March 7, 2018
Atlanta, GA – Center Stage
Commentary: Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, Percy Watson
The Authors of Pain defeated TM61 in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic first round match
These two teams squared off in the finals of the 2016 Dusty Classic, which was won by The Authors of Pain. Shane Thorne actually went into the match with his knee already injured, but still dove off a lighting rig onto Akam and Rezar. Nigel McGuinness pointed out that the color of TM61’s gear was a tribute to Jun Akiyama (Nick Miller’s blue) and Kenta Kobashi (Thorne’s orange).
Thorne flew again early, as he dove over the top rope with a tope, but their advantage didn’t last long as Miller got cut off. Thorne got the hot tag and eventually got the crowd behind him as he hit a Falcon Arrow on Rezar. Miller got a near fall with a moonsault, but that was as close as they were getting.
Thorne was powerbombed over the top rope and onto the ring apron, which is the hardest part of the ring. Miller was given an exploder suplex into the corner and pinned after The Last Chapter.
They will face the winners of next week’s match between The Street Profits and Heavy Machinery.
Backstage: William Regal, Pete Dunne, Roderick Strong, Undisputed Era
Earlier today, William Regal was asked who he thought would win the Dusty Classic, but he wouldn’t pick a favorite and left. Pete Dunne showed up and said Roderick Strong took him to the limit, but the United Kingdom Championship is staying in the UK.
Strong walked up and said he couldn’t wait to do it again. Undisputed Era then came in, and Adam Cole mocked Strong for losing a lot. Dunne began what appears to be a babyface turn and told Cole he hasn’t won anything since he’s been here. Before fisticuffs could be exchanged, Mr. Regal returned and broke it up.
SAnitY were hanging out backstage. Eric Young said chaos rules in this universe. Alexander Wolfe said their chaos would continue in this year’s Dusty Classic because “United we burn.”
Killian Dain stared menacingly into the camera and told Aleister Black that tonight chaos would win.
Bianca Belair defeated Dru Renee
— WWE (@WWE) March 8, 2018
Renee got no offense and was pinned with a falling powerbomb. At least she didn’t get whipped by Belair’s hair.
Backstage: Lacey Evans, Shayna Baszler
Lacey Evans cut a promo about her match next week with Dakota Kai. She said she’s here to show that she is the classiest woman in NXT and Kai has no class. Evans is planning on testing Kai’s injured arm.
Speaking of Kai’s injured arm, Shayna Baszler stormed into the interview area, which caused Evans to leave. Baszler said she has been waiting for several weeks for Ember Moon to reply to her challenge. Baszler stated that when a fighter is challenged, they reply and this proves what kind of woman Moon is.
Backstage: Heavy Machinery
Heavy Machinery were grunting and lifting weights. They said they’re going to win the Dusty Classic.
In-Ring: Tommaso Ciampa
Tommaso Ciampa walked out to the arena with no music and dragging his crutch. The fans let him know that they were not happy and felt his skills were not up to par before chanting for Johnny Gargano. Ciampa eventually made it to the ring for his first promo since May. Well, he tried several times to cut his first promo since May, but every time he held the microphone to his mouth the fans would boo him even louder.
A small number of fans chanted derogatory statements about Gargano, but they were drowned out. Ciampa became the most popular wrestler in the company briefly when he threw down the mic without saying anything. As Ciampa slowly walked around the ringside area, the fans sang the “Hey Hey Goodbye” song and chanted “Delete” at him. Ciampa got huge heat by ripping a Gargano sign out of a fan’s hands, ripping it up and attacking it with his crutch before leaving.
Again, Ciampa took a sign and attacked it with his crutch to successfully get heat.
WWE United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne defends against Adam Cole
SAnitY vs. Tino Sabbatelli & Riddick Moss (who got back together after breaking up three weeks ago) in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic first round match
The Street Profits vs. Heavy Machinery in another Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic first round match
Aleister Black defeated Killian Dain
This was an unofficial number one contender’s match between two people who oh-so-desperately want to challenge Andrade “Cien” Almas for the NXT Championship. Black is allegedly still undefeated despite being pinned by Johnny Gargano in a fatal four-way match in December.
Dain exploded at the bell with a running dropkick and a series of corner splashes. Black finally moved out of the way of a charging Dain before chopping him down with kicks and a moonsault outside the ring to get the brief advantage. Dain took over and used his giant body to damage Black.
Dain made the mistake of letting Black get to his feet, so Black beat him down some more. Black used an Asai moonsault for a near fall. Black came off the top rope, but got clotheslined out of his boots.
Dain punched Black in the ribs time and time again, so Black kicked him in the hand. Dain used a Wasteland and a Vader Bomb, but Black kicked out. Dain went for the Ulster Plantation, but Black rolled through and took Dain’s head off with the Black Mass for the win!
An excellent main event capped off a really good episode of NXT, which actually only went 46 minutes this week, as opposed to 52-58. After the show, WWE confirmed that Black will be challenging Almas at TakeOver: New Orleans on April 7th.