The respect in the wrestling community for the late, great American Dream Dusty Rhodes is universal, and part of that universe -- the NXT Universe -- honored the WWE Hall of Famer with the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.
The semifinals and finals of that tournament helped highlight NXT TakeOver: Respect on Wednesday. Oct. 7 live on WWE Network from Full Sail Live at Full Sail University in Winter Park, near Orlando.
The Rhodes family attended, presenting the winners with a colossal trophy, reminiscent of the trophy Dusty Rhodes and Nikita Koloff won as the Super Powers in the 1987 Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Cup Tag Team Tournament,
The NXT Dream Team of NXT champ Finn Balor and Samoa Joe won the NXT version, celebrating this tribute to the American Dream in the ring with the trophy and the Rhodes family.
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Fitting to conduct this tournament in Florida, which birthed the legendary Dusty Rhodes’ American Dream persona via WWE Hall of Famer Eddie Graham and his Championship Wrestling from Florida promotion.
Cody Rhodes (Stardust) said some nice words, and Dustin (Goldust) riled the crowd, while congratulating and hugging Balor and Joe. Everyone was cheering and standing during the emotional occasion. Dusty’s wife, Michelle, and daughters, Kristin and Teil, appreciated the event, too, and participated in the in-ring ceremony. Also cool, WWE ring announcer Eden, Cody’s wife, was the ring announcer for the finals, and NXT’s Noah Kekoa, a big Dusty fan, like all of us, helped hoist the trophy into the ring.
As for the tag team matches, each team showed its respect by giving its all for the man, the ‘mytt,’, the legend, the Dream at NXT TakeOver: Respect. In the semifinals, Balor and Joe defeated Dash and Dawson, and Baron Corbin and Rhyno beat Jason Jordan and Chad Gable. Jordan and Gable won over fans big-time. Dash and Dawson worked very well together, and Corbin and Rhyno brute force personified.
Your referee for the finals...Shawn Bennett.
- WWE NXT is 8 p.m. Wednesdays on WWE Network.
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