NXT after WrestleMania started off with a bang.
On this weeks NXT we had two blockbuster match-ups set in stone to look forward to.
Lets check it out.
Tomasso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano to face off in one final match
In our March 25th edition of our NXT review, we wrote of Triple H’s announcement regarding Tomasso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano. Triple H told the NXT Universe that he would find an empty arena for Ciampa and Gargano to have their final battle. Once Ciampa and Gargano had this final battle, in Triple H’s worlds ‘This will be done’.
A final encounter.
Ladder Match to determine No. 1 Contender for the NXT Women’s Championship
In the past few weeks of NXT, Chelsea Green, Mia Yim, Tegan Nox, Io Shirai, Candice LeRae, and Dakota Kai all qualified to be participants in a 6 Women Ladder Match to determine the No. 1 Contender for the NXT Women’s Champion. This past weekend at WrestleMania, we saw Charlotte Flair defeat Rhea Ripley to become the new NXT Womens Champion. Charlotte would not have to wait long to find out who will be challenging for her new Championship.
Lets get into the action
This weeks NXT kicked off with the Ladder Match to determine No. 1 Contender for the NXT Women Championship.
Dakota Kai, who was accompanied to the ring by Raquel Gonzalez, was the first competitor to make their way to the ring for this match. The match kicked off with 2 superstars battling in the corners of the ring. Kai looked to be in control up until she was circled by Tegan Nox, Dakota Kai and Candice LaRae. The mentioned trio began to bring the fight to Kai, until the incredibly athletic ‘genius of the sky’ Io Shirai flew off the top rope in an attempt to gain control of the match.
NXT returned from commercial and we saw Tegan Nox and Dakota Kai completely destroying each other, Nox delivered the choke-slam the Kai to take Kai out of the match momentarily. We soon saw two ladders propped upright in the ring, with all participants attempting to climb the ladders at the same time, because that is multi-person ladder match wrestling logic after all.
All competitors (excluding Io Shirai) found themselves outside of the ring later on in the match, setting up the opportunity for Io Shirai to performed a springboard cross-body dive to the outside of the ring, taking out everyone involved. Robert Stone, who is Chelsea Green’s manager, tried to assist Green by climbing up the same ladder as her in hopes to retrieve the briefcase and become No.1 Contender. Io Shirai and Candice LaRae joined forces temporarily by knocking the ladder over to stop Green and Stone directly in their tracks. This was one hell of an action packed match. There were so many superstars in this match and they all performed their hearts out. Io Shirai, was the one to successfully retrieve the briefcase to become No.1 Contender for the NXT Women’s Championship.
Shirai vs Charlotte sounds like one hell of a Championship match.
Finn Balor addresses Walter
Finn Balor addressed the leader of Imperium. This was short and sweet. Balor stated that the NXT UK Championship that Walter currently holds, is on borrowed time. Balor has his eyes set on the gold.
Bivens Enterprise (Rinku Singh and Saurav Gurjar ) vs Ever Rise
Due to the sheer size of Rinku and Gurjar it was to be expected that this would be a one sided match despite the rush of adrenaline that Ever Rise showed in the first 60 seconds of this match. Rinku led the majority of the match, displaying his brute strength. Rinku simply toyed with his opponents before choosing to pick up the pin fall victory.
Winners: Rinku Singh and Saurav Gurjar
Ciampa vs Gargano
This match was brought to us from a literal empty arena. Triple H was in the ring just to reiterate, when this is over, this is over. This match was not filmed in the typical sense, not only was it literally only a NXT wrestling ring in an empty arena, but the camera angles were filmed in a more cinematic style. One of the greatest things during this match was that you could hear every piece of trash talk between Ciampa and Gargano. Gargano was relentless, pummeling a former friend, in Tomasso Ciampa. The pair continued to brawl inside and outside of the ring. This felt like more of a fight, than a sanctioned wrestling match. Gargano and Ciampa were battling outside of the ring, where Gargano viciously threw a trash can into the skull of Ciampa with no remorse. Ciampa seemed to have no defence in this match as Gargano continued to bring the attack to Ciampa’s injured neck.
Once NXT returned from commercial, Ciampa had gained the upper hand by smashing a trash can lid into the skull of Gargano. Ciampa quickly followed up by wrapping a steel chair around the neck of Gargano. This was as brutal as NXT matches come. Both men were doing whatever it took, using trash cans, tables, steel chairs, even fire extinguishers. Nothing was off limits.
Ciampa went on to rip off the light layer of padding underneath the ring mat, to expose the wood below. Ciampa rolled back outside the ring to continue the attack. As Gargano tried to get away, Ciampa shouted ‘It ends in the ring’. The pair did however end up brawling outside of the arena up against a NXT production truck. That didn’t seem to be enough though, as the two scaled to the top of the truck. Such an abnormal sight for a wrestling show. Ciampa and Gargano were fighting on top of a production truck, laying fists into the skull of one another, until Ciampa threatened to throw Gargano off of the truck. Gargano momentarily gained control, atop the truck, and locked a submission move onto Ciampa, which was soon countered. The two rivals were soon back to their feet, leaving us to wonder what will it take for this to end.
NXT returned from commercial. Gargano and Ciampa had made their way back indoors, right outside of the ring. Gargano was in control, leading Ciampa around like a rag-doll. Gargano rolled Ciampa into the ring, where the wood had been exposed earlier in the match. Gargano was measuring up to perform an suplex to Ciampa from the top rope, but Ciampa wasn’t prepared to go so easily. Ciampa countered the move, then decided to murder Gargano by holding Gargano on his shoulders and diving to the outside of the ring, landing on Gargano’s body. It was truly nasty. Ciampa then threw Gargano back into the ring for the pin fall. Gargano kicked out at two. How did he even have the energy to lift his shoulder? As the match continued, Ciampa introduced a crutch to the match, which was used by both performers to beat the living hell out of one another with. The two were left barely able to stand in the middle of the ring. I couldn’t imagine how this match was going to end. Gargano was talking trash to Ciampa, talking about how his family are ashamed of him and how he does not belong in NXT anymore. There was so much emotion in this match, and the Gargano/Ciampa feud has been such a long, deep feud, you could see how much this meant to the two performers involved. The two men were laid out in the ring, then Candice LeRae (Gargano’s wife) came to the ring, crying. LeRae was in the face of both men asking ‘who are you’ and frantically telling Ciampa to finish it. LeRea followed up by saying ‘ok, I’ll finish it’ and kicked her husband with a low blow. What the hell is happening here? LeRea left the ring, then Ciampa looked to be consoling his former friend. Then from behind, LeRae reappeared, to kick Ciampa with the low blow. Next, LeRea and Gargano were smiling. Why were they smiling? At this point I was completely dumbfounded. Gargano revealed he was wearing a cup, and this was all a plan. I did not see any of this coming. Gargano smiled knowing what he had done. Gargano covered Ciampa, One-Two-Three!
It’s all over.