Woof woof woof! Our NXT Champ is out first, opening our show. Bron cuts a short promo that acknowledges his opponent last week--Santos Escobar--and his effort, but promises to walk into WrestleMania weekend and the upcoming NXT Stand & Deliver event as the champ. Dolph Ziggler arrives and both compliments and insults the champ, and mocks the champ's "Canadian tuxedo." This causes the champ to snap back that they don't pay him to dress up, just kick asses, and he'll kick Ziggler's now if needed. Ziggler tells the Champ to enjoy a night off as he (Ziggler) will control the narrative tonight.
Waller is out first to massive boos and is accompanied by his "Insurance Policy," Sanga (fka Saurav Gurjar). Knight is out next to a great pop from the local crowd. Waller takes the lead early on and the crowd boos everything he does. Knight takes control when he manages to catch Waller crotch-strung on the top rope. Knight shakes it repeatedly to impact Grayson's Wallers (if you get what I mean) before striking him and sending Waller to crash to the hard floor. Knight pursues and beats Waller around the ring during our picture-in-picture break. The action heads back into the ring and Waller takes control of Knight. Waller pounds at Knight's back with knee drops while simultaneously wrenching Knight's neck as far to the side as a human neck can go. The crowd tries to fire up behind Knight as Waller uses the neck wrench to drag Knight back to the mat whenever he attempts to power to his feet. Waller wrenches the neck for a very long time.
The crowd repeatedly harass Waller with chants such as "you still suck," "asshole," etc. Waller attempts to use a middle-rope elbow drop to put away Knight but LA kicks out at two. The crowd again attempts to rally behind LA. Wade Barrett and Vic Joseph, on commentary, continue to praise Waller's skill set for his age in contrast to Knight's veteran playbook. Waller uses the corners to aid his offense, setting Knight's face up on a turnbuckle before kicking him in the face. Waller executes a unique, modified Death Valley Driver and garners a two count. Waller exits the ring and heads up the ramp, setting up for his signature move--Waller races down the ramp, leaps between the bottom and middle rope, rolls and pops up, looking for a backpack Stunner on Knight. Knight has him scouted this time and counters!
Both men begin to slug it out in the middle of the ring. LA Knight drops Waller twice with back body drops and the crowd fires up, chanting "Yes!" to every stomp and strike Knight performs. They yell "whoa" to every slam and high impacting move. Knight with a leaping neckbreaker! Knight looks for the BFT but Waller's partner, Sanga, interferes and grabs Knight. Knight is distracted and Waller capitalizes, hitting his finisher and picking up the upset win! After the match, Waller and Sanga attempt to attack LA Knight. Knight drops Sanga with a BFD and sends Waller scrambling.
Dakota Kai is talking to her imaginary and/or invisible friend and/or alter when Wendy Choo walks up. Long story short, Choo chooses Kai after pretending to see Kai's invisible friend. Kai is excited that Choo chose her after previously lamenting that "third time's (not) the charm".
Raquel hates heights and Cora is determined to help her over her fear of heights. We get a music track set to a bunch of clips of the duo training at a forest camp/obstacle course.
Miller & Legend are already in the ring as Io & KLR make their entrance to a decent pop. The crowd shows Io some love as Toxic Attraction watch on from the "Toxic Lounge," a side set. Io and Lash start us off. Lash shows her dirty side by grabbing Io by the hair and pulling on it. Shirai escapes and sets up--then executes--a 619 on Legend. Shirai looks for a top-rope springboard strike but it looks like she slips. She and Lash fight more, with Io sending Lash scrambling to her corner with a top rope shotgun dropkick. Amari Miller tags herself in. Amari and Lash work together, using a pair of quick tags, to control Kay Lee Ray when she enters. KLR takes it for about a minute then hits a KLR Bomb on Lash Legend. Io is tagged in and finishes Lash off with her Over-the-Moonsault to secure the win.
Your Winner and ADVANCING to the Semi-Finals of the 2022 Dusty Classic, Io Shirai & Kay Lee Ray!
We're reminded that Chen's debut was ruined last week by Duke's brutal sneak attack, and that Chen's family back home were watching. This is a source of shame for Dante, who comes out of the gate swinging. Chen batters Hudson early on into the match. Duke gets a spurt of offense in but Chen fires back and lays out the big man with a textbook kick to the gut followed by a DDT, covering for two. Chen mounts Hudson in the corner and begins ten-count corner punches, but Hudson shakes Chen off and takes his turn getting some aggressive offense in. Hudson hits the best Razor's Edge outside of Razor Ramon and that Scott Hall guy. Hudson covers and picks up the win.
