WWE NXT Women's Dusty Rhodes Classic Begins, Beth Phoenix Returns To The CWC

The first round of the first-ever WWE NXT Women's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic kicked off on tonight's NXT episode.

The tournament opened with WWE Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix and NXT General Manager William Regal on the show with all 8 participating tag teams, and the Women's Dusty Classic trophy. Phoenix talked about how NXT has been at the forefront of the Women's Evolution as images displayed of several main roster Superstars who have come through the black & yellow brand. Phoenix then introduced Mercedes Martinez, Toni Storm, Kayden Carter, and Kacy Catanzaro for a face-off.

This week's show also marked Beth's return to calling the action live from ringside at the Capitol Wrestling Center with Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett. Phoenix has worked commentary remotely since the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year.

Tonight's first round match saw Team Ninja (Carter, Catanzaro) defeat Storm and Martinez to advance to the quarterfinals. The match saw interference from NXT Women's Champion Io Shirai, who took out Martinez and allowed Team Ninja to double team Storm.

Team Ninja will now go on to the quarterfinals to face the winners of Aliyah and Jessi Kamea vs. Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez. That first round match will air next Wednesday night.

Stay tuned for more on the 2021 NXT Women's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. Below are the brackets and related shots from tonight's show: