We honor the memory of Dusty Rhodes with the 6th annual Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. This year the field of talent is larger than ever before.
This year the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic is stacked more than ever. While there has been a whole other tournament added, the men’s tournament has been expanded to sixteen teams. So far, we have seen five teams advance: last year’s runner-ups Grizzled Young Veterans, Drake Maverick and Killian Dain, Legado del Fantasma, Adam Cole and Roderick Strong repping The Undisputed Era, and last but definitely not least, MSK.
The newest team in NXT, the team that was formerly known as The Rascalz in Impact Wrestling, MSK have to be favorites in the tournament. However, there are still six teams waiting to advance. Imperium, The Way, Lucha House Party, and more could move on to give the formerly mentioned teams a run for their money.
While looking at the teams involved, The Way’s Johnny Gargano and Austin Theory stand out as the team to watch. The Way has been gaining momentum in NXT. They are the only stable that has an opportunity to win both tournaments. However, they will how a long, difficult journey in order to get there.
If they can get through Leon Ruff and Kushida, they will go on to fight the rough, tough, and Grizzled Young Veterans. If they can get through last year’s runner-ups, they will likely meet Adam Cole and Roderick Strong in the semi-finals. The Undisputed Era are no strangers to the Dusty Classic. Back in 2018, Adam Cole and Roderick Strong reached the finals, but on opposite sides.
The Undisputed Era’s Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly won the only time that the NXT Tag Team Championships and the Dusty Rhodes Classic were on the line at the same time. However, the way to victory was a shocking controversy. In a triple threat tag team match, Roderick Strong turned on Pete Dunne to align with The Undisputed Era.
Three years later and now Cole and Strong are going at it on the same team. It is hard to argue that they are the favorites to win the tournament. Cole and Strong have both cemented themselves as top stars by winning singles and tag team gold in NXT. Cole is one of only two men to become NXT Triple Crown Champion.
However, to reach the finals, Cole may have to collide with the other man to do so, Johnny Gargano. In the end, I believe that Adam Cole and Roderick Strong will pull off the victory to make their way to the finals. As for the other side of the bracket, I expect that it will be MSK facing Imperium in the semi-finals.
The guys renamed Nash Carter and Wes Lee are set to have a series of career-defining matches. They will have to likely go through Imperium and The Undisputed Era if they want to win the tournament. I expect a strong showing from the new guys against first Maverick and Dain then Imperium. After that, it will be MSK and The Undisputed Era in the finals.
That match would absolutely be a delight for the fans. They have both been making a name for themselves in separate companies. Now their paths are on the verge of colliding. While MSK should have an amazing showing and let everyone in NXT know they are here. The Undisputed Era will start off the year by reminding everyone why they are called undisputed.