The Authors of Pain def. #DIY (Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Semifinal Match)
LOS ANGELES — It may have seemed like Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa were the fresher team in this battle, having advanced to the semifinals as a result of The Revival’s forfeit. However, any advantage #DIY may have had was negated by the brute force of The Authors of Pain.
Akam started off strong, leading #DIY to lean heavily on their speed and agility to stagger their monstrous foes. But Akam & Rezar found a way to stop that, too, catching a diving Gargano, then hurling Johnny Wrestling into Ciampa when he took flight. The Authors’ manager, Paul Ellering, even joined in on the beatdown, slamming Gargano face-first into the ring apron while the referee was distracted.
But through it all, Gargano remained resilient, fighting back against his towering opponents and tagging in his partner. Ciampa stunned Rezar with a series of devastating strikes and showed off incredible strength, planting the 330-pounder into the mat with a German Suplex. Rezar countered with a show of strength of his own, lifting up both members of #DIY and hurling them overhead with a devastating slam.
#DIY took flight, neutralizing Rezar at ringside and clobbering Akam back in the ring with their devastating running knee/superkick combo. Gargano & Ciampa had Akam down for the three-count, but Ellering jumped onto the apron and distracted the official, preventing him from counting the pin. With the referee’s attention elsewhere, The Revival emerged from under the ring. Scott Dawson planted Gargano head-first into the floor of the Hollywood Palladium with a DDT, leaving Ciampa alone in the ring to feel the full effect of the Last Chapter, as the Authors reserved their spot in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Finals.