Ciampa/Thatcher addition can change Dusty Rhodes Classic Round 2 Outlook
In my previous article about the Dusty Rhodes Classic, I mentioned the prediction on which teams will advance to the semifinals. So far, I am perfect with the Grizzled Young Veterans and MSK winning on Wednesday in NXT. The two matches remaining are Cole & Strong vs. Ciampa & Thatcher and Lucha House Party vs. Legado Del Fantasma. In closely looking into Ciampa & Thatcher, I have a different perspective about them.
Tommaso Ciampa has been a NXT Champion and a NXT Tag Team Champion with Johnny Gargano. He is no stranger to the Dusty Rhodes Classic. In 2015, Ciampa and Gargano (as DIY) were eliminated by Baron Corbin & Rhyno in the second round (quarterfinals). In 2016, they were eliminated by The Authors of Pain in the semifinals. Ciampa and Gargano would breakup and have 5-star matches and the Feud of The Year in 2018.
For Timothy Thatcher, he walked into NXT as a substitute for Pete Dunne and worked alongside Matt Riddle as tag team champions. They defeated Bobby Fish & Roderick Strong (Undisputed Era) while defending the titles. Thatcher turned his back on Riddle that resulted in a loss to Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel (Imperium) and the tag team titles. The torch was given to Thatcher after defeating Riddle in a fight pit match. Riddle went on to Smackdown and Thatcher went on a five-match win streak that was snapped by then-NXT North American Champion, Damian Priest.
Somehow, WWE NXT combined Ciampa and Thatcher for the Dusty Rhodes Classic Tag Team Classic. The two split the brutal matches (Ciampa won at WarGames 2020 and Thatcher in a Fight Pit). Thatcher stated, "A fight pit changes a man, changes them physically and mentally. It changes its vision forward. Out of anguish and struggle, respect and oath, that's why I accepted the offer." Ciampa would add that the Dusty Cup provides opportunity. "Next week, Undisputed Era its gonna be a war!"
The last minute replacement does not have a build up similar to Cesaro & Sheamus in 2016 on WWE Raw. Sheamus and Cesaro went on to have a "Best of 7" series that ended at Clash of Champions and formed a dynasty to become a five-time world tag team champions.
Ciampa & Thatcher will square off against Adam Cole and Roderick Strong (Undisputed Era) on Wednesday night. It will be a war and maybe this time, Ciampa and Thatcher can move on to the semifinals.
Lucha House Party vs. Legado Del Fantasma.
Predict - Legado Del Fantasma winners.