No that headline is not an error. Johnny Gargano vs Tomasso Ciampa II, in the main event, ended when a handcuffed former member of DIY scored a victory in the Chicago Street Fight. In a match that outdid the brutality of their first encounter, Gargano/Ciampa III can now take place. Yet again, these two former best friends delivered and the setup for the final confrontation to take place soon.
While not exactly 365 days since the initial betrayal of Tomasso Ciampa to Johnny Gargano, the two have a chance to end the rivalry in the city it started as NXT TakeOver: Chicago II delivered with three main event quality matches to set the stage for Brooklyn IV in a few months.
Main Event — Chicago Street Fight: Johnny Gargano vs. Tomasso Ciampa
Gargano comes out first brandishing a crutch, ready to use it as a weapon once again. Champa again comes out without any music. He’s sporting the other crutch, only this one’s in camo to resemble his pants tonight.
One shot and both men drop their crutches. The fight spills out and Gargano ends a sequence with a running cannonball moonsault just before tossing Ciampa into the NXT announcer’s booth. The fight now spills into the crowd and some fan yells that Ciampa is “the devil!.” Ciampa grabs a sign from a fan and tries to rip it up. He can’t do it as Johnny smacks him. Gargano then opens up the sign to reveal it was covering a STOP sign that Gargano uses to nail Ciampa. This gets an “ECW!” chant from the crowd.
Ciampa get the STOP sign but Gargano hits a diving full body cover before tossing Tommaso back towards the ring. Gargano gets a trash can with a lid, and a chair into the ring. Gargano gets hit by Tomasso and the two men stand toe-to-toe and start brawling. Ciampa gets the better of the exchange as he reverses the move into a German suplex. He channels his Eddie Guerrero and hits three consecutive suplexes before Gargano gets out of the hold and hits Ciampa to the floor with a tope suicide dive.
The winner should be Johnny as Ciampa is now loaded up on a stretcher. Gargano sits down and looks in disbelief. The commentators say that Johnny has won but nothing has been officially announced yet. Ciampa is taken back to the offstage.
Johnny has lost it. He runs to the stretcher, fights off the guys in suits and brings Ciampa back into the ring. He then hits seven superkicks, before going for another tapout submission.
Ciampa taps out again with his right arm on his thigh. Still no ref and now four guys in suits, pull him out of the ring. Johnny fights back against five men in suits and runs into the ring. All this time has allowed Ciampa to move to the exposed section of the ring, just the wood below the mat itself. Ciampa catches Gargano coming into the ring. Ciampa has his hands in front of his body, grabs Gargano’s neck and hits a rope-assisted DDT. He collapses on top of Johnny for the three-count.
Winner by pinfall … Tomasso Ciampa
Match rating: 5/5
The crowd is silent in disbelief. Now that Ciampa has no celebration music, the crowd can easily be heard. Ciampa has a lot of trouble moving back to the stretcher. We’re shown the replay of the ending a few times. Ciampa carries himself back to the exit by using the stretcher as a mobile crutch. Ciampa waves goodbye while Candice LeRay attends to her husband. That’s it as the crowd chants explicit comments to Ciampa to end the night.
First Match — NXT Tag Team Championship: Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan vs. Undisputed
Danny Burch knees Kyle O’Reilly.
Well the North American Champion, Adam Cole (BAY! BAY!) accompanies his UE brethren. This ends up being important near the end of the match when Cole breaks up an easy pinfall win for Oney and Danny following a Doomsday Uppercut. Cole pulls his teammate out of the ring and is tossed out of the ring for his efforts.
After a few more holds, both Oney and Danny have O’Reilly and Strong in their respective submissions, hoping for a win. O’Reilly fights out of his submission to kick Oney in the face numberous times, forcing a break for Strong.
All four men face off and proceed to unload on each other and unload. Burch is knocked down first and then Strong and O’Reilly unload some devastating kicks on Lorcan for the victory and retain their titles.
Winners by submission … and STILL NXT Tag Team Champions … Undisputed Era
Match rating: 3/5
Burch and Lorcan don’t get the gold, but they get a standing ovation from the crowd for their efforts.
We go backstage to see Lars Sullivan lifting random heavy looking objects in his preparation for his title match later tonight. Kairi Sane is in the crowd.
