During the December 30 edition of NXT, it was announced that WWE will be staging their annual Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic in 2021.
In a match which saw Grizzled Young Veterans battle former NXT Tag Team Champions, Breezango, a graphic was shown in the bottom of the screen that confirmed the tournament’s return. WWE later issued a statement on the tag team tourney which has been the highlight of NXT in the past several years:
The Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic returns for 2021
The Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic is back!
As announced on Wednesday’s NXT, the 2021 edition of the tournament honoring the late WWE Hall of Famer and one of the pioneers behind NXT’s success, will commence in two weeks on NXT. The winners earn an NXT Tag Team Championship opportunity.
Brackets and competitors will be revealed next week on NXT New Year’s Evil.
The unlikely duo of Pete Dunne & Riddle won last year’s Dusty Classic, and they went on to defeat The Undisputed ERA for the NXT Tag Team Titles at NXT TakeOver: Portland. Other previous winners include Ricochet & Aleister Black, current NXT Champion Finn Bálor & Samoa Joe, and The Undisputed ERA’s Adam Cole & Kyle O’Reilly.
Who will raise The Dusty Cup this time around? Find out by tuning in to NXT on Wednesdays at 8/7 C on USA Network!
The first entrants into the 2021 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic will be The Undisputed ERA, who have put forth previous winner Adam Cole and cohort Roderick Strong instead of the usual duo of Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly. The latter has received a singles push into the main event picture in recent months.
In past years, the competition has provided some of the greatest tag team bouts in the history of the brand and highlighted some lesser known teams – at least to an American audience – with 2020’s offering having a more NXT vs. NXT UK feel to it.
Like in previous years, the winners of the cup will receive a shot at the NXT Tag Team Champions at the following TakeOver, The only tournament that didn’t have this stipulation was the 2018 offering, which saw Pete Dunne and Roderick Strong vs. Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly vs. Authors of Pain battle in the Final for both the cup and doubles gold.
2020’s offering was won by Pete Dunne and Matt Riddle, who went on to defeated The Undisputed ERA at NXT TakeOver: Portland to capture their first taste of NXT gold.