As the Dusty Classic kicks off tonight, we’ll also see Johnny Gargano take on Dexter Lumis. While Candice LeRae battles against Shotzi Blackheart.
We began the show with a video recapping what went down at New Year’s Evil last week. Then we got a video showing what teams would be in the Dusty Classic and which teams we would see in action tonight.
After the videos we got the entrance of Shotzi Blackheart on her tank!
Candice LeRae defeated Shotzi Blackheart via Pinfall (Ms. LeRae’s Wild Ride)
Blackheart was on the offensive right away and started by targeting one of LeRae’s arms. While Blackheart was in control early on, Indi Hartwell made her presence known. Hartwell was able to distract Blackheart on the outside allowing LeRae to gain control going into picture in picture. Blackheart was able to get control after picture in picture, but Hartwell once again stuck her nose in Blackheart’s business leading to LeRae’s victory.
After the match, LeRae and Hartwell celebrated her victory. As they enjoyed their victory we saw the NXT Champion, Finn Balor making his way backstage.
Then right before commercial break we saw the arrival of Pete Dunne, Danny Burch, and Oney Lorcan.
When we returned from break Finn Balor was in the ring. Balor began by reminding us of the date and that he is still NXT Champion. Then he gave Kyle O’Reilly some props, calling him great, but said he isn’t on the Prince’s level.
O’Reilly may have stepped up last week, but similar to TakeOver 31 he was put down. Balor said the difference is O’Reilly now has the injured jaw. Then the champ said he put the red ‘X’ on his chest because he knows he is the target. Then he warned whoever is going to come at him next that they stopped manufacturing the cloth he is cut from.
Enter The Bruiserweight, Pete Dunne. Dunne is joined by the NXT Tag Team Champions, Burch and Lorcan.
After a beat, Dunne said Balor knew full well what is next for him. Dunne has been paying attention to Balor his whole career, knowing that it would come down to the two of them. While everyone has Balor down as the poster boy for European wrestling and he has the NXT Championship all because Dunne hasn’t taken it from him.
Two weeks ago Balor told Dunne to get in line, but he isn’t waiting anymore. Then Dunne, Burch, and Lorcan tried to make their attack on the champion but it didn’t start off so great. Balor was able to hold them off on his own for a bit, until Dunne snapped Balor’s arm off the ropes (the same arm O’Reilly targeted last week).
The trio had the upper hand on the champion until Kyle O’Reilly showed up! Once O’Reilly succumbed to the numbers game, Adam Cole and Roderick Strong made the save! This sent Dunne, Burch, and Lorcan running to the entrance ramp.
Once Balor got back to his feet, he had a stare down with the Undisputed Era. Balor didn’t seem to thrilled, but no further chaos occurred.
Backstage McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Johnny Gargano. Gargano complimented his wife on her victory and said the loss was what Blackheart deserved. Then Gargano addressed his upcoming match with Dexter Lumis. He said after he beats Lumis tonight, The Way would go on to win both the Men’s and Women’s Dusty Cups.
Mitchell then played devil’s advocate by reminding Gargano that Kushida and Blackheart defeated The Way in a mixed tag last week. Gargano found that rude and said the match shouldn’t have happened. While Gargano was addressing Mitchell, Austin Theory was trying to get his attention. When Theory finally did, he handed Gargano an envelope from “some guy” (Lumis).
The envelope had drawings of both Gargano and Theory. Neither man were thrilled by them. Then we went to commercial break.
We returned from break to see the Grizzled Young Veterans make their entrance. Zack Gibson had a mic and said that while they got to the finals of the Dusty Classic last year, they are looking for more this year. He said that 2021 is their year.
Before the match began, William Regal appeared on the tron to officially welcome everyone to the Dusty Classic.
Grizzled Young Veterans defeated Ever Rise via Pinfall (Ticket to Mayhem)
GYV began the match in control, but James Drake had to be calmed down by Gibson because well….Ever Rise Rules! Gibson seemed to have a game plan for his team and it worked. Ever Rise got in some offense, but GYV came prepared and focused and will be moving on in the Dusty Classic.
After the match, GYV celebrated their victory by going over to the Dusty Cup and looking at where their names could end up.
Then we took a look back on the Last Woman Standing match from New Year’s Evil. We got to take a look at it from the perspective of the winner, Raquel Gonzalez. Gonzalez actually began by showing us how just last year Rhea Ripley was dominating the women’s division, but her bright future hit a brick wall. Gonzalez compared Ripley to 2020…a bad memory we’re all trying to forget.
She then said she is looking ahead and at Io Shirai. After last week, the women’s division now knows there is a new baddest bitch in town. Then we went to commercial break.
Returning from break, McKenzie Mitchell checked with Shotzi Blackheart. Blackheart said while her match earlier tonight didn’t go the way she wanted, she isn’t going to whine about it. Instead Blackheart said she is turning her focus on making history in the first ever Women’s Dusty Classic. She said she knows that LeRae and Hartwell will be in it, so she needs a partner. A partner who will have her back and who she could win the whole thing with, someone she went to WAR with….Ember Moon then strolled up.
Moon said this isn’t just a tournament, this is their chance to make history. Then Moon said they were going to go balls to the wall…TCB. Then Moon gave a warning to all other competitors that they would be putting their names on the trophy.
Back at ringside Johnny Gargano was in the ring with Austin Theory by his side. Then Dexter Lumis made his entrance.
