By Graham "GSM" Matthews
The Authors of Pain def. DIY in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Semifinal Match
Similar to last week, Authors of Pain were carried to a really fun match, this time by Johnny Gargano and Tomasso Ciampa. This was the second straight very good match Authors of Pain have had, which of course is due to the quality of their opponents, but at least it's been proven they're passable performers. Meanwhile, it was cool to see Paul Ellering get physically involved at one point. It's happened only once before in the tournament and is probably the most heelish thing he's done since he started managing Authors of Pain. The Revival costing DIY the match was logical in setting up an NXT Tag Team Championship rematch between them for TakeOver: Toronto.
TM-61 def. SAnitY in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Semifinal Match
While this match paled in comparison to the opener, it was still fairly solid. Fans haven't been given much of a reason to get behind TM-61 thus far, but this was a good start. They sold well for SAnitY and the storytelling was decent. SAnitY didn't look weak in defeat and while I was genuinely surprised by the outcome, I was happy TM-61 advanced. The crowd in Toronto would have likely sat on their hands for SAnitY vs. Authors of Pain and the match would have been a dud.
Ember Moon def. Rachel Evers
Evers is obviously Paul Ellering's daughter, but I can see why they wouldn't want to make that connection now that Paul is managing Authors of Pain. Moon continues to look impressive in the few matches she's had since Brooklyn, but it's apparent they're merely spinning their wheels with her until after TakeOver when she can finally enter the title picture. I would suggest her starting a feud with Billie Kay and/or Peyton Royce in the meantime, which still could be the plan, but Moon already solidified her superiority over Kay in her debut match in Brooklyn.
NXT Champion Shinsuke Nakamura and Samoa Joe Signed the Contract For Their TakeOver: Toronto Match
I enjoy contract signings that are kept short, sweet and to the point, and it seems NXT always does them to perfection. Nakamura didn't even have to say a single word while Joe came off outstanding as usual by ordering William Regal around. Nakamura attacking all of the security once again exposed NXT's security team as being completely incompetent. In all seriousness, I'm glad they held off on them coming to blows because we saw that last time they clashed and I'd rather wait until the match.
I've seem some criticism over this year's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic and how underwhelming some of the matches have been, but it isn't as if last year's installment produced any classics. A few of the second round and semifinal matches were entertaining, and DIY vs. Authors of Pain is definitely worth going out of your way to check out. Moon's match was mostly filler albeit serviceable for the time it was allotted, but the contract signing was exactly what it needed to be. The TakeOver card is absolutely stacked and I can't wait for it.