We are eight days away from NXT TakeOver: New York, and tonight we crown new Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic winners. I’m Scott Hammond and this is NXT!
The show started off hot, with the new number one contender Adam Cole coming to the ring for a promo. The NXT Title was sitting on a black podium. Cole started off by saying he outlasted five of NXT’s best to become the number one contender last week. He called out Johnny Gargano who answered by making his way to the ring. Dual Johnny Wrestling/Adam Cole chants that seemed to go on forever. Gargano said that Cole is in the fight of his life. He said that his path went through Tommaso Ciampa but now it goes through Cole. He said that he was ‘Johnny TakeOver Bay Bay!’ to cheers from the crowd. Cole then ran down all his TakeOver accomplishments and stated that he earned all his success and Gargano hasn’t.
Gargano then said his journey started in 2015 at his NXT tryout, and he was told he wasn’t good enough. He was told he was too small. He then got thrown into a makeshift tag team and was still working without a contract. He had to earn his contract. He had to earn his tag team title win, and in the main event of TakeOver: New York, he will finally be Champion. Cole then left the ring and stopped on the ramp. He told Gargano his story was inspirational but in New York, he would be successful and here was why. At that point, the remaining members of the Undisputed Era appeared on stage. Cole then finished the segment by saying that their match will be undisputed. Fantastic segment here, and with having so little time to build they are drawing from reality to invest the audience.
Aliyah & Vanessa Bourne vs Lacey Lane & Kacy Catanzaro
Aliyah and Bourne were out first with matching ring wear. Apparently, Aliyah has been in NXT for five years. Wow, I had no idea it had been that long. Lacey Lane was out next, looking like a character from Mortal Kombat. Her attire was very different but in a good way. Kacy Catanzaro followed, looking a bit too cookie cutter for my liking, but both were over with the Full Sail crowd. Aliyah and Lane started the match but Bourne was quickly tagged in and both Bourne and Aliyah hit a double facebuster on Lane.
Lane then recovered and his a great springboard arm drag on Bourne. Bourne shortly after this nailed Lane with a headbutt but all the action in the ring then stopped as Shayna Baszler, Duke and Shafir walked down the ramp as Bourne and Aliyah exited the ring and left. Baszler hit a knee strike to the face of Catanzaro. Baszler then put her in the Kiribuda clutch, but Catanzaro fought out and tried to fight back but found herself back in the Kiribuda clutch and knocked out. Baszler stood tall to end the segment.
The commentary team ran down the first part of the NXT Takeover: New York card.
Matt Riddle vs Kona Reeves
I really don’t like Kona Reeves. I’m not sure if it’s good heat or bad heat, but he gets beat too often to act like an egomaniac. He hit a cheap shot on Riddle, but Riddle hit a foot sweep into a senton. He followed up with a gut wrench suplex to Reeves, and then Velveteen Dream’s music hit and he was wheeled out on a purple sofa with his title by two women who I can only assume were his maids or something.
He bore a similarity to the Godfather back in the late 90s. Reeves took advantage of the distraction with a high back body drop on Riddle for a two count. Reeves worked Riddle into a Cobra clutch, but Riddle recovered with strikes into the ripcord knee. He put Reeves into the Bro-Mission and looked towards the Dream. Reeves then tapped out to end the match.
Winner: Matt Riddle
After the match, Dream announced Riddle as the winner. Riddle walked up to Dream on the top of the ramp and said he’d see him in New York.
They then ran down the rest of the TakeOver: New York card, including Pete Dunne vs WALTER for the UK title. Good stuff.
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Finals: Ricochet & Aleister Black vs The Forgotten Sons (Wesley Blake & Steve Cutler) w/ Jaxson Ryker
Did I mention that I really dislike the Forgotten Sons’ theme music? After Ricochet and Black made their entrance, they cleared the ring of the Forgotten Sons quickly. Black and Blake (say that when you’re tired, really fast) started the match, but Ricochet was in shortly after, again clearing Blake and Cutler from the ring. Ricochet then took to the air with a corkscrew plancha over the top rope. Ricochet then hit chops to Cutler back inside the ring but was cut off by Ryker on the outside when he tried to hit the ropes. Blake hit a backbreaker on Ricochet before tagging in Cutler and both men performed a double backbreaker. Cutler then fought into another variant of a springboard backbreaker before putting Ricochet into a chin lock. Ricochet recovered enough to hit a springing dropkick and then tried to make the tag to Black, but he was pulled from the apron by Blake before he could get to the corner.
After a short sequence, Black was tagged in and cleaned house, finishing off with a springboard moonsault to both Forgotten Sons, but Cutler quickly got back to his feet and hit a double underhook backbreaker on Black. Ricochet then fought with Cutler onto the top rope and hit him with a top rope hurricanrana, which was then followed by Black hitting a Meteora on Blake. Quickening pace here. Blake and Ricochet and Blake traded shots and with Ricochet sat on the top rope facing the crowd. Blake hit a top rope reverse hurricanrana but Ricochet landed on his feet! Black then tagged in and hit a huge boot to Blake for a two-count.
Ricochet was thrown into the steel steps on the outside, which allowed Blake and Cutler to hit Black with a backstabber into a top rope elbow combination followed by a buckle bomb into Cutler’s knees for a two count. Black recovered and hit a Black Mass out of nowhere on Cutler. At this point, Ryker was ejected from ringside, complete with the over-the-top referee signalling and at this point, Blake walked into a Black Mass followed by a 630 from Ricochet for the win.
Winners of the 2019 Dusty Rhodes Classic Tag Team Tournament: Ricochet & Aleister Black
After the match, Black and Ricochet posed with the trophy in the ring. The War Raiders joined them in the ring for a staredown as the show went off the air.
So with only two shows to build the main event, this week NXT managed to make me invest. It’s incredible what great stories mixed in with a bit of realism can do for a feud. It says a lot about the differences between how this brand is booked compared to the other big two shows. But that’s another story for another time.
All pics and videos courtesy of WWE.com