This week’s episode of NXT saw the two semi-final matches in 2020 Dusty Rhodes Classic Tournament. The team of Matt Riddle and Pete Dunne who go by The BroserWeights defeated Imperium, and The Grizzled Young Veterans defeated the Undisputed Era. The two teams will face each other next week on NXT. My question is this; did the WWE ruin this year’s Dusty Rhodes Classic?
I ask this question for a number of reasons. The first reason is the competitors. When I found out that NXT UK was going to be involved in this tournament, I was excited. I thought it would be a perfect opportunity for the NXT UK wrestlers to get some exposure from the NXT America crowd.
Then I saw the bracket and was kind of upset to see NXT teams and NXT UK teams were facing each other all throughout the first round. I would’ve much rather liked to see an NXT side, and an NXT UK side of the bracket, with the finals, obviously being NXT vs. NXT UK. That is what we ended up getting, but I feel it should’ve been the best of one brand against the best of the other brand.
I love Matt Riddle and Pete Dunne separately, and the small number of weeks that we’ve seen them team up, I like what I’m seeing. But are we going to see another impromptu team win the tournament? Last year we saw Aleister Black and Ricochet team up and win. The very first Dusty Rhodes Classic was won by another impromptu team of Samoa Joe and Finn Balor. Why continue to have these new teams go deep into the tournament, just to have them break up soon after.
Then we have The Grizzled Young Veterans who are a fantastic team. But that’s who they picked to represent NXT UK here? And it’s not like it’s the worst team in NXT UK in the finals, but I would think you would want a team like Imperium, or even Andrews and Webster to showcase just how great NXT UK is. I can’t stress this enough, I love the team of James Drake and Zack Gibson, but I honestly feel the NXT crowd has no interest in them.
One of the other reasons is when this match is taking place. NXT and NXT UK will put on the World Collide show in the WWE Network. Why is this match not taking place on that show?! It’s literally NXT vs. NXT UK! The entire point of the show is NXT vs. NXT UK! You have matches like Rhea Ripley vs. Toni Storm, Finn Balor vs. Ilja Dragunov, and Moustache Mountain vs. DIY. This match should round out the show and crown the Dusty Cup winners on the WWE Network. Maybe they feel they will get more ratings for their war against AEW, but I’d rather stuff make sense than have great ratings.
One of the matches for Worlds Collide that I left off is the much-awaited Undisputed Era vs. Imperium match. I honestly feel like the Dusty Cup took a backseat to the feud, even though the teams only touched once during the tournament. UE showed up at NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool II and attacked Imperium. This gave Imperium an excuse to show up at NXT during Undisputed Era’s semifinal match against the Grizzled Young Veterans and cost them their match. But weirdly enough, UE didn’t attempt to cost Imperium their semifinal match against the BroserWeights.
I love tag team wrestling. I feel we all do when it’s done right. The Dusty Rhodes Classic doesn’t need any other storyline in my opinion. It’s 8 of the best teams in wrestling each trying to prove they are the best. We didn’t need UE and Imperium’s feud to spill into the tournament. They didn’t need it, because their match at Worlds Collide is a must-see regardless. I just feel like once they put the Undisputed Era and Imperium feud into the Dusty Rhodes Classic, it makes people only focus on that feud. And now that both teams are out of the tournament, people may not be paying as much attention.
As I said earlier, I love tag team wrestling and I’ve loved the Dusty Rhodes Classic since its inception. Maybe we can blame the fact that many great NXT teams have left NXT such as Street Profits, War Raiders, and Heavy Machinery. But we still have Undisputed Era, Forgotten Sons (who I enjoy) and great teams from the UK. Maybe I’m reading this all wrong, but I feel this year’s Dusty Rhodes Classic has been one of the worst when it should’ve been one of the best.
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