It took several steps, but in the end, Bronson Reed has won the right to face Johnny Gargano for the NXT North American Championship on Night Two of NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver.
Reed was one of the final six participants in the Gauntlet Eliminator Battle Royal last week. He was eliminated third-last and thus entered tonight's Gauntlet Eliminator from the No. 3 spot.
The Colossal One was one of the favorites due to his size, but Dexter Lumis seemed like the logical choice due to weeks of tormenting The Way. Leon Ruff and Isaiah "Swerve" Scott were the first two in the match, but Ruff was eliminated early on.
Swerve made it to the final two alongside Reed. Despite falling in the end, Scott proved that he should be moving up the card following TakeOver: Stand & Deliver.
Dexter Lumis entered fifth and had Cameron Grimes locked in a submission, but he was rolled up by LA Knight before the latter was eliminated by Reed. Grimes lasted until the final three but was rolled up by Swerve.
Reed and Swerve put forth an impressive ending sequence, with The Colossal One asking for and taking a lot of punishment. Scott even landed three House Call kicks on Reed, but couldn't put him away. In the end, a huge splash punched Reed's ticket to face Gargano.
Johnny Gargano should be on his toes on NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver Night Two
Now that he knows his opponent for TakeOver: Stand & Deliver, Gargano can act one of two ways. He'll probably remain confident because he knows he has the interference of The Way in his back pocket.
While he may act calm and collected, he has to be dreading having to face Reed in the back of his mind. The Colossal One absorbed a lot of damage and kept on coming back for more. Even the ever-confident Swerve was in disbelief when he couldn't put Reed away.
Reed has been trading wins and losses ever since debuting in the NXT Breakout Tournament. Also a part of that tourney were Swerve, Lumis and Grimes. The Colossal One has come a long way in his NXT journey and he might realize the first step of title glory on Night Two of TakeOver: Stand & Deliver.
Can Johnny Gargano put back this challenge and remain North American Champion? Tomorrow will provide the NXT Universe with the answer.