WWE Hall of Fame superstar Shawn Michaels has been working hard with the NXT superstars, helping them move from great in-ring wrestlers to all-around WWE superstar talent. That not only involves pulling off huge moves in matches but also getting fans invested in their characters and telling great stories in and out of the ring. Michaels is considered one of the best in history when it comes to telling a story, from conception to the match itself, and he might see a similar soul in WWE NXT right now. Last night, Johnny Gargano lost his match in the main event of NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia, but Michaels tweeted his belief that the loss won’t hurt Gargano at all.
Shawn Michaels Comments About NXT TakeOver
The NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia match itself was for the NXT title as Andrade Cien Almas defended his title against Johnny Gargano. Almas had beaten Gargano twice already and looked to have an advantage over his competitor, thanks partially to Zelina Vega still interfering for Almas.
However, Gargano’s wife Candice LeRae was at ringside watching the match and jumped the rail to attack Vega and chase her off. LeRae, a veteran women’s wrestler and a new signing to WWE NXT, seemed to even the odds.
The match lasted 30 minutes and the crowd was molten hot. They were cheering for Johnny Gargano every step of the way, and announcer Mauro Ranallo compared Gargano to Daniel Bryan as the ultimate underdog. By the end of the match, Almas won anyway and Gargano had to leave as the loser once again.
However, after the match, Shawn Michaels took to Twitter and said that in his opinion Gargano “won something bigger than a Championship.” He lost the match, but he had the fans so invested that he held them in the palm of his hands the entire match. Many critics gave the match five stars, something that Almas had never accomplished before this NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia match.
But first… pic.twitter.com/6R3cBTtRlr
— BLACKHEART (@ProjectCiampa) January 28, 2018
The WWE Future Of Johnny Gargano
There won’t be a title in the near future for Johnny Gargano. However, Michaels’ point about the NXT star winning something more important than a title at NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia stands. The fans, even in the loss, gave Gargano a standing ovation after the match.
It was then that Tommaso Ciampa attacked him from behind, smashing the crutch shown in the tweet above over his former partner’s back. The fans were still so strongly in Gargano’s corner, even after the loss, that they showered Ciampa with a profanity-laden chant to end the NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia show.
WWE rumors indicate that Andrade Cien Almas will defend his title against NXT superstar of the year Aleister Black while Johnny Gargano will face Tommaso Ciampa in a revenge match at the NXT TakeOver event before WrestleMania in New Orleans. With his performance at NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia, it looks like that non-title match could be as big, if not bigger, than the NXT title match.