns or Cena from turning heel. Gargano is the best pure babyface in WWE, but since it’s a small venue, they were heard and it was annoying.
Next week will be Adam Cole vs. Pete Dunne for the UK Title and then we’ll get two DRTTC matches as Sanity takes on Sabbatelli and Moss, as well as The Street Profits taking on Heavy Machinery.
Aleister Black vs. Killian Dain
Dain immediately nails Black with a shotgun dropkick and then goes for a pin but Black kicks out. Dain all over Black now and then lands a running avalanche splash in the corner. He goes for a second but Black moves and hits a series of kicks on Dain. Dain rolls to the outside and Black follows up with his version of the Golden Triangle moonsault. We go to commercial.
We returns with Black working over Dain in the corner. Dain comes out with his running cross body though and gets a pin but Black kicks out. Dain stomps a mudhole in the corner. Dain wearing down Black and works over both arms. He locks on a seated abdominal stretch. Black fights out but Dain bodyslams him down and then a big splash, but Black kicks out again. Another big splash, another pin, another kickout. Dain now rolls Black on his stomach, another splash, another pin, another kickout. Dain now with a crossface on Black. Black escapes a suplex but catches a back elbow. Black comes back with more of his kicks. He comes off the ropes with a forearm strike and then trips Dain down to allow him to his a shining wizard. Black with a standing lionsault and goes for a pin but Dain kicks out. Dain throws Black to the apron and Black goes to the top rope but gets caught in mid air with a clothesline. Black still able to kick out of a pin. Both men trade blows but then Dain catches Black and drills him with a double leg takedown. Almost turned it into a stalled spear. He gets Black near the corner and goes for a Vader Bomb. He connects but Black still kicks out. Dain gets Black up for the Ulster Plantation but Black turns it into a victory roll. Dain kicks out but Black beats him to his feet and Dain turns around into Black Mass!
Winner: Aleister Black
K-Tank’s Take: Really good finish that helps continue getting over how dangerous that Black Mass kick is. That should officially make it Black vs. Almas for Takeover: New Orleans, where I would fully expect him to become champion. He’s the best thing going in NXT and would be a hell of a champion.
That does it for this week. Next week looks to be a loaded show with the UK Title match and two DRTTC matches. So until next time, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do, but if you do, name it after me.