There’s been exactly one question on everyone’s mind ever since it was revealed that Tommaso Ciampa would undergo anterior cervical fusion surgery for an injured neck: What would that mean for the NXT Championship, the one affectionately named “Goldy” by “The Blackheart of NXT”? While every single person wishes Ciampa a speedy, full recovery, there’s no doubt that the state of the title is a topic of conversation, especially with NXT TakeOver: New York just three weeks away. On this week’s NXT, the question is finally answered, as Triple H comes to Full Sail to address the situation.
The COO of WWE wastes no time, immediately coming to the ring with the NXT Championship in his hand. It’s such a strange sight, after seeing Ciampa refuse to let anyone put their hands on Goldy. Once the “Triple H” and “NXT” chants die down, he gets down to business. He talks about how special NXT is to him and how he loves giving wrestlers an opportunity to fulfill their dreams. When he pivots to the bad news—about not being able to book Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa for the main event of TakeOver: New York—you can tell he’s genuinely upset that
“But, when one dream ends, another one begins,” he says. He announces that Johnny Gargano will still head to New York to compete for the vacant NXT Championship, in a 2-Out-of-3 Falls match no less, and that he’ll be competing against the winner of a Fatal 5-Way from tonight’s show, featuring Ricochet, Aleister Black, Adam Cole, Velveteen Dream, and Matt Riddle. Now that’s
Here’s the thing though: This is a Fatal 5-Way main event, which means we need a lot of time to sort out who’s going to New York. So, we get an entire episode devoted to that single match. After checking in with each of the men in the match,
It’s chaos to begin, and throughout. Dream and Riddle fight to the outside, Cole drags Ricochet onto the apron, and then Dream and Black are left in the ring.
Then, Ricochet and Black, the recently-formed and very dominant tag team, briefly work together to take out Cole, but that can only last so long. They shake hands and then go after each other, but they don’t get a chance to exchange blows. Cole breaks up the fight and goes for a pin on Ricochet, keeping him isolated in the ring when “The One and Only” kicks out. Everyone else is recovering on the outside while Cole picks Ricochet apart.
Rather, he picks him apart until Ricochet lays him out with a rolling double dropkick. With Cole down, Dream gets into the ring, sends Ricochet to the outside, and then comes off the top with a double axe handle to Cole’s head. He tries to do the same to Riddle, but the “Bro” catches him and sends him flying with a releasGermanan suplex. It’s pretty much impossible to keep up with the action at this point. Black gets in the ring and lays out everybody, sending Riddle to the outside before knocking Cole and Dream out with a springboard moonsault.
Everyone fights on the outside for awhile, and then Cole and Riddle get space to work in the ring. They trade chops and strikes before Riddle locks in the Bromission, coming close to getting Cole to tap before Dream breaks it up. The three men then trade chops in the middle of the ring. It’s one strike after another, as Black and Ricochet get involved too. There’s knees, superkicks, and elbows flying, and all five men hit the mat at once.
Ricochet is the first up and he sees his opportunity. He heads to the top rope but gets caught by Cole. Dream joins in, going for a suplex on Ricochet off the top. Then Black and Riddle hit the ropes too, and all four men slam Ricochet into the mat. Again, the five bodies are strewn across the ring, no competitor with a clear advantage.
Two of those bodies emerge from the pile, as Black and Dream square off in the middle of the ring. Black is all over him, hitting him a beautiful kick before executing a german suplex with a pin. He maybe has the match won, but Riddle breaks up the pin. Riddle then runs into a superkick from Cole, and then Cole gets hit with a kick to the back of the head from Ricochet. Cole fights back with two superkicks, exposes his knee for one final shot, but Ricochet hits him with a reverse hurricanrana. Like I said, chaos!
That leaves Riddle and Dream in the ring, and Riddle gets the upper hand with a vicious knee strike before he locks in the Bromission. Dream looks like he’s close to tapping, but Cole pulls the ref out and that leads to a truly astonishing final sequence. Ricochet recovers and hits Riddle with a shooting star press. He easily has the win, but Cole, with that exposed knee, runs into the ring and destroys Ricochet with a knee to the back of the head. After endless near falls, this is what finally gets it done. Adam Cole is headed to NXT TakeOver: New York to challenge Johnny Gargano for the vacant NXT Championship.
You can watch this week’s NXT on the WWE Network.