COMMENTATORS: Vic Joseph & Nigel McGuinness
The Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic rolls on this week on 205 Live as the final first round match in the Men’s tournament main events, while the women make their first appearance on the show as Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell of The Way take on the debuting Gigi Dolin & Cora Jade.
- NXT CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPION: Santos Escobar
- 2021 DUSTY RHODES CLASSIC QUARTERFINALS (WOMEN’S): Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell vs. Gigi Dolin & Cora Jade
- 2021 DUSTY RHODES CLASSIC 1ST ROUND (MEN’S): Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher vs. Ariya Daivari & Tony Nese
-The opening video recapped the Dusty Classic action from NXT two days prior. The 1st annual Women’s Classic featured a major upset as Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter defeated Mercedes Martinez & Toni Storm thanks to a distraction from Io Shirai, while the Men’s also featured an upset of sorts as Leon Ruff & KUSHIDA defeated Johnny Gargano & Austin Theory of The Way and Lucha House Party (Gran Metalik & Lince Dorado) defeated Imperium (Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel), who had to be one of the favorites going in. The tournament was also shaken up thanks to the attack of Karrion Kross, who took out Desmond Troy and Ashantee The Adonis. After a brutal Fight Pit in which Timothy Thatcher got the victory, he and Tommaso Ciampa decided to take their place. A TAG TEAM THAT BARELY GETS ALONG? Finally!
2021 WOMEN’S DUSTY RHODES TAG TEAM CLASSIC: QUARTERFINALS
The Way (Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell) defeated Gigi Dolin & Cora Jade when Hartwell pinned Jade (5:54)
- Dolin (Priscilla Kelly) and Jade (Elayna Black) made their WWE roster debut in this match and it was quick, as they were just announced as being signed earlier in the week. Kelly had previous experience in WWE, having competed in the 2018 Mae Young Classic.
- Good win for The Way, as the women prove that they are far more capable of getting it done than the men in their group. Hartwell especially looked good here, getting the victory when LeRae couldn’t manage it. Dolin & Jade didn’t get a lot of time but looked pretty good in their debut, Dolin especially who got a little more shine. I will probably say this A LOT in reviews and on Twitter but Gigi Dolin is a TREMENDOUS ring name and probably my new favorite in WWE.
-Next Wednesday’s NXT was hyped as Santos Escobar will be defending his NXT Cruiserweight Championship against Curt Stallion, who earned his title shot weeks ago on 205 Live. It seemed like they were going to brush it aside for awhile but I guess I was wrong. It makes sense to have it on NXT I guess but I was really hoping Stallion would have gotten the shot on 205 Live since that’s where most of his meteoric rise has been.
2021 DUSTY RHODES TAG TEAM CLASSIC: 1ST ROUND
Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher defeated Ariya Daivari & “The Premier Athlete” Tony Nese when Ciampa pinned Nese following Widow’s Peak (8:14)
- Thatcher made Ciampa submit in the Fight Pit on NXT this week, but they decided they respected each other so much they wanted to team up as well to take the vacant spot left by the injured Ashante Thee Adonis & Desmond Troy. The duo had a rough start, reluctantly tagging in the beginning, but eventually started working well as a team. Daivari & Nese, the remaining 205 Live team still in the tournament, tried their best to make it through to the Quarterfinals, working Ciampa’s knee (which was hurt in the Fit Pit) and hitting a nice springboard moonsault/Persian Splash combo but it wasn’t meant to be. Ciampa picked up the win, staring Thatcher down the whole time as he covered Nese. CAN THEY GET ALONG? WHO KNOWS!
- Good match, I liked Ciampa & Thatcher slowly gelling as the match went on and they realized that they could make a run at this. Daivari & Nese looked good here too, even color-coordinating like a real team does, but 205 Live is the D-show so I shouldn’t have been surprised. Cool of WWE to house some of the Dusty Classic matches on the show, boo to WWE for having the few 205 Live teams get punked out in short order on said show. It didn’t feel as egregious as last week where Stallion & Grey lost to the comedy team of Drake Maverick & Killian Dain, but still. I know no one else probably cares but that bugged me a little bit, I’ll own up to it.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Solid matches this week, plus we got a couple of super fresh debuts in Gigi Dolin and Cora Jade. Would have liked at least ONE team from the brand to make it to the Quarterfinals but that’s me and my dumb brand optimism. As the fields narrow I think 205 Live will “go back to normal” soon but I think we’ll get a couple more Dusty Classic matches at least next week.