Your Winner, Duke Hudson!
Melo makes his way out to a healthy mix of boos and cheers from the digital, piped-in crowd while the NXT Universe sort of just chills there for a few. Melo gets on the mic. "Before we get started, I just wanna say one thing...when I shoot, I don't freakin' miss!" He then tells us that they're here to have a "Melo-bration." Hayes has to talk first before they get to it, and looks into the camera. "Last week I said I was gonna have match of the night, I said I was gonna beat Cameron Grimes, and I said I was gonna steal the show...I really don't miss and I tell ya that to tell ya this--I put on the performance of a lifetime last week and wasn't nobody talking about Bron Breakker, Pete Dunne, the Creeds. They was talking about the A Champion and the A stands for 'absolute best...anyone can get it...ain't nobody touching me."
They're then interrupted by Pete Dunne! The crowd welcomes the Bruiserweight, who tells Melo that "you've beaten everybody? But you haven't beaten me." He states that if Melo is the A Champion, there's no reason for him to sit out on the WrestleMania season. Melo states he's too busy to "make" Pete Dunne a "star." Dunne changes Melo to a championship bout last week, daring Melo to take a shot. Melo calls him "Skeet" Dunne and says if Dunne wants the smoke, he can have it. Melo accepts. Cameron Grimes hits the ring and attacks Hayes and Williams, driving them from the ring as the crowd rips off a loud "to-the-moon" chant as we go to break!
Surprise, surprise--this match was made official during the break. Grimes and Williams clash to start us off. Grimes uses a brutal chest chop on a running Williams to ground Trick. The crowd fires off chants for both teams throughout the match. Williams gets a brief amount of offense in as the feed is interrupted--technical difficulties, apologies--before we return to catch Grimes finishing Williams off in short fashion with a Cave In.
Ciampa is pumping iron backstage when Breakker comes up to talk. Ciampa remains silent so Breakker readies to leave. Ciampa finally speaks and states that the way he sees it, it's "Ciampa 1, Breakker 1." Breakker tells Ciampa he's looking forward to the rubber match.
A short match that served to showcase the curvy rookie's skill set. Barrett and Joseph hyped Lyons and her mythical rock-star family throughout the short, semi-squash match. Lyons, of course, picked up the debut win.
Your Winner, Nikita Lyons!
Malcolm Bivens and the Creed Brothers make their way to the ring to celebrate their Dusty Classic win last week as well as put the current tag champs--Imperium--on notice. Imperium make their way out, led by a plain-clothed WALTER. WALTER yells his name is WALTER Gunther but, of course, the crowd doesn't care. WALTER promises that despite whatever Bivens may tell the Creed Brothers, the titles are remaining on Imperium. Imperium attack, with Marcel & Barthel battling the Creeds to the outside. WALTER encroaches upon Bivens, backing him up, but Solo Sikoa makes the save! WALTER and Imperium back up the ramp. We head to break.
KC2 come out with coordinated entrance wear and ring wear to a great pop. Ivy Nile and Tatum Paxley get a great greeting as well, and once again Toxic Attraction are in the Toxic Lounge to keep an eye on the tournament. Paxley starts with Catanzaro. Pax is a bit much for Kacy so Kayden Carter comes in. Paxley shows off her size and power by hoisting Carter up into an Electric Chair. Nile tags in and Paxley throws Carter at Nile--who quickly upper cuts Carter, sending her reeling. Kacy takes the tag in but eats a stiff kick. Ivy and Paxley begin a series of quick tags as they struggle to isolate Kacy Catanzaro in their side of the ring. Kacy tries multiple times to leap free and make the tag but Ivy blocks them...'til she doesn't, and Carter comes in hot, dropping Nile and looking for a pin.
Nile escapes and looks for a high kick but Carter ducks. Nile connects with a follow-up roundhouse. Nile tags in Paxley and both women hoist Carter across their left shoulder then dump her over and drive her into the canvas. Kacy makes the save. Carter makes a blind tag to Kacy and Kacy uses the confusion to take down Paxley, picking up the short match win. After the match, Tatum Paxley is attacked and choked by Ivy Nile until Roderick Strong calms Ivy down and they back up the ramp together.
Your Winner and ADVANCING to the Semi-Finals of the 2022 Dusty Classic, Kayden Carter & Kacy Catanzaro!
