So now, the “Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic” actually means something. The winner will get a guaranteed Tag Team title shot. As it should be. These tournaments have no value if there isn’t something bigger to come of them other than some silly trophy.
Authors of Pain (Akam & Rezar) w/ Paul Ellering vs. Pete Dunne & Roderick Strong
The best part of a Pete Dunne match is the relentlessness with which Pete keeps going. You can pound him into the ground and he’ll come back. He tells that story extremely well. The near-falls were gorgeous here and Pete even got in a little of his vicious hand-work. The ebb and flow here was just incredible and the NXT crowd was unhinged. The match never finished as the Undisputed Era came out and broke it up. This wasn’t a wrinkle I planned on.
Regal came out and now, the match at TakeOver: New Orleans will be both teams above vs. The Undisputed Era.
Kairi Sane vs. Vanessa Borne
I absolutely and completely dislike Kairi’s gimmick. Pirate princess? Oh my. This was a fairly good match but we all knew who’d win. Vanessa acquitted herself well too.
Backstage segment – Lacey Evans
I know what she’s trying to do but she’s failing. She’s coming across far too scripted and it’s not working.
Backstage segment – Adam Cole & Kyle O’Reilly
I love them! They got themselves in trouble and couldn’t get out of it.
Backstage segment – Ember Moon
She rocked this! Her intensity was just perfect and she came across really well here. Not much more to say. She nailed it.
Lars Sullivan vs. Killian Dane
Cool to see Lars back. He, like Braun, has an intellect that takes him beyond the stereotypical “huge monster” thing. Killian is no fool either so he’s pretty compelling himself. This was the match you know you’ll get with guys this size. It wasn’t glacial by any means but there was no high-flying. It is the first time we’ve seen Lars in there with someone his own size. Love that Killian Dane’s Belfast Blitz is basically Wade Barrett’s Wasteland finisher – just more safely pulled off. Of course, this match was about selling the Ladder Match so they all had to make an appearance. Velveteen Dream came out to cause trouble but before he could, EC3 was hot on his heels. I’m truly thrilled that EC3 is here. He totally fits and I’m glad he’ll finally get a shot at success here. That didn’t happen when he was Derrick Bateman. Ricochet even came out! Great stand-off between all of them!
I absolutely can’t wait for NXT TakeOver: New Orleans this Saturday night. Join us right her for “Dignified Discussion – NXT TakeOver: New Orleans” beginning at 7pm!