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Wrestling

2020 Dusty Rhodes Classic Predictions

A couple of weeks ago, NXT announced they will be holding the 5th annual Dusty Rhodes Classic. On New Years Day 2020, during the 2019 NXT Year-End Awards show, NXT announced the 8 teams that will be competing in the 2020 Dusty Rhodes Classic.

Below you will see the bracket that NXT posted to their social media pages. Using this bracket, I will be making my predictions for each match, until I crown the winner of the 2020 Dusty Rhodes Classic.

NXT

Round 1

Imperium v. The Forgotten Sons

Each first round match will be an NXT team going up against an NXT UK team. The first of those matches will be Imperium, represented by Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner going up against The Forgotten Sons, represented by Wesley Blake and Steve Cutler.

If WALTER was in this match, I would be hesitant to pick The Forgotten Sons. But I personally believe that the Forgotten Sons are future NXT Tag Team Champions. I think they have a different look as a team, and Jaxson Ryker (not in the match) is a very underrated talent. I see The Forgotten Sons pulling away with the win in round 1.

Prediction: The Forgotten Sons

Mark Andrews/Flash Morgan Webster v. Pete Dunne/Matt Riddle

We see an out of nowhere pairing with Pete Dunne and Matt Riddle taking on former NXT UK Tag Team Champions Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster. We’ve seen random pairings happen in the Dusty Rhodes Classic before with last years winners Aleister Black and Ricochet, and the inaugural Dusty Rhodes Classic winners Finn Balor and Samoa Joe.

Webster and Morgan are a really talented tag team in NXT UK and resonate with the fans. Dunne is no stranger to the Dusty Rhodes Classic, and Matt Riddle is a fan favorite of the NXT Crowd. I feel like when NXT puts two singles stars together, they have them do pretty well. But for some reason I feel this will be the time when it fails. I think Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster will get the victory here.

Prediction: Mark Andrews/Flash Morgan Webster

Grizzled Young Veterans v. Kushida/???

I’m going to start this off by saying this. If WWE somehow get Alex Shelley to be Kushida’s partner, I may lose my mind. The Time Splitters were one of the best tag teams in NJPW for a good 3 years, and Alex Shelley even made an appearance at Evolve 133 after Kushida defeated JD Drake. If this happens…man I don’t know what I’d do.

No matter who Kushida’s partner is, they’ll be taking on the first NXT UK Tag Team Champions, James Drake and Zack Gibson, Grizzled Young Veterans. Gibson and Drake dominated the WWE United Kingdom Tag Team Tournament, and went on to defeat Moustache Mountain in the finals to become the champions. If Shelley is Kushida’s partner, I see it as a “one last match” type of situation for the Time Splitters, so I’m putting my money on the Grizzled Young Veterans.

Prediction: Grizzled Young Veterans

Gallus v. Undisputed Era

The match that I cannot wait to see. Two incredible tag teams that each have great tag team chemistry and are apart of two really captivating stables on their brands. Not to mention, Gallus and Undisputed Era are the tag team champions of NXT UK and NXT respectively.

This is a tough match to call as I can see both teams in the finals of the Dusty Rhodes Classic. Undisputed Era won the Dusty Rhodes Classic in 2018, and were eliminated from the tournament last year in the first round when they lost to the returning team of Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano, DIY. The Undisputed Era currently hold all of NXT’s Championships, and they’ve proven in the past that they have no issue putting over other wrestlers. For some reason, I just feel that Gallus will beat the NXT Tag Team Champions.
Prediction: Gallus

Semi-Finals

Flash Morgan Webster/Mark Andrews v. The Forgotten Sons

In the first semi-final match I believe it will be Flash Morgan Webster and Mark Andrews taking on The Forgotten Sons. Jaxson Ryker is the wild card for Forgotten Sons. We’ve seen him time and time again get involved on the outside and help Blake and Cutler win matches, and I don’t see anything different happening here.

I think it would be beneficial for NXT to have 3 NXT UK teams in the semi-finals. It would shed a light on NXT UK to the American fans that aren’t already fans of NXT UK. Die hard wrestling fans know just how talented the NXT UK roster is, and having three teams from the United Kingdom in the semi-finals would show just how impressive wrestling is across the pond.

Prediction: The Forgotten Sons

Grizzled Young Veterans v. Gallus

The only NXT UK v. NXT UK match I predict happening in the Dusty Rhodes Classic is between two amazing teams. Here, you have the current NXT UK Tag Team Champs taking on the first NXT UK Tag Team Champs. This could be the match that puts the UK brand on the map in the states.

We all know what the two teams can do, and now it’s time for them to put on a show for the NXT crowd at Full Sail University. The NXT UK Champions are currently finishing a transition into baby faces, and to be honest, it’s gone pretty well. I had my doubts at first, but their feud with Imperium has really shown what they could do as a baby face tag team. With their first round match up and this one, I could see the NXT crowd getting behind Gallus.

Prediction: Gallus

Dusty Rhodes Classic Final

The Forgotten Sons v. Gallus

I think this would be an incredible final match up for the Dusty Rhodes Classic. Both teams have that rough and tough look (granted Gallus are baby faces now) and both have an extra man in Jaxson Ryker and Joe Coffey.

I’ve felt since the recent tag team moves of Street Profits, War Raiders and Heavy Machinery out of NXT, that the NXT tag division is missing a second team on par with the Undisputed Era. Right now, other than the the Sons and UE, there are only Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan, and an injured Breezango. Having The Forgotten Sons win the Dusty Rhodes Classic will make them a top team in NXT.

Prediction: The Forgotten Sons

In the end, I do believe this is a tournament for The Forgotten Sons to win. They’ve been lost in the shuffle when NXT was full of incredible tag teams, but now that there are really only 3 legitimate teams, this could be the time for them. I expect a great tournament regardless, and the addition of NXT UK makes for even more great potential.

Photo Credit: Mike Rosa/GCSN

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