They are pushing the debut of a mystery team named “MSK” in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tonight.
SHOTZI BLACKHEART vs. CANDICE LERAE (w/Indi Hartwell)- 6/10
Shotzi’s neck got worked over. Indi created a distraction, allowing Candice stop Shotzi from going for the diving senton and hit Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride for the win.
FINN BALOR IS INTERRUPTED BY PAT MCAFEE’S CREW MINUS PAT MCAFEE- fine
Pete Dunne wants a title shot so he talks trash. The heels attack Balor and he fights valiantly but gets beaten up. Dunne gave him a Divorce Court on his injured arm. Undisputed Era (minus the injury Bobby Fish) came out to make the save, led by Kyle O’Reilly. The announcers told us Kyle wasn’t even cleared to be here due to his injuries. Balor was lucky that Kyle was willing to do this for him after the rude way he was just talking about Kyle.
MCKENZIE MITCHELL INTERVIEWS JOHNNY GARGANO- very good, then very bad
Gargano cut a good promo and was a great indignant heel when McKenzie pointed out that empirical evidence shows that his plan won’t be as easy as he was making it out to be. Things got bad when Austin Theory showed up, delivering Johnny some drawings from Dexter Lumis. Theory is a complete and total clown.
DUSTY RHODES TAG TEAM CLASSIC FIRST ROUND MATCH: Ever-Rise vs. Grizzled Young Veterans- 6.75/10
They gave Ever-Rise a lot more than I expected them to. This was a good example of how Ever-Rise’s characters can work in the ring.
RAQUEL GONZALEZ PROMO/VIDEO PACKAGE- awesome
MCKENZIE MITCHELL INTERVIEWS SHOTZI BLACKHEART- meh
Shotzi wants to find a tag partner for the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, and she wants it to be someone she who was on her War Games team… and in an amazing coincidence, Ember Moon just happened to be standing nearby. And don’t tell me that they had this planned because McKenzie’s question had nothing to do with the tournament. It was about Shotzi losing to Candice LeRae earlier.
Merely being around Shotzi has already made Ember more annoying.
DEXTER LUMIS vs. JOHNNY GARGANO (w/Austin Theory)- 7/10
A great match, but with another frustrating heel finish. You’ve got to let you heels win cleanly every now and again so that they retain some credibility. Lumis wrestled like a normal dude, which just makes him a big, creepy-looking babyface, and “creepy-looking babyface” not a recipe for success.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- meh
Lumis got revenge on Theory for costing him the match. Gargano made the save and was going to attack Lumis with a chair but KUSHIDA made the save for Lumis, and the two heels wound up in the babyfaces’ signature submissions. This felt like a go-home angle for a match (KUSHUDA & Leon Ruff vs. Theory & Gargano in the DRTTC) that really doesn’t need one.
MCKENZIE MITCHELL INTERVIEWS MCAFEE’S HEEL PALS- fine
They’re going to take out Kyle O’Reilly
WADE BARRETT HAS A SIT-DOWN WITH TOMMASO CIAMPA AND TIMOTHY THATCHER- fine
Both Wade and Ciampa ask what Thatcher’s injury that caused the match to be postponed was, but Thatcher won’t tell them. Parts of this weren’t good, but other parts were. I loved that they found a way for Ciampa to call Thatcher a bully without saying the word (which is one of those words that has been completely destroyed by WWE commentary).
MCKENZIE MITCHELL INTERVIEWS UNDISPUTED ERA- good
They’re not afraid of McAfee’s Pals trying to attack them during their match. They’re not. Kyle volunteers to watch their back during their match. Wade Barrett keeps insisting that Kyle O’Reilly “isn’t medically cleared to be here,” but he’s been here for most of an hour and no one has tried to make him leave.
DUSTY RHODES TAG TEAM CLASSIC FIRST ROUND MATCH: Jake Atlas & Isaiah “Swerve” Scott vs. MSK (Nash Carter & Wes Lee)- 7.5/10
They’re the Rascalz. Shocking, I know.
I was SOOO happy that they actually acknowledged that it was weird for two guys who aren’t getting along (Atlas and Scott) to be assigned together as a team, and even happier when they had a basic but logical defense of it (this sort of thing has happened before and worked out fell for those involved, so why shouldn’t the promotion stick these guys together and see what happens?).
This was certainly spotty, but I’m fine with that for 1) the Rascalz’s debut, and 2) an opening round match in a tournament when we haven’t seen anything else spotty so far tonight.
They showed some of the teams in the Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, then immediately dashed my hopes by announcing that in next week’s opening round match, Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter would be facing (read as: getting obliterated by) Mercedes Martinez & Toni Storm.
XIA LI vs. VALENTINA FEROZ- squash
Same fancy entrance and stuff as last week.
TEAM KC PROMO- decent
Have they ever let these two talk before?
FALLOUT FROM JAKE ATLAS & ISAIAH SCOTT FIGHTING IN THE LOCKER ROOM- fine
Road agents and referees were having trouble breaking them up, but big Bronson Reed managed to do it. Swerve somehow thought this was Reed taking Atlas’ side.
DUSTY RHODES TAG TEAM CLASSIC FIRST ROUND MATCH: Tyler Breeze & Fandango vs. Undisputed Era (Adam Cole & Roderick Strong)- 6.75/10
They did stuff and it was exciting. McAfee’s Pals came out to attack Kyle. They were going to smash his jaw into a pillar but Balor came out to make the save. Eventually Pete Dunne managed to put Balor down and smash Kyle’s jaw. This all, of course, caused a distraction for UE, but Cole was able to overcome the advantage that this gave Breezango and pick up the win. The angle was good, but the match was disappointing for a main event, especially in NXT.
This was a decent episode of NXT. The wrestling was pretty good and the promos were passable. Next week’s show looks f*cking stacked as hell, though, including the return of the FIGHT PIT!
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