NXT TakeOver: New York - Johnny Gargano's tryst with destiny
It is said that sometimes the journey is far more important than the destination itself. This adage fits the run of Johnny Gargano in NXT. The Ohio native has been a staple of the yellow brand for the past few years dishing out one classic after another. Gargano has been a part of some incredible matches against the likes of Velveteen Dream, Aleister Black, Ricochet and his perennial opponent, Tommaso Ciampa.
Ciampa and Gargano feuded for the better of 2018 in what can best be described as the 'Feud of The Year'. The duo put on a classic at NXT TakeOver: New Orleans and followed it up with a pair of exhilarating affairs at TakeOver: Chicago II and TakeOver: Brooklyn IV, with the latter one being for the NXT Championship.
Gargano would sign of moving to the dark side following his feud with Ciampa and would ultimately be revealed as Aleister Black's mystery attacker, following which the duo would face off at TakeOver: WarGames II.
The Rebelheart would finally capture gold when he defeated Ricochet at TakeOver: Pheonix for the NXT North American Championship, only to lose it a few days later to Velveteen Dream at an NXT TV taping.
Gargano and Ciampa would debut on the main roster as a tag team and would later compete in the 2018 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic losing in the second round to the team of Aleister Black and Ricochet. Following this match, Ciampa would once again try to blindside Gargano as he did at TakeOver: Chicago but Gargano caught a sniff of Ciampa's antics and attacked him exactly the way Ciampa did two years ago.
Gargano's NXT run has been nothing short of exhilarating. From being a beloved babyface to his slight albeit short turn to the dark side and back to being a babyface again, Gargano's character throughout his NXT run has been an absolute joy to watch. The Rebelheart made us cheer him when he was a face and despise him with equal vigor when he was a heel. It is a testament to the man's sheer talent that he portrayed both the shades with equal aplomb.
Although fans would've loved to see Gargano finally beat Ciampa to capture the NXT Championship, destiny had other plans for the man they call 'Johnny Gargano', who will now face Adam Cole in a two-out-of-three-falls match for the vacant NXT Championship.
A win over Cole will cement Gargano's legacy as one of the greatest NXT Superstars of all time and also make him the yellow brand's Triple Crown Champion. It would only be befitting for NXT TakeOver: New York to close out with the image of Johnny Takeover holding the brand's top prize.