NXT TakeOver: Chicago II results – June 16, 2018: Ciampa devastates Gargano in savage Street Fight
Returning to the scene of his infamous betrayal of former tag team partner and best friend Johnny Gargano one year ago, Tommaso Ciampa sank to new depths to defeat his now-bitter rival in a barbaric Chicago Street Fight.
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NXT Tag Team Champions Undisputed ERA def. Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch
CHICAGO — Despite turning in one of the grittiest efforts of their careers, Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan came just shy of capturing the NXT Tag Team Championship at NXT TakeOver: Chicago II, as Undisputed ERA’s Roderick Strong & Kyle O’Reilly maintained court and defeated the hard-hitting duo in a blistering opening contest.
With tensions between the two duos boiling over during the past several weeks, the physicality was off the charts from the get go. Burch & Lorcan kept Strong & O’Reilly at bay in the early goings, using a mix of ground-and-pound, aggressive strikes and straight-up aggression to take control of the bout. However, when Strong hit Burch flush in the face with a dropkick and then smashed him across one of the LED boards below the ring apron, Undisputed ERA took control.
Strong and O’Reilly kept Burch down with hard-hitting offense and a swarming of submission holds. It wasn’t until the battered Burch connected with a brutal headbutt that he was able to tag in Lorcan, who absolutely exploded, downing his opposition instantly with a barrage of offense. Oney and the refurbished Burch kept Undisputed ERA reeling until O’Reilly was applied a cross armbreaker that evened the playing field.
NXT North American Champion Adam Cole made a pivotal save for his cohorts when he pulled O’Reilly out of the ring after it appeared he would be down for a definite three-count following an unbelievable flying European uppercut. Cole was caught by the referee and promptly ejected from ringside as Lorcan & Burch continued to rally.
In the pivotal moment, O’Reilly & Strong temporarily eliminated Burch, leaving the legal Lorcan alone with both NXT Tag Team Champions. After a succession of strikes, a more-than-dazed Lorcan was struck with a high-low combination from Undisputed ERA that kept him down for three.
The champions walked away victorious, but as the battered challengers rose to their feet in the ring, the NXT Universe paid respect with a stirring standing ovation. They may not have earned the titles, but Oney & Lorcan definitely earned respect.
Ricochet def. Velveteen Dream
The big-fight feel was palpable in Chicago’s Allstate Arena as The Dream walked to the ring in gear that made reference to WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan and a past persona of Ricochet all at once. Once the bell rang, both Superstars jockeyed for position before Velveteen Dream used his size and strength to ground NXT’s One and Only and then hit him with a series of highflying moves. Dream’s message was clear — whatever you can do I can do better.
The Dream was determined to beat Ricochet at his own game, and it appeared that he was closing in on victory as he hit Ricochet with a Death Valley Bomb off the ropes and an unbelievable suplex onto the arena floor. However, Ricochet refused to stay down after those high-impact maneuvers, and he kept fighting back after getting nailed with another Death Valley Bomb and Dream’s signature DDT.
Visibly frustrated with Ricochet’s refusal to give in, Velveteen Dream began to loudly chastise his opponent. This fit by Velveteen gave The One and Only time to recover and give The Dream a taste of his own medicine, dropping him with a Death Valley Bomb and the Purple Rain Maker Elbow.
Ricochet attempted to capitalize with an incredible Shooting Star Press that cleared half the ring, but The Dream lifted his knees, then attempted a Purple Rain Maker Elbow across the ENTIRE length of the ring. Ricochet evaded the elbow, and with Velveteen Dream now in position, NXT’s One and Only connected with a breathtaking 630 Splash to get the critical win in a match that will be remembered by the NXT Universe for years to come.
NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler def. Nikki Cross
NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler has been in many fights in her life, but perhaps none quite like the brawl she endured against Nikki Cross at NXT TakeOver: Chicago II to retain her place atop the NXT Women’s division.
Cross baffled the champion at the outset, standing completely still and defenseless and welcoming Baszler to strike her in the face. This chaotic tactic allowed Nikki to take control and weather Baszler with strikes and submissions. Baszler, however, soon found her footing and began to pounce on Cross. Still, no matter what the NXT Champion hit her with, Cross continued smiling.
From there, the Superstars traded high-impact offense, wearing each other down and closer to defeat. Then, without warning, The Queen of Spades transitioned a pin attempt from Cross into the Kirifuda Clutch. Cross fought the hold for as long as she could and refused to tap out before finally passing out with a smile on her face.
Cross was still smiling when she came to, but so was Baszler, because she was still NXT Women’s Champion.
NXT Champion Aleister Black def. Lars Sullivan
In a fast-paced opening exchange, Black looked to connect with his signature Black Mass kick within the first minute of the contest, but like he had done before, Sullivan caught Black’s leg. Black would not be deterred though, coming right back at The Freak with a rapid array of strikes and high-impact maneuvers, both in and out of the ring.
