MARCH 7, 2018
TAPED IN ATLANTA, GA. AT CENTRE STAGE
AIRED ON WWE NETWORK
REPORT BY JOEY GALIZIA, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
ANNOUNCED BY WWE…
- The Authors of Pain battle TM61 in the first round of the Dusty Rhodes Classic.
- Killian Dain goes one-on-one with Aleister Black
- Can anyone stop Shayna Baszler?
“START OF A CLASSIC”
Even in death, Dusty Rhodes’s legacy continues to grow. The son of a plumber has filled our lives with fantastic wrestling moments, and to this day still remains one of the business’s best promos. However, it was his work backstage that got the yellow and black brand to the position it is in today, and for the third time (they took last year off) NXT will honor him by holding the tag team tournament known as the Dusty Rhodes Classic. Tonight’s first round affair will actually be a rematch from the 2016 edition, with the recently returned TM61 squaring off against the monsters of the tag division the Authors of Pain. Paul Ellering’s boys have silently been sticking around the developmental brand even after they lost the straps to SANITY at Brooklyn, and even participated in the historic WarGames matchup, the first of it’s kind in roughly 20 years. (Also a Dusty creation.) Can Nick Miller and Shane Thorne get the better of Akam and Rezar? Or will the Authors add another chapter of pain to their already impressive workbook?
“TO SLAY A BEAST, YOU MUST FADE TO BLACK”
The other marquee bout scheduled for this evening is SANITY’s Killian Dain going one on one with the voodoo asskicker Aleister Black. The Beast of Belfast stood tall on last week’s show, but Aleister has yet to be defeated in singles action and has only been beaten thanks to shenanigans from the Undisputed. While nothing has been officially announced as of yet, this matchup could very well determine the next challenger for NXT Champion Andrade Cien Almas. Spooky to think that if Black does slay the beast, we’ll have a Takeover rematch from Orlando that was also Aleister’s coming out party. Considering Killain’s insane offense, that is a very big IF.
-Speaking of the Undisputed, this past weekend was bad news for Bobby Fish. At a house show he tweaked his knee that could possibly sideline him past New Orleans. The next round of tapings hasn’t occurred yet so his injury is still up in the air, but if he were out the developmental brand has two options: award the belts to the winner of the Classic, or have Adam Cole step in and defend the gold Free-Bird style. Fingers crossed that it doesn’t have to come to that.
-Meanwhile, can anyone stop Shayna Baszler? The former MMA star has bested everyone in the division including Kairi Sane, the pirate who defeated her in the Mae Young finals. Ember is still banged up from the assault Shayna laid on her from Philadelphia and their rematch did her no favors in terms of healing up. Eventually Moon will have to put her NXT women’s championship on the line again against Shayna, and this time she may not get so lucky.
-The U.K. division is suddenly without direction as champion Pete Dunne sits atop his throne with no clear challenger in sight. His most recent opponent Roderick Strong had a great showing, but wasn’t strong enough (lol puns) to survive Dunne’s Bitter End finisher. His greatest foe Tyler Bate could possibly get another attempt down the line, but after a recent loss to the Velveteen Dream, that attempt may not come anytime soon.
-Sad to say that Johnny Gargano will no longer be appearing on this show. His recent exit from NXT after he lost a career vs. title match to Andrade’ leaves a gaping hole in the babyface department of the show. Fortunately, Candice LeRae could possibly fill that spot in the women’s division. Johnny said his goodbyes at the most recent house show in his hometown of Cleveland to a THUNDEROUS reaction. I hope that Blackheart Tommasso Ciampa is happy for breaking the spirit of the NXT Universe. For now…adios Johnny Wrestling.
Five weeks until Takeover New Orleans, and the ball of yarn slowly begins to unravel. You watching?
CATCH UP ON LAST WEEK’S NXT TV REPORT: 2/28 NXT TV Report: Velveteen Dream vs. Tyler Bate, Kairi Sane vs. Baszler, Cole vs. Bononi, plus Andrade & Vega