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By Stuart Carapola on 2018-04-07 22:59:00

NXT Title Match: Andrade "Cien" Almas vs Aleister Black

The announcers remind us that Black made his NXT debut one year ago with a win over Andrade at Takeover, which I completely forgot about.  Black drills Almas with a charging kick right off the bat, then unloads with a flurry of kicks that sends Almas to the floor where Black quickly nails him with a springboard moonsault.  Black gets a modified royal octopus hold back in the ring, then turns that into a sunset flip for 2, then Almas rolls back to the floor.  Black goes right out after him and keeps the pressure up, but he dumps Almas into the ring and Vega comes off the apron with a flying headscissors that sends Black into the steps.  Almas quickly rolls Black back into the ring and covers for 2, then drapes him on the middle rope and hits a forearm drop for 2.  Almas with a hanging armbar, then a springboard dropkick gets 2 for the champion.  Almas goes for a tornado deathdrop, Black fights him off, but Almas quickly converts to a draping legscissors over the top rope.  Almas comes off the top and flies right into a dropkick from Black, and both men are down.  Black starts to mount a comeback with a flurry of strikes, a legsweep, and a sliding knee.  Almas with a Lionsault for 2, he goes to the top and Almas goes for a superplex, but Black counters to a sunset bomb, Almas lands on his feet and goes for a shotgun knees, Black dodged that, and Almas hits a snap German suplex followed by a moonsault, Black rolls out of the way, but Almas lands on his feet and hits a second moonsault for 2.  Great sequence.  Strike exchange is won by Almas, who catches Black with a NASTY back elbow, pin attempt only gets 1 for Almas, Black is right back up and gets a nasty charging strike and covers for a 2 count of his own.  Double skull kick knocks both men out, and they both barely beat the count.  Black charges Almas, Almas hiptosses him into the corner, Black is up and tries a springboard moonsault, but Almas comes from behind and shoves Black to the floor, then hits a twisting dive to the floor and quickly rolls Black into the ring and covers for 2.  Vega gives Almas the belt, the referee takes it away, Vega comes in and hits a spike headscissors on Black behind the ref's back, and Almas covers for 2.  Almas and Vega can't believe it, so Almas goes for the hammerlock DDT, Black reverses to a cradle for 2, then hits the Black Mass.  He covers, but Vega puts Almas' foot on the bottom rope to break the pinfall at 2.  Almas rolls to the floor, and Black goes to the apron, but Vega distracts him long enough for Almas to shove him into the post.  Almas hangs Black in the Tree of Woe on the outside and hits a hanging double stomp TO THE FLOOR.  Almas puts Black in the corner, hits the shotgun knees, but only gets 2.  Almas is exhausted, but drags Black up, goes for the hammerlock DDT, Black slips out and goes for the Black Mass, but Almas dropkicks him in the back of the head as he spins, and Black goes down hard.  They go back to the apron and Almas shoves Black into the post again and hits shotgun knees into the post!  YEOWCH!  Black is in bad shape as Almas drags him onto the top rope for the hammerlock DDT, but Black gets his feet and backdrops Almas to the floor.  Black suddenly wipes Almas out with a somersault dive to the floor and rolls Almas back inside, but Almas catches him coming in with the hammerlock DDT.  He makes a cover, and Black is out at 2!  Vega tries another dive, but Black ducks and Vega lands on Almas, who catches him but is left easy prey for the Black Mass.  Vega rolls to the floor, Black makes a cover, and we have a NEW NXT CHAMPION!

Winner and New NXT Champion: Aleister Black

WOW!  Great match, great finish, and a hell of a title reign for Andrade "Cien" Almas.  Black hoists the title up and, for the first time, breaks out in a huge smile.

And now, it's...MAIN EVENT TIME!

Unsanctioned Match: Tommaso Ciampa vs Johnny Gargano (If Gargano wins, he is reinstated in NXT)

While I won't (and for the sake of keeping this PG, can't) print exactly what they're saying, the crowd is vehemently against Ciampa tonight.  The referee, the same one who counted the fall that ended Johnny's NXT career, is wearing a black shirt rather than the standard referee shirt for this match.  Tense staredown, then they trade blows and Gargano is all over Ciampa.  Ciampa dumps Gargano to the apron, but Gargano comes right back in with a slingshot spear.  Gargano stomps Ciampa into next week in the corner, then whips him hard across the ring and clotheslines him to the floor.  Gargano wipes Ciampa out with a dive, but Ciampa starts to wear Gargano down with some clubbing blows...until Gargano reverses a whip and sends Ciampa into the crowd.  Gargano connects with a dive over the barricade, but Ciampa shoves him back into the barricade, gives him a gourdbuster on top of it, and batters Gargano with a flurry of forearms.  We're back at ringside and Ciampa slams Gargano on the floor, then pulls back the ringside mat and tries to suplex Gargano onto the concrete floor, but Gargano blocks, hops onto the apron, and superkicks Ciampa in the face.  Gargano tosses Ciampa over the broadcast table and onto Percy and Mauro, then Gargano drags him up onto the table and yanks his tights up so Ciampa is practically mooning the fans, and tries for a piledriver.  Ciampa blocks and cracks Gargano in the knee with a monitor, then suplexes Gargano off the table and onto the floor!  YIPES!!!

