WWE NXT Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights for October 19
The Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic continued on Wednesday night with the hotly anticipated revelation of Austin Aries' tag team partner.
The competitor, known to fans around the globe, generated an enormous response and helped Aries come one step closer to achieving his goal of winning the entire tournament by defeating the team of Tucker Knight and Otis Bogojevic.
They were not the only team to win and advance this week.
No Way Jose and Rich Swann injected the tournament with energy and excitement as they scored a victory over Tony Nese and Drew Gulak.
Bobby Roode was in action one week after betraying partner Tye Dillinger, and Shinsuke Nakamura delivered a championship address to round out the week's broadcast.
How did each match and segment grade out? How does it affect the creative direction of the brand?
Find out now with this exclusive look back at the Oct. 19 show.
No Way Jose and Rich Swann vs. Tony Nese and Drew Gulak
The electrifying duo of Rich Swann and No Way Jose debuted Wednesday night as they entered the Dusty Rhodes Classic, battling Tony Nese and Drew Gulak in first-round competition.
The babyfaces rattled the heels early with an array of flashy and fast-paced maneuvers to keep them reeling.
Gulak turned the tide for his team, isolating Swann and working over the smaller of the two opponents. A hot tag to Jose, however, proved to be the downfall for the accomplished indy stars Gulak and Nese.
After Swann wiped out Nese at ringside with a jaw-dropping corkscrew plancha, Jose scored the pinfall victory over Gulak with a full nelson slam.
No Way Jose and Rich Swann defeated Tony Nese and Drew Gulak.
This was easily the funnest of the Dusty Classic matches to date, as Jose and Swann made the perfect opposition for the more serious and grounded Nese and Gulak.
The chemistry between the babyfaces was strong enough to suggest they could and should be forces of nature in the tournament.
It is unlikely, though, seeing as how The Authors of Pain await them in Round 2.
Sean Maluta vs. Bobby Roode
One of the revelations of the Cruiserweight Classic this past summer was Sean Maluta, a hardworking competitor from the Samoan bloodline. Having turned in a brilliant performance against Kota Ibushi, he has been featured one other time on NXT.
Wednesday night, he had the opportunity to battle one of the industry's best wrestlers when he squared off with Bobby Roode in singles competition. Though he did not win, he left the former TNA world champion with a reminder of how promising a Superstar he is.
Maluta frustrated Roode on a handful of occasions, delivering a big dropkick and roll-up that nearly stunned the Canadian.
Suddenly, The Glorious One cut off his momentum with a spinebuster and scored the win off a DDT.
After the match, Roode ran down Tye Dillinger, only to be shown up and sent packing by The Perfect 10.
Bobby Roode defeated Sean Maluta.
One of Roode's most interesting elements to this point is the way he continually promotes himself as God's gift to wrestling, only to struggle against wrestlers he should be vastly superior to. Case in point—Maluta, who got much more offense in than anyone would have expected.
The feud with Dillinger is fine for what it is, but it feels like a step or two below Roode, who is an internationally recognized star but continues to wallow in the midcard, working guys like Dillinger and Andrade Almas with little upward momentum.
Yes, it is a placeholder feud while he awaits his main event run, but it still feels a bit out of place, given his star power.
Austin Aries and Roderick Strong vs. Otis Bogojevic and Tucker Knight
Roderick Strong made his NXT debut Wednesday night, teaming with Austin Aries in a one-sided beatdown of Tucker Knight and Otis Bogojevic.
The former Ring of Honor world champions toyed with the inexperienced duo and even withstood some of their signature offense.
Aries' roaring elbow and Strong's running kick to the face earned the popular tandem the victory.
Austin Aries and Roderick Strong defeated Tucker Knight and Otis Bogojevic.
This was an excellent introduction to the Aries-Strong duo, who looked seasoned and ready to dominate the rest of the tournament.
Strong was greeted with a tremendous ovation and should help shore up an NXT roster in need of star power.
Nikki Cross vs. Danielle Kamela
Nikki Cross of SAnity returned to the squared circle Wednesday night, battling relative newcomer Danielle Kamela.
Exhibiting an in-ring personality most closely resembling a rabid dog, she tore into the rookie and seemingly scored a victory with a neckbreaker.
A post-match consult with faction leader Eric Young led to Cross attacking Kamela and forcing the referee to reverse his decision.
Danielle Kamela defeated Nikki Cross.
This was a nice look at what fans can come to expect from SAnity.
It is a faction less concerned with wins and more concerned with destroying anyone put before it.
Cross looked fierce and dangerous, the perfect complement to Asuka's character and a logical next opponent for the NXT women's champion.
Shinsuke Nakamura's Championship Address
The King of Strong Style addressed the NXT faithful Wednesday...or at least tried to.
Nakamura was in the midst of challenging Samoa Joe to come and get the NXT Championship when Patrick Clark, in his new gimmick, interrupted.
The former Tough Enough competitor was greeted with a low blow before Joe attempted a sneak attack. Nakamura kept his rival at bay and landed the Kinshasa on Clark to close out the broadcast.
Sure, this got Patrick Clark some screen time, but was he better off for having gotten his ass kicked than if he debuted through a series of vignettes?
The feud between Nakamura and Samoa Joe feels like it is in a holding pattern at this point, not able to intensify nor descend into mediocrity. It is what it is, and that is a program in need of resolution so that both men can move on to their next ventures.