We start off tonight's show with a quick word from GM Regal: The Dusty Rhodes Invitational Tag-Team Classic returns this year! Hey, that's great news. Last year was pretty fun, and this is a great way to introduce some new teams, considering the division has thinned out pretty badly. We don't know right away who all's in it this year, but you can probably make some educated guesses.
We go to the show open, and when we come back it's time for our opening contest. Perfect 10 Tye Dillinger's out to face Angelo Dawkins. Dawkins has really improved his punches, but that's about it, and a Tye Breaker ends his evening. Match Rating: Go Home, Angelo Dawkins. You've Got No Future Here.
Your Sad But Probably Accurate statement of the night, folks. Anyhoo, following the match, Bobby Roode is out. Didn't see that coming. He kind of talks down Dillinger, but then comes around. He says Tye's got a lot of potential, they've known each other a long time, and Roode really, really wants to win the Dusty Classic. So the question is left hanging, and Dillinger, after careful deliberation, bows to the crowd's thunderous demands and accepts Roode's hand of friendship. Perfectly Glorious!
Makes sense. I've been calling Roode's character a Shane Douglas run, so now he's got Dillinger to play Chris Candido to that. He just needs one more guy to complete his Triple...Thing.
Backstage, Hideo Itami is preparing for a match with Lince Dorado tonight, but he's not too busy to respond to Aries comments from last week. The quick summary? "NO, YOU'RE A COWARD BABY." Then, Itami offers to put that baby to sleep.
You know what? I really like Itami's promos. They're maybe not the "best" in a traditional sense, but there's something like a genuine sense of menace behind them. It really works for me.
Down to the ring, we have a new team coming out: The Ealy Brothers, Gabriel and Uriel. I assume their other brothers Raphael and Michael couldn't join us this evening. They're out to face the Revival, and...Nope, it's Samoa Joe. Down go the Ealys, while the Revival take a powder. I understand the Ealy's are softer targets, Joe, but you shouldn't give them a pass just because they're also heels. Once the Ealys are down, Joe gets on the mic to remind Regal that this keeps happening until he gets Nakamura, or he gets the title.
Dan Matha vignette. Hey, maybe he could join the Triple...Play?
Mandy Rose faces the Fallen Angel Ember Moon next. I'm going to keep calling her that until they fix her gimmick. Moon hits a really nice springboard crossbody block as a highlight, and overall Mandy's quite a bit better than I expected. Not exactly actually good, but she's definitely trying to sell the moves, and she's willing to take some hard bumps, even if her offense is pretty lousy. What I'm saying is, she's already better than Eva Marie. Anyhoo, I think we're calling Ember Moon's finisher the Eclipse, and while I am initially pretty concerned about Mandy's ability to take the move, she more or less proves me wrong as Ember Moon picks up another quick win. Match Rating: Better Than Anticipated, But Not Quite There Yet.
DIY are backstage. They have an invisible checklist, but that's not important. What is important is the reaction of human mic stand Cathy Kelley to all of this. When they get to the third item on their list, Ciampa asks her "are you ready?" and Kelley simply doesn't react at all. She just stares straight ahead like a mannequin. Like a powered-down robot. It is literally the least human reaction I've ever seen to a conversation, and it's incredible. An actual mic stand would be a better addition to the show than she is.
SAnitY - I don't know who or what this is. Move it along, already.
Wow, it really must be fall, because this show has been nothing but squash, our seasonal favorite. The Authors of Pain are out. Goodnight jobbers. Match Rating: Actually, One Jobber Got Press Slammed To The Floor, And That Was Pretty Nuts. After the match, Paul Ellering finally has something to say. Wait, no, never mind, because he gets on the mic and basically says nothing at all. Well, alright then. Thanks for killing a segment, guys.
Backstage, GM Regal wants us to know he has absolutely no updates on Nakamura. Thanks again. But wait, he can and will tell us about the teams involved in this year's Dusty Classic. Great! But before he can do that, Blake and Murphy interrupt. C'mon! They're back together, and they want in the tournament. It's pretty clear that this team isn't exactly functioning at their peak, though, so Regal sends them packing.
Man, I hope that they're putting Blake and Murphy back together so they can join Alexa Bliss on Smackdown Live. Maybe I was the only one, but man did I ever love their act.
Liv Morgan gets her match with Asuka next, and this should be real interesting. Wait, nope, it's over. Match Rating: No, Really, It Was A Forearm And, Like, An Omoplata Armbar, And That Was It. After that brisk bit of excitement, Asuka gets on the mic to let us know that "Nobody is ready for Asuka!" Sure seems that way, yes.
Next week, my prayers are answered as Andrade Almas teams up with Cedric Alexander following last week's spectacular contest. They'll be taking on the Revival, so, really, I wouldn't miss next week's show. That's going to be a really good match.
Tonight's main event is Lince Dorado vs. Hideo Itami, and this one had some problems, man. I mean, it was pretty good, but there was definitely some miscommunication here. They kept winding up just a bit off from one another. When they clicked it was great, but this was not the best outing the two of them could have. Anyhoo, we got a little NXT Main Event style to start, followed by a quick back-and-forth exchange. Itami took advantage with a springboard into a knee strike, then Dorado eventually countered back by dropkicking Itami to the floor, setting up a really nice Asai moonsault. We go to break, and come back to Dorado applying a nice, crisp armbar, but Itami eventually struggles free, and goes back on offense. He tries for a tornado DDT, but Dorado tries to counter, so Itami counter-counters by turning it into a tornado guillotine. Itami lays in his fighting spirit strike combo, but misses the hesitation dropkick. Dorado hits a hurricanrana for two, but misses a shooting star press. That sets up Itami to hit the hesitation dropkick, and then it's the GTS for a win. Match Rating: Actually, Let Me Take A Moment To Point Out How Much Better Itami's GTS Is Compared To The One I Spent Years Watching CM Punk Do. Itami celebrates afterwards, but if you've ever seen wrestling before, you know Aries won't be long, and yep, there he is. He clobbers Itami pretty good, but Itami manages a reversal to get on offense, so Aries bails, doing a spectacularly hilarious celebration up the ramp as he runs away. I genuinely feel Aries should do more comedy.
That's tonight's show. Not much in-ring action, if I can be honest, but next week's tag match should deliver the goods.
Originally posted by Spiraling_ShapeThere are so many brunette female backstage interviews running around NXT and WWE right now, it's hard to keep track. Or as my pal Brandon Stroud put it on UPROXX a few weeks back:
one of the mogwai that popped off Cathy Kelley when Commissioner Regal didn’t listen to Mr. Wing’s rules and spilled water on her."