Tonight, round 2 of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic kicks off! NXT switches back-and-forth from two locations for the tournament in San Jose and back in Full Sail. How did the team of Austin Aries & Roderick Strong manage to represent themselves after Aries’ recent injury? Were the two undefeated and thrilling teams of SAniTY and Authors of Pain knocked out of the tournament? See who advanced to the semi-finals, find out what Cedric Alexander had to say to Andrade “Cien” Almas, the continued tag team rivalry between #DIY and The Revivals and more!

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The show opens with WWE Broadcaster Charly Caruso reporting from the WWE Performance Center. She recaps the progress of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic and goes on to talk about the start of the round 2 matches that played out through the NXT tour in San Jose State University in California this past week. First, the team noted was Austin Aries and his partner, new NXT Superstar, Roderick Strong.

Austin Aries & Roderick Strong Vs. TM61

Austin Aries was not dressed to compete. However, he still received a loud ovation from the San Jose crowd. A couple of days ago he suffered what he called a “freak injury.” Aries suffered an orbital fracture by a kick to the face by NXT Champion Shinsuke Nakamura.

Aries stated he wanted to fight but due to the warnings of NXT officials he wouldn’t be cleared to compete. Then he advised his opponent’s in TM61 that it would be in their best interests to step down and let he and his partner move on and that it would save themselves an embarrassing beating from the Messiah of Backbreakers.

NXT General Manager, William Regal, confirms that Aries is not able to compete tonight and reveals that Aries will be able to compete next week but in the meantime, Strong and either one member of TM61, in a singles competition, would determine which team would go on to the semi-finals of the tag team classic. It was decided that Shane Thorne would be the one representing the team.

We haven’t seen much of the members of TM61 in singles competition but we’re taken back by the quickness of Thorne with a standing moonsault with a two count early in the match. Strong, with his strong veteran background, catches Thorne into a backbreaker onto the top rope but not just with one. Strong is able to catch Thorne midair into another backbreaker. They don’t call him the Messiah of Backbreakers for nothing. Strong later finds himself in a power bomb but the referee is distracted by Aries as Thorne goes for the cover. This allows Strong to deliver a high knee that Thorne is able to kick out off. Aries offers another distraction but not in favor of his team as Thorne manages to roll Strong up with a small package for the win.

Results: Shane Thorne defeats Roderick Strong via pinfall

Next week NXT Champion Shinsuke Nakamura and Samoa Joe will meet for the contract signing of their big rematch at NXT TakeOver: Toronto.

Round 2 Match: #DIY (Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa) Vs. The Revival

Back at Full Sail, the two teams battle it out in a rematch. To everyone’s confusion, Scott Dawson comes out with crutches. He proclaims that he suffered a “severe” knee and “career-threatening” injury. He also states that with the advice of a “world class” doctor that he and his partner have to “pull out” of the tag team classic. Dash Wilder believes and tells Gargano and Ciampa that they are doing them a favor and saving them from yet another loss to the “top guys.” They also don’t let it be forgotten that they are the top guys and clink their tag team titles. Nonetheless, Gargano and Ciampa will move on to the next round.

Results: #DIY via forfeit by The Revival

Backstage, #DIY walk backstage discussing what just happened. They display a facial representation of the unamused emoji saying that they were not surprised by The Revivals actions and that after their focus on winning the tag team classic, they will, sooner or later, get their hands on the top guys.

Next, Dasha Fuentes interviews Cedric Alexander, who reflects on his time so far in NXT. Particularly mentioning the actions and betrayal of Andrade “Cien” Almas, Alexander says that his actions taught him a valuable lesson about not just “being happy to here,” then welcomes Almas to a match to settle out their differences in the ring anytime.

Round 2 Match: Rich Swann & No Way Jose Vs. Authors of Pain

It’s kind of hard to watch this match when you’ve got two of the most positive and fun athletes against the undefeated and intimidating team in NXT. It was a valiant effort though. Akam and Jose begin the match and through the efforts of Jose he was able to surprise Akam with a school boy pin for a count of one then quickly tagging Swann. After a hurricurana by Swann Akam tags Rezar. Same can be said with Swann as he throws punches at Rezar who measly shrugs it off. He later leaps into the arms of Rezar and is caught in a bear hug. After drop kicking Rezar, who charges at Swann only to fall through the ropes along with his partner, Swann tries to dive onto both members but is caught. Jose then comes over and dives on top of everyone. Once back in the ring, Rezar takes full control of Swann and soon tags Akam back in. After an enziguri by Swann he tags Jose in, who hits a TKO on Akam for a two count. Outside of the ring, Rezar grabs Swann throwing him head first into the steel steps. As Jose checks on Swann it allows for the Authors of Pain to deliver the Last Chapter finisher and of course with the aid of Paul Ellering, the Authors of Pain advance to take on team of Gargano & Ciampa of #DIY in the semi-finals.

Results: Authors of Pain via pinfall by The Last Chapter

TJ Perkins & Kota Ibushi Vs. SAniTY (Alexander Wolfe & Sawyer Fulton)

The match starts with Ibushi and Wolfe. Wolfe locks in a side headlock to bring Ibushi on his knees. Ibushi escapes and lands a dropkick and sending Wolfe into the ropes then tags in Perkins. Perkins tries to launch at Wolfe, who simply catches him but Perkins’ quick counters turns Wolfe’s slam attempt into a roll up. Just as Wolfe kicks out he manages to slide into a knee bar – the signature submission of the former Cruiserweight Champion. Wolfe soon tags Fulton but as soon as he found himself in a knee bar and roll up of his own, quickly tags his partner back. After a short break, Ibushi and Fulton are the legal men but Ibushi soon tags Perkins back in. As Wolfe rolls outside of the ring, Ibushi hits a triangle moonsault, meanwhile, Perkins attempts to hit Fulton on the other side of the ring but is caught and slammed on the apron. This miscalculated move allows both members of SAniTY to take turns on Perkins. Perkins manages to escape from a bear hug and tag Ibushi. Then, just when you think the quick and slick style of Ibushi and his power bomb to Wolfe is enough for you to think they could do the unthinkable, the remaining and accompanying members of SAniTY, Eric Young and Nikki Cross, distract the referee allowing Fulton to break a pin. Fulton and Wolfe plant their finisher to Ibushi to move on to the semi-finals of the tag team classic. Their leader, Young, is shown very pleased of his representing team.

Results: SaNiTY via pinfall

Let us know what you thought about this week’s episode of NXT.

Which tag team match was your favorite or least favorite?

Which tag team do you think will win the Dusty Rhode Tag Team Classic?

What do YOUR brackets look like?

Do you think team #DIY will ever get their hands on The Revival?

What about the feud between Alexander and Almas? How will Almas retaliate to Alexander’s inivation?

Which match are you looking forward to at NXT TakeOver: Toronto?

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