Velveteen Dream def. Johnny Gargano to become the new NXT North American Champion

Johnny Gargano vs. Velveteen Dream - NXT North American Championship Match: WWE NXT, Feb. 20, 2019

Johnny Gargano battles Worlds Collide Tournament winner Velveteen Dream in Gargano's first North American Title defense on NXT TV. Video courtesy of the award-winning WWE Network.

D-R-E-A-M is … champion. Johnny Gargano’s self-proclaimed year of “wins and championships” came to a screeching halt at the hands of Velveteen Dream, resulting in the crowning of a new NXT North American Champion.

The momentous win came in the waning moments of a grueling barnburner in which Johnny “Freaking” Wrestling and Dream exhausted every bit of offense in their arsenals. Gargano bolted Dream in an assortment of painful submission holds, such as employing a wrenching hammerlock that NXT announcer Nigel McGuiness aptly described as just plain “nasty.” Dream displayed startling endurance, as he matched Gargano’s tenacious holds with ferocious strikes, coercing the champion to rely on more of his signature maneuvers to try to take down Velveteen Dream.

Things soon turned into a nail-biting back-and-forth when Dream intercepted Gargano’s slingshot DDT with a hard haymaker, and later had his own DDT reversed into a superkick. The action spilled to the outside and saw Dream crash-land into a superkick that left Gargano room to snap-suplex onto the metal ramp and drag a groggy Dream back into the ring for a slingshot DDT. Miraculously, Dream kicked out of the pin attempt, causing a visibly drained Gargano to snap.

After launching another hard superkick, the champion charged full steam into Dream, who then scooped him up for two Dream Valley Drivers before launching into the Purple Rainmaker to snare his biggest NXT career win yet.

The NXT Universe erupted with praise following the shocking victory, as NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa was spotted watching the match from a distance. As Gargano’s NXT North American Championship run falls short, the black-and-gold brand now prepares to experience a new, decidedly purple, reign.

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