The Big News: Tommaso Ciampa's crutch ended the NXT career of Johnny Gargano as his interference led to Gargano losing a title vs. career match to Andrade “Cien” Almas.
The Medium News: In two weeks, it is the return of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic
The Little Beaver-sized News: NXT's favorite wacky gimmick defeated NXT's former favorite wacky gimmick as Velveteen Dream beat No Way Jose
The show began with a video of Andrade “Cien” Almas. It started from his NXT debut, went to his gimmick where he was concentrating on partying instead of wrestling, and brought him all the way back to the NXT Championship.
The video continued with a preview of his title defense against Johnny Gargano tonight.
Velveteen Dream defeated No Way Jose
Velveteen Dream was here to kick off the in-ring action as he went one-on-one with the King of the Fiesta, No Way Jose. Once upon a time, Jose was in a feud with SAnitY that was scheduled to culminate at a TakeOver. Instead, he was taken out before the show, got replaced by Kassius Ohno, and has done nothing of note since. Unfortunately for him, Velveteen Dream has replaced him as NXT's favorite wacky gimmick.
Jose looked good here and actually got most of the offense -- to the point that Dream got babyface sympathy. Dream countered the pop-up punch with a dropkick before picking up the win with the Purple Rainmaker.
Jose controlled 4:30 of a 5:00 match, but the last 30 seconds were his downfall.
After the match, Dream cut a promo calling himself the NXT Male Competitor of the Year and the Overall Competitor of the Year, even though it was Aleister Black. He said no one cares about Black, Asuka, or Tyler Bate, and since his name is on the tip of everyone's tongue, he doesn't care if anyone can't see that.
Almas was getting ready in his dressing room while listening to his own theme music. Hey, whatever works for him.
They later did the same thing with Gargano.
Mr. William Regal announced the return of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. It begins in two weeks and the winners will face the NXT Tag Team Champions at TakeOver: New Orleans.
Nikki Cross defeated Vanessa Borne
Borne was a dancer for both the Phoenix Suns and Arizona Cardinals and also took part in the Mae Young Classic. Cross exploded at the bell and threw her body into the attack. Borne got more offense than Velveteen Dream did, but she didn't achieve the same results.
Cross, who by far was the crowd favorite, picked up the win with The Purge.
Up next was a recap of last week where Aleister Black said he wanted to be NXT Champion but was confronted by Killian Dain, who also wanted a title shot.
A recap of the Shayna Baszler-Ember Moon-Kairi Sane situation from last week aired next. It was then announced that Baszler will face Sane next week.
NXT Champion Andrade “Cien” Almas (w/ Zelina Vega) defeated Johnny Gargano (w/ Candice LeRae) to retain his title in a title vs. career match
The fireworks with the seconds started early as Gargano went for a suicide dive and Vega pulled Almas out of the way. LeRae then did her own suicide dive to Vega and beat her to the backstage area. That's the last we saw of either of them during the match.
Almas worked on Gargano's arm, including an armbar where he hung over the ropes. Gargano sold his arm pretty well and got his first near fall with a slingshot spear. Almas used a schoolboy and lifted Gargano up with one arm and ran him into the corner with a buckle bomb.
Almas tried using both the hammerlock DDT and the double knees against the ring post, but Gargano got away both times. Gargano didn't have any better luck as he went for a slingshot move, but Almas reversed it into an armbar that Gargano had to fight to get out of.
At one point, Almas went up top for a draping double foot stomp, but Gargano shoved him off the top rope and Almas slammed his back off the ring apron before falling to the floor. Gargano used a suicide dive into a tornado DDT outside the ring and a slingshot DDT for the closest of near falls back in the ring. At this point, Almas accidentally back elbowed the referee and Gargano locked on the Gargano Escape!
However, Tommaso Ciampa ran out and slammed his crutch into Gargano's back. The referee got up just in time to see Almas hit the hammerlock DDT for the pin! Almas retains the title and Johnny Gargano's NXT career has come to an end.
Gargano ended the show by receiving a standing ovation and a hug from his wife. The fans booed the announcement that Gargano must now leave NXT. After they finally went backstage, Ciampa reappeared in the crowd to wave goodbye to his former teammate and best friend.
That does it from Center Stage. Until next week, remember to say your vitamins and take your prayers!