#AndNew : Adam Cole defeats Johnny Gargano for the NXT Championship

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Adam Cole Johnny Gargano
Photo / Bleacher Report

Under the bright lights tonight we celebrate NXT Takeover XXV; with four championships on the line, one stood above the rest. NXT champion Johnny Gargano would defend his newly acquired title in a rematch of epic proportions against Undisputed Era’s Adam Cole. At NXT Takeover: New York both competitors gave everything they had in a breathtaking 2-out-of 3-falls match for the vacated NXT championship. Cole defeated the resilient Gargano to score the first fall of the contest, but the determined underdog would not let anything stand in his way of achieving his destiny.

The two men traded blow for blow in one of the most highly anticipated nxt takeover main events. Johnny Wrestling would prove to the world and even to himself that he was destined to become Johnny Champion; locking in the Garga-No Escape, Cole would have no choice but to tap out.

For the last few weeks, we have seen an angry Cole take out his frustrations with his Undisputed Era teammates; causing a huge rift in the faction. The uncrowned champion in his mind, Adam Cole would berate Johnny Gargano for being screwed out of the NXT championship.

Believe it or not they would even get into a math lesson; as Cole has repeatedly mentioned that he beat the nxt champ in the middle of the ring, and Gargano’s response was “yes you did Adam but then I beat you two more times which is why I won that’s how a 2-out-of 3-falls match works.” WWE produced a brilliantly made thirty-minute documentary titled Target: NXT Takeover on the WWE Network; that captures both competitors’ separate paths to their highly anticipated rematch tonight.

Adam Cole Johnny Gargano
Photo / Daily Wrestling News

Right from the bell, both competitors start trash talking to each other while circling the ring; Cole and Gargano are trying to gain the advantage early on. Running shoulder tackles turn into an incredible sequence with both men attempting their finishing maneuvers but quickly escaping danger. Another Garga-No Escape attempt has the challenger scurrying outside to take a breather. As Cole returns to the ring the champion utilizes some ground submissions to slow down the pace; the challenger drills him through with a stiff right hand. Gargano sends Cole outside where they continue the fight; the champion is on the ring apron dodging attacks, Cole gets drilled with a kick and Gargano launches off and delivers a sickening double stomp to his foe’s shoulder.

The champion throws the challenger back in the ring and continues the assault on the damaged arm; Gargano locks in a hammerlock cloverleaf submission; the champion sends Cole into the turnbuckle where he can solely focus on the arm, but Cole wisely escapes and delivers a wicked Superkick to his adversary’s calf. Now Cole is on the attack on the wounded leg of the champion. Gargano is in trouble as Cole snaps his leg down to the mat; the champion makes it to his feet, only for Cole to nail a dropkick from the top rope to his knee. Gargano with a burst of energy from out of nowhere; starts delivering running clotheslines and manages to land the roll around kick to Cole. Gargano drives his challenger’s head to the mat with a beautiful tornado flatliner; but even in a pinfall attempt, he can’t use both legs for leverage.

Cole goes for a kick and gets blocked; Gargano attempts one of his own and it’s avoided but Cole nails the enzugiri. The champion gets caught and Cole executes a torture rack and inverted face smash combo for another long two-count! Cole is getting frustrated; both champion and challenger deliver a sequence of deadly superkicks, both competitors roll outside and knock each other out with superkicks to the head and both men are down. The referee makes it to the count of seven before the warriors make it to their feet; once Cole gets in the ring Gargano successfully hits the slingshot draping DDT, for a long two count. Fight Forever” chants ring through the arena; Gargano goes for his signature kick from the corner but Cole rolls out of the ring; the champion’s knee prohibits him from delivering a suicide dive through the ropes; as soon as he makes it on the apron Cole drills him with another hard kick and follows up with a ushigoroshi on the outside! Cole brings the champion back in the ring to deliver another one and almost wins the title.

Gargano and Cole make it to the turnbuckle and the champion throws his foe off shoulder first; as Gargano leaps Cole catches him mid-air but, Gargano wraps around to lock in the Garga-No Escape. Cole manages to escape and lock in the figure-four and Gargano is writhing in pain; the champion is desperately trying to stay alive. Gargano twists his adversary’s hand in order to reverse the maneuver and Cole reaches the bottom rope to break the hold. Gargano tries to sinch in the Gargano escape one more time; Cole begins pounding away at the champion, both competitors are now throwing hard punches. Cole spikes Gargano’s already injured knee and exposes it to inflict more punishment; the challenger is screaming in agony.

Cole gets kicked out of the ring and as he tries to enter back in; Gargano spikes his head with a nasty DDT. Cole exits the ring and the champion is hobbling and goes for a suicide dive but hesitates and gets caught with a stiff superkick to his face. Cole jumps off the ring apron and lands a Thunderous Panama Sunrise on the outside, he rolls Gargano inside for another long two-count! Cole looks the champion straight in the face; and tells him he’s had his special moment and now it’s his turn. Adam Cole removes the knee pads to set up the Last Shot but Johnny Gargano escapes; Cole then locks in Garga-No Escape which Gargano escapes and delivers his own Last Shot!

Dueling chants of NXT and Fight Forever from the WWE Universe brings both competitors to their feet; champion and challenger go blow for blow with hard strikes, both competitors traded kicks before Gargano retaliates him a lariat that rocks Cole. A frustrated challenger then grabs a chair which is removed by the official; Gargano executes a successful suicide dive, however, he inadvertently crashes into the referee. The champion would perform a superkick through the chair to Cole’s face, but he couldn’t capitalize with no official to make the pinfall count.

Adam Cole the schemer made Johnny Gargano think the Undisputed Era was on their way to attack; Cole then delivered a modified pile-driver, he wanted the Last Shot but the champion was too exhausted to raise his head or so we thought. As Cole was vulnerable he locked in his Garga-No Escape. The finish came as Adam Cole would viciously attack the champion’s badly injured knee, and execute another Panama Sunrise followed up with the Last Shot on Johnny Gargano to become the new NXT Champion!

Adam Cole Johnny Gargano
Credit: WWF Old School

In one of the greatest NXT championship main events I’ve ever had to pleasure of watching; Adam Cole puts an end to Johnny Gargano’s fairytale, and is now The New NXT Champion and that boys and girls is Undisputed!

Chris KingOriginally written by Chris King