Top 3 Performers on NXT (March 6, 2019)
The first round of the Dusty Rhodes Classic was the focus on WWE NXT this week with the first round matches taking place. After a video package highlighted all the teams and displayed the tournament bracket, it transitioned into Ricochet and Aleister Black coming to the ring for their first match of the tournament. They faced the European Union tag team of Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel. Aichner and Barthel are more known as a tag team on NXT UK but previously performed as singles competitors on NXT before becoming a team.
The match was fast paced as Black started in the ring with Fabian Aichner, but Aichner and Barthel would make several quick tags isolating Aleister Black in the ring and unable to bring in Ricochet. After several minutes of being on the apron, Ricochet finally got the tag and quickly took out both Barthel and Aichner, throwing Aichner into Barthel and hitting Barthel with a neck breaker.
However, Barthel and Aichner would perform several double-team moves on Ricochet as Aleister Black struggled to make it on to the apron. Aichner and Barthel would get several near falls against Ricochet before he was able to tag in Black again. Black was almost caught after Aichner caught Black when he went for his moonsault from the middle ropes. Aichner would get another 2-count when he countered the Moonsault into a version of a victory roll pin. Black would recover to hit Aichner with Black Mass for the win.
Dijakovic and Keith Lee would follow up their count-out draw with a confrontation at the Performance Centre. Lee would be in the ring with Drew Gulak, Danny Burch, Eric Bugenhagen, and a rookie. Dijakovic would challenge Lee to a rematch and a rematch was booked for two weeks time.
The next fight was the first round match between the Forgotten Sons against Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan. Danny Burch and Steve Cutler would start in the ring first for their respective teams. The Forgotten Sons would establish control with a series of quick tags back and forth while isolating Oney Lorcan away from his corner. Eventually, he would get the hot tag to Burch.
Burch would gain control of the match before tagging back an injured Lorcan. They tried to hit their high angle DDT on Cutler, but Lorcan wasn't able to catch Cutler's leg. Taking advantage of the injury, Cutler would come back and hit Lorcan with a Butterfly Backbreaker but would only get a two count, but would transition into a Boston Crab. Burch broke up the submission and Lorcan would tag him back in.
Several quick tags would be made and Burch and Lorcan would be in control and looking to hit another double team move. Blake would interrupt the attempt taking out Burch, while Cutler would catch Lorcan and Powerbomb him on to Blake's legs. Blake and Cutler would then hit a combination Reverse DDT and Stomp for the win.
The Velveteen Dream would come out to stand on the announcers table and deliver a promo reminding people that he was the new NXT North American champion. He was cut off by Matt Riddle, who congratulated the Dream on his title win. Riddle looks to be positioned as the Velveteen Dream's next challenger for the North American title which could be an interesting competition, but the Dream ended the segment with the spotlight on him as usual.
A short video package regarding the feud between Bianca Belair and Io Shirai, who are both jockeying for the position of number one contender for Shayna Baszler's NXT Women's title.
The next Dusty Rhodes Classic matchup saw two face teams come head to head in the Street Profits facing off against former NXT Tag Team Champions Mustache Mountain. Bate and Dawkins started in the team and begun the match with some chain wrestling, Dawkins would tag in Ford and Bate would bring in mentor Trent Seven before long, but Seven wasn't able to establish himself before Ford would bring Dawkins back into the fight.
After fighting out of Dawkins cravat, both Dawkins and Bate would get tags to their partners. Tyler Bate would gain an advantage, but Dawkins would break up the pin. At the end of the match, Seven would get Ford up for the Burning Hammer as Bate came down with a double foot stomp from the Top Turnbuckle for the win. They will face off against Forgotten Sons in the Semi-Finals on their side of the bracket.
The final first-round match and the main event of this weeks episode saw the Undisputed Era take on the newly reformed DIY. Both teams are former NXT Tag Team Champions, but while the Undisputed Era won last years Dusty Rhodes Classic, DIY is zero from two attempts at winning the tournament, having failed in both the 2015 and 2016 tournament. Fish and Gargano would start together in the ring with a series of quick arm drags. Both teams would perform quick tags with DIY getting the advantage.
The Undisputed Era would fight back and isolate Johnny Gargano in their corner. Fish and O'Reilly would keep Gargano in their corner using quick tags and double team submissions. Johnny Wrestling would eventually get to his partner allowing Tommaso Ciampa absolutely clearing the ring. He would hit a Tower of London, but would only get a two-count.
After hitting Ciampa hit a series of German suplexes, he would hit O'Reilly with a Blue Thunderbomb for another two-count. The classic would end with DIY hitting O'Reilly with their rope assisted DDTs and finally finished off the match with their Meet In The Middle Kicks to get the pinfall victory. They advanced to the semi-finals to face off against the team of Ricochet and Aleister Black. The four have a significant history as Black and Ricochet lost their titles to Ciampa and Gargano respectively. Their celebrations were interrupted by War Raiders coming to the top of the ramp. The image of DIY in the ring with War Raiders at the top of the ramp holding their titles aloft closed out the episode.