Johnny Gargano defeated Dexter Lumis via Pinfall
Gargano began the match by holding up the drawing Lumis gave to him and telling him he didn’t find it funny. Then Gargano ripped the drawing up, which led to Lumis hitting him right in the face! The action wound up outside of the ring partially due to the unorthodox ways of Lumis. After a commercial Gargano found his way back control of the match up. Theory didn’t become a factor in the match until Gargano found himself reeling from Lumis’ punches.
After the match Lumis crawled up behind Theory and put him in Silence! This happened while Gargano was celebrating with his North American Championship on the opposite side of the ring. Once Gargano realized what was happening he saved Theory.
After putting the boots to Lumis, Gargano grabbed a chair. Before Gargano could do anything with the chair Kushida made the save! Kushida was able to lock in the Hover Board on Gargano and if they were in a match, Gargano tapped out! After letting go of the submission, Kushida locked his eyes on the North American Championship.
Backstage McKenzie Mitchell caught up with Burch, Lorcan, and Dunne. Burch said Undisputed Era still thinks they run NXT, but everyone is currently fighting for a shot at their titles which means they run the place. He then warned them to keep their noses out of their business.
Dunne then addressed Kyle O’Reilly. He said that O’Reilly got in his way of the NXT Championship. Dunne then looked at Burch and Lorcan and said it was time to get O’Reilly out of his way.
Back at the commentary table, Wade Barrett said he had an opportunity early today to sit down with Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher. We were then shown footage of how that sit down went.
Thatcher said he is good to go after not being medically cleared last week. Whatever the injury was it is now a done deal. Ciampa then tried to ask about what the injury was, which of course Thatcher didn’t really answer.
When asked about if requesting a match in the fit pit was a mistake, Ciampa said it may be Thatcher’s match but he has been about changing the culture of the locker room. To change the culture he has to step into the enemies territory. Tensions were real high between the two competitors. Ciampa warned Thatcher that he would every single liberty that he wants in the fight pit. Before things got too heated, Barrett ended the interview while the competitors were in a staredown.
Then we went to another commercial break.
When we returned from break McKenzie Mitchell was backstage with Undisputed Era. Adam Cole said they were’t worried about Burch, Lorcan, and Dunne coming after them tonight because their entire careers they have had people after them. In the end they have dealt with those people and taught them a lesson.
Roderick Strong said that if the trio want to invite themselves down during their match, so be it. Kyle O’Reilly then said that the UE boys always have each other’s backs and he would be at ringside to keep the peace. Cole then said they have a lot of respect for Breezango, but UE would advance in the Dusty Classic tonight…thats Undisputed.
Back at ringside, we got the entrance of Jake Atlas and Isaiah ‘Swerve’ Scott. They would be facing the unknown team, MSK, in the Dusty Classic.
After they were introduced, MSK came out. MSK wound up being the team formerly known as The Rascalz. They now go by Wes Lee (Dezmond Xavier) and Nash Carter (Zachary Wentz).
MSK defeated Jake Atlas and Isaiah ‘Swerve’ Scott via Pinfall
It was a real impressive debut for MSK. The questionable paring of Swerve and Atlas began the match well, especially given the fact they didn’t know their opponents ahead of time, but Carter and Lee really took off. The two teams really shined and its truly a match up that should be watched by all. The end sequence is pretty brilliant, tag team wrestling at its finest.
After the match, Swerve and Atlas bickered and MSK took a look at the Dusty Cup.
Then we took a look at the Women’s Dusty Classic and found out the first four teams announced: Candice LeRae will be teaming with Indi Hartwell, Mercedes Martinez with Toni Storm, Kacy Catanzaro with Kayden Carter and of course Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart. The Women’s Dusty Classic begins next week!
After the exciting news we saw a video of Xia Li and Boa and were told Xia would be in action next. Then we went to commercial break.
When we returned from break we got a video from Scarlett. Scarlett appeared to be reading tarot cards. It all seemed to be a warning for Finn Balor. Tick Tock.
Xia Li defeated ??? (They never announced her) via Pinfall (Spin Kick)
It was a quick one folks! Xia won this match in a dominating fashion with a huge right hand and immediate kick.
After the match the mysterious woman that seems to be in charge of Xia and Boa appeared not to be happy with the victory. Xia then went back to attack her opponent some more. The woman still wasn’t happy, that is until Xia hit her opponent with a knee!
Then we got a promo from Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter. The two woman said they are used to being overlooked and gave a warning to their opponents next week (Mercedes and Toni). They said they were going to shock the world by winning the whole Dusty Classic.
Breezango and Undisputed Era then were making their way towards the ring before we went to commercial break.
Returning from break we found out that Bronson Reed helped separate Swerve and Jake Atlas as they were fighting backstage during the commercial. Swerve wasn’t thrilled that Reed appeared to be taking Atlas’ side.
Before our main event we were told that Lucha House Party would take on Imperium next week and The Way would face Kushida and Leon Ruff in Dusty Classic action.
Adam Cole and Roderick Strong defeated Breezango via Pinfall (Superkick)
Chaos describes the main event rather well. While Breezango and UE were having a good match, the looming threat of the appearance of Pat McAfee’s boys hung in the air. Commentary kept warning us that Kyle O’Reilly wasn’t even medically cleared to be there (TMJ injury).
Eventually the competitive, fast paced match up was interrupted by McAfee’s boys. Finn Balor attempted to make the save for O’Reilly but failed and was taken out by Dunne. Dunne then took out O’Reilly and appeared to make the jaw injury worse.
By the time Cole realize what happened to O’Reilly it was too late. Cole then had to focus on just finishing the match.
We ended the show with O’Reilly clutching his mouth, while surrounded by Strong and Cole, and Balor clutching his arm. Dunne, Burch, and Lorcan looked on from the top of the ramp proud of what they had accomplished.