The 2021 edition of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic is getting a new favorite to win it all. WWE.com revealed that Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher are set to team up and enter starting on Friday where they face Tony Nese and Ariya Daivari. There is a lot to unpack in this news, especially after all that has transpired between the two.
In what is a clear example of WWE’s haphazard treatment of storylines on its weekly programming, the news of Ciampa and Thatcher teaming up was carelessly tweeted out in the middle of a wealth of posts about reality television and highlights from the week. Ciampa and Thatcher just went from attempting to brutalize each other on Wednesday in the NXT Fight Pit, to now agreeing to team together to chase after the Dusty Cup. WWE does not do a great job in explaining motivations or making stakes relevant, but this is still an opportunity to enjoy what should be a fun tag team.
It will be interesting to see how Ciampa and Thatcher work together. Expect to see them attempting to one-up each other in finding new ways to maim their opponents. As singles competitors, they relished in the opportunity to cause pain, a hobby which will be increased two-fold now that they are tagging together with an end goal in mind.
The Dusty Cup should be an opportunity to elevate actual tag teams into the title picture. This year’s edition does have established teams in the mix like Lucha House Party, Grizzled Young Veterans, Legado del Fantasma, newcomers MSK and former champions, the Undisputed Era. The same was true in the past but that did not stop WWE creative from elevating other “teams” to Dusty Cup wins like Aleister Black and Ricochet or Finn Balor and Samoa Joe. Ciampa and Thatcher may not make it as far, but it will be intriguing to see which big name teams they knock off in their wake.
Plus, there is the other opportunity that comes with putting these two men together. Even if they were to obtain a victory in the Dusty Cup and even win the NXT tag team titles, there is still the fact that they are 1-1 against each other. As par for the course in WWE tag team booking, expect one of these men to turn against each other to see the culmination of their feud in some sort of uber-violent match. Which, at the end of the day, is what the fans of both men want, right?
Even though additional explanation should have occurred, no one should be surprised to see Ciampa and Thatcher suddenly teaming together to compete in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. Malign the lack of storytelling for just a moment, but then sit back and enjoy the sheer pro wrestling violence that Ciampa and Thatcher are going to release on the rest of the draw in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.