By Zack Zimmerman
NXT on WWE Network
Taped October 13 in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University
The opening video played… Inside the arena, the cameras panned the crowd as the commentators hyped that tonight would finish up the first round of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament. With that, things kicked off with the entrance of Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa who were introduced as “DIY.” The Chinese contingent of Ho Ho Lun and Tian Bing were out next. Bing was the first official signee from China and is significantly larger than the cruiserweight Lun.
1. #DIY (Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa) vs. Ho Ho Lun and Tian Bing in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic first round match. The crowd chanted for “Johnny Wrestling” and the “psycho killer” at the bell. Bing’s movement in the ring was slightly awkward, but he got the better of Ciampa with a shoulder tackle and a kick to the chest before tagging in Lun. The two used a double back elbow, but Lun’s control of Ciampa didn’t last for more than a few seconds. Gargano tagged in and hit his rolling enzuigiri which Ciampa followed up with a leaping neckbreaker for an early two-count.
Lun managed to regain momentum on Gargano and then tagged in Bing who hit a running knee in the corner and a superkick. Lin came off the top with a missile dropkick which was only good for a two-count for the Chinese duo. Bing wore Gargano out with kicks before Gargano dropped him with a kick to the head. Ciampa tagged in hot and killed Ho Ho with a spinning lariat. Gargano made a blind tag and hit the slingshot spear on an unsuspecting Ho Ho, who then ate the superkick/running knee combo for the #DIY win.
Gargano and Ciampa defeated Lun and Bing in about 4:12 to advance in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.
Replays aired and the bracket updated to reveal the very interesting second round matchup of #DIY vs. NXT Tag Team Champions The Revival. Gargano and Ciampa held the ring to close their segment as things transitioned over to the commentators, Tom Phillips and Corey Graves. They recapped that Hideo Itami had been put on the shelf with an injury and therefore TJ Perkins was replacing him as Kota Ibushi’s partner in the tournament.
Backstage, one of the interviewers was standing by with TJ Perkins and Kota Ibushi. She recalled their super competitive match in the semi-finals of the CWC and asked what brought them together. Ibushi simply said “Respect.” TJ said that he leapt at the chance to tag with Ibushi because Ibushi is world-class. He said Ibushi is like the cool kids table “times five.” He asked Ibushi what his rating is, as if this were a video game, and offered a generous 95, but Ibushi said he’s a 99…
NXT Champion Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Samoa Joe for the NXT Championship at Takeover Toronto was advertised… Samoa Joe was advertised for a promo up next… [C]
Zim Says: Ugh TJ’s video game references are insufferable, and that’s coming from a big fan of video games. Anyways, par for the course match for the opening round of this year’s Dusty Classic. For someone with so little real experience, I think Bing showed some potential. I’m still not sold on Ho Ho at all. As far as #DIY goes, it feels like they’ve lost a little bit of steam since they haven’t been featured in the last month or so, but they looked strong in their win here and the next round matchup certainly puts them right back into the mix.
One of the Takeover Toronto theme songs was plugged… Backstage, Samoa Joe was standing by on the interview set. The interviewer noted that last week, it appeared like Joe was positioning himself to attack Nakamura from behind before thinking better of it. Joe took exception to the way she asked the question and said he was only testing the perimeter, and he found that he’s had a profound effect on Nakamura.
He said Nakamura dislocated his jaw and he dislocated Nakamura’s shoulder. He said Nakamura plays mind games whereas he launches all-out warfare. Joe said Nakamura lost his swagger and now can’t stop looking over his back. He labeled Nakamura a “scared champion” and said that Nakamura is scared of the next NXT Champion Samoa Joe…
Back in the arena, Aliyah made her entrance. Billie Kay was out next, accompanied by Peyton Royce. The commentators recalled their attack on Liv Morgan last week.
2. Aliyah vs. Billie Kay (w/ Peyton Royce). Kay went right after Aliyah and put a beating on her. Aliyah stunned Billie with a jawbreaker, but Billie came right back with a hot shot across the top rope and regained control. Aliyah fired back around the minute mark with forearm shots and a running blockbuster to a seated Kay for a quick two. Aliyah followed up with an ill-advised kick in the corner that looked like it caught Billie on the nose or mouth, as she reacted stunned momentarily before firing back a stiff forearm to put Aliyah down.
