Welcome to the recap of Wednesday's episode of WWE NXT. Leave your thoughts on the show below in the comments section.
- The show opens with a video package highlighting Andrade "Cien" Almas and his journey to capturing the NXT Championship. We then work into the rivalry he's had with Johnny Gargano. They'll be in the main event tonight. Let's go straight to the ring for some action.
Velveteen Dream vs. No Way Jose
Strong support for Velveteen Dream and Jose feels like the underdog early. Dream lands the first shot and continues in the corner. He proceeds to dance to the rhythm of his frilly tights. Jose back up and lands a huge clothesline. Follows it up with a back body drop and a basement slide kick takes Dream to the outside. Jose not done and hits a slingshot dive to the floor. We go to our first break.
Upon return, Dream lands a jaw breaker and a slam to shift control. He goes for what appeared to be the Purple Rainmaker but Jose gets both boots up to the jaw. Jose with a group of straight rights and tossing a pretty large man in Dream all the way across the ring. Jose embracing the cheers for his opponents and using it as fuel. He winds up for his baseball pitch, but Dream bounces off with a drop kick. He quickly follows with the rolling death valley driver and puts the cherry on top with the purple rainmaker.
Winner via Pinfall: Velveteen Dream
- After the match, Velveteen Dream takes the mic and says he wins all the awards and it doesn't matter who won last year's accolades. He says his name is clearly on the tip of everyone's tongues, which sparks another chant.
- Zelina Vega gives her business associate a pep talk in the back as he preps for his match in the main event.
- William Regal makes an announcement from his office. He lets us know that the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic will return in two weeks. The winner not only gets the Dusty Cup, but also a shot at the tag titles at NXT TakeOver: New Orleans.
Vanessa Borne vs. Nikki Cross
The bell rings and Nikki storms into Vanessa with a shove and ground and pound. Borne reverses a whip but Nikki just jumps on top of her for a sleeper hold. Borne slings her down. Cross seems to be enjoying the pain that Borne is dishing out as she uses the ropes and the count to her advantage. Variety of power moves by Borne only gets a two before she cinches in the chin lock. Borne resorting to disrespectful tactics which only fires Cross up. Running cross body, pair of forearms, corner avalanche. Diving cross body and rolls through instead of the pin. Cross hits her swinging neck breaker dubbed "the purge" for the fairly quick win.
Winner via Pinfall: Nikki Cross
- A look back at the budding rivalry between Aleister Black and Killian Dain.
- TM61 announces their intention to participate in the Dusty Tag Classic via Twitter.
- Recap of last week's NXT Women's Championship match where Kairi Sane interrupted the proceedings and we saw Baszler retreat for the first time. They will face each other next week. But now, it's NXT Title time!
Andrade "Cien" Almas vs. Johnny Gargano (NXT Championship Match)
If Gargano loses, he leaves NXT...
Nice reception for all involved, including the challenger's newly signed wife, Candice LeRae. They get the spotlight treatment as the competitors are introduced and the title is shown. The bell rings and the crowd is ready. Gargano sizes Almas up. Series of roll-ups, mostly by Almas, comes up empty. Gargano rolls out of the ring to regroup as we go to our first break.
Quickly return and Almas is still in control. Back elbow from the champ. Gargano quickly returns the favor and sends the champ outside. Gargano looks to fly but Vega steps in the way. Candice won't stand for it and hits a suicide dive to the outside. Johnny hits one of his own and we now have a true one-on-one match up. Gargano looks for the slingshot but Almas intercepts. Almas takes Gargano down onto the apron, as we know is the hardest part of the ring. It's turned into a slug fest with chops in the middle of the ring. Almas catches Gargano on the ropes and holds onto an arm bar until the 4.9 point of the 5 count for a break. Almas teases the hammerlock, but only uses it to sling Johnny into the corner before proceeding to stomp a mud hole in the challenger. Almas uses the ropes to his advantage again as the crowd attempts to rally Gargano. Not much luck yet as Almas has a counter to Gargano's reversals. Another break as the champ is standing tall.
We're back and Gargano in a world of trouble. He fights out for a moment, reverses a suplex, and hits a roll-thru kick. Whip to the corner, but uses momentum to catch Almas for a rana. Slingshot spear by Gargano, but can't hold the pin due to his left arm. He shakes some feeling back into and south paws his way to an advantage. Looks for a super kick but gets caught. Buckle bomb and doubles knees from Almas for a long two. Hammerlock applied, but Gargano pushes Almas into the buckles twice to break the hold, only to get thrown shoulder first into the ring post. Action goes outside now as they tee off on each other with tired legs on the apron. Gargano lifts him up and looks to the announce desk, but Almas grabs the rope to escape. They go for each others' finishers and tactfully reverse them. Almas with another double knee in the corner, this time to the back of Gargano's neck. Cover for a two. Almas exasperated continues to look for ways to close the deal. He perches the challenger up top for an extreme hammerlock DDT. Johnny blocks. Gargano caught on the ropes now as Almas takes advantage of the fact. He has bad intentions, but Gargano untangles himself in time to knock Almas down. Diving DDT to the outside, quickly rolls him in, slingshot DDT, but only a two once again. They essentially try to hold onto each other just to get themselves off the ground. They hit last ditch efforts on their knees as they club away in the middle of the ring. Thunderous chop by Almas followed by a super kick from Gargano. Almas lines up for an elbow but hits the official instead. Gargano uses the minor distraction to lock in the GargaNO Escape. The referee is down. Tommaso Ciampa enters from the crowd and nails his former best friend with his now infamous crutch. Almas up and hits the hammerlock DDT. The referee comes to and slowly makes the three count.
Winner & STILL NXT Champion: Andrade "Cien" Almas
- They recap the highlights of the match and the stakes. With the loss, Gargano must now leave NXT. Almas and Vega celebrate on the ramp as an emotional Gargano recovers in the ring. A big "Thank You Johnny" chant rings out as his wife Candice comes out to console him. The ring announcer makes it official that Gargano must leave NXT as the crowd erupts into "NO" chants. A vocal few seem to be happy with this, but the rest of the crowd gives him a standing ovation. He makes his emotional exit as Ciampa is shown in the crowd waving goodbye with a sly Sicilian smile.