Velveteen Dream def. Johnny Gargano
Given his many grievous missteps these last several months, Johnny Gargano was a man in search of answers even before he stepped in the ring with the white-hot Velveteen Dream. However, following his epic encounter with The Experience, things have gone from bad to worse for the hard-luck Superstar once known as Johnny Wrestling.
Gargano got off to a ferocious start, aggressively firing away at Dream (who provoked Gargano by wearing a “Johnny Failure” T-shirt for his pre-match introductions). As the match progressed, Gargano even started to look like the Johnny Wrestling of old, connecting with several of his signature moves as the NXT Universe roared in approval. Dream tried to stall Gargano’s momentum whenever possible, first by battering him with an Irish whip that shook the entire ring, then by ruthlessly targeting Gargano’s recently injured leg. Even as the momentum shifted back and forth, the action never slowed, and after one particularly intense exchange, NXT fans burst into chants of “This is awesome!”
Gargano showed a glimpse of his dark side when he threatened to hit Dream with a draping DDT on the floor (a move right out of NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa’s playbook), but he stopped short when the referee warned him not to. Back inside the ring, Gargano prepared to drill Dream with a running knee (another favorite move of Ciampa’s), but turned visibly distraught upon realizing the depths he was willing to go.
From the mat Dream groggily mocked Gargano and called him a failure, which seemed to cause Gargano to snap. Gargano pulled down his kneepad and charged full steam, but in doing so, he played right into Velveteen Dream’s hands. The Experience scooped him up for a Death Valley Bomb to snare the win, arguably the biggest victory of Dream’s entire NXT career.
The NXT Universe showered Gargano with love and appreciation after the match, but it was to no avail. Inconsolable after this latest setback, Gargano staggered away from the ring and humbly exited through the crowd. Before leaving, he looked at his legion of supporters and could only muster one response: “I’m sorry.”