Ricochet in mid-air against Velveteen Dream.
Second Match — Singles: Ricochet vs. Velveteen Dream
Velveteen comes out in an outfit that’s half Hulk Hogan and half a certain Lucha Underground’s Prince Puma’s tight design. The announcers don’t acknowledge the tights, but emphasize the Hulk Hogan portion. So I guess he’s on good terms with the company again.
Ricochet comes out and I’m not sure if he’s trying to emulate another wrestler. His cape/jacket has wings on its back.
We get our “superhero landing”/Dream creepy crawl.
Dream gets an extended beatdown on Ricochet. The crowd seems taken out of it as Ricochet is clearly the face in this match. Dream still gets cheers, but it’s not as lound as his few previous NXT specials.
Richochet is knocked out of the ring allowing Dream to hit an impressive running dive to the outside, using the middle rope to propel him over and around to complete a moonsault. Velveteen now grounds Ricochet with a headlock in the middle of the ring. Ricochet escapes.
The two men look exhausted. The fight moves to the top of the turnbuckle. Dream gets the better of the exchange and hits an avalanche death valley driver. Somehow Ricochet kicks out of it. Dream goes back up to the high rent district. Ricochet beats him to the top and then Ricochet gets too creative and it ends with him being suplexed on the floor. Both men are down and the ref starts his 10-count. Both men make it in at the count of nine. Both men finally stand up and Dream hits another death valley driver on Ricochet. Another kickout at the count of two.
Ricochet hits the Purple Rainmaker, hits it and goes up for his 630. Ricochet sees Dream roll to the center of the ring. The challenge is accepted as Ricochet dives with a Shooting Star Press and is on course to nail Dream. Dream’s knees go up and nail Ricochet. He kicks out of the pin. Dream then tries to hit his Purple Rainmaker as Ricochet rolls out nearly the length of the ring. Dream goes for the move and misses it as Ricochet moves out of the way. Ricochet hits his 630 on the fallen Dream and gets the duke with the pin.
Winner … Ricochet
Match rating: 4/5
Ricochet soaks in the applause from the crowd while Dream looks dejected sitting down in the corner of the ring. A good match indeed.
Still NXT Women’s champion, Shayna Baszler.
Third Match — NXT Women’s Championship: Nikki Cross vs. Shayna Baszler (c)
If this was supposed to be a cooldown match, the participants didn’t get the memo as both champ and challenger fought tooth-and-nail in this one. Nikki Cross had the advantage for most of the match but Baszler was able to counter a pinfall into a chokehold. Cross refuses to tap out and passes out instead.
Winner … AND STILL NXT Women’s Champion … Shayna Baszler
Match rating: 3/5
Before the title match, we see EC3 in the stands cheering on. But it’s not just him, we see Keith Lee getting a shout out by the announce team. It’s promo video time!
NXT Championship — Lars Sullivan vs. Aleister Black (c)
Lars Sullivan catches Aleister Black.
Lars takes control early on. Black tries for an outside dive but is caught mid-flight into a slam. Lars grounds Black inside the ring. Black fights back but every time the champion is barely able to kick out.
Lars finally gets to his feet and looks to get some momentum. That quickly fails when Lars reverses a move into a running slam. He decides to go to the top rope and that proves to be a mistake. Black catches up with Lars on the ropes. Black gets knocked off the ropes and Lars goes for a diving headbutt.
Black lifts his knee and catches Lars in the face. Black starts to work on the legs of Lars and knocks the big men down with a series of kicks. Black hits a moonsault for a two-count. He then loads up Lars for his finisher. Lars avoids it and moves Black into a very uncomfortable looking submission in the middle of the ring.
Now Sullivan readies for the Freak Accident but it’s countered into a swinging DDT by the champion. Lars rolls outside and gets the better of the exchange. After eating a few front kicks, Lars nails Black with a slam on the apron and a diving headbutt but can’t get the pinfall.
Sullivan gets hit with Black’s finisher, but it’s one that clearly didn’t have a lot on it so Lars kicks out easily. It takes a total of four Black Mask kicks to put down Lars, who bleeds from the mouth as he’s pinned.
Winner … AND STILL NXT Champion … Aleister Black
Match rating: 3.5/5
Event rating: 4.5/5