Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher are going from rivals to teammates for the 2021 men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.
WWE has announced that Ciampa & Thatcher will fill the open spot in the Dusty Classic that was created by Ashante “Thee” Adonis & Desmond Troy being taken out of the tournament. Ciampa & Thatcher will face Tony Nese & Ariya Daivari in the first round of the Dusty Classic.
In the main event of last night’s NXT, Thatcher defeated Ciampa in a Fight Pit match. The finish of the match was Thatcher submitting Ciampa with a stretch muffler while Ciampa’s other leg was between the cage and ring post.
WWE uploaded two videos after last night’s NXT setting up that Ciampa & Thatcher would be teaming together in the Dusty Classic. As he was being examined after the Fight Pit match, Ciampa learned that Adonis & Troy are out of the Dusty Classic after Karrion Kross defeated Adonis on NXT last night. Kross also put Troy in the Kross Jacket after the match.
Ciampa then went to Thatcher and asked why Thatcher didn’t break his leg when he had the chance to in the Fight Pit. Thatcher responded by saying that he respects Ciampa. Ciampa then told Thatcher he’s heard there’s an open spot in the Dusty Classic.
NXT general manager William Regal posted a tweet today confirming that Ciampa & Thatcher will be teaming together in the tournament: “Well, @NXTCiampa is partially correct. There WAS an opening for the #DustyClassic, but it seems you two have just filled that vacancy… good luck gentlemen. #WWENXT”
Nese & Daivari vs. Adonis & Troy had been set to take place on this Friday’s episode of 205 Live.
Nese & Daivari vs. Ciampa & Thatcher is the last remaining first round match in the men’s Dusty Classic. The winning team will face Undisputed Era’s Adam Cole & Roderick Strong in the quarterfinals.
Cole & Strong, Kushida & Leon Ruff, and The Grizzled Young Veterans have advanced to the quarterfinals from the left side of the Dusty Classic bracket. MSK, Drake Maverick & Killian Dain, Gran Metalik & Lince Dorado, and Legado Del Fantasma’s Raul Mendoza & Joaquin Wilde have advanced from the right side of the bracket. Kushida & Ruff vs. The Grizzled Young Veterans and MSK vs. Maverick & Dain will take place on NXT next Wednesday.
The team that wins the men’s Dusty Classic will get the Dusty Cup and a shot at Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch’s NXT Tag Team titles.