Aleister Black knocked out Tommaso Ciampa after Ciampa instigated a Steel Cage Match between Black and Johnny Gargano

Tommaso Ciampa instigates a Steel Cage Match between Aleister Black and Johnny Gargano: WWE NXT, Dec. 5, 2018

After being challenged to an NXT Title rematch at TakeOver: Phoenix by Aleister Black, Tommaso Ciampa convinces Aleister Black and Johnny Gargano to settle their rivalry inside a steel cage. Video courtesy of the award-winning WWE Network.

Tommaso Ciampa loves to operate from a position of power, pulling the strings like a maniacal Mangiafuoco, but his meddling in Aleister Black and Johnny Gargano’s rivalry left the NXT Champion knocked out cold on this night.

As The Blackheart was busy recounting his recent successes (turning “the Dream into a nightmare”), bemoaning perceived detractors (pointing out Mauro Ranallo in particular) and declaring himself 2018’s “Sports-Entertainer of the Year,” The Dutch Destroyer stomped into Full Sail Live.

Black said he absolved Gargano of his sins at TakeOver: WarGames II and stated his plan to invoke his NXT Title rematch clause at TakeOver: Phoenix, which brought Gargano out to the ring. Johnny Wrestling informed Black that their beef isn’t over until Gargano says so. Seemingly amused at the sight of Black and Gargano going at it, Ciampa fanned the flames from the safety of the ring apron, suggesting they settle their rivalry “the right way, once and for all, inside a steel cage.”

Black and Gargano appeared to agree. Gargano then provoked The Dutch Destroyer into uncorking a Black Mass, but Gargano slipped out of the way and retreated. Ciampa watched on with a smile, perhaps admiring his former teammate’s tactics or his own handiwork, but the grin was quickly wiped off by a thunderous Black Mass from an incensed Dutch Destroyer.

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