One year ago, KUSHIDA reunited with Alex Shelley as part of the 2020 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. Fans were beyond excited to see Time Splitters back, and were upset to see them lose in the first round to Grizzled Young Veterans.
Now, KUSHIDA has a chance to redeem that loss and take his team with Leon Ruff one step closer, as they face Grizzled Young Veterans in second round action. Will Grizzled Young Veterans get KUSHIDA once again?
Grizzled Young Veterans Might Be Overlooking Their Opponents
After getting blasted on the microphone by Gibson, KUSHIDA started this match by taking him into an armbar very early. KUSHIDA was able to out wrestle Gibson, and also had the early edge in striking. It was the tag team chemistry, Drake blocking Gibson from hitting the corner and getting the tag in.
Drake would miss a tag to Leon Ruff, who would kick away at the legs of Drake before speeding around the ropes and tripping him up. A double team dropkick in the corner would follow KUSHIDA tagging in. Quick tags in and out weren’t something Grizzled Young Veterans expected from this young tag team.
Ruff was showing he wasn’t a one hit wonder by tearing the arm of Drake apart before getting a springboard hurricanrana for the near fall. Gibson would finally get a tag, but KUSHIDA saved him from a double suplex. This allowed Ruff to hit a diving cutter for a near fall, as we went to a commercial break.
Leon Ruff Misses The Dive
Coming back from the break, Ruff was isolated by Drake, taking a big lariat before he could break away to the corner for a tag. Ruff was sent to the outside, and Gibson got him with a backbreaker as Drake flung himself over the top rope with an elbow drop.
Gibson lost grip of Ruff, who nailed a neckbreaker and wasn’t able to make the long crawl to the tag without Drake getting involved. KUSHIDA would get in, and he dove off the top with a huge chop, nailed the manhattan drop, hip toss and low dropkick. The dropkick to the arm was followed by the attempt at the arm trap suplex, but Drake shoved to the corner.
Gibson tagged in, but was tied up in the Octopus Hold. He was able to break free with a shot to the throat, before hitting Doomsday Device with Drake for near fall. Ticket To Mayhem was set up, but KUSHIDA countered out and got the handspring back elbow.
Ruff tagged in and kept the pace high with some quick dives to the outside on both opponents. The rebound lariat rocked Gibson, but Drake pulled his partner out of the drop zone before Ruff nailed the splash. Drake tagged in, nailed Ticket To Mayhem and Grizzled Young Veterans moved forward.
This might be the final match from Ruff Hour, but it showed that KUSHIDA will remain strong, and Ruff proved he has staying power beyond a single North American Championship reign. Grizzled Young Veterans are perhaps the best heel tag team in WWE, and they put on a clinic tonight, and are my pick to win this tournament. Match Rating: 3.75/5 (*** ¾)
Following the match, Austin Theory & Johnny Gargano would beat down KUSHIDA & Ruff. KUSHIDA is the next challenger for the NXT North American Champion, and he’d take the One Final Beat before Dexter Lumis scared The Way off with those cold eyes.
What does Dexter Lumis have planned for The Way? Let us know what you think in the comment section down below.
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