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Saturday could be Johnny Gargano’s final NXT act

Chris Schubert



NXT TakeOver New Orleans

There has been a lot of top-tier talent that has gone through the ranks of NXT. The likes of Finn Balor, Samoa Joe, Shinsuke Nakamura and Kevin Owens are just some of the names of NXT alumni.

Despite all of that firepower that NXT has pushed to the main roster, there is one man who defines NXT. That man is Johnny Gargano and on Saturday, we might be seeing his final act as part of the NXT roster.

On Saturday night, Gargano will finally get his hands on the guy that has tortured him for almost the past year in Tommaso Ciampa. At every turn since NXT TakeOver: Chicago last year, Ciampa has taking great pride in tearing down Gargano, even when he is at his lowest.

Take NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia for example. Gargano just went through a war with Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas and failed in his quest to become NXT Champion. Unlike everybody thought, Ciampa did not ruin Gargano’s chance at the title. Instead, he struck again when Gargano was at a low point; exactly what all great villains do.

That leads us to Saturday, where Gargano and Ciampa will do battle for the first time under the NXT umbrella in an unsanctioned match. With Gargano having already challenged for the NXT Championship, there wasn’t much left for him to do except get his revenge on Ciampa.

There were some that thought this feud was going to take place on 205 Live, under the new guidance of Triple H. That rumor became even more popular when there wasn’t a whole lot of development of this feud on television. Perhaps that was because of uncertain of Ciampa’s ability to wrestle on this show. Quickly, NXT put that to bed with some major progression via backstage segments setting up this showdown.

For all that NXT has given us in terms of match quality and dream matches, this has been THE feud in NXT. It is the matchup that everybody has wanted to see. That’s a credit to good booking and more importantly, great characters.

In today’s WWE, it is hard to have heels that actually get booed. Ciampa has done that, mainly in part to Gargano being such an over babyface. Adding all of that up is what makes this feel like the culmination of Johnny Gargano’s career in NXT.

This feels like it will be the last main thing that Gargano will do in NXT. Yes, a victory gets him reinstated to NXT. That might just be a formality to ultimately call him up, in kayfabe.

Johnny Wrestling’s entire NXT run won’t be remembered for what happened with #DIY. He will be remembered for what happens on Saturday when he tries to fight for his career and livelihood. This is the feud that has defined NXT for the past year. For him, for NXT, and for all of us this is wrestling at its finest.

Good thing he happens to be known as Johnny Wrestling.

Chris is a recent graduate of Arizona State University, where he majored in Journalism and Mass Communication. He has covered spring training, the Super Bowl, WWE and the MLB for a variety of websites in the past.

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