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WWE NXT live results: Modified format due to coronavirus pandemic

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Amid the coronavirus pandemic, tonight's episode of NXT will feature a "modified format."

WWE has announced that the show "will air as regularly scheduled in a modified format with elements ranging from in-depth character profiles and story breakdowns as well as never-before-seen interviews and content."

Triple H and Tom Phillips will be the hosts for the show.

Adam Cole celebrating becoming the longest-reigning NXT Champion in history had originally been announced for tonight. Candice LeRae vs. Mercedes Martinez was also set, with the winner qualifying for the number one contender's ladder match at NXT TakeOver: Tampa. TakeOver: Tampa was scheduled to take place at the Amalie Arena on Saturday, April 4 but has now been canceled.

Last week's NXT took place at the Performance Center, but that wasn't due to the coronavirus. Full Sail wasn't available due to their annual Hall of Fame week. The show ended with a wild brawl between Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano, with Ciampa putting Gargano through a table with an Air Raid Crash from a perch.

Our coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.

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The show opened with highlights from last episode at the PC, and then Tom Phillips and Triple H welcomed viewers to the show.

They threw to a featurette chronicling the rivalry between Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano. Real life was mixed with storyline in weaving the tale.

Gargano and Ciampa were paired together upon arriving in WWE according to the story. They traced the beginning of their classic matches to a meeting in the first round of the Cruiserweight Classic. They would go on to form a team, get over, and then they won the NXT Tag Team Championship. In the meantime, Ciampa was roommates with Gargano and his wife Candice LeRae.

Upon losing the tag team titles, their partnership soon began to unravel. Ciampa then turned on Gargano, and Ciampa would also later attack Gargano twice during title matches challenging  Andrade - who was NXT Champion at the time.

They went on to have an epic series of matches. Ciampa won the NXT Championship in the meantime. He had to forfeit the title after a long reign, which sidelined their issue. Gargano feuded with Cole over the NXT Championship while Ciampa was out of action.

Gargano cost Ciampa his title match, and a double turn unfolds. After this video special on their feud, I'm not sure who is really the heel and babyface as it is very shades of grey to some extent. Gargano was the heel, but he still came off very sympathetic and even justified in his recent heel actions.

This was a very well produced and edited mini-doc about a storied rivalry. 

Next up on NXT was a profile feature on Finn Balor. The hype video also included a promo where he vowed to prove he was the best wrestler in the world once again much like he showed in his first run in NXT. The theme of being the best in the world played throughout the tale.

This featurette had Balor telling his own story of getting called up to the main roster. He became the first Universal Champion, but was injured in the process. When he returned, things were not the same. He was putting people over, and those people were all having the best matches of their careers. The common denominator was they all were wrestling the best in the world.

Balor went on to challenge Brock Lesnar in a title match last year on the Royal Rumble card, and the awoke the passion once again for the Balor. He felt something he hadn't since his days in NXT.

"Brock beat me that night," he said. "But he saved my life because he brought the passion back to Finn Balor."

Balor knew he must return to NXT. This was an excellent mixture of truth and fiction.

Balor says in the mini-doc that he didn't want to "waste" several more years on the main roster doing things he didn't want to do or didn't belive in. Instead he went back to NXT, but it was more to him going back to being himself -- the "Prince" -- the best wrestler in the world.

Airing next was the closing minutes of Balor defeating Gargano at TakeOver Portland.

Balor then shifted focus to his impending challenge to WALTER. That was supposed to take place at TakeOver during WrestleMania weekend, but that isn't happening now of course. 

This episode of NXT is closing with a profile highlighting NXT Women's Champion Rhea Ripley. She talked about her journey to NXT and the first Mae Young Classic.

Ripley was portraying a typical WWE blonde superstar. By the second Mae Young tournament, Ripley made a choice to ditch her look for one that more suited her personally.

She won the WWE UK Women's Championship, and then she challenge Shayna Baszler for the NXT Women's Championship. Now Ripley is set to defend her title against the challenge of Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania. This was a great way to showcase Ripley ahead of her match.

Triple H and Tom Phillips closed the show breifly talking about WrestleMania. Triple H promised it would be one to remember. I'm going to hold you to that. We could really use a great show in these trying times.

Stay safe out there.