By Darren Gutteridge
Shane Thorne vs. Roderick Strong: What an unexpected treat this was! They never made it clear that we would be seeing the Second Round matches of the Dusty Classic, as last year all of the house show matches were just shown in highlight form. So not only was I pleasantly surprised to see we were getting full replays, but the injury to Austin Aries threw up this intriguing and entertaining match. The ending was genuinely a shock too – Roddy and Aries seemed like the star power team that would advance, but I think TM61 have more to gain from a deep tournament run.
No Way Jose and Rich Swann vs. The Authors of Pain: I’d put this down as the best Authors match so far, simply because Swann and Jose got the fans onside whilst bumping like champs. The doubts about the Authors remain though – whenever they were in control, things looked a little rough and awkward. But at least we know now they aren’t completely without hope.
TJ Perkins and Kota Ibushi vs. Sanity: It’s very rare that we get presented with a whole bag full of nothing as our NXT main event, but this week was an exception. On a week where even the Authors of Pain managed to be watchable, Sawyer Fulton and Alexander Wolfe didn’t capitalize on their interesting debut in the tournament, instead turning in a very forgettable performance. In fairness, though, Ibushi and Perkins didn’t exactly look motivated either.
The Revival Forfeit: I have sympathy here – this Miss is based entirely on not getting to see The Revival vs. DIY, as opposed to the admittedly strong promo from Dawson. It is also a long term plus because it preserves this highly anticipated rematch for another time. Ultimately, though, it was a disappointment.