The slick teamwork of Moustache Mountain pushed Tyler Bate & Trent Seven to the brink of victory against Steve Cutler & Wesley Blake, but it wasn't enough to nullify the ferocious presence of Jaxson Ryker.
The Forgotten Sons’ “heavy hitter” disrupted the Semifinal Match as the back-and-forth battle entered the home stretch. By that point, Seven had already survived a prolonged attack on his knee and tagged in “Textbook” Tyler, whose insane power and athleticism turned the tide in Moustache Mountain's favor. Bate & Seven felled Wesley Blake with their trusty rebound punch/Dragon suplex combination and went for the pin, but Ryker sneakily draped Blake's foot over the bottom rope, forcing a rope break.
Moments later, “The Big Strong Bois” set up Cutler for another one of their signature double-team moves — the Burning Hammer/knee drop combo — but Blake shoved Bate to the floor, where Ryker walloped him with a vicious blow. The menacing Superstar then rolled Bate into the ring, leaving him easy prey for Blake & Cutler, who devoured him with a tandem inverted DDT/stomp for the three-count and passage into the 2019 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Final.
NXT Women's Champion Shayna Baszler saw to it that neither Io Shirai nor Bianca Belair had her hand raised when The Genius of the Sky and The EST of NXT fought each other for the right to challenge Baszler at TakeOver: New York.
With a golden opportunity at stake, Shirai and Belair went full bore before The Queen of Spades, who sat in on commentary for the match, imposed her will. Shirai soared around the ring with speed and precision, while Belair used her clear power advantage to out-muscle the Japanese Superstar. After Belair cut down Shirai with a vicious spear, however, Baszler stormed the ring.
The callous NXT Women's Champion ripped Shirai from the squared circle before forcing Belair into unconsciousness with the Kirifuda Clutch. Longtime Baszler rival Kairi Sane entered the fray next, but Baszler quickly put her to sleep with another Kirifuda Clutch. Shirai then re-entered the ring to try to save her best friend Sane, but it only gave The Submission Magician the chance to complete the trifecta and turn out the lights of another would-be contender with her debilitating hold.
Although Baszler stood tall over all three Superstars, her rampage didn't clear her dance card for TakeOver: New York. Instead of eliminating any potential challengers, Baszler's ambush prompted NXT General Manager William Regal to rule later in the night that Baszler will face Shirai, Belair and Sane in a championship Fatal 4-Way Match on April 5, a decision that left Baszler speechless.
If Johnny Gargano's decision to reunite with NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic caused the NXT Universe to question whether Gargano had fallen under The Blackheart's spell, tonight's shocking turn of events — in which Gargano carried out a premeditated attack on Ciampa — revealed that Johnny Wrestling knew what he was doing all along.
Ricochet & Aleister Black toppled Ciampa & Gargano in the semifinal round of this year's tournament, but that feat, as notable as it was, was overshadowed almost immediately by #DIY's implosion at Gargano's hands.
Gargano carried out his plan to perfection. Bell to bell, there were no clues to his true motive, as #DIY operated cohesively while going toe-to-toe with Ricochet & Black. But when Gargano seemed to injure his leg late in the match after a nasty pileup in the ring, the NXT Champion was left to go it alone against The One and Only and The Dutch Destroyer. Outnumbered, it wasn't long before Ciampa fell to the Black Mass and Ricochet's 630 Splash.
Candice LeRae came to ringside to check on her husband, and she and Ciampa assisted the limping Gargano up the ramp. As soon as they got to the entrance stage, however, Ciampa showed his true colors and went to slam Johnny Wrestling into the LED board in a scene eerily reminiscent of #DIY's first breakup at TakeOver: Chicago in 2017. The only problem was that Gargano was waiting for it. He put the brakes on Ciampa before spinning The Blackheart head-first into the LED board. Shaking out his leg to prove that he had feigned the injury, Gargano then drilled Ciampa with a superkick, as a smile stretched across Candice's face and the NXT Universe rejoiced.
DIY rose to prominence in the inaugural Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic and now, more than three years and many twists and turns later, the Dusty Classic is where #DIY ends. While what's next for Ciampa and Gargano remains a mystery, the path forward for Ricochet & Black is anything but. They now turn their attention to the Dusty Classic Final in two weeks, where an NXT Tag Team Title opportunity against The War Raiders at TakeOver: New York will hang in the balance.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- The Forgotten Sons (Steve Cutler & Wesley Blake) (w/ Jaxson Ryker) defeated Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven & Tyler Bate) in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic 2019 Semi Final Match (9:38)
- Bianca Belair vs. Io Shirai ended in a No Contest in a NXT Women's Championship #1 Contendership Match (5:31)
- Aleister Black & Ricochet defeated #DIY (Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa) in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic 2019 Semi Final Match (13:27)
Other on-screen talent
- NXT #343 at CAGEMATCH.net
- [ NXT #343 at WWE.com]
- [ NXT #343 on WWE Network]