Ciampa pulls part of the broadcast table off and suplexes Gargano through it, and the crowd again asserts their feelings toward Ciampa, who responds by punting Gargano in the back.  Back into the ring where Ciampa turns Gargano inside out with a hard whip into the corner.  Gargano suddenly pops up and goes back after Ciampa, but Ciampa lays him back out and gets a modified Texas Cloverleaf.  Gargano makes the ropes, but the referee informs him that there's no rope breaks in this one, so Ciampa releases him voluntarily and goes to the apron to just stomp on the back of Gargano's neck, then looks at the fans with a big smile on his face and applauds for Gargano.  Gargano is hanging off the apron and Ciampa drills him with a running knee, then menaces a fan at ringside who just happens to have a knee brace on and using crutches.  Ciampa takes the crutches as security hastens Knee Brace Fan to the back, and brings them into the ring.  He stands over the fallen Gargano, lifts him up with the crutch under his chin so he can look him in the eye, but misses a series of wild swings and Gargano gets the schoolboy rollup and rolling kick to send Ciampa to the apron.  Ciampa tries to suplex Gargano to the floor, but Gargano blocks and hits a leaping enziguiri, then goes for a slingshot DDT to the apron and Ciampa blocks.  Ciampa goes for an air raid crash onto the floor, but Gargano blocks and hits a sunset bomb that sends Ciampa onto the exposed concrete from earlier with an audible SPLAT.

They roll back into the ring and slump into opposing corners, then both crawl for the crutch in the middle of the ring.  Tug of war ensues, Gargano wins, and Ciampa can't believe it.  Gargano drills Ciampa with the crutch over and over and over, and takes his previously injured knee out with a big swing, but he takes a wild charge and Ciampa backdrops him to the floor.  Ciampa reaches out for him, but Gargano drills him with another crutch shot, comes in with the slingshot DDT, and covers for 2.  Johnny exposes the middle turnbuckle and scoops Ciampa up for the lawn dart, but Ciampa slips out the back and dumps Gargano to the apron.  Ciampa blocks a leaping enziguiri and connects with a hard back elbow, then drills Gargano in the face when he goes for the slingshot spear.  Ciampa with a torture rack bomb for 2.  Ciampa does the DIY hand signal and drills Gargano in the back of the head with a charging knee, but only gets 2.  Ciampa goes for a powerbomb, an exhausted Gargano blocks, drills Ciampa with a series of hard clotheslines, then grabs his beard and slaps him silly, but Ciampa rips his head off with a hard clothesline.  Gargano ducks another one and gets an inverted Frankensteiner, then catches Ciampa in the Gargano Escape.  Ciampa refuses to tap out and scoots to the ropes, but there's no rope breaks, and Gargano pushes off the ropes to roll them back to the middle of the ring.  Ciampa is about to tap, but instead gouges Gargano's eyes to get out of the hold.  Ciampa takes his wrist tape off and chokes Gargano with it, but Gargano gets out and they trade right hands in the middle of the ring.  They're now both hanging onto the wrist tape to hold each other up as they trade punches, then Ciampa kicks Gargano in the ding ding to end that contest.  Ciampa gets the other crutch and smashes it over Gargano's back, then he hits Project Ciampa...and only gets 2!!

Ciampa can't believe it as Johnny drags himself back over to his former partner, but Ciampa picks him up and looks him right in the eye, lifting him to his feet, and Gargano unloads with a series of slaps.  Ciampa fires back, but a superkick and a hard clothesline put Ciampa down.  Gargano hits the lawn dart into the exposed turnbuckle, and another superkick floors Ciampa.  Gargano picks him up and hits another one, and that's...NOT IT!  Ciampa kicks out at 2.  Gargano goes to the top, Ciampa climbs up and drills him in the face with a kneestrike, and picks Gargano up for a top rope air raid crash.  Gargano with elbowsmashes to Ciampa's skull and goes for a top rope Frankensteiner, Ciampa reverses to a top rope Project Ciampa, but he STILL can't put Johnny down for 3.  Ciampa pulls down his knee brace and knee pad, waits for Johnny to get to his feet, but Gargano slams the brace into Ciampa's knee when he goes for the charging knee, and Ciampa goes down in pain.  Gargano gets the crutch, stomps it in half, and goes to stab Ciampa in the face with it Magnum TA style, but stops short as Ciampa covers up.  Johnny hesitates, then drops the crutch and sits down next to Ciampa, who grabs the brace and swings it at him.  Gargano ducks and gets the Gargano Escape, then converts it into an STF with the knee brace, and Ciampa taps out immediately.

Winner: Johnny Gargano

Now THAT was a war!  Johnny's career is saved, and Candice LeRae runs out to celebrate with her husband as Ciampa is helped to the back by referees.

That does it for NXT Takeover - New Orleans, thanks for following our coverage, and we'll be back tomorrow afternoon for the postgame show in the Elite section!

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