Ziggler is out first and the NXT Universe shows the Dirty Dawg some love as he makes, technically, his NXT in-ring debut. We head to a break ahead of this match. Both men lock up and Ziggler takes an early lead as Barrett and Joseph both praise Ziggler's amateur wrestling background. Barrett reminds us that he's been in the ring with Ziggler before. Ziggler focuses his offense on Ciampa's surgically-repaired neck and slows the pace to a snail's crawl as he uses a variety of working holds to wear down Ciampa, including a unique crossface-into-sleeper combination. Ciampa takes the meeting for the first few minutes before getting his second wind. Ziggler whips Ciampa but Ciampa takes a page out of Corbin's playbook with a Misdirection Clothesline of his own. Ciampa with repeated running clotheslines and a Face Wash. Ciampa drops Ziggler with a knee strike. Ciampa continues the offense, dropping a knee pad before looking for yet another. Ziggler has it scouted and dodges, attempting a Zig Zag. Ciampa blocks it and knocks Ziggler out of the ring, following him as we head to our final commercial break!
Ziggler and Ciampa welcome us back from the break by slugging it out. Ciampa catapults Ziggler's face into the top turnbuckle, clobbers him with a lariat, and covers for a close two. Both men are slow to rise as Ciampa takes a few precious seconds to catch his breath. They exchange blows as they fight to their feet and the crowd cheer both men on. Ziggler screams in anger and Ciampa fires back, unleashing a torrent of fists and stomps that push Ziggler into the corner and down into a mudhole. Ciampa looks for a corner face wash but Ziggler counters with a kick. Ziggler plants Ciampa with the Famouser and covers for a close two. The NXT Universe rips off a tired, yet enthusiastic, NXT chant to show both men their appreciation.
Ziggler starts to tune up the band and attempts Sweet Chin Music but Ciampa intercepts, nailing a Superkick of his own! Ciampa with a bomb for a close cover of his own. Ciampa sits on the rope and yells quickly for Ziggler to get up. Ciampa with a running knee to Ziggler's jaw! Ciampa covers but Ziggler gets the foot on the bottom rope! The crowd, justifiably, encourages the duo to fight forever. Ciampa drops a knee on Ziggler and Dolph rolls to the outside while holding his knee. Ciampa and Ziggler briefly fight in front of the announcer's table. Ziggler connects on a Zig Zag! Both men are down at ringside as the ref begins his count.
At six, both men start to stir. Ziggler sends Ciampa in at eight and barely gets in at nine himself. Both men are still down and the ref checks on both as Ciampa hints at a left arm injury. Ciampa looks for the Fairy Tale Ending but his left arm causes an issue. Ziggler with a Zig Zag outta nowhere for two! Ziggler transitions the pin attempt into a sleeper and Ciampa begins to fade. Ziggler keeps the sleeper hold in place and his legs wrapped around Ciampa as Tommaso powers to his feet. Ciampa grabs Ziggler's legs and drops back, slamming Ziggler down and covering for yet another close call! Barrett comments it was "2.99 seconds" and the fans rip off another "holy shit" chant as we are well into our overrun!
Ciampa and Ziggler position on the apron and alternate chops and punches, slowly alternating as the crowd cheers them on. Ciampa fires off a trio of chops then kicks Ziggler in the face. Ciampa picks Ziggler up and hits the Air Raid Crash on the hard apron! Another "holy shit" chant from the fans as Ciampa takes Ziggler back into the ring. Ciampa struggles to his feet and enters the ring while the ref checks on Dolph. A "Camera Man" smacks Ciampa with the camera outta nowhere! Ziggler takes Ciampa into the ring and hits a Superkick and picks up his debut win!
Your Winner and NEW Number One Contender, Dolph Ziggler!
After the match, the cameraman disrobes--and it's none other than Cody Rhodes! Bobby Roode! The fans are torn with cheers and boos for the Glorious Homecoming. Both mean stomp away at Ciampa until Breakker hits the ring to make the save! Breakker challenges them and it's official--next week it's the Dirty Dawgs vs Bron Breakker & Ciampa. Breakker challenges them to "find your balls" and fight right now. He drops the mic and positions to fight but the Dirty Dawgs head up the ram...and reconsider it. The Dawgs hit the ring and all four men go at it! Roode and Ciampa battle in one corner as Breakker and Ziggler battle into another! Multiple refs--maybe a dozen--hit the ring to try to separate all our Superstars as we fade to black!
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