TM61 and The Authors of Pain will clash at NXT TakeOver: Toronto in the final of the 2016 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. In the interest of keeping the playing field level, NXT General Manager William Regal has declared that Akam & Rezar's manager, WWE Hall of Famer Paul Ellering, will be suspended high above the ring in a cage, to prevent him from meddling in this historic battle.
Shane Thorne & Nick Miller have taken the NXT tag team division by storm since their arrival earlier this year. The world-traveled pair of Australians have hung in with the best teams NXT have to offer, including #DIY, The Revival and The Authors of Pain. TM61 have looked impressive in the Dusty Classic thus far. Their road to Toronto started with a win over Tino Sabbatelli & Riddick Moss in the opening round. It took a unique turn in the second round.
With Austin Aries unable to compete due to injury, Thorne took on Roderick Strong in singles action to determine which of their teams moved on. Thorne emerged victorious, setting up a showdown with SAnitY in the semifinals. TM61 was able to withstand the chaotic onslaught from Sawyer Fulton & Alexander Wolfe and the interference of Eric Young and Nikki Cross to cement their place in the final.
The Authors of Pain have unleashed pure devastation since their arrival in NXT, and the Dusty Classic has been no different. The undefeated Akam & Rezar bulldozed over The Bollywood Boyz in the first round. With an assist from Paul Ellering, The Authors defeated No Way Jose & Rich Swann to advance to the semifinals. The monstrous duo defeated #DIY to move on to Toronto, thanks to Ellering and NXT Tag Team Champions The Revival.
Because of Ellering's interference, Regal considered banning the Hall of Famer from ringside, but was threatened with legal action. Taking inspiration from Mattel's WWE Crash Cage playset, Regal found a way to keep Ellering at ringside (or above it), but unable to interject himself in the bout.
Which teams will have their names etched on the Dusty Cup as the winners of the 2016 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic? Find out at NXT TakeOver: Toronto, live and exclusively on WWE Network, tonight at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT!
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