Johnny Wrestling tells the story.
The rivalry between Johnny Gargano and current NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa has been one that has captivated wrestling fans by the story that has been told between the two men. Last year at NXT TakeOver: Chicago, Tommaso Ciampa turned his back on Johnny Gargano and while Tommaso was out rehabbing from a number of surgeries, Johnny Gargano had to cope the fact that he was betrayed by a man who he considered to be his best friend.
Tommaso Ciampa then made his return at NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia and ambushed Gargano after Gargano's hard-fought bout against Andrade "Cien" Almas for the NXT Championship. At TakeOver: New Orleans Gargano and Ciampa went to war in a grudge match that saw Johnny get his revenge but the issues between the two were far from resolved. The former NXT Tag Team Champions battled for months until they met on the big stage once again at TakeOver: Chicago II in a Street Fight and everything came to a head when Gargano inadvertently handed over the NXT Championship to Tommaso Ciampa when Ciampa challenged the then-champion Aleister Black for the title. Tommaso and Gargano danced one more time in a Last Man Standing match at TakeOver: Brooklyn IV last month with the NXT Championship on the line and Gargano fell short in that match as well.
The story of Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano is one that has intensified since Ciampa's return and Johnny Gargano broke down the storytelling of the feud while he was interviewed by Cultaholics' Adam Pacitti.
“I think you just gotta be real. I think the thing with me and Tommaso, the thing with D.I.Y., it was just organic. It wasn’t something that was manufactured - it was never supposed to happen. We were two who were never supposed to be here, who scratched and clawed and did everything we could to kind of make our dreams come true and what you saw on the screen was a real friendship blossoming." Gargano explained. "I mean, me and Tommaso were friends on the indies, but coming to NXT we were forced to team together, we were paired together, we were forced to share a hotel room together and it grew into a very real friendship - I mean he’s… he was in my wedding, all that stuff. We moved to Orlando together, we shared an apartment. When me and Candice got married, he moved in with us. Like we were all… all three lived together." Gargano said. "That was very real and I think that's what made it so tragic for fans as you saw a very real friendship get torn apart, and it helps that we are kind of polar opposites in the sense where you look at me - you see a prototypical babyface, you look at him - you see a prototypical heel like a bad guy, and I don’t know what the future holds, but I say its almost like The Batman and The Joker; we’re destined to do this forever so we’ll see what happens next.”
To find out what's next for both Gargano and Ciampa heading into to TakeOver: War Games, check out Fightful's spoilers article.
If you are going to use the quote above, please credit 'Cultaholics' with an H/T to Fightful for the transcription.