In his first appearance on NXT since the heartbreaking events of Takeover: Philadelphia, Johnny Gargano was showered with love by the NXT Universe. Although he admitted being devastated over his loss to NXT Champion Andrade” Cien” Almas, Gargano said that he earned something more valuable than the NXT Title that night in Philly — he earned everyone’s respect.
As Johnny Wrestling then turned his attention to Tommaso Ciampa, calling on Ciampa to face him one-on-one, he was soon interrupted by Almas & Zelina Vega. Vega berated Gargano for stealing her man’s spotlight, dubbed him “Johnny Loser" and pushed him, which prompted Gargano’s wife, Candice LeRae, to enter the ring and shove Vega to the mat. Gargano landed a few shots on Almas before he and Vega sought high ground on the stage.
Irate over having the tables turned on her and Almas, Vega asked what it would take to get rid of Gargano & LeRae for good, and Gargano let it be known that he wanted another title opportunity. Vega said Almas would grant one more match, but if Gargano loses, he must leave NXT. With the precipitously high stakes laid bare for all to see, Gargano accepted Vega’s terms.