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WWE NXT results: Johnny Gargano vs. EC3

Images: WWE

Johnny Gargano becoming what he despises was an overarching theme on episode #457 of NXT. Gargano displayed newfound viciousness in a main event match against EC3.

Gargano's character remains consumed by anger in the wake of his feud with Tommaso Ciampa. Meanwhile, a different direction leads to Ciampa getting a title shot. Ciampa challenging NXT Champion Aleister Black is set for an episode in three weeks.

Other matchups also became official for upcoming shows. Adam Cole will defend the NXT North American Championship against Danny Burch next week. That is not the only title match featuring Undisputed Era. Tyler Bate & Trent Seven defend the NXT Tag Team titles in a rematch with Kyle O’Reilly & Roderick Strong.

More developments include Kairi Sane and Vanessa Borne facing each other in a match on the next episode. Likewise, NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler vows to put any of her challengers to sleep. The Mighty got heat on Heavy Machinery, and Velveteen Dream stared down EC3.

The show opened with the entrance of Dakota Kai. She was once again the underdog fighting from underneath.

Dakota Kai defeated Santana Garrett

Kai pinned Garrett after delivering a sunset lungblower. Keeping with her underdog role, Kai played babyface-in-peril throughout much of the match. She and Garrett shook hands before the match as if this were Women of Honor.

Garrett got the better of Kai as the bout progressed. Garrett applied a cobra twist, and then a side Russian leg sweep. Garrett floated over into a cover, but Kai managed to kick out. Garrett ran and slid into a Muta Lock.

Kai blocked a charging back elbow -- then she began a comeback with strikes and kicks. Kai delivered a sunset lungblower, and she covered Garrett for the pinfall.

Pre-taped footage showed Johnny Gargano and EC3 entering the building ahead of their match later on. EC3 was all smiles and high-fives. Gargano had a look of angry determination as he carried a proverbial chip on his shoulder.

Heavy Machinery were working out in the weight room. Otis Dozovic briefly left to check on their steaks cooking on the grill. He heard a commotion and rushed back inside. Dozovic found Tucker Knight clutching his ankle in pain after being attacked by assailants.

NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler entered the ring for a promo. Baszler compared Nikki Cross to a rabid dog that she put to sleep. Baszler proclaimed herself as the most dominant force that the NXT women’s division has ever seen. Baszler claimed she was the reason for having another Mae Young tournament.

“They have to scour the entire globe just to find a challenger for me,” Baszler said. She went on to say no matter who they are, she will put them to sleep.

Backstage, Cathy Kelley interviewed Danny Burch to ask about the recent injury to Oney Lorcan. The Undisputed Era interrupted the interview and shooed away Kelley. They cut a promo on Burch and tried to shoo him away too.

Burch responded by mocking Kyle O’Reilly and Roderick Strong for losing the Tag Team titles in the United Kingdom. Burch then mentioned pinning O'Reilly in a previous six-man tag.

Cole claimed that Burch and Lorcan were getting cocky. Burch challenged Cole to a title match for the NXT North American Championship. Cole laughed off the challenge, but he nevertheless accepted the match.

Setting up another match for the coming weeks, NXT Champion Aleister Black defending against Tommaso Ciampa was officially announced for three weeks from now.

The Mighty (Shane Thorne & Nick Miller) defeated Otis Dozovic in a handicap match

Thorne pinned Dozovic in a two-on-one match. Dozovic ran roughshod at times, but the numbers advantage was too much to overcome.

Dozovic cleaned house at the outset. Miller sold an eye poke, but it was merely a ploy to distract the referee. Miller sneaked in to pull Dozovic out of the ring.

The Mighty worked over Dozovic. A reverse on a double suplex led to a Dozovic comeback. Dozovic ran wild and did the Worm. He went for a Vader Bomb, but Miller made a save. Miller shoved Dozovic into a lariat from Thorne for the finish.

While on her honeymoon aboard a yacht, Bianca Belair managed to cut a promo giving her thoughts on the NXT women’s division. Belair reminded everyone that she was undefeated. She concluded by saying she was getting back to celebrating her honeymoon. With her gone on a trip, Belair said that might give the rest of the roster time to catch up.

In a media scrum, Kairi Sane addressed the comments of Vanessa Borne from the previous episode. She told Borne to focus on fighting, and Sane also wanted a match. Sane said she would make Borne “walk the plank, and then I will take the treasure -- that NXT Women’s Championship.”

Sane against Borne is set for the next episode. Likewise, a tweet from Mr. William Regal made the official announcement of Cole vs. Burch for the show that airs next week.

Velveteen Dream defeated Chris Dijak

Dream pinned Dijak with a DDT in a short, competitive match..

Dijak looked strong in the opening moments. Dijak's arrogance would soon cost him, but he dashed a hope spot. Dream showed his fire to combat the aggressiveness of Dijak.

Dream delivered a Rude Awakening. Dream followed with a leg drop -- but he only got a one count.

Dijak got the better of a slugfest, and he got a near fall after a tornado kick. Dijak was sent crashing into the ring steps outside the ring. Dream hit a DDT before covering Dijak for the pin.

The entrance of EC3 overlapped with Dream leaving the ring. Dream and EC3 made eye contact for a staredown.

The newly-crowned NXT Tag Team Champions -- Moustache Mountain -- were informed that Undisputed Era is exercising their rematch clause on the next episode. Trent Seven & Tyler Bate both cut promos on O’Reilly & Strong.

Johnny Gargano defeated EC3

Gargano pinned EC3 upon delivering a draping DDT. The story of the match was Gargano embracing his darker side as his character seemingly morphs into the very thing he was feuding against.  

Gargano was a house of fire as he attacked EC3 when the bell sounded. Gargano displayed a vicious streak. EC3 soon cut him off -- even as Gargano fought back. A swinging neckbreaker led to EC3 working over the neck with a nerve hold.

Gargano ate a back elbow and a running clothesline. EC3 then again clamped on the nerve hold. He continued shining up Gargano for the eventual comeback.

Gargano fired up into a tope suicida. Back in the ring, EC3 mowed him down with a lariat for a near fall. They traded strikes until Gargano dropped EC3 with an enzuigiri. EC3 moments later went for his finisher, but Gargano escaped to apply his crossface finishing hold. EC3 countered with a deadlift into a sit-out powerbomb for a two count.

Gargano exploded into a fit of rage as his demeanor suddenly changed. Gargano rained down punches and hit superkicks. He pulled down his knee pad in a callback to his feud with Ciampa. EC3 caught Gargano in a fireman’s carry, but Gargano transitioned into applying the Gargano Escape. EC3 got a rope break.

Gargano broke the submission hold briefly -- then he showed his dark side by reapplying the hold even though EC3 was out of bounds in the ropes. Gargano hit a running knee strike with his face still washed in anger.

The finish was another callback to the Ciampa match, with Gargano using the move Ciampa beat him with. Gargano executed a draping DDT on EC3 to score the pin.