Wrestling Review: WWE NXT, March 6 2019

Image Source: The Chairshot

This week’s episode of the Black and Gold Brand was almost entirely devoted to the first round of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. Ricochet and Aleister Black would take on Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner of the European Union, the Forgotten Sons would face Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch, Moustache Mountain would wrestle the Street Profits, and the main event was the reunited #DIY against Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish, who represented the Undisputed Era.

After the cold open hyped the eight teams, we were set for the first match.

Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic First Round Match
Ricochet & Aleister Black vs. The European Union

This was a truly international affair to kick things off, as an American and a Dutchman teamed together to take on a German and an Italian. Its competitors have also all appeared on multiple brands in recent weeks, with Ricochet and Black getting put over massively on Raw and Smackdown Live, and Barthel and Aichner having appeared on NXT UK. This was a terrific encounter, and was probably the fastest and most high-octane of the night. I highly recommend checking this one out. In the end, the main roster call-ups won after Black withstood some mean strikes from Aichner, only to nail a surprise Black Mass. It’s on to Fast Lane for the Dutch Destroyer and The One And Only, where they hope to capture the Raw Tag Team Championships in a three-way against The Revival and Bobby Roode and Chad Gable.

We then cut to backstage, where Moustache Mountain appeared to be doing some light stretching ahead of their match with the Street Profits. They realised someone was lurking behind them, and it turned out to be the War Raiders! Having been in attendance for a match between these two teams at a previous PROGRESS show, I do think it would be a mouthwatering contest, were it to happen on the bigger stage of NXT TakeOver.

After last week’s match between Keith Lee and Dominik Dijakovic was recapped, we were shown a pre-tape of Keith Lee sparring in the Performance Center with some fellow Superstars. All of a sudden, Dijakovic appeared, shouting about wanting to go right now in the ring with Lee, and had to be held back by the other wrestlers. We were then informed of a rematch between the two men in two weeks. I really liked the use of the Performance Center as a backstage setting, as it feels like a natural location for segments which build heat for feuds. More of this please, NXT!

Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic First Round Match
The Forgotten Sons (Wesley Blake & Steve Cutler) w/ Jaxson Ryker vs. Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch

This was a heavyweight clash between two teams who like to brawl with the best of them. I do find their character work, however, to be a little bland. Nigel McGuinness described The Forgotten Sons during their entrance as “a terrifying triumvirate, fuelled by vitriolic vengeance and a desire for acceptance and respect.” This sums them up pretty well, but not in the way that I think McGuinness intended. Much like the Forgotten Sons’ gimmick, it’s a lot of words that don’t really mean anything in particular. I also find Lorcan and Burch to be equally generic. Nonetheless, in the ring, this match wasn’t bad. The highlight for me was the story of Burch’s overexuberance, tagging Lorcan back in while he was still nursing a hurt back. They attempted to pick Cutler up for a double-team move, but Lorcan’s back couldn’t take the strain. Dispatching of Burch and withstanding some Lorcan offense, Cutler then continued to work on the back. He hit a nasty backbreaker, and when that didn’t garner a three-count, he locked in a Boston Crab. The finish also told the story of Lorcan’s back: a Blake powerbomb against the knees of Cutler, followed by a reverse DDT assisted by a double stomp off the middle rope. The Forgotten Sons are not forgotten yet.

Velveteen Dream/Matt Riddle Segment

Judging from this next confrontation, it looks a surefire thing that Velveteen Dream’s first NXT North American Championship defense will be against Matt Riddle at TakeOver: New York. Dream came out, stood on the announce table and reminded those in attendance that he is the new North American Champion. Such was the adulation from the Full Sail crowd, though, that I don’t think they needed any reminding! He was about to remind the crowd of something else too, when Riddle’s music cut him off. After congratulating Dream on his win, the Original Bro told him he wanted a closer look at the title. Dream fired back by telling him he wasn’t his bro, and with a click of his fingers, the arena plunged into darkness, save for a spotlight on Dream! That spotlight is making him, and his title, look real good right now.

We were then shown a short package hyping Io Shirai’s match with Bianca Belair next week. This mainly consisted of an interview with Shirai and Kairi Sane putting Io over. Shirai vs. Belair should be an interesting match.

Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic First Round Match
Street Profits vs. Moustache Mountain

The former NXT Tag Team Champions Moustache Mountain made a welcome return to NXT here, making the jump over from NXT’s British sister brand, NXT UK. It was a just a shame that their return came at the expense of the Street Profits, who have one of the most exciting entrances and theme songs in all of NXT. This was another engaging contest though. The finish was set up when Moustache Mountain quelled a Street Profits comeback. Angelo Dawkins had Tyler Bate in an electric chair position, and as Montez Ford was about to dive off the middle rope, Trent Seven struck him in the leg and hit a dragon suplex on the apron. This allowed Bate to scramble off Dawkins’ shoulders and hit a deadlift German suplex, which took forever to execute. Seven then tagged in and won with a Burning Hammer, assisted by a stomp off the top from Bate. Moustache Mountain will face The Forgotten Sons in the first semi-final next week.

Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic First Round Match
#DIY vs. The Undisputed Era (Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish)

This was a real dream match for me, and it certainly lived up to its status as such, while also serving to tell the story of the apparently successful reunion of #DIY. They faced last year’s Dusty Cup winners, The Undisputed Era, in an epic main event. After Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa came out to the stage separately with their own theme songs, Ciampa grasped Johnny by the shoulder and smiled at him knowingly, as the old #DIY theme song and tron video then hit, and they made their way down to the ring together. If you only watch one match from this show, make it this one. It was an incredible match which had #DIY on the same page throughout, and ended with them hitting their simultaneous superkick and running knee combo, Meet Me In The Middle, for the victory. How much of this coexistence is down to Ciampa’s manipulation of Gargano, seemingly to keep him away from what Ciampa values the most – the NXT Championship – remains to be seen. Where this leaves The Undisputed Era in the NXT landscape is also in question. But what is certain is that #DIY move on to the semis of the Dusty Cup to face their fellow main roster call-ups, Ricochet and Aleister Black.

Overall, this was a very entertaining episode of NXT, and was an amazing showcase of tag team wrestling on the brand. Four outstanding tag team matches were contested, and the semi-finals of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic were set.