Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder vs Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa
August 20, 2016
Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY
NXT Takeover: Brooklyn
NXT Tag Team Championship
Total 1980s style tag team perfection. This was the kind of battle you’d see in the NWA circa 1987 with Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard against the Fantastics or Rock N Roll Express. The heels (Dawson & Wilder) cut the ring in half and worked over the babyface (Gargano), with he and the other babyface (Ciampa) trading hot comebacks that had the building rocking.
Steve Austin raved about this, but that’s only because he had to watch it since Dawson & Wilder did his podcast, and I’m sure he’d rave about other matches on this list if he ever bothered to watch them. These two teams had been on the road for weeks, perfecting this match, and it really showed and paid off on the big stage. A ton of credit should be given to all four for stealing the show and having an even better match than Samoa Joe and Nakamura did later that night.
The only negative is that as good as these guys are on NXT, I don’t see any of them making it in WWE. Perhaps Gargano could, but the others will likely get lost in the shuffle because Vince has no clue how to use them. Just look at American Alpha, a team even more talented and far more charismatic than Dawson & Wilder, languishing into oblivion on SmackDown. Perhaps they could get a shot in New Japan to replace Gallows & Anderson, but they’re a lot smaller.
But for now, this match was excellent and unlike most other matches on this list. If you want a total throwback to the days of tag team wrestling you grew up with or heard about, this is the bout to see.
This match is only available on the WWE Network. There are videos online, but they will be taken down eventually. Here’s an official clip from WWE: