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WWE/NXT News: Johnny Gargano leaves NXT

8.64K   //    22 Feb 2018, 12:24 IST

Gargano vs Cien Almas at NXT Takeover: Philadelphia
Gargano vs Cien Almas at NXT Takeover: Philadelphia

What's the story?

NXT Star, Johnny Gargano, accepted a match for the NXT Championship against Andrade Cien Almas on last week's broadcast of NXT, with the condition that if he lost the bout, he would then leave the NXT Brand. 

Gargano faced Almas for the Championship on this week's broadcast but after a gruelling bout, he was unable to come away with the Championship. As a result, he had to then, leave NXT.

In case you didn't know...

Gargano and Almas have had an ongoing rivalry over the past months, as they faced off against each other in several matches. After Cien Almas won the title against Drew McIntyre at NXT Takeover: Wargames, he was able to successfully defend the Title against Gargano at NXT Takeover: Philadelphia.

The bout was widely acclaimed as one of the best in the history of WWE, with Wrestling Observer Newsletter's Dave Meltzer rating it with the ever-so-rare 5-Stars. The last time that a WWE bout received a 5-star rating was when CM Punk faced John Cena for the WWE Title at Money in the Bank in 2011. 

The heart of the matter

The bout between Gargano and Almas was decided last week, with Almas upping the stakes to give Gargano a Title Shot, demanding that he put his career on the line. Gargano accepted the stipulations, and this week's broadcast of NXT saw Gargano face Almas in a Career vs Title Match, where if Gargano lost, he would have to leave NXT.

You can watch clips from the match here:

Gargano lost the match despite putting up a brilliant performance. The fight saw interference from Cien Almas' manager, Zelina Vega, former tag partner turned rival of Gargano, Tomasso Ciampa, and Gargano's wife as she looked to help her husband, Candice Lerae. 

After the match, WWE posted a video of Gargano leaving the building. You can watch the video here:


What's next?

According to the stipulations, Gargano has to leave NXT. This being WWE, he may make a return to the brand soon looking to get his revenge against his former partner and Almas. On the other hand, this may also be his transition into the main roster, though it seems unlikely at this point.

Author's take

Gargano and Almas have produced some of the best matches in NXT. The two have been consistent and this bout was no different. 

WWE is building to a feud between Gargano and Ciampa for the entirety of the past year. This bout added to the hype for that feud, when it does arrive.

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