Tommaso Ciampa vs. Johnny Gargano is the most storied rivalry in NXT history with the two men being tag team partners turned bitter enemies.
They were set to collide for the NXT Championship at NXT TakeOver: New York in 2019, but Ciampa had to relinquish the title days before the event due to a neck injury. As a result, Gargano faced Adam Cole in a two-out-of-three falls match at TakeOver.
Gargano was victorious, capturing the NXT Championship for the first time, and as he headed to the back, he celebrated with his wife Candice LeRae and was surprised by his best friend.
Speaking to RN Pro Wrestling, Ciampa reflected on the moment and why he thought it would have been the perfect ending to the DIY story.
"It was so on the fly. I didn't think I was going to make it to that New York show, it was days after my surgery. Being there, honestly, I was exhausted. By the time they went out, I remember watching in Gorilla with Candice. That crowd was not in favor of Johnny to start. I remember having this bad feeling in my stomach like, 'damnit, this is supposed to be the moment.' Just watching two artists. Those are two of the best pro wrestler alive. By the end of fall two, it was out of this world. It was insane and hard to duplicate that. It was cool to experience that with Candice. It was a very on the fly call. I guess it was Hunter, I think, who said, 'If you want to go, go.' It wasn't like a plan. I know Johnny (didn't know), if you watch it, you'll see. It was a cool moment. I'll be honest, I wish it was the end of it. I wish it ended there. I felt like it was a weird closure of the storyline. I liked when we did DIY vs. Moustache Mountain as a one-off. I love the idea of doing DIY stuff as one-offs. Anytime you put two NXT originals out there, there aren't many of us left, it's exciting," he said.
Ciampa would return to the ring in October 2019 and soon reignite his feud with Gargano, which culminated with One Final Beat on the April 8, 2020 episode of NXT.
Ciampa is the reigning NXT Champion while Gargano remains one of the featured stars on the brands.
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