On the road to NXT TakeOver: New Orleans, the top angle for the past few weeks was whether Johnny Gargano was able to gain any retribution for suffering multiple losses from NXT Champion Andrade “Cien” Almas. After defeating him on two previous occasions, Gargano was able to win a four-way match to become the No. 1 contender for the title at NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia. Though the match was over 30 minutes, and one of the best in NXT history, Gargano once again fell short of becoming champion.
At an NXT episode following Gargano’s loss, he was willing to put his NXT career on the line for the sake of one more try. Unfortunately, for Gargano, he was not able to defeat Almas due to interference from Gargano’s once tag team partner turned bitter rival, Tommaso Ciampa.
Here are the results of the NXT Live event from Columbus, Ohio, which took place on March 1.
Street Profits d. Cezar Bononi & Adrian Jaoude
Street Profits received a great ovation and pops throughout the match. Angelo Dawkins is from Ohio, and the crowd did multiple “O-H…I-O!” chants throughout the match.
Dakota Kai d. Lacey Evans
Shayna Baszler attacks Kai post-match and chokes her out.
Lars Sullivan d. Chris Dijak
Chris Dijak was formerly known as Donovan Dijak while competing for Ring of Honor and the indies. Sullivan gives Dijak his finisher again post-match; gets “one more time” chant from the crowd, then he fakes it and walks away to a bunch of heat.
Undisputed Era d. Kassius Ohno/Heavy Machinery
The crowd got very much into this match; which ended with Cole pinning Ohno via schoolboy while grabbing tights. Otis Dozovic of Heavy Machinery was way over with the crowd, especially when he did The Worm.
Shayna Baszler d. Kairi Sane (DQ)
Dakota Kai runs in and attacks Baszler; Sane hits Baszler with an elbow drop, Sane and Kai celebrate post-match.
Aleister Black d. Velveteen Dream
Fantastic match; overall slower than their NXT TakeOver match, but the crowd was very much into it. Multiple “This is Awesome!” and “NXT!” chants. Black wins with Black Mass when Dream yelled “Say my name!” and attempted Black Mass simultaneously. Fans cheered Dream post-match.
Johnny Gargano/Candice LeRae d. Andrade “Cien” Almas/Zelina Vega
Vega mentioned Almas ending Gargano’s NXT career at the beginning of the match. Gargano and LeRae win with double Gargano escape.
As shown in the video, NXT General Manager William Regal stated that signing the termination contract still required him to finish the scheduled dates before he had to sign the paper. The tour in Ohio includes a few of those dates. Whether this is a possible move up to 205 Live or will lead to a match against Ciampa, is yet to be seen. However, Gargano’s stock has increased this year, and it will be interesting to see what is next for the former NXT Tag Team Champion.