NXT results, Nov. 22, 2017: U.K. Champion Pete Dunne bruises his way past Johnny Gargano
As the NXT Universe continues to grapple with the aftermath of the historic and unforgettable TakeOver: WarGames, all eyes turned to the must-see WWE United Kingdom Title showdown between champion Pete Dunne and the ever-popular Johnny Gargano.
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Ruby Riot def. Sonya Deville
Ruby Riot and Sonya Deville might have new homes on SmackDown LIVE and Raw, respectively, but they still had business to finish in NXT. Riot was out for retribution after Deville injured the punk rocker’s ankle in October, while The Jersey Devil promised to finish the job and break Riot’s ankle the next time they met in the ring.
Deville came dangerously close to achieving her goal, trapping Riot in an ankle lock in the waning moments of their bitterly fought match. Just like in October, however, the plucky Riot refused to tap out and, with the support of the NXT fans inside the Toyota Center, managed to reach the ropes and force a break.
Deville argued with the referee, giving Riot the opportunity to regain her footing. The punk-rock pugilist then surprised Deville with a wind-up overhead kick to snare the pinfall victory.
With both Superstars now competing on different brands, Riot can find solace in the fact she scored the last laugh against her double-tough nemesis.
Pete Dunne def. Johnny Gargano to retain the WWE U.K. Title
Johnny Gargano put all his heart and soul into his WWE United Kingdom Title Match against champion Pete Dunne, but as has been the pattern in recent months, Johnny Wrestling again found himself on the losing end, searching for answers on how to shift gears in NXT’s singles ranks.
Before The BruiserWeight’s hand was raised in victory, he and Gargano went toe-to-toe in an instant classic that left the NXT Universe breathless. As NXT fans belted out dueling chants of “BruiserWeight” and “Johnny Wrestling,” Dunne and Gargano put on a clinic, countering each other with scientific wrestling holds and unleashing innovative, vicious exchanges (including an amazing tope into a DDT on the floor by Gargano).
Back inside the ring, Gargano locked on the Gargano Escape, but the cruel and ruthless U.K. Champion bit Gargano’s fingers, forcing him to release the hold. When Dunne’s mouthguard fell out moments later, Gargano quickly took advantage, stunning the kneeling champion with a superkick for a near-fall.
Gargano and Dunne then traded vicious strikes, with Johnny Wrestling seemingly coming out on top. He followed up with a slingshot spear attempt, but The Bruiserweight crumpled him with a forearm to the jawline and quickly dumped him with the Bitter End to claim the win.
Despite the amazing effort he put forward, Gargano was visibly unsettled by having come up short yet again. How will this latest setback affect his psyche as he moves ahead in NXT? And with arguably the biggest title defense of his reign now in the books, what does the future hold for the brash BruiserWeight?