by James Toal
Will he stay, or will he go? That’s the big question going into this weeks edition of NXT. Johnny Gargano has put his NXT career on the line for the championship, but how will it all end? Let’s take a look at what happens on the WWE Networks’ best show… No, not Storytime! it’s This Week on NXT!
The Velveteen Dream vs No Way Jose
We got a friendly opening to the fight as Dream and Jose showed off their dance moves. But it all became business as usual as Dream brought the fight to Jose with a series of strikes. Jose fought back with his cocky style, even managing to gain the upper hand for a short time. But, Jose went for his finishing strike and was reversed with a dropkick. Dream followed that up with a Death Valley Driver and finally a Purple Rain Maker from the top rope to take the win. A fun match to get the episode started that keeps Dream alive and in a comfortably strong position at the moment.
Dream went on to speak to the NXT crowd and slander the names of the people that received NXT awards recently. He stated that Velveteen Dreams’ name is on the tip of everyone’s tongues, and if you cant see that? then he doesn’t have time for you! Dream continues to improve with his promo work, he seems to get more confident with every passing week.
Winner: The Velveteen Dream
– William Regal announced that the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic will be starting once again in two weeks. Not only will the winner of the tournament receive the coveted trophy, but they will also be awarded a shot at the Tag Team Championships. More tournaments? Count me in!
Vannessa Bourne vs Nikki Cross
Nikki immediately went on the offensive, catching Vanessa off guard and leaving her to try and regain ground as Nikki cackled her way through the match. Vanessa gained the advantage slightly with a less than impressive version of Corbins’ Deep Six, but it wouldn’t put Nikki away that easily. After some time on the defence, Nikki took control back after a cross body slam and put Vanessa away with The Purge (Fishermans’ Neckbreaker).
Wasn’t quite a squash match, but could be mistaken for one. While Vanessa got to look strong, it was only for about two seconds as Nikki completely dominated the rest of the fight.
Winner: Nikki Cross
Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas w/ Zelina Vega vs Johnny Gargano w/ Candice LaRae – NXT Championship
Andrade was focussed, he knew what he needed to do to win and how to do it. He outwrestled Gargano early on, but his own faults got in the way as he let his guard down for the smallest amount of time for Gargano to take control. The pace soon picked up as Candice evened the score by taking out Zelina with a suicide dive, leaving both men to fight amongst themselves one on one. The match heated up as Gargano fought resiliently to keep in this match, bringing it to Andrade with every chance he got.
The threat of the HammerLock DDT loomed over Gargano’s head, but he consistently managed to fight out of the hold as they wore each other down. Things looked bleak as Almas tried to take Gargano down by stealing The Gargano Escape, but Johnny escaped and even tried to nail the Hammerlock DDT on Almas! Gargano was fighting for his life to stay in this. It all seemed to be heading for a new champ to be named, sadly Almas kicked out of the Slingshot DDT.
An altercation had the referee knocked out as Gargano went for The Gargano Escape. If only the ref was awake to count. All of a sudden, Tommaso Ciampa appeared and proceeded to strike Gargano with a crutch. Almas took advantage of this and hit the Hammerlock DDT to retain the championship and kick Johnny Gargano out of NXT. A saddened Johnny Gargano sat in the middle of the ring as Candice LaRae came to comfort him, he waved goodbye to the appreciative NXT crowd and slowly made his way up the ramp and leaving NXT for good. Tomasso Ciampa from elsewhere in the room (it was hard to tell where he was) mockingly waved back, impressed with actions.
Winner: Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas
Didn’t think that was going to happen. Now all I’m left with is questioning what’s going to happen next. An emotional way to end an episode, but effective in keeping me and other Johnny Wrestling fans hooked.