Sullivan got the upper hand when he snatched The Dutch Destroyer out of the air during a moonsault attempt on the floor. From there, Sullivan was relentless, using brute strength to wear down the champion.
The two went back and forth with Aleister surviving a diving headbutt from The Freak and then grazing Sullivan with the Black Mass from out of nowhere. Black didn’t get all of it, though, which allowed Sullivan to kick out. Lars rallied from there and nailed The Dutch Destroyer with the Freak Accident, but the NXT Champion persevered, connecting with two more devastating Black Masses.
The second strike was enough to put Sullivan down and keep him there, but rest assured The Freak will rise again.
Tommaso Ciampa def. Johnny Gargano in a Street Fight
Instead, Ciampa took victory from Gargano — and may have taken his career.
Gargano’s failed quest began on a high note as his wife handed him a crutch backstage and told him to go destroy Ciampa. Tommaso arrived with a crutch of his own, and the two immediately began to brawl. Johnny Wrestling quickly went on the attack, hitting Ciampa with a dive and throwing him over the announce table. The two then rumbled into the crowd where Gargano found a fan who had smuggled a stop sign into the arena, which Gargano used to brutalize Ciampa.
Gargano was fired up, but Ciampa distinguished his rival with a gauntlet of German Suplexes that took a serious toll on Gargano’s previously injured neck. Johnny fought back through sheer force of will, but the wear and tear on his neck allowed Ciampa to regain control. The sadistic Blackheart took things to a horrifying new level when he wrapped a steel chair around Gargano’s neck and smashed it into the steel ring steps. Tommaso did not let up there, as he recklessly launched a steel trash can at Gargano’s head.
Practically salivating at the abuse he was dishing out, Ciampa continued to attack the neck and even attempted to handcuff Gargano. Johnny Wrestling fought back, however, with a spear through the middle rope. Gargano then took off his belt and began viciously whipping Ciampa, wrapping the leather around his fist and punching Ciampa square in the face.
This bombardment had Gargano in position to stay on the offensive, but Ciampa raked his former best friend across the eyes and then executed the Air Raid Crash on Johnny right on the unforgiving steel ring steps. Ciampa then used a pair of bolt cutters to cut up the ring apron and expose the wooden boards underneath the canvas. Ciampa tried to slam his rival onto the exposed insides of the ring, but Gargano avoided what clearly would have been a match-ending move.
With both Superstars worse for wear, Ciampa countered a dive to the outside from Johnny by bashing him in the head with a trash can lid. Ciampa then lined Gargano’s head up next to the ring steps for a running knee, but Johnny moved, causing Ciampa to slam the knee he injured at NXT TakeOver: Chicago a year ago into the steel.
A desperate Ciampa tried to use his brace as a weapon, but Gargano stopped it and began to aggressively assault Tommaso’s knee. The Blackheart got back in the fight by targeting Johnny’s neck again and striking a completely dazed Gargano with a crutch across his vulnerable nape. Still, Gargano somehow managed to kick out of the subsequent pin attempt.
Ciampa picked Gargano up and screamed into his ear that Johnny had done all of this to himself. He then told him to say goodbye to everyone he cared about and his career.
Ciampa rammed Gargano into the entrance screen in a scene eerily reminiscent of the night he turned on his former #DIY teammate a year ago at NXT TakeOver: Chicago. Not content to let that be the end, The Blackheart dragged Gargano up to the top of a stack of WWE NXT production crates. Ciampa then slid Gargano’s wedding band off his finger, spit on it and threw it into the distance. That heinous act cost Ciampa dearly as it allowed Johnny Wrestling to hoist Ciampa up on his shoulders and then jump off the crates, sending both men crashing through two tables at least 12 feet beneath them.
The referee called for medical personnel who strapped a neck brace on Tommaso and began to wheel him out on a stretcher. Gargano’s blood was still boiling, however, and he shoved the attendants away, wheeled Ciampa’s stretcher back down near the ring and began to beat on him. WWE officials rushed to the ring and attempted to stop Gargano, but he fought them off and proceeded to handcuff Ciampa and repeatedly kick him in the head at point blank range. Gargano then applied the Gargano Escape, which prompted Ciampa to tap immediately, but there was no referee present to call for the bell.
A group of WWE officials hit the ring to stop Gargano’s onslaught, but even the mass of humanity could not stop Johnny Wrestling, who took them all on outside the ring and then stormed back to Ciampa’s battered body to inflict more pain. However, as Gargano stepped onto the ring apron, Ciampa caught Johnny Wrestling’s neck and dropped him squarely onto the exposed wood with a DDT. With a referee now back in the ring, Ciampa covered Gargano for an unexpected victory.
NXT fans wore their shock and disappointment clearly on their faces as the bell rang. Even more distraught was Candice LeRae, who rushed to the ring to check on her fallen husband. The only happy person in Chicago’s Allstate Arena was Tommaso Ciampa, who flashed a sadistic smile as he dragged himself up the ramp, then waved “bye-bye” to his former best friend.