After years of shunning the idea, WWE seems to have gone tournament-crazy over the last couple of years. The WWE Universe has been treated to the Cruiserweight Classic, the Mae Young Classic, the United Kingdom Championship tournament and more, but it all started with NXT and the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.
The tournament was initially unveiled as a tribute to the American Dream in 2015, and was a tremendous success. Finn Bálor and Samoa Joe came out on top, besting Baron Corbin and Rhyno in the final, but the tournament also went a long way to establishing American Alpha and The Revival as the next generation of tag teams in NXT.
2016 saw a mix of established and thrown together teams take part, culminating in a final between TM-61 and The Authors of Pain, which was won by the latter. The Authors went on to dominate the NXT tag team division for the next nine months.
The 2017 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic is almost upon us - who will be involved in the third edition of the tournament? Who will come out on top?
Pete Dunne may have lost the PROGRESS World Championship this past weekend, but that should be considered a small blip in what has been a fantastic 2017 for the 'Bruiserweight' - and almost certainly suggests a full-time role in WWE is imminent. In 2016 he was overlooked for the Cruiserweight Classic - in 2017 he has become arguably one of the top three British wrestlers on the planet.
Former ICW Champion Wolfgang has seen his stock rise in 2017 as well. A semi-final appearance in the inaugural United Kingdom Championship tournament surprised many, and 'The Regulator' has been featured on NXT a number of times since.
Dunne and Wolfgang aren’t a long term team by any stretch of the imagination, and will almost certainly show some dissent in a first round loss here.
Prediction: First Round