Authors of Pain vs. TM-61 (Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Tournament Match):
This was a very good match as it was a rematch of the final’s match from the last Dusty Rhodes Classic in 2016. TM-61 started out strong with quick maneuvers and some high-flying moves. They showed no fear as if there was something to prove, which was good to see since there was so much builds up for their return, and this was the perfect match to do so as AoP were their last high profile opponents. Surprisingly, this was somewhat of an even match as the offense changed throughout to benefit both teams, but it was TM-61 that really shined. It was somewhat disappointing for TM-61 to lose this match, as there has been so much effort put into promoting their return, but also no one can be too sure of the direction of AoP. Are they going to be promoted to the main roster and, if so, when? More than likely they will so, the next question is, how far will they go in the tournament? By them going deep into it, is it really beneficial at the expense of the other teams that are currently on the roster and will be there for a decent amount of time? Honestly, that is a hard question to answer as to you don’t want AoP to look weak, but you don’t want to stump the momentum of a team like TM-61 that has so much invested in them currently.
Aleister Black vs. Killian Dain:
As the main event for the night, this match did not disappoint. Impressingly, the match started off strong as Killian Dain laid out Aleister Black with a dropkick that sent him into the corner right after the bell rang. From there, it was all Dain. He controlled the match for the most part, working on the ribs of Black. There were moments where Black gained some offense, but they were few and far between as Dain would soon regain control. What was really good about this match was that it made Black look vulnerable, something that we have not really seen before. It humanized him and made him more relatable, which in turn, made it more realistic and able to appreciate him more. So, when he faces Andrade “Cien” Almas, the expectations of a one-sided match won’t be there.
No misses this week.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S COLUMN: NXT HITS & MISSES 2/28: Velveteen Dream vs. Tyler Bate, Kairi Sane vs. Shayna Baszler, Gargano’s promo, Adam Cole vs. Bononi