Johnny Gargano proved once again why “Johnny TakeOver” may be the most apt nickname in wrestling, emerging victorious in a back-and-forth mat classic against Kushida to retain his NXT North American Championship.
Kushida was more than game to step to Gargano, though, and two of the black-and-gold brand’s most technically proficient Superstars treated the NXT Universe to an epic battle full of masterful counters and reversals.
NXT’s resident Time Splitter avoided Gargano’s trusty slingshot attack, instead planting him with a roll-through DDT into a bridging suplex for a near-fall.
Gargano appeared to be all but out, but he miraculously countered a potential superplex with a twisting suplex off the second rope, then followed with a big-time second rope-assisted tornado DDT.
Continuing to prove he did his homework on his opponent, Gargano caught Kushida’s springboard elbow, pulling him down into the Gargano Escape with Kushida writhing in pain.
The challenger had Gargano equally well-scouted, pulling off his own reversal into the Hoverboard Lock before using an inverted matchbook cover for a near-fall.
Kushida later hit a spectacular top-rope Spanish fly, transitioning immediately into a cross armbreaker. Gargano found a way out of the ring, but Kushida refused to break the hold — until Gargano rammed him into the barricade.
At this point, Kushida was out of answers for Johnny Wrestling, who spiked him with the One Final Beat DDT on the entrance ramp before dropping him with it once more inside the ring to preserve his gold.