Now that the smoke has cleared from TakeOver: Brooklyn, the NXT Universe's attention has turned toward the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. The tournament to honor the late WWE Hall of Famer kicked off this week, with regular teams, new pairings and even a few surprise entrants entering the fray.
The Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic continued in major fashion this week, as the longest-reigning NXT Tag Team Champions in history, The Ascension, returned to face the new pairing of Rhyno & Baron Corbin. The two teams squared off and almost immediately started exchanging blows.
The hard-hitting duos traded control, landing bombs back and forth until The Ascension had Rhyno in position for the Fall of Man. Corbin was able to take out Viktor, allowing The Man Beast to drop Konnor with the Gore and secure their place in the next round of the tournament.
After Blue Pants thwarted her plans to keep The Vaudevillains from dethroning Blake & Murphy as NXT Tag Team Champions, Alexa Bliss was out to teach the cerulean-clad competitor a lesson. Bliss wasted no time in pummeling Blue Pants into the canvas. Though Blue Pants tried to fight back, there was no counter for the pure rage of Bliss, who won the bout after connecting with the Glitz Flip and Sparkle Splash.
Tyler Breeze stormed into William Regal's office while the NXT General Manager was meeting with two of the hottest free agents in sports-entertainment, Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa. Prince Pretty demanded to be entered into the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. William Regal obliged, pairing Breeze with Bull Dempsey to face Gargano and Ciampa next Wednesday in a First-Round Match.
After his impressive NXT debut at TakeOver: Brooklyn, Apollo Crews made his first appearance at Full Sail University, taking on tough British grappler Martin Stone. Despite Stone's best efforts, Crews cruised to another remarkable win with his trademark gorilla press slam, followed by a breathtaking standing moonsault!
Eva Marie was riding high after her victory over Carmella in Brooklyn, and was perhaps looking past Billie Kay and toward Bayley's NXT Women's Championship. That all changed when Billie booted the beauty in the face. The “Total Divas” star unleashed her rage on Billie. Kay looked to have the upset win wrapped up after a suplex, but the referee ruled that Eva Marie's shoulder came up at the very last second. Eva followed up with Sliced Bread No. 2 to earn the victory.
The NXT Universe was in for a treat, as former NXT Champion Neville returned to enter the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic with Solomon Crowe. Jason Jordan & Chad Gable took control of the bout with their mat mastery, until Neville used his uncanny agility to counter their amateur wrestling throws. Eventually, Jordan & Gable were able to slow the bout down to their pace by trapping Crowe in their corner and tossing him around with ease.
Neville & Crowe's daredevil strategy looked to be paying off for them, but Jordan & Gable's power, along with their experience as a team, was the perfect counter. After evading an attack from Crowe in the corner, Jordan knocked Neville off the apron and tagged Gable in to hit Grand Amplitude on Crowe to advance in the tournament.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Baron Corbin & Rhyno defeated The Ascension (Konnor & Viktor) in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Tournament First Round Match (5:38)
- Alexa Bliss defeated Blue Pants (3:33)
- Apollo Crews defeated Martin Stone (2:57)
- Eva Marie defeated Billie Kay (3:38)
- Chad Gable & Jason Jordan defeated Neville & Solomon Crowe in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Tournament First Round Match (9:40)