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[2018-02-21-WWE-NXT] Andrade 'Cien' Almas vs Johnny Gargano


Ricky Jackson
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After their classic at the last Takeover, I thought there would be more interest in this match around here. I mean, it's four days later and no thread for what I thought was another awesome match between the two. Is it because it was taped weeks ago and the spoilers were known? It seems not a lot of folks follow the week to week NXT TV. Yes, I know that there are not a lot of "great matches" on the show, but it's only one hour a week and there have been tons of gems like this one over the years.

 

Anyway, this was great. What a rivalry this has turned out to be, and Almas and Gargano have become much bigger stars because of it. In a way it's the US version of Okada vs Omega, centered around a groundbreaking match that shot both men to new heights of stardom, in particular the loser of said match. The stakes were raised for this one with Gargano agreeing to leave NXT if he lost. The match was wrestled at a break neck pace and called back various moments from their past matches. The finish was brilliant. Gargano "should have won" with Almas on the verge of submitting (nice touch that he didn't give the visual tap, so he's still strong as champ going forward) but his bitter and crazy ex-partner Ciampa ruins it all by interfering while the ref was out. It's also neat how the injured Ciampa has played either a direct or indirect part in at least three of the four matches between the two, as remember it was Vega throwing a DIY t-shirt at Gargano that distracted him and cost him the first encounter back at Takeover Brooklyn. Ciampa's cold blooded wave goodbye to Gargano at the very end of the show was so cool. Going forward, Gargano has that long-awaited feud on the horizon, plus unfinished business with Almas (he needs to get that win!). But how can he do this if he is gone from NXT??? TUNE IN TO FIND OUT FANS!

 

So yeah, loved it. ****1/4. (Yeah, I'm doing quarters now. I get the need for them)

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