Jobber Knocker

NXT Recap 3/20: With Ciampa Injured, Who’s Fighting For Goldie?

After what was a great ending to last week’s NXT and word of Ciampa’s neck injury, there were a lot of questions going into this week’s NXT. Especially with only 3 weeks away from NXT Takeover: New York.

Triple H has some explaining to do, as we start off this week’s NXT with Hunter coming to the ring with the NXT Title.  His original announcement was to say that the main event was going to be Johnny Gargano vs Tommaso Ciampa for the NXT Title.  Johnny Wrestling will still go on to main event Takeover, however tonight we will find out who he faces, as Ricochet, Adam Cole, Aleister Black, the Velveteen Dream, and Matt Riddle meet to decide who will face him at Takeover. 

But that’s not all!  Triple H thinks we need a decisive winner, so the NXT Title match will be a two out of 3 falls match!  Any of those five contenders can put on an amazing match with Gargano.  Realistically it has to be Adam Cole, with Ricochet and Black getting the call up, and Velveteen Dream and Matt Riddle on a collision course for Takeover already.  However, as we know, anything can happen in NXT, and things can change on a dime, so really it is a wide open field.

Cathy Kelley is backstage trying to get an interview to get opinions on tonight’s main event.  Kona Reeves blows her off, and the Forgotten Sons once again feel forgotten.  However, the Forgotten Sons are rooting for Ricochet or Aleister Black, that way they’ll take their eyes off of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.

We get the highlight reel of Ricochet and Aleister Black, as the finalists for the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic say that tonight they will compete as individuals tonight.

Next up is Velveteen Dream’s turn.  He says that for everyone else; Dream Over.  He says he will be NXT’s first ever dual champion. 

Emotional video of Tommaso Ciampa getting neck surgery.  The doctor talks about how this is the 3rd time he’s seen Tommaso for surgery in the past few years, and that it shows his resolve as an athlete how he has been able to recover.  He says that this surgery takes about a year to recover from, so some of my and DQ’s hopes can come true, as this leads to a return right around Wrestlemania time!

Matt Riddle’s highlights are next.  He says that he’s stoked to get this opportunity.  He says that he worked his ass off to get here, and that he will be the next NXT champion.

Adam Cole is next.  He talks about how two years ago he debuted with NXT at the Barclays Center.  That night he took out Drew McIntyre and raised the NXT title above his head, and that this time he will do it again, just as Champion.

Cathy Kelly catches up with Io Shirai and Kairi Sane to see their thoughts on the matchup tonight.  They give a super political answer that doesn’t give a favorite.  They’re then asked about their matchup at Takeover.  Kairi says that they are ready to do what it takes, even if it means to fight their friend.  Bianca Belair chimes in and says neither of them should have a shot.  As she chomps her gum super obnoxiously loud, she says that she will walk away with the NXT Women’s Championship. 

Fatal Five-Way match to determine Johnny Gargano’s opponent at Takeover: New York

It’s a one match night tonight on NXT, as the only event is the Main Event.  You have to give this match time though, so it’s understandable.  Fun fact going into this match that Mauro points out, is that Aleister Black is the only superstar in this match that has been NXT Champion, and that Ciampa was the one to dethrone him.

Lots of quick action to start, as Cole goes right after his other four opponents, and Dream and Riddle tie up outside of the ring. 

The dynamic of the this match was really interesting to me.  The first part of the match saw only two people in the ring at a time, with the other superstars thrown out of the ring.  Every now and then it rotated, with another superstar coming into the ring, taking someone out, and starting a new matchup.  As Mauro was kind enough to point out, this match is not elimination, but just one fall. 

The biggest pop came with Matt Riddle and Adam Cole faced off.   It was short lived though, as Velveteen Dream joined in, as these three have basically been in a feud and were a potential North American Championship match at Takeover until Ciampa went down. 

In the last act of the match, Dream was caught in the BroMission, and ended up tapping, however it wasn’t seen as the referee was pulled out of the ring by Adam Cole.  Dream got up and received a Black Mask.  Ricochet got the rest of the competitors out of the ring and nailed a shooting star, with all four of his opponents down, he hit Matt Riddle with a shooting star in the middle of the ring for what looked like the end.  Adam Cole broke up the pinfall with a knee to the back of the head, and pinned Ricochet to become Johnny Gargano’s opponent at Takeover.


With only one match, it’s got to go to Adam Cole.  He gets his spotlight match at Takeover against Johnny Gargano now with a Two out of Three Falls match.  It will be interesting to see how much the Undisputed Era has planned during that match, or if they get banned from ringside.  Regardless, Takeover now has a strong main event to look forward to, and boy are we looking forward to it.

Not sure what happened to Keith Lee vs. Dominik Dijakovic, but sounds like we might have to wait to Takeover or the week after to see that !  Until next week, follow me on Twitter at @TJoftheJK for all of my thoughts and insight on the world of wrestling as we hit the final stretch on the way to New York.