The Dusty Classic is back with action set to begin on the next edition of WWE NXT. While no bracket has been released, the eight teams participating are announced. When looking at the planned group, it’s clear that it’s time for Grizzled Young Veterans to win and begin their dominant run in the NXT tag team division.
Along with GYV, the tournament includes Brooks Jensen and Josh Briggs, Jacket Time, Malik Blade and Edris Enofe, Andre Chase and Bodhi Hayward, The Creed Brothers, Legado del Fantasma, and former Dusty Cup winners and NXT tag champions, MSK. That’s a deep group from top to bottom. Outside of MSK, they could all use a boost with their positioning in NXT, but with the current direction of the brand and tag team wrestling overall in WWE, it’s hard to project a strong outcome for the tournament.
NXT is focused on elevating young talent that fits within the prototypical look and feel of a WWE Superstar. With that in mind, Jensen and Briggs feel like they should be the favorites due to their characters and their immediate visibility in NXT. But from a wrestling standpoint and an ability to carry the division, it’s time to give GYV the win.
The third time must be the charm for GYV. They made it to the finals in both 2020 and 2021, only to lose to the BroserWeights and MSK, respectively.
James Drake and Zack Gibson are exceptional tag team performers that embody everything that makes tag team wrestling enjoyable. They have a diverse set of tandem maneuvers that they can pull out at any moment, plus their characters work within NXT as a pair of entertaining heels. Having them lose again wouldn’t surprise anyone with WWE’s tendency for booking but giving them the victory in the tournament would be a slam dunk of a decision.
It’s time for MSK to move up to the main roster. Legado del Fantasma looked like a main event stable for NXT, but just like so many others, their booking has changed to focus on a love angle between Elecktra Lopez and Xyon Quinn. The same could have been said for The Creed Brothers and Diamond Mine as a whole. Roderick Strong has lost his title and again, that group has been pushed to the wayside which will certainly impact how Julius and Brutus Creed are used. Jacket Time are a comedy act even though KUSHIDA is one of the best wrestlers in the world. The other teams feel like duos thrown together to fill out the tournament.
Like a lot of other things in NXT, The Dusty Cup was a well-received product that helped build the tag team division and future stars. That was the case, as there’s no telling what this current iteration will contain. Even still, The Grizzled Young Veterans are the most sensible team to award the victory at this point, especially when looking at their history in the tournament.