The time is almost here for the inaugural Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic to begin. More than the men’s, this tournament has an extreme excitement due to the incredible women’s division but lack of true teams. It will force the best to team up and try to find some magic while trusting someone who would otherwise be going for the same spot as them — a shot at the NXT Women’s Championship. The teams are certainly eye-openers and much like the inaugural men’s Dusty Cup, it’s likely that a makeshift team will ride all the way to the finish line. As of this writing, it has not been announced whether or not the winner gets a shot at the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships, but it’d seem right if that were the result along with winning the Dusty Cup.
Much like the men’s preview last week, we will look at the competitors involved, the teams who have a real shot at contending in the tournament, and who should be expected to walk out as the first-ever winner.
Participants of the Inaugural Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic:
— Aliyah & Jessi Kamea
— Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez
— Gigi Dolin (fka Priscilla Kelly) & Cora Jade (fka Elayna Black)
— Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter
— Marina Shafir & Zoey Stark (fka Lacey Ryan)
— Shotzi Blackheart & Ember Moon
— The Way (Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell)
— Toni Storm & Mercedes Martinez
The Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Contenders:
Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez
It’s difficult to find bigger favorites in the 8-team tournament than Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez. Not only have they shown an incredible relationship since teaming up in 2020, but they have been compared to the one-time duo of Shawn Michaels and Diesel. Not too bad for either one. Kai has been taking a backseat to watching Gonzalez soar up the ranks but they have seemed to remain in good spirits and support one another as they pursue gold. This will be their first time teaming since WarGames and could finish as they did in that one — walking out as the winners.
Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter
The Spitfire Warriors are one of the few true tag teams in this tournament and want to do everything in their power to show that they have what it takes to go all the way. The Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic is the perfect opportunity for them to show that, as Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter remain two of the more underrated talents in all of NXT. They are the underdogs especially as they face Toni Storm and Mercedes Martinez in the first round, but don’t be shocked if they steal a win and keep on riding forward and maybe even to the finals.
Shotzi Blackheart & Ember Moon
Shotzi Blackheart and Ember Moon announced their alliance for the tournament last week and instantly climbed up the list as a potential winner. Blackheart and Moon are in similar spots as two of the top babyface women on the brand. However, with Io Shirai as NXT Women’s Champion, they have somewhat but stuck in the middle yet staying relevant due to their impressive in-ring ability and charismatic personas. The potential offense they could develop as a team should have fans buzzing and they are perhaps the easiest team to cheer for. These two determined individuals should make for an awesome team and legit contenders.
Toni Storm & Mercedes Martinez
There is something to be said about a team of two incredibly talented individuals. And when those two talented individuals have enough of a relationship to take out the NXT Women’s Champion, you have to think that they have enough cohesion to get it together and win this entire tournament. Toni Storm and Mercedes Martinez form one of the most formidable duos and as long as they stay on the same page, they may breeze to the end. Storm and Martinez have both competed in the first and second Mae Young Classic tournaments, making it a possible advantage when it comes to lasting far. This duo is going to be a force if they stay friendly through the end and their desires for the NXT Women’s Championship doesn’t take over.
Our Pick For The 2021 Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Winners: Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez
Sometimes the favorites should win. Raquel Gonzalez is on an absolute tear with significant wins over Rhea Ripley and NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai in the past month. Dakota Kai is determined to reestablish herself as a contender now that she is back on NXT following her injuries at WarGames. Their first-round matchup with Aliyah and Jessi Kamea should be nothing but easy for them while the second round will bring much more difficulty. They have a clear road to the finals that many can see and becoming the first women’s Dusty Cup winners should be in their views. Gonzalez is rising to the top and “Captain Kota” deserves such an accolade after all of her time in NXT to this point. These two should be considered the favorites and will be the ones we believe walking out as the winners of the inaugural Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.
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