Adam Cole def. Johnny Gargano to win the NXT Championship
Cole under pressure, makes what?
After Johnny Gargano claimed a high-pressure 2-out-of-3 Falls gold rush at TakeOver: New York to snare the then-vacant NXT Title, the finale stoked a flame within Adam Cole that intensified into an undisputed diamond at TakeOver: XXV and led to The Panama City Playboy being crowned champion.
The combatants picked up where their Big Apple magnum opus left off, and the desire to be champion resulted in a breakneck pace for this main event collision, which reached a fever pitch and whipped the NXT Universe into a frenzy immediately after the opening bell. It was back-and-forth textbook execution throughout this nail-biter, with both NXT Superstars trading an extraordinary exchange of strikes that left the Bridgeport audience undecided about whom to chant for.
Gargano and Cole hosted a superkick trade-off, dishing kick after kick until both men struck each other out cold on the outside. When that failed to decide a victor, they shifted into their sterling in-ring arsenal with Gargano locking in his Gargano Escape submission. When it looked like déjà vu of TakeOver: New York was underway, Cole whisked it away by clasping onto Gargano with a figure-four leg lock. After escaping the maneuver, Gargano attempted to dive into Cole outside of the ring but came crashing down when he bumped into a superkick. At this point, the epic contest reached sheer pandemonium.
Back in the ring, the dizzying back-and-forth continued as the giant-hearted Gargano refused to let up. When Cole tried to hit a Last Shot, Gargano broke away and went for the Gargano Escape, only to have Cole surprise him and apply his opponent’s signature move. But alas, it was not enough to keep the workhorse down. Refusing to be relegated to such embarrassment, Gargano popped out of the submission hold and rocked The Panama City Playboy with his own Last Shot. From here, the NXT Universe erupted in “Fight forever” chants as Cole and Gargano emphatically added rip-roaring status to the word “sequel.”
After targeting Gargano’s tenderized right knee and breaking another Gargano Escape submission, Cole once again went on the offensive with another superkick and jumped to the second turnbuckle rope to down his foe with a Panama Sunrise. Before he could fold his opponent with the maneuver, Gargano countered with a pin attempt. After kicking out, Cole didn’t wait and immediately hit another Panama Sunrise, followed by the biggest Last Shot of his NXT career for the pinfall.
The five-star action culminated in The Undisputed ERA hitting the ring to celebrate Cole’s emotional victory. They say pressure makes diamonds, but on this night, it was all gold for Adam Cole… BAY BAY!