He’s Just a Common Man, Working Hard With His Hands – NXT Recap – March 7, 2018

The bracket is set and in our final night of footage from Center Stage in Atlanta, GA, we get the first match in the opening round of the 3rd Annual Dusty Rhodes Classic.

  • So Nice We Needed It Twice:  The Authors of Pain meet TM61 in the opening match of the tag team classic, a rematch of the finals from 2017, when the AoP were victorious and took home the Dusty Rhodes Classic trophy en route to a tag championship opportunity.  This one went the same way, with TM61 throwing everything they could at Ellering’s soldiers of misfortune but it just wasn’t enough, as The Authors of Pain advance to the semi-finals.
  • Something, Something, Bianca Bel Air, Somthing: I can’t even watch a Bianca Bel Air match anymore.  It’s not because she’s not a good performer.  She’s wildly athletic.  I can’t be ok with her hair whip not being considered a weapon and costing her matches by DQ every time she uses it.  The rules can’t just apply all willy-nilly, no matter how much I have to suspend disbelief to watch professional wr…..sports entertainment.  I’m sure BBA won, as she gets a ton of squash matches.
  • The Blackheart Has Emerged:  Tommaso Ciampa comes out with no music, stands in the ring and let’s the boos of the crowd anger him, climbs out and steals a Gargano sign from a guy in the front row, tears it in half, beats the pieces to death with his crutch (which he clearly no longer needs), and stands on the stage drinking in the boos with arms wide like Jericho.  It was epic.  He never has to speak, just show up, stand silent, get angry, wreck shit.  That’s the Sicilian Psychopath.
  • Body Hair and Tattoos:  Killian Dane and Aleister Black face off, each looking to challenge Andrade “Cien” Almas at TakeOver: New Orleans for the NXT Championship.  I hate the Killian Dane booking, because he’s a monster and should be booked as so, but there’s quite a few in the L column on his match record, including this one.  Black Mass gets the pinfall and Aleister will now most likely get the opportunity at Almas at TakeOver for the NXT Championship.

Overall:  Two good matches, a great wordless promo segment and a few minutes I skipped through to save myself the internal turmoil over their lack of rule enforcement, all-in-all a pretty solid episode.  It gets a B+, mostly because I get disappointed by any hour of NXT television that doesn’t have at least a backstage interview with Velveteen Dream, and BRING ME RICOCHET ALREADY, DAMN IT!