The Dusty Rhodes Classic is a tag team tournament contested in NXT, and in the two tournaments so far, we’ve seen Samoa Joe and Finn Balor (2015) and the Authors of Pain (2016) come out on top. At the recent NXT tapings, the tournament is on again, and we have only one obvious winner in mind: War Machine.
The duo of Hanson and Raymond Rowe have been tearing up the independent scene for the past few years, winning the ROH and IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team titles, among many others. They've just recently been introduced to NXT at Takeover: Philadelphia. They didn’t have a first round match during those recent tapings, but there are still a few spots left open, and not only are these two the perfect spot for one of those places, they should come out on top.
The NXT tag team division is now incredibly stacked, and adding War Machine into that equation only makes it deeper and more competitive. With Sanity and AOP likely on the move to the main roster soon, we need someone to step up and take on The Undisputed Era. Raymond and Hanson are incredible as a team, as they’ve got a great gimmick, a bad-ass look, and they’re incredibly athletic for two humongous guys, and they’ll no doubt blow minds in NXT.
It isn’t 100 percent certain what the winner of this tournament will get, whether it’s a tag title shot at NXT Takeover: New Orleans, or whether that’s where the final will be held. But either way, this would be a great way to introduce them to the wider WWE Universe who aren’t aware of them. Sure, TM+61, or The Mighty and The Street Profits are two great options, but War Machine are ready to go now, and WWE need to capitalize on this straight away. If you’re not too familiar with War Machine, I suggest checking out Progress, WCPW/Defiant Wrestling, ROH and all of their work in Japan. They work equally well with big guys (that will mean good chemistry with the AOP), as they do smaller guys (good chemistry with The Mighty, and ReDragon (Fish & O’Reilly) who they’ve previously worked).
The tag team division is ushering in a new era, and the AOP are proof that tag team wrestling is incredibly important in NXT. The duo has improved a tremendous amount, and have been booked perfectly throughout their run. If War Machine’s strengths can be amplified like we know management is good at, they’ll quite possibly be the best tag team in NXT history.
Sure, I too would love to see War Machine vs. The Revival, The Bar, The Usos or any tag team on the main roster, and that will happen one day. But they’ve got a long road ahead of them in NXT, and we, like most fans online agree that it should be started on the right foot with a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic victory.
So what do you guys think? Is this the right move for NXT? Should another, more established team take the victory, and just have War Machine give a great showing for themselves? If so, which team do you think is best suited to come out victorious? Let us know all your thoughts in the comments below.