With incredible hard-hitting action, palpable drama and a weighty prize at stake, the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Final between Roderick Strong & WWE U.K. Champion Pete Dunne and The Authors of Pain had it all. The only thing missing, thanks to Undisputed ERA's Adam Cole & Kyle O’Reilly, was a clear-cut victor.
The much-anticipated final saw Akam & Rezar drub The Messiah of the Backbreaker and The BruiserWeight in the early goings, but Strong & Dunne used their increasingly sophisticated tag team arsenal to stay in the fight. Strong & Dunne hit AOP with combination enzuigiris/jumping knee strikes, and Akam & Rezar charged back with a clothesline and a big boot, leaving all four men floored and fatigued by battle.
Just then, Cole & O’Reilly snuck into the ring and attacked both teams, prompting the referee to call for the bell. If Cole & O’Reilly, in light of the recent injury suffered by Bobby Fish, thought their actions would spare Undisputed ERA from an NXT Tag Team Title defense Saturday at TakeOver: New Orleans, however, they had another thing coming.
NXT General Manager William Regal came to the stage and announced that Undisputed ERA will now face both Strong & Dunne and AOP in a Triple Threat Match at TakeOver: New Orleans — not only for the NXT Tag Team Titles, but also to decide the winners of this year's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic!
Cole & O’Reilly confronted Regal outside the arena later in the night, claiming his decision was unfair to Cole, who is already scheduled for TakeOver's NXT North American Title Ladder Match. Unmoved by their complaints, Regal gave Cole three choices: Compete in both championship contests, leave O’Reilly to fend for himself in the NXT Tag Team Title Triple Threat Match, or forfeit his spot in the Ladder Match. How will The Panama City Playboy respond this Saturday in The Big Easy?
Vanessa Borne showed no trepidation in the face of Mae Young Classic winner Kairi Sane. As the bout got underway, Borne punished The Pirate Princess with a rugged onslaught which included stomping Sane face-first into the bottom turnbuckle.
Yet, all the cruelty in the world wouldn't be enough for Borne to dim Sane's fighting spirit. Displaying the same pluckiness that carried her to the Mae Young Classic trophy, The Pirate Princess turned the tides when she drilled Borne with the Interceptor. Borne's chances went from slim to nil as Sane ripped into her with a double foot stomp and followed up with the InSane Elbow for an emphatic victory.
Not since Godzilla battled King Kong had two monsters the likes of Killian Dain and Lars Sullivan locked horns. Both super-heavyweights threw caution to the wind just days before they compete in the NXT North American Title Six-Man Ladder Match at TakeOver: New Orleans. Once the supersized clash ascended the turnbuckles, however, the match took a gnarly turn, as The Beast of Belfast rocked The Freak with a headbutt, causing both Superstars to tumble to the floor.
Sensing an opportunity, Velveteen Dream, another competitor in Saturday's Ladder Match, entered the fray and threatened to leap onto Dain and Sullivan. He switched gears, however, when Adam Cole scrambled into the squared circle, followed by yet another NXT North American Title Mach participant, EC3.
Not to be left out of the fun, “The One and Only” Ricochet then sprung into the center of the ring as his TakeOver opponents surrounded him. With the NXT Universe excitedly chanting Ricochet's name and all eyes glued on the acclaimed high-flyer, a tense standoff ensued as NXT went off the air.
Which Superstar will add his name to the record books and become the inaugural NXT North American Champion this Saturday in New Orleans?
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Pete Dunne & Roderick Strong vs. The Authors Of Pain (Akam & Rezar) (w/ Paul Ellering) in a Final Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Match ended in a No Contest (8:06)
- Dark Match: Ricochet defeated Christopher Dijak
- Kairi Sane defeated Vanessa Borne (4:17)
- Dark Match: The Velveteen Dream defeated Trent Seven
- Killian Dain vs. Lars Sullivan ended in a No Contest (6:00)
Other on-screen talent