Billie was looking to follow up when Liv Morgan ran down to ringside and began to attack Peyton Royce. The distraction allowed Aliyah to sneak up behind Billie in the ring and roll her up for the pinfall.
Aliyah beat Billie Kay in about 1:43.
Aliyah rolled out to celebrate at ringside as Liv hit the ring and began to brawl with Billie. She fell victim to the numbers game when Peyton got involved, but Aliyah was right there to even things up. Before long however, the heels established control. Peyton laid out Aliyah with a boot and then bulldogged Liv across Billie’s knee. The Australian duo stood dominant in the ring over the fallen babyfaces to close the segment…
Bobby Roode vs. Tye Dillinger was advertised for Takeover Toronto… Tye Dillinger was advertised to be in action next… [C]
Zim Says: The match wasn’t bad particularly not for the time they were given, but the segment was clearly more about getting more heat on Billie and Peyton, plus setting up the tag match. I like what Billie and Peyton have been doing and hope they continue to grow as they gain confidence in their role.
Back in the arena, Noah Potjes made his entrance (now including Polynesian-themes vest). The commentators said he has a reputation of being a creep at the WWEPC. “Perfect 10” Tye Dillinger was out next to the big reaction as usual.
3. Tye Dillinger vs. Noah Potjes. Dillinger got the better of Potjes out of the gate and flashed 10 fingers in his face in celebration. A short time later, Potjes got the better of Dillinger but it was short-lived. Dillinger made a comeback, stomped a mudhole in Noah, and hit the Tye Breaker for the win.
Tye Dillinger pinned Noah Potjes in about 1:43.
Dillinger celebrated and a replay of the finish aired. When it concluded, Dillinger was standing by at the top of the ramp with an interviewer. Dillinger called out Bobby Roode for being “glorious” at noting but running. Suddenly, Roode blindsided him and put a beating on him. Roode put the exclamation mark on it with an impaler DDT on the stage. He stood over Dillinger and hit his pose as the crowd booed…
Asuka was hyped to be in action next, with Tom Phillips noting that she remains undefeated in over a year of competition in NXT… [C]
Backstage, TM61 were standing by with an interviewer. She asked about their preparations going into their second-round match against Austin Aries and Roderick Strong. Nick Miller said that they’re approaching this one like any other match because they’re a great team and they’ve been all around the world. Shane Thorne said it’s more than just being a team, its about being a cohesive unit and knowing what the other will do. He did a trust fall with Miller catching him to prove his point. Miller said they’re the team to win the Dusty Classic because they’re the mighty and “the mighty don’t kneel…”
Back in the arena, Thea Trinidad was waiting in the ring. NXT Women’s Champion Asuka made her entrance next. Phillips on commentary again noted that Asuka had arrived a year ago and remains undefeated since arriving.
4. NXT Women’s Champion Asuka vs. Thea Trinidad. Asuka out-sped Trinidad and remained one step ahead of her at every turn before wiping her out with a wicked flying hip attack at the 30-second mark. Asuka mocked Thea and invited her to fight back, but once Thea began to fight, Asuka teed off on her. Asuka hit a brutal German Suplex and floated over into a Fujiwara armbar to force the submission.
Asuka squashed Trinidad in about 1:43.
Post-match, NXT GM William Regal’s music hit and he made his way out onto the stage. He congratulated Asuka on her win and continued dominance over the women’s division. Regal said that he scoured the globe to find Asuka’s next opponent, and he’d found her. He turned to the big screen where a familiar Southern drawl said that it’d been a long time but she’d back. Mickie James then revealed herself (via video presumably shot in her backyard) to a big reaction from the crowd.
Mickie said that Asuka claims to have beaten everyone, but Mickie helped lay the groundwork there and Asuka hadn’t beaten her. Mickie warned that she might start an international incident, and then told Asuka she’d see her in Toronto. In the ring, A fired-up Asuka couldn’t contain herself with the excitement of impending competition. She left the ring with her title and a smile from ear to ear as the segment closed…
Zim Says: Well that’s certainly welcomed news. Admittedly, it’s been at least a couple of years since I’ve seen Mickie work, but in a generation of “Divas” where quality of ring work was less emphasized, she was someone who could deliver a good-to-great match when called upon, and I have faith in her to do the same here. There are other ladies that I would like to see brought in in this position, but in terms of marquee value to this fan base, Mickie is one of the stronger options. I’m looking forward to it.
