This is a match that MSK better be watching very closely, as whoever wins is likely to be their next challengers. On one side, we have two former NXT Tag Team Champions in Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher, and on the other we have the former NXT UK Tag Team Champions in Zack Gibson & James Drake. Both teams claim to be the toughest that NXT has to offer, but only one will prove this tonight in the ring.
Grizzled Young Veterans Start To Work On Timothy Thatcher
Ciampa would start things off with Drake, dropping him with a shoulder tackle before applying a headscissor hold on the mat. Drake got free, only for Thatcher to tag in and shove him to Gibson. Gibson & Thatcher are about matched in terms of grappling, and Thatcher went for a double wrist lock which Gibson resisted.
A lariat from Thatcher took Gibson down before he’d quickly attack the arm again. Thatcher would lose control and Gibson grabbed his leg, before Thatcher moved into a sleeper hold. Drake tried to free his partner, but Ciampa would catch him and beat him down. Thatcher & Ciampa stood tall as we went into a commercial break.
Back from the break, Thatcher remained in control of Drake who slipped out over the rope and tried to make a tag on the apron which wasn’t legal. Thatcher yanked Drake into the ring, before Drake grabbed him by the ear and threw Thatcher into the middle rope. Gibson actually tagged in now, and would go to work on Thatcher with a rear chinlock before moving into a cravat.
Shoes Off If You Hate Gibson!
Thatcher would get free after Drake tagged in, and Ciampa ran down both members of G.Y.V with some lariats. He’d hit a double lariat to both men, before throwing Drake into the corner for some chops before tagging in Thatcher. He’d look for forearm strikes instead, and when he tagged Ciampa back in, they’d sandwich Drake with chops before Ciampa hit a knee strike to the jaw.
Thatcher was back in, and hit a forearm shot. Drake was able to get a tag to Gibson, who took a heavy belly to belly suplex for the two count. It turned into a brawl with all four men, until Ciampa took himself over the top rope alongside Drake after a lariat. Thatcher got Gibson with the Double Underhook Suplex for a two count, before moving into the Fujiwara Armbar.
Drake would get free of Ciampa, and G.Y.V got a two on one edge. This was secured when Drake took Ciampa over the announce desk with a dive, and Barrett lost his shoe. In the ring Gibson hit Helter Skelter for a near fall. Ciampa would slide Thatcher the shoe of Wade Barrett, and he’d whack Gibson with it before applying the Fujiwara Armbar for the submission win. Shoes off if you hate Gibson indeed.
This was a solid tag team offering, and Gibson getting whacked between the eyes with a Size 15 shoe was long overdue. We got some hard hitting action with Ciampa, and excellent technical wrestling between Thatcher & Gibson. Would have been better without a long commercial break, but that’s to be expected with TV matches. Match Rating: 3/5 (***)
Will Thatcher & Ciampa get their NXT Tag Team Championship shot? Let us know what you think in the comment section down below.
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