Posted on 1/14/121 by Bob Magee
The 2021 men's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic kicks off on
Three first round matches will take place on tonight's show:
Undisputed Era's Adam Cole & Roderick Strong vs. Breezango,
The Grizzled Young Veterans vs. Ever-Rise, and a new team
named MSK vs. Isaiah "Swerve" Scott & Jake Atlas.
The bracket for the Dusty Classic was revealed earlier
today. It's a 16-team tournament with first round matches
taking place on NXT and 205 Live. The team that wins the
tournament will get the Dusty Cup and a shot at Oney Lorcan
& Danny Burch's NXT Tag Team titles.
Candice LeRae vs. Shotzi Blackheart and NXT North American
Champion Johnny Gargano (w/ Austin Theory) vs. Dexter Lumis
in a non-title match are also set for tonight.
At New Year's Evil last week, Lumis was the host of the show
and made a mixed tag team match where Kushida & Blackheart
defeated Gargano & LeRae. The match was made after
Blackheart and Kushida interrupted the celebration for
Gargano breaking his title defense curse.
Our live coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
The show opened with Shotzi Blackheart's entrance in her
Candice LeRae (with Indi Hartwell) defeated Shotzi
LeRae pinned Blackheart in a good match. Hartwell interfered
to help LeRae win the match.
No collar and elbow, this started like a fight. Blackheart
shined before she did a flying crossbody off the top rope
for a near fall. Blackheart grounded LeRae with a submission
hold, but LeRae reached a rope. Blackheart continued her
They fought on the apron to set up Blackheart flying off the
apron with a leaping knee strike. Hartwell caused a
distraction, and LeRae springboarded into a flying crossbody
on the floor. The show cut to a picture-in-picture
commercial break, and LeRae got heat on Blackheart.
Blackheart was making a comeback when the show returned from
the break. She followed with a senton for a two count. LeRae
took a DDT on the apron, and that led into Blackheart
sailing through the ropes with a tope suicida. However,
LeRae soon countered Blackeart.
LeRae went for a lionsault, but Blackheart blocked it. LeRae
was still able to counter applying The Gargano Escape.
Blackheart broke the hold by swinging LeRae into a
neckbreaker. Hartwell caused a distraction when Blackheart
climbed the turnbuckles, and that allowed LeRae to strike
with Mister Toad's Wild Ride. LeRae then covered Blackheart
for a pinfall.
Shown arriving to the building was Pete Dunne, Danny Burch &
Oney Lorcan. They arrived just as NXT Champion Finn Balor
was heading to th ring for a promo.
You might not believe this, but an in-ring promo in WWE was
interrupted by a foe. That leads to a match down the line.
Balor was cutting a tough guy promo when Dunne confronted
him in the ring. Dunne was flanked by the NXT Tag Team
Champions, Burch & Lorcan.
Dunne cut a promo on Balor as he entered the ring. A brawl
erupted, and Balor tried to fight off three men. The odds
soon got the better of him when Kyle O'Reilly ran in to make
a save. Soon Adam Cole and Roderick Strong ran down as well.
Undisputed Era cleared the ring.
Balor had a staredown with Undisputed Era, but he then
nodded at them. Balor rolled out of the ring and put the
belt on his shoulder. Everybody then awkwardly stood around
until the segment faded into a backstage interview.
Johnny Gargano was doing an interview when Austin Theory
brought him a gift in an envelope. It was pictures drawn by
Dexter Lumis. Gargano was not pleased. He meets Lumis in a
match later on.
Grizzled Young Veterans (James Drake & Zack Gibson) defeated
Ever-Rise (Chase Parker & Matt Martel) to advance in the
Gibson pinned Martel to win the match, and Grizzled Young
Veterans advance to the next round. Ever-Rise had their most
serious match on NXT, but they still lost again in the end.
The Vets cut the ring in half, and they worked over Parker.
Martel cleaned house after a hot tag. Ever-Rise was on a
roll with double-team moves. The Vets soon cut them off, and
they gave Martel a Ticket To Mayhem. Gibson then covered
Martel for a pinfall.
A vignette highlighted Raquel Gonzalez, and she has her
sights set on NXT Women's Champion Io Shirai.
Shotzi Blackheart is teaming up with Ember Moon in the
Women's Dusty Classic.
NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano (with Austin
Theory) defeated Dexter Lumis in a non-title match
Gargano pinned Lumis with a roll-up after interference by
Gargano had th picture that Lumis drew of him. After Gargano
ripped up the picture, Lumis smacked him in the face. The
fight was on, and it soon spilled outside.
Lumis stalked around and kept getting the better of Gargano.
Lumis blocked a superplex, and Gargano took a flat back bump
off the ropes. Lumis went for a swanton bomb, but no water
in the pool. The show then cut to a commercial break.
Gargano was in control when the show returned from the
break. Lumis turned the tide with an Arn Anderson
spinebuster. He then gave Gargano a Tully Blanchard
slingshot suplex. he followed with a Barry Windom running
bulldog. The Horsemen spots led into a near fall.
Gargano fought back to counter Lumis. Crucifix by Gargano
for a two count. More near falls followed as Gargano kicked
Lumis in the side of the head. They exchanged strikes.
Austin Theory grabbed Lumis' leg, but he got kicked aside.
Lumis countered a Gargano rally. Theory interfered again
after jumping on the apron. As Lumis was suplexing Theory
into the ring, Gargano got behind Lumis for a schoolboy
roll-up. Gargano scored a pinfall with an assist by Theory.
Lumis went to attack Theory after the match, but Gargano cut
him off. Gargano grabbed a chair, and he was going to hit
Lumis with it when Kushida ran down to make a save. Lumis
applied his submission finisher to Theory on the floor.
Meanwhile, Kushida applied a Hoverboard Lock on Gargano.
Kushida then grabbed the title belt. Looks like he wants a
Ciampa and Thatcher are face-to-face
Wade Barrett hosted a face-to-face sit down between Tommaso
Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher. This build to their Pit Fight
on next week's episode.
They argued and debated each other. They cut promos. The
match next week should be great.
MSK (Wes Lee & Nash Carter) defeated Isaiah "Swerve" Scott &
Jake Atlas to advance in the Dusty Classic
Carter pinned Scott, and MSK won their NXT debut. They move
on to the next round of the Dusty Classic.
MSK were formely Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz of The
Rascalz. They looked impressive here, but
Lots of cool flying moves. The match went to a commercial
break after a parade of dives.
More wild flying moves after the break. Lots of action all
over the place. Atlas & Scott worked together with double
MSK with a comeback, and then they execute a double-team
neckbreaker. Carter then covered Scott for the pinfall.
The Women's Dusty Classic begins next week. First round
matches announced for next Wednesday include Kacy Catanzaro
& Kayden Carter vs. Toni Storm & Mercedes Martinez.
Men's Dusty Classic matches announced for next week include
Lucha House Party vs. Imperium. Also, Kushida & Leon Ruff
vs. Johnny Gargano & Austin Theory in another tournament
Xia Li defeated enhancement talent
Li's elaborate entrance took longer than the match. Li with
a spinning wheel kick, and she covered the enhancement
talent for the pinfall. The name of the woman doing the job
was never announced. Li looked like a killer.
A scuffle backstage between Isaiah Scott and Jake Atlas was
broken up by Bronson Reed. This seems to set up a match with
Reed against Scott as they had a staredown.
Undisputed Era (Adam Cole & Roderick Strong with Kyle
O'Reilly) defeated Breezango (Tyler Breeze & Fandango) to
advance in the Dusty Classic
Cole pinned Fandango, and Undisputed Era advances to the
next round of the tournament.
The flow of the match was very back-and-forth. No
established protagonist or antagonist roles in the bout,
just a hard fought tag match.
The match went through a commercial break, and then there
was a double down with Cole and Breeze. That led to a double
hot tag. Strong and Fandango went at it, and more mayhem
ensued. Strong ran wild for a near fall.
Cole tagged in to go to work on Fandango, but he countered a
Last Shot. Breeze came in to catch Cole with a backstabber
for a near fall. Fandango with another near fall moments
Lots of high spots in the closing minutes. Pete Dunne, Danny
Burch & Oney Lorcan ran down, and they brawled at ringside
with OReilly. They were going to injury O'Reilly when Finn
Balor ran down for a save. He and O'Reilly were still
outnumbered, and Dunne laid out O'Reilly with a shot to his
Cole was distracted by the melee at ringside, and Cole
walked into a superkick. Strong was backdropped outside. The
Panama Sunrise was countered, and Fandango went to the top
rope. He leapt off only to eat a superkick from Cole, and
Cole covered him for a pinfall.
Cole & Strong immediately went to check on O'Reilly at