Backstage, Paul Ellering was telling the Authors of Pain that this is their house. One of the interviewers approached and asked how pleased Ellering is with the progress of the Authors. Ellering said he had a vision and the picture is clear. He said he has a plan and strategy which the Authors will execute. He said that the Authors opponents in the next round of the Dusty Classic, “Mr. Jose” and “Mr. Swann,” have bright futures in NXT but not involving the Dusty Classic. He allowed the men to speak for the first time, and they each shouted in a language that I’m not going to reveal my ignorance by guessing at…
TJ Perkins and Kota Ibushi vs. Lince Dorado and Mustafa Ali was advertised up next as the final first-round match of the Dusty Classic… [C]
The Authors of Pain vs. No Way Jose and Rich Swann was promoted as the first second-round match of the Dusty Classic for next week… Sanity vs. the winner of the upcoming match in another second-round match was also advertised for next week…
Back in the arena, the unlikely duo of Lince Dorado and Mustafa Ali made their entrance together. Kota Ibushi was out next to a big reaction. Cruiserweight champ TJ Perkins was out next. HIs upcoming title defense against Brian Kendrick at Hell in a Cell was advertised briefly.
5. WWE Cruiserweight Champion TJ Perkins and Kota Ibushi vs. Lince Dorado and Mustafa Ali in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic first round match. Perkins and Dorado went back-and-forth at a frantic pace in the opening minute before ending in a standoff and tagging their respective partners in. Ibushi and Ali battled for wrist control with a nice sequence which resulted in Ali springing off the top rope to send Ibushi tumbling with an arm brag. Seconds later however, Ibushi came right back with a high dropkick to even things up going into the final break of the show. [C]
Back from break, TJP was in control as he hit a suplex into a back suplex and then went for an early attempt at the kneebar, but Ali reached the ropes. Dorado tagged in and wiped Perkins out with a big dive over the top rope and over Ali as well. Back in the ring, Perkins found himself isolated in the opposing team’s half of the ring.
Perkins tried to reach for the tag, but Ali cut him off, knocked Ibushi off the apron, and then rolled into a jumping neckbreaker on TJ for a two-count. Shortly after the six-minute mark, TJ hit a wheelbarrow bulldog and managed to tag Ibushi in. Ibushi teed off with kicks on Dorado and then caught both opponents with a double Pele kick. Ibushi hit a powerslam on Dorado then came off the middle rope with a moonsault, with TJ tagging in and connecting on a frog splash for a near-fall that was broken up by Ali.
Ibushi wiped Ali out at ringside with the Golden Triangle moonsault and TJ hit the Wrecking Ball triangle dropkick. TJ looked for the rolling kneebar, but was nearly rolled up for the loss. He was nearly pinned again moments later, but Ibushi broke it up. Ali tagged in and floored Ibushi with a kick, but the momentary lapse in attention allowed TJ to slip in the rolling kneebar. He rolled Ali’s other leg over into his kneebar clutch and that was good for the submission win.
Ibushi and Perkins over Ali and Dorado in about 8:45 to advance in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.
Afterwards, replays aired and the victors celebrated in the ring to close the show…
Zim Says: Fun match to close the show on a nigh note. I thought this week’s show, while still stuck in the same formula as the other Dusty Classic first-round shows, was much better than in the past month or so. The opening and closing matches felt fresh and fun paced featuring talent that people want to see. The middle matches, while all crammed in at 1:43 each, all served their purposes successfully. There was progress in the ladies’ undercard, there was some attention given to Tye Dillinger and Bobby Roode going into their Takeover match, and of course we got the announcement of Mickie James as Asuka’s opponent for Toronto. This was a jam-packed show, perhaps too-much so, but it was packed with relevant things that are good for the progression of things on NXT TV. Thumbs up next week, and here’s hoping that continues next week as we get into the second round of the Dusty Classic. Until then, thanks for reading!
Check back tomorrow for the Member-Exclusive DotNet NXT Audio Recap, plus Darren Gutteridge’s NXT Hitlist which will be available to everyone.
Throw comments, questions, criticisms, or corrections @DotNetZim or DotNetZim@gmail.com; always happy to discuss.
Sorry for the delay, please refresh the page for latest updates…
The Best of The Boom features Jim Ross joining Jason Powell in this May 9, 2018 discussion regarding his relationship with Vince McMahon, why Vince sticks with Roman Reigns, how Triple H has changed over the years, and more. New episodes of the Boom are typically available mid-week...