Due to undergoing neck surgery earlier this month, Tommaso Ciampa was forced to vacate the NXT Championship. Initially, Ciampa was set to face Gargano for the title at NXT TakeOver: New York, but WWE had to call an audible on the match.

After winning a Fatal 5-Way against Matt Riddle, Ricochet, Aleister Black, and Velveteen Dream, Adam Cole will now take on Gargano for the championship in a 2-out-of-3 Falls Match at TakeOver.

On Twitter, Gargano reflected on when he received his rejection e-mail from WWE after a tryout in 2015 and how the fans helped get him to where he is now.

"I still have my rejection email from my WWE tryout back in 2015. I look at it from time to time to remind myself how far I've come and why any of this happened to begin with. I didn't take 'no' for an answer. I fought for a chance. But I couldn't do this by myself. ... It didn't matter if it was a dark match in Full Sail or my 1st TakeOver at the Barclays Center. You chanted "Johnny Wrestling." You believed in me and they listened. We fought together to make any of this happen. We will fight to make one last dream come true in New York."

AEW Star Chuckie T responded to Gargano that he also still has his rejection letter from Canyon Ceman (Senior Director of Talent Development for WWE) and showed a photo of it.

"I hope you are well. I wanted to follow-up per our conversation at the end of your tryout. WWE does not have an opportunity for you in our developmental system. Future opportunities may be available in the form of a 'Rhyno' type loop/shot, as the NXT TV and touring brand evolves. Please keep me updated on your contract status, so we know if you are available for such opportunities. Thanks again for your effort and professionalism at the tryout, it was noticed and appreciated. Regards, Canyon Ceman"

Chuckie T responded with a "sad face."