Gonzalez, Kai Beat Blackheart, Moon; Win 2021 NXT Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 15, 2021

Credit: WWE.com

Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai defeated Shotzi Blackheart and Ember Moon on Sunday at NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day to win the first-ever women's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.

Gonzalez tossed Moon onto the entrance ramp and then threw her to the floor. That allowed Gonzalez and Kai to focus their attention on Blackheart.

Gonzalez hit a one-armed powerbomb on Blackheart and made the pin. Kai jumped onto her back to ensure Blackheart was unable to kick out.

By virtue of their victory, Gonzalez and Kai earned the right to challenge for the WWE Women's Tag Team Championships in the future.

While the Dusty Cup has been a fixture in NXT in recent years, this year marked the first time the women's division got to have a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic of its own. When the bracket was first announced, Gonzalez and Kai undoubtedly stood out as the odds-on favorites.

Gonzalez and Kai have been working together for an entire year, giving them far more experience as a team than any other duo in the tournament. Also, Gonzalez has developed into the most singularly dominant performer in the NXT women's division.

Her run of dominance truly began at NXT TakeOver: WarGames in December when she pinned Io Shirai to win the match for her team.

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After that, Gonzalez beat Moon in a singles bout and also defeated Rhea Ripley in a Last Woman Standing match, which was likely Ripley's final match in NXT for the foreseeable future.

With Gonzalez firing on all cylinders, she and Kai had little issue making it to the finals of the Dusty Cup, as they beat the teams of Aliyah and Jessi Kamea and Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter to get there.

Blackheart and Moon are more of a recent alliance, but they did have some experience going into battle together before the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.

Both Blackheart and Moon were part of the team that lost to Gonzalez's squad at NXT TakeOver: WarGames a couple of months ago.

Like Gonzalez and Kai, Blackheart and Moon made their way to the Dusty Cup finals without much resistance, beating Marina Shafir and Zoey Stark in the first round and then getting past Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell in the semifinals.

Sunday's match featured four of the best women's wrestlers NXT has to offer, and it made the entire women's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic a worthwhile endeavor.

While each performer showed out, only one team could lift the cup, and it was Gonzalez and Kai who accomplished the feat and earned a future title shot.

     

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