5 Best NXT Matches of 2018
NXT was fantastic in 2018. We had one of the best feuds of the year with Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa. We had some wonderful tag team wrestling with Undisputed Era, Mustache Mountain and Lorcan/Burch. We had great rookie years for Richochet, War Machine and Matt Riddle.
All four major title divisions produced high-quality matches throughout the entire year. The five NXT Takeovers themselves were all highly entertaining and should make any list of the best pay-per-views of the year.
As we look an amazing 2018 in the yellow brand, I present the five best matches of NXT. It was really hard to limit this list to just five best matches.
#5 Aleister Black vs Johnny Gargano (NXT Takeover: Wargames II)
I would expect to see Johnny Gargano on this list a lot.
Johnny Gargano was among the best babyface wrestlers in all of 2018. His underdog quest for the NXT Championship for one of the best stories of the year. That is why it was all the more shocking when he turned heel with an attack on Aleister Black before Wargames II. They used Black’s real-life injury to see up the summer-long mystery of who attacked him and cost him an NXT Championship match.
No one would have expected the underdog good guy who fought so hard for the title would be the culprit. Could Johnny Gargano sell his heel persona on the big Takeover stage? I would say so.
The match itself is among the most brutal of the year. I will always remember the perfectly timed Gargano suicide dive to the outside right into a Black knee to the face. It looked vicious. The match was a fast-paced encounter with so many strikes and stiff kicks that I lost count.
Besides the pacing what sold it was the story they were telling. Gargano played the cowardly heel perfectly looking for any advantage or opportunity to cheat. It sold the personal nature of the feud well. NXT was lucky to have both of them in 2018.